The Akilah Institute for Women


The Akilah Institute is a college located in Kigali, Rwanda that empowers young women through leadership and hospitality management training, providing them with the skills to find employment in the hospitality industry, which is the fastest growing sector of the Rwandan economy. This concept became a reality in January 2010 with the inauguration of Akilah’s first class of 50 students and has continued to grow in leaps and bounds.  August 10th marked the start of Akilah’s 2nd semester and brings the school closer to its goal: to move to its new campus, which will house 800 students, in August 2012.

Soon to be Renovated Classroom at the New Campus

The Akilah Institute currently runs its school in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, but the move to the new campus, located in the Bugasera district, which will occur in 2012, will bring great changes to the non-profit:

Housing will be provided for teachers and students, as well as new resources, including a library, computer room, kitchen, and dining hall. While some infrastructure already exists on the Bugasera land since the site was used as a government vocational center in the past, renovation and expansion plans are currently in the works.

A Sustainable Future for Akilah

The new campus will support a sustainable way of living by encouraging students to grow their own food, use composting toilets, harvest rain water, and rely on solar power as an alternative energy source.

The Akilah students are all amazing girls with impressive futures ahead of them. Already, with the education Akilah has provided them, Akilah students have gone on to obtain employment in restaurants and hotels across Rwanda. Despite their hardships in the past, these women maintain an optimism and eagerness to learn that is hard to find. I loved hearing their stories on my trip and want to pass them on, so that we can learn from them how to be such strong individuals.

If you are interested in helping, 20 students are still missing scholarship support for this semester. A scholarship will provide her with tuition, textbooks, lunch every day, and transportation to and from school.

Make a Difference: help these girls help themselves.


  1. Great write up and photos! I am really excited about the new school. Elizabeth and the team she has put together have been doing an amazing job bring Akilah to life. Not only is it going to have a huge impact on its students and their communities, but the ripple effect will be felt for generations as its students’ children and their children’s children’s lives are impacted by the opportunities and experiences their mothers and grandmothers had because of Akilah.

  2. Admirable work. Thanks for including the link on how to help! I understand that the program is designed to train the women for future employment in the hospitality industry. Does it also encourage them to start their own hospitality-based businesses?

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