Author: Resonate

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Fundraising While Female

This post was written by Ayla Schlosser, Co-founder and CEO of Resonate. “I want to apologize to all the women I have called beautiful before I’ve called them intelligent or brave. I am sorry I made it sound as though something as simple as what you’re born with is all you have to be proud of when you have broken mountains with your wit. From now on, I will say things like you are resilient, or you are extraordinary not because I don’t think you’re pretty but because you are so much more than that.” – Rupi Kaur  A little over a month ago I went through an unusual breakup – it was kind, loving, and rooted in mutual admiration and respect – we just weren’t right for each other. While reflecting with a friend and getting used to being single again I was surprised to hear myself say, “you know one thing I am excited about? I’m excited to have someone tell me I’m beautiful.” Though an extraordinary human of many talents, verbosity was not a trait my recent ex …

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Women Leading Change

By Solange Ipmanoyimana Rwanda is ranked among the countries with the fastest growing rate of economic development worldwide – but it hasn’t always been this way. Looking back at my childhood, I grew up observing gender inequalities in my community. In the rural areas women were the ones to spend more hours working on the farms, doing chores, and preparing food for the family. Men, on the other hand, were expected to work morning hours and spend the afternoon resting and taking local brews. Though it wasn’t exactly the same in the urban areas, the circumstances weren’t that much different because the women still did all the work at home while the men were in bars. Though women were educated, they would follow the norms of gender. We were taught never to speak in the presence of men or question a man’s judgment. Women were totally dependent on men’s ideas and decisions. Even if women worked many hours with barely any time to rest, they weren’t allowed to make any decisions, including the small ones …

Resonate Trainer and Akilah Students

Storytelling Club

Resonate partners with groups focused on women’s skill building and education, and complements their programs by offering a leadership training program rooted in personal storytelling. One of our first partner organizations was the Akilah Institute, a college that offers a unique model of market-relevant education empowering graduates for success in careers and leadership roles. Nida and Darlene are students at the Akilah Institute who participated in Resonate’s Storytelling for Leadership course in March of 2014. The post below is a testament to the impact of Resonate’s Storytelling for Leadership workshop, and an introduction to the Storytelling Club that they created on the Akilah campus in Kigali, Rwanda. In 2015 Resonate hopes to create a network of women leaders who can support and learn from each other, just as these women are doing. — Storytelling Club on Akilah Campus By Laure Darlene Karamutsa and Nida Gisele Iraguha Akilah Institute for Women students Last year my colleague Nida and I, along with the rest of our class, had the opportunity to meet Solange and Ayla from Resonate who …

Akilah Students in a Storytelling Training

Stories that Last

By Ayla Schlosser, Founder & Executive Director, Resonate Strength in Stories Last November I had just moved to Rwanda to launch Resonate. As I prepared to teach my first ever Storytelling for Leadership workshop in country, I reflected on how fitting it was that my first group of students would be the graduating class of Rwanda’s only women’s college. As a Smith College graduate, I know firsthand how inspiring it can be to study alongside other dedicated, smart, passionate women. Although I knew that my college experience was vastly different from that of the students I would be working with at The Akilah Institute, I saw over the course of our first workshop that many of us have the same hopes and dreams for the future. Given the obstacles that many Rwandan women face, it is all too easy to paint a picture of hardship and hopelessness, yet that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In our first year of implementation, Resonate has partnered with many different organizations– from women leaders through the Wangari Maathai …