June 27, 2017
Giving back to her community is one of the things she puts first in her journey. Peace Grace Muhizi is a graduate of Agahozo Shalom Youth Village and she is currently schooling in Atlanta, Georgia at Agnes Scott College. This summer, she came back to Rwanda with an aim of interning in a public organization and also giving back to her community, more specifically the youth village that raised her to be who she is today.
Working with girls’ groups at ASYV, including the Female Solidarity Legacy, a group she co-founded, and Girl Up, Peace designed a project called LIFT HER UP (LHU) that aims to empower and inspire girls at ASYV in various ways. Through the initiative, she offers resource events on women’s rights, career guidance, health and other educational tools. She provides mentorship and brings in graduates to talk about their own experiences and share advice. The initiative focuses on not only mentorship but also workshops that teach seniors how to write personal statements, resumes and cover letters. To support these efforts, Peace Grace brings in scholars from programs like the Bridge2Rwanda Scholars program, Gashora Girls Academy graduates, the YES program, as well as SHE CAN scholars. In the near future, the LIFT HER UP program will introduce career guidance workshops for young girls at ASYV to introduce them to different career choices and will feature successful women in Business, Education, and other industries.
The leaders of the Female Solidarity Legacy and Girl up are actively involved in the preparation of these events, and they have shown that the LIFT HER UP program is not only a beginning of young women empowerment in ASYV but also in Rwanda. With commitment, they aim to take what they have learned and actively expose it to other girls through the creation of the LIFT HER UP program in other high schools. Titi,the leader of Girl Up at ASYV says that she was honored and happy to learn how to change her story into a personal statement that she can use to apply to different opportunities. She hopes that she can be able to inspire other girls as her big sisters inspired her, and take action through playing a role in the creation of girls’ empowerment groups in different high schools in Rwanda. Merci, the leader of Females Solidarity Legacy says that this program has been a helpful tool to stimulate women empowerment groups and motivate them to be more effective through different pitched ideas. With the idea of including young men in the loop, she believes it brings them together to work toward a one successful goal.
Peace intends for LIFT HER UP to be an ongoing initiative at ASYV and a resource for all the young women who pass through the Village's gates.
Submitted by Lauren Gross, Village Fellow 2017