Cultivating truly relevant leadership means developing a solid understanding of context, whether it be political, cultural, historical or otherwise.

Last weekend, we held an Alumnae Leadership Academy centered around education related to legal
and political frameworks within Kenya and globally.  We believe that a comprehensive knowledge of policy and the processes involved in the creation and implementation of that policy is imperative as young women take up leadership positions.

This academy focused specifically on the Kenyan Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, CEDAW and the Maputo Protocol.  Over the course of the weekend, Akili Dada alumnae and participants from Heshima Kenya participated in a number of sessions that focused on policy and its local relevance.

The Leadership Academy was kicked off by a session led by Katindi Sivi- Njonjo, a socioeconomic researcher and policy analyst who was part of the committee that did the first conceptualization of the Vison 2030 document which is a blue print of the development of Kenya between 2007- 2030. She took the group through the three pillars of the plan; economic, social and political. The group discussed the ways in which we see this plan playing out in areas of education, women and youth, health and urbanization.

The Vision 2030 session was followed by a workshop led by Nebila Abdulmelik of Femnet, and focused on the Maputo Protocol and CEDAW.  Nebila shared insights around the lack of access to information about rights, which has harmful consequences, especially for women and youth.

On the second day of the academy, Mukami Kowino, a practicing lawyer, led a workshop around the Kenyan Constitution, and more specifically on the Bill of Rights to give participants a deeper understanding and build relevant conversations.

On the last day of the academy, alumnae, staff and fellows participated in team-building exercises led by Nick Ladu. After two days of intense seminars, everyone was excited to step outside and bond over some group challenges.  Among lessons learned through the activities were:

Sisters build each other and bring each other up when they get to the top.We cannot survive as individual islands.  Working together is key in every aspect of life.Our decisions impact others.

 

As Dadas step out of the Young Changemakers Program and firmly into their futures, academies like this one are meant to provide a lens through which to view new landscapes.

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