Yes she can! Unlocking leadership in East Africa

Rwanda (Kigali)

Resonate unlocks leadership potential of women and girls in East Africa with a training programme dedicated to building self-confidence and leadership.


It is over two decades since Rwanda experienced one of the most brutal genocides in history. As progress has been made in restoring law and order and improving governance, the country is emerging as a development and economic success story, not least because women are becoming increasingly more empowered.

Rwanda has the highest share of women parliamentarians in the world at 61%. However, this high level of women’s representation in Rwanda’s Parliament is not mirrored at lower levels of government, nor within homes, schools and communities.

A training programme in the East African nation is dedicated to teaching its women skills through storytelling. Resonate unlocks leadership potential for women and girls in Rwanda and East Africa with workshops to help them find their voices and tell their stories.

“If we want women to be at the forefront of a movement to build prosperity, we must give them the tools to make their voices resonate.” –  Resonate founder, Ayla Schlosser 

Harnessing the power of storytelling allows women and girls to leverage their knowledge and skills to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

Resonate was founded by Ayla Schlosser, a Californian who knows that charm, humour and delivery are the attributes of a good storyteller and crucial for any great leader. When Ayla, who is Jewish, was 15 years old, a classroom discussion about conflict in the Middle East left her feeling hurt, confused and misunderstood. Through this experience, she found that finding her voice and sharing her story not only helped to educate others, it empowered her. Ayla takes her inspiration from former President Barack Obama.

Resonate is based on the work of Marshall Ganz’s grassroots platform behind the ‘Yes we can!’ campaign from 2008. The underdog in the race to lead the Democrats showed impressive oratory panache. “Organisers recruited local volunteers,” Marshall eplxained, “trained them in leadership, assigned them goals, provided them with the tools to mobilise the voters themselves, and coached them to success.”

Resonate’s programme wants to empower women at a local level to lead Rwanda’s next generation – becoming community leaders, starting businesses and advancing professionally and academically.

AtlasAction: To connect or partner with Resonate, get in touch here.

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (10 January 2021)

Project leader

Norette Turimuci, Executive Director

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