From VSLA to a member of sector council : Leadership Mentorship Programme Contribution
MUKATOKI Christine is a woman of 46 years old. She lives in Gisagara district, Mugombwa Sector, Mugombwa cell, Akarambo village. She is a member of the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) in their village and has been assigned to supervise VSLAs in two neighboring villages of Mugombwa cell, which she felt, is enough for her potential.
Christine was selected to be among the women champions of Mugombwa sector. She benefited from the training on leadership, public speaking, advocacy, networking, and collaboration in 2020. When the implementation process of the community Score Card (CSC) started ; local leaders in her cell selected her to be among the facilitators and she was trained to lead the CSC process. She testifies how the two pieces of training opened her eyes and made her aware of the potential she has ; “As a Primary six (P6) holder, I did not think I have any capacity to influence decisions. I could not think of sitting with the executive secretary or any other leader and raising any ideas. The training on leadership and advocacy, and the community score card enabled me to understand that my community challenges await me to help in finding solutions. I thereby started working with my fellow women champions to champion solutions to the challenges affecting our community” says bold Christine.
Christine M proudly and confidently testifies of her rise to sector decision making platform ; sector council (Njyanama)
Christine was graced to be among the leadership mentees and appreciates the role of her mentor in shaping her confidence to a greater level. “My mentor, Akimana Marie Grace guided me to overcome my fears, sharpen my ideas and boldly stand in congregations and make my ideas heard. When local elections reached in November 2021, I contested to be among the National Women Council (NWC) member in the village with the aim of being a member of the NWC committee at the cell level. My mentor encouraged me to go further and reach the sector level at which I contested and won the elections. I am now among the 30% representatives of women in the Sector Council. When we are in a meeting, I confidently share my views and feel capable when advocating for the issues affecting my community”. Testifies Christine.
Christine appreciates the roles of Pro-Femmes Twese/ Hamwe and CARE International in Rwanda under Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWEPIII), mostly the leadership mentorship programme in making her aware of her competencies.
Sibomana Damien Executive Secretary of Mugombwa Sector recognizes Christine as one of the influential women in his sector. He appreciated the importance of empowering women to take part in decision-making processes at different levels. “There are some women we could not see in decision-making processes before, and since this project came, we have strong platforms with strong women’s voices. We strongly believe that when women are empowered, community challenges get immediate solutions and we as local government get support in accomplishing our responsibilities and this makes the work easier”. Says Damien, Mugombwa Sector ES.