Tampa native helps form Akilah Institute for Women in Rwanda

10/08/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

About a million people were killed during 1994 in the African country of Rwanda. But a woman from Tampa is trying to make life better for women in that country. Elizabeth Davis is helping to shape the Akilah Institute for Women in Rwanda.

Elizabeth Davis: "I grew up in Tampa and moved to Rwanda right after I graduated from university a couple of years ago. And we are setting up the Akilah Institute for Women to provide education and training for women in Rwanda, many of whom are genocide survivors. This will provide relevant training and job skills for them to get good jobs so they can take care of their families in Rwanda."

WMNF: "So remind our listeners about Rwanda and its history and why a center like this might be important."

Davis: "There were about a million people who were killed in a span of a 100 days in 1994. Now that it has been 15 years, there is a whole generation of children who were orphaned by the genocide that are now teenagers. Now is the most critical for Rwanda's reconstruction and reconciliation to insure that this generation has the tools and resources they need to continue on the path to peace to find good jobs and rebuild their society. Rwanda is surrounded by a lot of conflict and war, in the Congo and northern Uganda; so Rwanda has become a beacon of hope especially for women across the continent."

WMNF: "What kind of training do you offer at the school?"

Davis: "We will provide a two year diploma who finish from high school but are not able to attend university which is very expensive. It will be a vocational training institute and we work with local businesses in the community to design or curriculum in a way that responds to the needs of the business sector to insure they finish and they graduate with market relevant skills to work in the fastest growing areas in the Rwandan economy which right now is the hospitality and tourism sector."

WMNF: "If people want to find out more where can they go?"

Davis: "They can visit our website Akilah Institute for Women

Akilah Institute for Women

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