I’ve had so many friends and family ask about why I was traveling in Rwanda and about my new job so I thought it would be great for me to update everyone via New Kid on the Wok.
You don’t find many food, lifestyle, or travel bloggers sharing the reality behind what they do for their day job but I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity I’ve been given and look forward to incorporating what I’m learning, doing, and experiencing into my blog.
I recently started a new role as a Special Projects Manager for the Akilah Group (connect with me on LinkedIn here). The Akilah Group is a collection of social enterprises that uses innovative educational models and technology to achieve transformational change in African communities and currently encompasses two organizations— the Akilah Institute for Women and AkilahNet. I work closely with the CEO and co-founder of both organisations, Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes.
The Akilah Institute for Women is the only women’s college in Rwanda. The college runs three diploma programs in Hospitality Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship and has come a tremendous way since its founding by Elizabeth and Dave Hughes in 2010.
I recently spent a week in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, meeting with Akilah Institute team members, staff, and students. I’ll be writing more about my time on the college campus soon, but I can’t express enough how amazing this organization’s impact is.
Nearly 90% of our graduates find employment within six months of graduation and Akilah alumnae are earning incomes that are 13 times the national median.
For those of you who are familiar with the recent tragic history of Rwanda (and for those of you who are not, I’ll be writing more about this later as well), you’ll understand how incredible those numbers are. 55% of our students come from rural areas, 75% had no income before attending our school, and 47% have lost one or both parents.
The Akilah Institute team works closely with employers in Rwanda for job opportunities for students and has spent years hiring staff in the region. Through these experiences and by speaking with hiring managers in East Africa, AkilahNet was created.
AkilahNet is a new technology platform that empowers job seekers to build meaningful careers and assists companies to fill needed roles with qualified professionals.
Companies in East Africa are all faced with similar problems when trying to fill a job opening— hundreds or thousands of applications from unqualified candidates or high costs from recruitment firms or from the endless hours teams spend sorting through job applications.
For job seekers, the job marketplace in East Africa is filled with outdated job postings, fake companies, or overwhelmed hiring managers who never see their applications even if they are the right fit.
The solution? AkilahNet is an exclusive community of top professionals in East Africa that our team vets before connecting them with employers. Our team simplifies the hiring process for both talent and employers and a portion of our profits go towards scholarships to women at the Akilah Institute.
It has been so energising and motivating working in AkilahNet’s fast-paced, start up environment and very inspiring knowing that AkilahNet directly contributes to the economic development in the region by connecting companies and job seekers.
If you’re as interested in both of these organizations as I am, I have to mention that we are HIRING Hong Kong based team members!
We’re looking for an extraordinary CTO/Co-Founder to join AkilahNet (12 Reasons Why you Should be the CTO/Co-founder of our African Talent Marketplace).
We’re also hiring for both a Digital Marketing Manager and a Social Media Manager to work across both the Akilah Institute for Women and AkilahNet (more details on these roles can be found here).