Self-actualisation through education in Rwanda – CHANCEN International makes it possible

Education and knowledge are an essential component of a self-determined life. As everywhere in the world, there are many young women in Rwanda, who have dreams and desires for the future. Often these can only be achieved through further education, which in Rwanda is very expensive. Therefore this road is blocked for many. But there is a tried and tested model that makes it possible to finance higher education without students getting stuck in a debt trap. Income Share Agreements were developed at the University of Witten/Herdecke already in 1995 and have been continuously improved and developed ever since. Since this year, this model is also available to some young women in Rwanda. And we want there to be more.

The model works like this: CHANCEN International invests in the education costs of students in Rwanda. They can concentrate on their education while our community helps them achieve their goals. For example, we offer workshops on topics relevant to work and everyday life, and an active alumni network supports and promotes the graduates throughout their lives.

The CHANCEN International team: Batya Blankers (CEO) with Ariane Niansioba (Application and Student Coordinator) and Audresse Girarike (Communication and Event Coordinator)

Upon completion of their training, the graduates pay back a fixed percentage of their income to the CHANCEN community for a certain period of time. The repayment is income-dependent – that means, those who earn more pay more and those who earn less pay less. If a graduate earns very little, she can be exempt from repayment until she can afford a repayment again. Through the repayments, CHANCEN International can provide funding for new students. Thus achieving a long-term effect.

Since September 2018 CHANCEN International have been working together with the renowned Akilah Institute in Kigali, Rwanda, where the first female students are supported. The institute offers training or women in hospitality management, entrepreneurship and business management as well as information systems. Akilah has a unique curriculum that focuses on competence-based learning. The institute puts great value on the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think critically and a mentality of continuous development.

Akilah students start the bridge program – a big component is IT skills

Due to an excellent orientation towards the needs of the local labour market, 88% of the graduates find employment within 6 months of completing their studies. Akilah graduates now work for international hotel groups, in government positions or are successful entrepreneurs.

Now CHANCEN International wants to make way for even more young women in Rwanda to lead a self-determined life. On 15 November 2018 they have launched their crowdfunding campaign “Sustainable financing for students in Rwanda” on Startnext. This is how you can become part of their mission: Make a financial contribution if you can, or share the campaign with your social network. Every contribution, no matter how small, helps to achieve great things together.