For the past few weeks I have just been sitting and thinking a lot, call it meditation maybe. I have been thinking of my whole life and can’t help but shed tears of joy and sometimes pride. I never thought I have been this strong, resilient, confident, outgoing and so much of a hard nut to crack. On 2nd of August 2019 I stood before hundreds of young African leaders at a summit in Washington to share my story/journey to girls’ empowerment. It was such a powerful compelling story, full of punches and information. A story that was so inspiring to the audience, it was like a hidden treasure. My journey was full of ups and downs but I am just that village girl who dared to dream and conquer the world.
Based on what I learnt from experience and what most girls are currently going through I started an initiative of mentoring girls and advocating for their wellbeing. This led to an award this year by US department of State for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). I got the opportunity to study in the US for two months under Mandela Washington Fellowship. This was my first time abroad. My journey from the village was long, I had hours travel to the capital of Kenya before taking my Flight to Atlanta through Amsterdam. It was my first time on an international flight which started with America, so you can Imagine all the confusions! I got lost everywhere in the airport and kept on misplacing every document, the village girl started her jet lag even before landing! I had multiple opportunities for social engagement, excellent networking with great individuals who have dedicated themselves to service to humanity and intentional program that has had me question, reanalyze and develop my community projects.
Despite tough upbringing, I am where I am because of education, I am here because a disabled father despite his abject poverty gave me the opportunity to learn and because someone believed in me enough to provide the necessary resources and support in my studies.
Today millions of girls are out of school, most of them adolescent mothers. Some divorced and others widowed. This girls go through a whole lot of things. This day let us stand by a vulnerable girl, advocate, make policies and enroll as many girls as possible in school. Let us give girls opportunity to learn.We all know what an educated girl is to herself, community and the whole nation. Let every girl receive equal and quality education.
On this international day of girl child, I would like every girl to know the importance of defining her own path, sharing her powerful stories and daring to dream. That with hard work and resilience it will be achievement after another. I would love to let that girl know that it is okay to be vulnerable, it is okay to lack and its okay to struggle every moment of your life. But all this come with so much strength, power, unique abilities and so much passion for change/desire to stand up for what is right.
On this day I would like to request every single person, change makers and developmental agencies to remember every girl all over the world, know and speak out about the impact that girls can have on their communities once empowered. I would like us all to remember that girl walking miles to school, bare foot and hungry just to be part of a better world. Remember that girl who is missing out on classes due to lack of basic needs like sanitary materials, girls who can no longer bear that shame of soiling their clothes some resolving to committing suicide. Remember that girl who is going through the worst kind of human rights violation called the female genital mutilation and remember that young girl is who struggling to raise up a child while she is herself a teenager whose dream to learn was shattered by early marriage. Let girls learn, let girls dream and let them grow.