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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Diary of a Milead fellow…..

Its been over year..can't believe I din't share this.....Had lots of fun as a Milead 2010/2011 fellow.....

The Moremi Leadership Empowerment and Development (MILEAD) fellows summer Institute marked from July 12th to August 2nd 2010 at the Kwame Nkrumah Complex, Institute of African Studies-University Of Ghana-was to say the least a wonderful experience.

On receiving my award letter, I remember thinking that Moremi Initiative for Women's Leadership in Africa might have awarded the wrong person. From over 800 applications, it is clear that the selection process is quite competitive, and there I was, selected as one of the 25 fellows from 21 different African countries and the Diaspora.

First thing first, I needed to contact my fellow Kenyan 2010 counterparts and compare note, synchronize our travel plans and bond a bit. After all we were to be together for the next three weeks. Finding them was not a problem and we soon meet up a couple of times for media briefing and coffee before we headed to Accra.

Ms. Amina Abdirashid is a young Kenyan lady who currently works for the BBC and implements programs in Somalia. She believes in giving the Somali girl child a voice and a much needed ear as well. She intends to implement her MICHANGE project within the same lines.

Ms. Mary Ng’Endo Kanoi is the only fellow actively involved in climate change. An intern at GTZ Kenya, she is passionate about conservation and would like her project to centre on alternative fertilizers which farmers in Murang’a could use which would be cheaper to make and use and are environmental friendly.

Ms. Jane Wairimu Waithera is a vibrant young lady living with albinism. She is currently in the process of registering her own company-‘Positive Exposure’, which aims to educate society on albinism with the aim of reducing stigma that surrounds it. Positive Exposure will be involved in offering support to albinos especially in areas where their lives may be of eminent danger.

All the fellow’s bios look amazing, at a tender age of between 19-25 years, these young African leaders are making waves in different sectors. It is highly encouraging and humbling to be amidst such personalities and more so to know that Africa has a bright future ahead.

The training was exciting and a great learning experience for both the fellows and the facilitators. It was interesting to share experiences among members and compare and contrast with our own countries. The summer Institute was conducted through different teaching methodology to avoid monotony and encourage more interaction among particiapnats.The program addressed key topics such as:

·        Dimensions of Leadership
·        Women’s Human Rights
·        Social Activism
·        Solidarity
·        Networking and Collaboration
·        Research
·        Women’s Health and Safety
·        Economic Justice
·        Political Participation
·        Environmental Justice
·        Peace building
·        Personal development

My favorite mode of learning was the field visits, during our stay we managed to visit a few women NGO’s in Ghana such as AWDF, FIDA-Ghana, UNDP and WISE which is the founder of the Moremi Initiative among others. The most interesting visit would however be the visit to the Ghana's Attorney- General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu We had the opportunity to ask her questions and get advice from her in regard to making it as an African female leader. Her advice to all women is that “never let your gender dictate what you can and can’t do.”

The three weeks flew by so fast, I learned a lot about myself, and other very crucial topics that affect women, more so African women. I am now more than ever passionate about pushing the women’s agenda and believe that there are no limitations.

It is comforting to know that I have 24 wonderful sisters from all over Africa who shares this same dream. We learned together, cried and partied together and we very much intend to work together to raise the African woman and girl’s voice……..

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