I am a humanitarian figure and always will be

Elizabeth Ziro
Posted January 22, 2020 from Kenya

I am an active volunteer, a change maker, an innovator, a go-getter, a humanitarian and a social rights activist with a strong passion for education (literacy advocate) and community service. Having grown up in Kilifi North Sub County in Kilifi County- Kenya and experienced first-hand the negative impacts of illiteracy I saw the urgent need for someone to champion the rights of education for every child in Kilifi County and I decided to step in personally and assist vulnerable and disadvantaged students to access and continue with their studies. Through my volunteer work, I have become actively engaged not only in my community but also traveled to other parts of Kenya met and mingled with different kinds of people and build a strong network with like-minded people. These networks enabled me to set up Smiles of Hope community-based organization which was brought to life in 2015, working against Teenage pregnancy, early child marriage, illiteracy and offering educational support to disadvantaged children with our campaigns Zero% school dropouts.

As at today Smiles of hope, Kenya has enrolled children in schools and mentored more than 3000 students in Kilifi County as well as provided school necessities including geometrical sets and sanitary pads, established Reading clubs in 18 public primary schools leaving an impact on the lives of many vulnerable students through our annual book drives and book donations, last year we had a Book Run, the very first in Kilifi County where we collected 3220books both new and gently used. Plans are underway for holiday Boot camps for girls, training of trainers for peer to peer initiatives, Life skills to counter youth unemployment and emphasize throughout my presentation the violated Human rights like child abuse, Domestic violence, misogyny, sexism, discrimination on gender, cultural differences and teaching/ learning methodology used to interrupt teenage pregnancies and how much resistance from the secular, cultural, religious and administrative bodies this type of approach has been criticized with no tangible solutions being offered.

At Smiles of hope, we have sent back to school teenage mothers and to vocational training more than 10 young mothers including the youngest case we rescued from child marriage who had 3 children at the age of 17. We have rescued 2 cases of child marriage and sent back to school now one in form 3 and one just did her primary level of education, looking forward to joining the secondary. For 2 years consecutively, through our Form Four leavers Initiative dubbed “Kilifi County for Higher Education,” we have managed to reach and mentor more than 1000 youths, this project targets school dropouts and form four leavers in the county in a goal to empower them to join institutions of higher learning and vocational training.

Through my volunteer work, I was selected as a Board Member of the Equity Group Foundation in charge of Wings to fly Scholarships where I have served for 2 years and I am currently the Chairperson Kenya Scouting Association in Kilifi South Sub-County an Executive Board Member Shomela Secondary School, 2 years a volunteer with Child Welfare Society of Kenya committee that worked hand in hand with Child welfare in service delivery for the vulnerable child in Kilifi County. For the last 2 years, I have been a board member Single Mothers Association of Kenya. I am currently a volunteer with St Johns Ambulance SOS Division-Coast Region. I am an award-winning 2019 Community Heroine in community service within Coast region of Kenya, mid last year, I was identified and appointed as the Coast region of Kenya WaveMaker with Female Wave of change ( FWoC ) a global platform for women accelerating change, towards end of last year I  was happy to be recognized as a  World Pulse Ambassador, a social networking connecting women worldwide for change and on 20th Jan 2020 I officially got the encourager badge.  I also hold the title Global Good Will Ambassador whose main vision is to unify all the humanitarians across the globe hence creating a network where GGAs can interact, learn, share ideas and collaborate together. Our main goal together is to love, share and care for humanity.

While some people may think that volunteering is a waste of time because it does not earn you a paycheque or give academic benefits, I believe that the benefits are so many and could open more doors

My passion is to inspire and motivate everyone I meet and encourage more people to take up volunteering.

 

This story was submitted in response to The Real Me.

Comments 11

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Jill Langhus
Jan 22
Jan 22

Hello Liz,

Thanks for your awesome update, work and accolades, too! You rock! And, welcome to the Encourager group, dear. We are very pleased, and grateful to have you officially in our group:-)

Thanks, too, for all that you do for women and girls. Please keep it up!

Elizabeth Ziro
Jan 22
Jan 22

Dear Jill,
It is my pleasure to know you and thanks for holding my hand so far, it means a lot. I delight in waking up every morning and try.
Hope you have a good day

Jill Langhus
Jan 24
Jan 24

You're welcome. I'm pleased to know you, too, dear:-)

Hope you and you're hubby are both feeling better now and that you have a great weekend!

XX

Lisbeth
Jan 22
Jan 22

Dear Name,
I never knew you got a lots of these posts . Let me help you carry them haha. They are heavy for you alone dear hehe.
Congratulations on your projects. Keep up giving the smiles on the faces. It will come back to you.
Thanks for sharing and take care.
Hugs

Elizabeth Ziro
Jan 22
Jan 22

Lizbeth hahahaha sure, you can be my assistant lol
Its my joy to be part of their positive transformation.
Have a good time Beth

Lisbeth
Jan 23
Jan 23

Haha, you welcome m you too

lizzymark
Jan 23
Jan 23

Wow name sake you truly are rocking your community, raising women and girls,so proud of you dear.keep the good work going.

Elizabeth Ziro
Jan 23
Jan 23

Am humbled dear Liz, still pressing on!

Anita Shrestha
Jan 23
Jan 23

My dear friend
it is okey . Be happy dear...............be happy

Elizabeth Ziro
Jan 23
Jan 23

Oh yes Anita..always keeping my head up lol

Hello, Liz,

You are amazing! Congratulations on all of these milestones and achievements. You rock! You are also among the Featured Encouragers! You are one industrious and efficient woman. Thank you for sharing this journey with us! So proud of you!