April 23rd, 2019, Kenya (Nairobi): The Shima Foundation organized a three-day Lluna Girls Leadership program; an initiative aimed at providing a platform for girls in Africa to learn and practice leadership in various sectors and aspects of life through mentorship sessions, cultural exchange and exposure opportunities, as well as motivational hangouts with inspiring women. Partnering with TAP Africa, Stride organization, Resilient Woman of Africa, Inch by Inch Empowerment for the event, the Shima Foundation sought to empower girls with adequate 21stcentury skills and resilience required to deal with current and future challenges as they navigate through life, education and work.
The camp targets young girls within the age range of 13-18 years, at high school level belonging to vulnerable and marginalized backgrounds. The program was a three-day camp held at the Bishop Mazzoldi Secondary School in Ongata Rongai, Kenya between April 12-15th, and included sessions facilitated by professionals in the field – 18 women from over seven countries. In total, the event held over 12 sessions, one online hangout with five inspiring women, and an excursion trip to various tourist places in Nairobi such as the Nairobi Safari Walk. Some of the key topics covered during the various sessions were on academic performance, life skills (such as communication skills, problem solving, time management, decision-making, goal setting and vision mapping), leadership skills and teamwork, career choice guidance, social inclusion and gender equity, sexual rights and reproductive health among other topics. The hangout session, conducted through Zoom, included inspirational women: Cess Nyaga, Rachael Owhin, Sabin Muzaffar, Liz Guantai and Chiamaka Adinnu. Others participating during the three days included: Wilson Kisiero of The Shima Foundation, Mary Mshai, Fridah Ndoro, Lucy Karambu of the Resilient Women of Africa, Lenah Wanjiku, Josephine Adeti and many other amazing trailblazers.
Commenting on the session about goal-setting and vision mapping, Glady Muthara, the technical support from the Shima Foundation and founder of TAP Africa, said, “For me, this was a very important session because I strongly believe that dreams and goals guide us to our daily, monthly, and yearly activities, as well as what we eventually become. Nothing can ever be realized if we do not envision it first in our minds, imprint it in our hearts, believe in its possibility, and start working towards it. I am a strong believer that where there is lack of vision/dream, people perish”.
The program builds upon the Shima Foundation’s focus on enabling young girls to have an exchange on cultural diversity, life experiences and education in order to realize their full potentials. The camp was tailored in a way that augmented learning, the basis being “What unites us as girls rather than what divides us”. It had in attendance 15 young girls from different regions in Kenya such as Bungoma, Busia, Makueni, and Kajiado and aims to have at least 25 young girls in attendance for the next camp scheduled to hold during the school holidays in August and in subsequent camps.
The Shima Leadership Academies Foundation is an organization focused on creating opportunities for young girls and boys from marginalised backgrounds to access quality education and training opportunities not be readily available to them. The Foundation’s work addresses significant inequalities in society that limit the potential of a growing majority of young people, particularly women, to access the tools and training they need to achieve their highest potential. Through formal and informal education, the Shima Foundation utilises experiential methods to ensure that young women and men get the best shot at achieving their potential while enabling them to address challenges facing society including unemployment, sexual and gender-based violence, poor access to quality education, environmental degradation as well as stigma faced by people with mental health disabilities in society.
TAP Africa is a youth-based organization that exists to tap and develop the potential of young people as agents of change in their communities. Through their work, Tap Africa engages young people, especially girls, in learning and addressing social challenges in Kenya, such as Gender Based Violence and Youth Unemployment.
Stride is a dynamic youth-focused organization with focus on developing and implementing solutions to problems facing young people in Kenya by putting young people in charge. The entity is dedicated to developing young leaders by providing opportunities for networking, capacity building and structured self-development. Stride also engages young people in discussing the major issues facing society and how to address them and promote the education of children and young people in vulnerable situations, enabling them to access primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary education.