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Leadership mentorship, a tool to committed leadership – Story of Masengesho Rose.

With the African background, Rwanda in specific has experienced a matrimonial system where women and girls are only attributed to lesser jobs. This has made females be few in numbers in decision-making processes, and where they are supported to be part ; their voice and participation still prove to be at a low grade.

Rwanda, having a good political will to support women and girls to be part of the nation’s governance systems ; it is evident that the good numbers of their participation stand at the more central positions and fewer numbers at the local level.

To support women and girls, mostly at the local level ; in partnership with CARE International Rwanda, Pro-femmes/ Twese Hamwe is implementing the project “Gender Equality and Women Empowerment” which works to empower women and girls that they effectively raise their voice and participate in decision-making processes.

Among the programs that support these women and girls in Huye, Gisagara, Nyamagabe, and Nyaruguru district, Leadership Mentorship is proving a great booster to women and girls to join and participate in decision-making processes.

In close partnership with local authorities at the sector and district level, 40 mentors were recruited, trained, and oriented to coach 160 mentees and build their leadership skills, knowledge, competencies, and attitudes.

7 months of leadership mentorship process has helped women to boost their confidence and willingly participate in their community structural-decision-making arenas.

MASENGESHO Marie Rose A resident of Nyabimata Sector of Nyaruguru district testify how leadership mentorship has helped her build confidence and be able to contest in leadership positions. “I could not assume myself contesting in higher levels of leadership positions. My mentor helped me unveil my potential by addressing my weakness to form stronger strengths. I dedicated my time after work (she is normally a teacher) to mobilize my fellow women to actively participate in decision-making processes. During the previously held local elections, I contested from village level and reached to be elected as the Sector Coordinator of National Women Council. With our mobilization ; we now have two women village leaders in our sector which was a dream in the past.” Stresses Rose.

Rose says how she previously feared speaking in public, could not chair a meeting, or point out her views on issues being discussed. Plus the training given on Leadership, Advocacy, Public speaking, Networking, and Collaboration, She says leadership mentorship has made her a confident woman who is committed to maximizing her contribution towards addressing her community challenges. “Being the sector NWC coordinator automatically makes me a member of the sector council which is the highest meeting that makes decisions of governance at the sector level. I am committed to using my ability and contributing to the decisions made against my community” Commits Rose.

Rose appreciated the role of the leadership mentorship program and how her mentor, Nyirakanya Marie Claire Shaped her attitude towards making her a good and confident leader. She promises to use her elected position – responsibilities and mentor women (who are fully in her responsibilities) to be effective and active members in their communities. “Our sector has 5 cells of which each cell has 7 women in the National Women Council. I, therefore, have 7 members of my committee and 35 women from cell level who are in my daily direct responsibility. I will use the knowledge, skills and capacities to build them into good leaders who contribute to their community development.” Rose, committed.