The Power of Education – One Woman’s Mission to Train Women of the World

Kigali, Rwanda

When we think about teachers, we often forget the impact they have on the number of students throughout their lifetime. This number can reach into the hundreds, or even thousands. The messages they craft and the lessons they deliver can have a profound effect on the next generation.

One teacher, curriculum developer, and empowerment implementer in particular, Anne Marie, inspired the Women’s Bakery team this past month in Kigali.

Over a meeting in Kicukiro at J. Lynn’s (a premier bakery in Kigali specializing in bagels!), our team learned about the work Anne Marie is involved with. She has spent the last 20 years working in Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo teaching groups of women business skills.

Currently, Anne Marie is a Project Manager and Master Trainer at Akazi Kanoze, an initiative sponsored by Education Development Center. The project delivers comprehensive entrepreneurship trainings that include basic business skills, personal development, life skills (hygiene), and work-readiness curriculum. Anne Marie told us that most recently, the project curriculum had been fully adapted and worked into the national school curriculum for Entrepreneurship courses at the secondary level in Rwanda. This is expected to be transformative for students that will begin to receive this new curriculum – it will help them fit better into the current economic and development picture of Rwanda.

In addition to Akazi Kanoze, Anne Marie worked for 13 years with Duterimbere, an organization established in 1987 to lead women in socio-economic equality. The history is fascinating – it can be read here. The Duterimbere project was sponsored initially by the Women’s World Bank!

The Women’s Bakery was excited to meet with Anne Marie and is looking forward to her ongoing mentorship. She is not only incredibly passionate, but also well versed in designing and delivering business curriculum to women. It is the dedication and commitment of individuals like Anne Marie that empower education throughout Rwanda (aligning strongly with our mission at the Women’s Bakery!) and throughout the world. Murakoze kazi kawe!