First Lady, Jeannette Kagame has encouraged girls to strive high and step up on the leadership ladder.
She was speaking to over 250 girls on Saturday June 20, at the parliament during a youth forum organised by her philanthropic foundation, Imbuto themed “Informed, Inspired, Involved”.
The event was meant to help the youths get a glimpse on how the parliament and the senate operate.
“As Rwanda’s future leaders, you are here to learn critical thinking and standing up for your communities,” said Mrs. Kagame.
She said future women leaders who have been exemplary via excelling in academics need to get a deeper understanding of the functions of the parliament, which includes drafting laws and debating on policies.
Under the supervision of deputies, girls practiced real duties at the parliament.
They elected their own parliamentary speaker, representatives and participated in debating and drafting bills suitable for solving problems facing their communities.
Some of those who participated are beneficiaries of Imbuto Foundation for their exceptional performance in Primary and Secondary school.
After the sessions, Mrs Kagame advised the youths to form social networking groups that will advocate for their communities.
“With such knowledge, you will be able to compete at the international job market,”she added.
The Speaker of Parliament, Donatille Mukabalisa, inspired them to start taking on leadership roles. The speaker is part of the 62% women representation in parliament. The senate has 38% women representation.
“Now that I have acted member of parliament at least for a few hours, I know how it feels to bear people’s burdens and seek solutions,” said Pascaline Hirwa, a Senior Four student who wast elected as Speaker of Parliament during the forum.
“I have also learnt from the bill we just drafted that two heads are better than one when it comes to long lasting solutions,” Hirwa said.
Jeanne Uwifashije, another secondary student said that, “I have learnt all the steps a bill goes through to be confirmed as a law. It is actually a lot of work.”
The girls also toured the, ‘Campaign Against Genocide Museum’ at the parliament.
The First Lady told them that, “Part of becoming a leader includes knowing your history and the context of the people and the nation you may someday serve.”
For the past 10 years, her foundations has invested in promoting girls’ education through awarding excellency, inventing youths leadership and mentor-ship programs as well as giving them scholarships.
Since 2007 when Jeanette Kagame founded Imbuto Foundation, more than 4000 girls have been awarded for their academic excellency.