Akili Dada Scholar-Leaders came together this weekend for three days of intensive training around a variety of topics related to resilience and self-definition.  The group was joined by mentors who shared their inspiring stories and expertise.

[Scholars in a self defence session] Mukami Kowino, a human rights lawyer, gave a presentation about the rights of youth and fielded questions around child protection, advocacy and the existing framework in Kenya.  Mukami gave a comprehensive session which detailed all forms of abuse; physical, emotional, sexual, and neglect with information on how to detect such abuse and where to seek for help.

The workshop was followed by a talk from Sitawa Wafula, a courageous young woman whose story has been shared widely as a source of inspiration for many. Sitawa shared openly about her struggles, including being a survivor of rape and dealing with health issues (including epilepsy) that long went undiagnosed. She stood tall and shared that we are not defined our experiences, but instead must use those experiences to find our strengths.  After the talk, everyone went to a self-defense training for three hours with Professor James Ware.

The third day  began with a session on community service where Scholar-Leaders watched a short documentary about the Akili Dada Fellowship program, which served as an inspiration and deeper look into what community service can look like. The scholars then discussed their various projects implemented in 2013, and everyone voted for the Most Innovative, Most Creative, Best Overall and Best Presentation.

The Results:

Best Overall
Lucy
Beadwork training to young women in her community [facilitators and staff]
Most InnovativeElyne
Raised chickens and sheep to raise money for a
bridge-building project in her village
Video
Most Creative
Elyne
Best Presenter
Viola

 

On the final day, Susan Kalinda, spoke to the group about her inspiring career journey from a tough beginning to her current position as Head of Finance at Software Technologies Ltd..

In the afternoon, we were joined by independent filmmaker, Jinna Mutune.  Jinna reminded the scholars of the importance of values and positive self-affirmation as they move forward into the life they create.  Her visit ended with this piece of advice from Jinna, "Do not let the world bury the goldmine that is in you. Dream. Dare. Believe."

See more on Storify. 

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