Akili Dada Nairobi 2010

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In July 2010, member of the Akili Dada Akili Dada is a nonprofit organization basedin Kenya and the U.S. that seeks to empower the next generation of African women leaders by providing mentoring, leadership training, and scholarships to girls from underprivileged backgrounds in Kenya. In July 2010, the U.S. team (board members and volunteers) joined the team in Kenya to visit potential partner organizations, interview new scholars, and participate in the annual Akili Dada mentoring conference.

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Akili Dada Nairobi 2010

  1. 1. <ul><li>Akili Dada Founder and Executive Director Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg (left), Josephine Karianjahi (volunteer) and Nancy Serrurier (Board Member) on a visit to Carolina for Kibera, an organization that works with youth and with whom we’ve made plans to partner. </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>Some of the Akili Dada team with the leaders of Binti Pamoja, a project of Carolina for Kibera that provides leadership training to girls and women in Kibera, a large slum district in Nairobi. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>A few of the Akili Dada team with some of the leaders of Carolina for Kibera. We’re very excited to have made friends in such a successful and change-making organization in Nairobi. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>View from outside the dormitories at Starehe Girls School, a school just outside of Nairobi that brings some of the brightest girls in Kenya from underprivileged backgrounds to receive a free, top-quality high school education. We visited Starehe because of their similar mission to Akili Dada, and will perhaps have the chance to partner with them in some capacity. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>View from one of the dormitory rooms at Starehe Girls School. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Some of the Akili Dada team from the U.S. (two board members on the left, two volunteers on the right, founder in the back) with the principal of Starehe Girls School (center). </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Akili Dada founder talks about our work and vision to Akili Dada board members, mentors, and some key donors based in Nairobi. We brought everyone together to have dinner, meet each other, and talk about how best to move forward with the organization. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Kenya High School, the school where I (Allison Domicone) participated in interviews to select two of our new scholars. Kenya High is one of three high schools in Nairobi with whom we partner to find and select our scholars. The criteria to be an Akili Dada scholar are academics, leadership potential and financial need. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>View of the interviewing table at Kenya High. Six women (Akili Dada board members and volunteers) interviewed seven scholars over the course of the day, an incredibly difficult task knowing we could only afford to give two scholarships! </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>View from the washroom at Kenya High School. The girls live at the school, and part of being an Akili Dada scholar means the girls receive the necessary toiletries that they might not otherwise be able to afford. This way, they don’t have to worry about having their basic necessities provided for them, and can focus entirely on their studies. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>After selecting our two scholars at Kenya High, Akili Dada Founder explains what it means to be part of the Akili Dada sisterhood – that their school fees will be paid for, that they will be provided with a successful professional to mentor them, and that they will be joining a group of strong women peers who will help them grow into leaders. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Shy and teary-eyed, the girls struggle to accept the reality that their school fees will be paid for and that they now have a guaranteed shot at succeeding in secondary school, university, and beyond, making a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Emotional exchange between Akili Dada Founder and one of our new scholars, as the reality of her newly earned scholarship and opportunities sinks in. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Akili Dada Founder with our two new scholars from Kenya High, Beatrice and Purity. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Akili Dada Founder with our two new scholars from Kenya High, and a third student who will receive mentoring and leadership training. We couldn’t afford to award her with a full scholarship this year (she will have priority to get one next year) but saw great potential in her as a leader and wanted to cultivate that potential. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>2010 Mentoring conference in Nairobi, Kenya </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>One of our keynote speakers, a doctor and mother, speaks about the importance of staying true to your values and ethics in everything you do. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Akili Dada founder speaking to our scholars with the Recruiting Director of the African Leadership Academy, an innovative academy that seeks to recruit and cultivate future African leaders from across the continent. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Giving a book as a gift to one of our new scholars </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Handing out books as gifts to our new scholars as we welcome them to the Akili Dada sisterhood. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Akili Dada mentors, scholars, board members, and volunteers at the 2010 Mentoring Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. A huge success!

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