By Joyce Ngumba

I met Raisah, Gabriellah and Marina during the Akili Dada emerging leaders four day training which started on June 14 th.

Raisah Leparmorijo is in her 2nd year at Dedan Kimathi university studying IT and went to Njoro girls. She is vying to become the Academics secretary at her school. One of the roles that she looks forward to if elected in this position is ensuring that young people who are unable to pay their fees are awarded scholarships or bursaries to ensure that they complete their education.

Marina Lesurmat is in her 2nd year and is studying for a degree in Education. Her ambition is to become a teacher. She is vying for the Secretary General position. She is not afraid to vie for a position that is usually designated to men. Marina is passionate about mentoring girls especially girls from her home where she wants to encourage them to remain in school. She wants to become a teacher in her County where she will ensure that she encourages girls to remain in school.

Gabriellah Lenarokushu is a 3 rd year student at Chuka University pursuing a degree in Economics and statistics. She was the first girl in her village in her KCPE and was accepted to Limuru Girls High School. Her parents did not have the fees to send her to school but they gathered the little money they could from friends and well wishes and sent her to school. While in school she was selected by the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation who consequently payed her fees for the four years she was in high school. Gabriellah is vying for the position of Organizing Secretary. Gabriellah hopes to one day work for Samburu County and ultimately one day become the governor of the County. She also aspires to build a high school for girls from underpriviledged backgrounds. She wants as many girls as possible from her County to achieve an education beyond primary school.

The three ladies are all members of the Samburu University Student Association (SUSA). Both Raisah and Gabriella want to vie for the position of Vice Chair of theAssociation. The Association serves as a mentorship program where university students from Samburu work together to inspire other Samburu youth to pursue an education.

They also serve as role models. When asked why they both were vying for the position of Vice chair and not chair of the association, they said that their society was still not open to women aspiring to top positions but they hope that one day this will change.

These young women understand the privilege they have to attend university, as many girls in their Samburu community do not progress through to high school. They are all determined to ensure that they mentor and serve as role models to the girls in their community to ensure that more girls get into university. They said that their community is still plagued with FGM and this vice serves as a major hinderance to girls’ education.