My name is Mercy Carrillo, I am 18 years old.…
“I am from a family of five sisters. I’m the last born. I didn’t get a chance to be with my parents forever. I found myself living in the orphanage when I was three years old.” – Neda
“As I grew up, I always dreamed about being a mother.
I would see all the students running around and I would imagine myself being their mother. “
At 13 years of age, Neda was asked to leave the orphanage, which made her very upset. However, with the family that adopted her, she met Freida a very kind, sociable, friendly, protective, strong woman who inspired her to grow to become empowered. Freida helped Neda to find a job, and find jobs for her sisters as well. Today, Neda is attending the Akilah Institute for Women. She is learning skills to start her organization for orphans.
“I want those children to be loved and supported as I was. “
BONUS: Meet another student from Neda’s storytelling club!
DOUBLE BONUS: Learn about Education in Rwanda and meet other students from Neda’s school:
In East Africa, there is a profound gap between the education system and the human capital needs of the new booming private sector. Businesses complain regularly of a poorly trained and inadequate workforce, and yet 85% of women still work in subsistence agriculture, living on less than $2 per day. Only 1% of the population enters university, and less than one-third of those students are female.
Clearly, there is a disconnect between what employers want and what the education system supplies.
Akilah acts as the bridge connecting underemployed, high-potential young women to jobs in the fastest-growing sectors of the economy.
- Educating young women is simply the wisest and most effective investment a developing country can make:
- Women will invest 90% of their income into their families, as opposed to 30-40% for men.
- Educated women are less likely to contract HIV, and will also earn more money and have fewer and healthier children.
Therefore, Akilah’s recruitment efforts are focused on low-income communities and students who do not have the resources to pursue higher education within the traditional university system.
4GGL thanks Resonate for this inspiring story of Self.
Resonate uses storytelling to empower women and girls to build self-confidence and unlock leadership potential.