Securing the “Right Seat” for Rwanda’s Workforce

A joyful Celine Uwineza (far right) talks shop with colleagues at Right Seats event.

“I lived a happy childhood, where I felt the warmth of my family until April 7th, 1994.” 

Broken into pieces after losing her mother and three siblings, Celine Uwineza found herself battling inner emotions yet determined, now more than ever, to overcome her grief and unleash her desire for a brighter future. Some would say it took a miracle to overcome the hate and horror the people of Rwanda faced, but Celine knew overcoming the obstacles and sharing her story would not only help her heal, but inspire her country’s youth, the future of Rwanda, towards success. 

Dealing with issues at home, Celine never felt complete, always searching for a purpose in life; she understood the importance of empowerment initiatives in her country. Celine’s desire to “follow my dreams of being an agent of change in our community, especially for women in Rwanda,” led her to apply for the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS®  program in 2017.

“Even though a house and basic needs were provided for me, it was a dysfunctional family, and it never felt like home.” Growing up with undelt grief, the feeling of rejection, and low self-esteem, she knew it was her destiny to pursue further education. “My passion for people has always been the bridge to uphold my desired leadership positions in my career.” 

In 2005, at the age of 21, Celine started her career as a Human Resource Assistant at the Bank of Kigali, then went on to serve as Senior HR Director of an international non-profit organization. Today, Celine co-owns an HR company “Right Seat.” It is Celine’s dream to be a talent hub and empowerment center for young people through successful and sustainable social enterprise for both profit and non-profit. 

“When my partner and I opened the firm, we had been in the Human Resources industry for ten years as employees, and it was then when I saw a huge gap between skills required in the market place and skills available.” 

“Joining the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program was a stepping stone for my personal growth and my nation’s development.” For Celine, living for peace begins with being empowered enough to influence your community. Through the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program, Celine became equipped better to understand her role as an individual and business owner. With hard work and determination, Celine has impacted the world around her. Through the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS®, Celine created connections to help guide her and those around her to a better path. 

Like many in her generation, the genocide of 1994 stunted the necessary skills, advocacy, exposure, and encouragement young adults needed to land a job in their country. These young adults were now the backbone to the rebuilding of what was once a beautiful country. Celine knew she had the courage and ability to do something about social injustice in Rwanda. That is when she went on to open an HR firm to respond to national and international challenges. “Part of our mandate as survivors is to join our government to break that chain and empower young adults with ethical, employable business skills that will help them

to use their abilities to grow professionally and personally in their projects or as employees.” 

Twenty-six years down the road, Celine has helped optimize human capitalism by providing clients with expert support and guidance in organizational structure, skills search and match, profile creation, organizational development, career guidance for youth and fresh graduates. Celine has been paying it forward by striving for excellence and offering the kind of support she wished she had received as a young adult. With Celine’s hard work and history of paying it forward during her time in the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program, she departed the Leadership Development portion of the program with the distinguished Enterprising Woman Award presented by Publisher, Monica Smiley . IEEW, is honored to have come across a beautiful spirit like Celine’s, one known for inspiring many and making a difference in others’ lives. “The impact of our services goes far beyond the financial health of the business; it creates a culture of excellence in the community, and this is what my passion relies on.” -Celine Uwineza.