Be a Hummingbird: Using Story to Heal East African Women

Categorized as: , , , , , , , , & Tagged as: , , , on February 21, 2016.


Editor’s Note: We’re happy and honored to have helped support the production of this brand-new video that explains the work of Resonate Workshops, an organization serving Rwanda and Uganda that is distinctly brave, local, feminine, and tenaciously hopeful . . . just like the hummingbird.

Suzanne SkeesBy Suzanne Skees



Can sharing stories lead to leadership? Resonate Workshops is banking on it. Resonate catalyzes the next generation of female leaders, using storytelling to engender confidence and agency. When storytellers dare to get personal, they communicate values and passion, and inspire the support of others–whether in a professional setting, in a business endeavor, or in a community initiative.


Resonate Storytelling in Rwanda 2016Women learning the value and power of the stories they hold inside. Resonate has trained over 1,000 storytellers since its founding in 2013.


Working with a small staff of four (majority Rwandan) women, Resonate uses storytelling to train leadership in both the nonprofit (NGO) and for-profit realms, teaching such modules as goal setting, self-advocacy, team-management, and facilitator’s training that equips graduates to expand these skills further into their communities.

American Resonate founder Ayla Schlosser say that she “rewrote” her own story: “I broke my lease on my D.C. apartment, quit my job, and booked a ticket to Kigali, Rwanda, to found an organization called Resonate and better understand how to harness the power of personal narrative to improve the lives of women and girls in East Africa,” Ayla says. She compares their stories to Humans of New York and says we all have the power to “Change Your Story, Change Your Life.” (See her piece in the Huffington Post here.)


Resonate workshop Rwanda 2016Class participants learn to be bold and vulnerable by sharing their experiences and dreams.


Today (February 20), Resonate is holding a Training of Facilitators, in which program alumni become certified facilitators in order to expand the reach and impact of their work.

This week in East Africa, they will also be bringing storytelling-for-leadership training to a wide variety of stakeholders, including:


Video and photographs courtesy of Resonate.

LEARN more about Resonate here.

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