Life-Changing Training for 500 African girls

by AfricAid, Inc.
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Dorcus enjoyed hearing from successful women
Dorcus enjoyed hearing from successful women

Career Day was established in 2011 for two reasons:  it is important for Kisa Scholars to be inspired by other successful women from Tanzania and it is useful for the students to learn from people who are in the fields that they would like to pursue when going to university. It has been the norm since then, and several thousand girls have passed through six Kisa Career Day events.

 After five consecutive years of steadily increasing participation in this event and the expansion of AfricAid into the Kilimanjaro region, Career Day has grown to be so large that two separate events were held this fall.  Ms. Anande Nnko was hired as an event planner and she organized the two events with cooperation from the Kisa Mentors for Arusha and Kilimanjaro.

 The majority of attendees were Kisa Scholars, and the balance included AfricAid staff, Kisa Alumnae, guest speakers and other invited guests.  Nearly 1,200 people overall experienced this year’s gathering of inspiring role models and captivated students.

Arusha Region (including Partner Schools in Arusha and Monduli)

Date:  October 7, 2016

Location:  Olasiti Garden

Participants:  474 (382 Kisa Scholars)

Kilimanjaro Region

Date:  October 8, 2016

Location:  Mwenge Catholic University

Participants:  707 (630 Kisa Scholars)

 

There were three inspirational guest speakers who attended both events and shared their life stories with the girls.

  • Jackline Mkindi, Executive Director of Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA)
  • The Hon. Esther Bulaya, Member of Parliament
  • Anna Laroya, Pilot with Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI)

 

There were also small group discussions where Kisa Scholars had the opportunity to meet with different professionals from different careers they wish to pursue, for example: economists, lawyers, doctors, engineers, pilots, accountants and many others. Kisa Scholars had time to ask a lot of questions for more clarification and understanding, but these break-out sessions are so popular that we plan to dedicate even more time to them in 2017.  Also, since Kisa Alumnae are becoming established in their careers, next time there should be at least one guest speaker who is an alumnae.

 

Career Day is here to stay!

Women from across Tanzania spoke at Career Day
Women from across Tanzania spoke at Career Day
Scholars asked questions and shared their stories
Scholars asked questions and shared their stories
Sarah and Augustina paused to pose for the camera
Sarah and Augustina paused to pose for the camera

Links:

Kisa Mentor sharing about the Kisa Project
Kisa Mentor sharing about the Kisa Project

“Not everyone gets an opportunity to be in the Kisa Project and those who get that opportunity will find that it changes their lives completely”.  That was the message shared by the Year Two Scholars (Form Six) when they were introducing the program to the new Form Five students who were being recruited.

Since 2010, the Kisa Project has expanded from two schools to twenty in the Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions.  About 815 students in these partner schools have shown an interest in becoming Kisa Scholars this year.  However, due to limited resources, only 592 students will get to experience the two years of leadership, personal development and community service training.   At many schools, admission is more selective and the Mentors have to decide who can join.  If there are too many Scholars in a class, the mentoring process will not be as effective.

Kisa Mentors consider these criteria to select the new groups of Scholars:

  • Personal commitment toward the project
  • Level of confidence
  • Eagerness to learn new things
  • Vision for her community

The recruitment process starts with introducing the project to the new Scholars.  Those who are inspired enough then fill out the application forms.  This is followed by an interview, and lastly, the names of the selected Scholars are posted on the school notice board.

During the interview, the most important question we ask the potential Scholar is what she expects from the Kisa Project.  When answering, most of them spoke about the benefits shared by the Form Sixes during the introduction session. These include being confident, learning teamwork, fulfilling your personal goals, and achieving the vision you have for your community.

“I was inspired with the way the Kisa Scholars did the introduction for us. It seems Kisa enables girls to achieve their personal goals and be a part of the solution towards the challenges facing their societies.They spoke confidently and in a very strong and powerful voice. I can’t do that,” said one new recruit. Not yet, but before long, she will too!

A class of Kisa Scholars
A class of Kisa Scholars

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Kisa Scholars during their 2 Day Challenge
Kisa Scholars during their 2 Day Challenge

Kisa Scholars learn about leadership, in part, though stories of great leaders around the world. One of the leaders they learn about is the great Nelson Mandela. We use his leadership principles in our Kisa Curriculum, including:

 

  • Courage is not the absence of fear – it’s inspiring others to move beyond it.
  • Appearances matter – and remember to smile.
  • Lead from the back – and let others believe they are in front.

 

After two years of training, the students get a chance to start writing their own leadership stories by helping their communities solve different challenges. This program is called the 2 Day Challenge. On their own, scholars are required to research their communities’ challenges, come up with a project, organize the community members and do the project with them.

 

This year, the Kisa graduates did 37 different projects in communities throughout Tanzania. These projects included: fighting drug abuse, combatting Malaria, addressing issues of early marriage and early pregnancy, motivating other students to read different books, and tackling environmental issues, just to mention a few.

 

For these girls, it was their first time to do something like this. They had fear inside them, but that did not stop them from planning the projects, introducing themselves to the community leaders and stopping strangers on the street asking them to join the projects. They learned that Nelson Mandela was once scared on many occasions, but he overcame the fear. He believed that “courage is not the absence of fear, but overcoming the fear and in turn inspiring others to do the same.”

 

Like any other situation where you are doing something for the first time, the Kisa Scholars faced lots of challenges, but they persevered using the lessons learned in the Kisa Classes on Nelson Mandela. One group helped secondary school students prepare for their exams by educating them on self-awareness and time management.  Their approach was to let the students first come up with possible solutions to this challenge. At the end, the Kisa Scholars concluded by giving them their suggestions. They applied the Mandela principle of “leading from the back” to show the students that they have solutions for their problems inside themselves; they only need to think deeper and work together.

 

Nelson Mandela has been an inspirational leader to many people, including our young Kisa Scholars.  They use his principles to bring changes in their communities – and to become outstanding women.

Destroying weeds to keep mosquitoes away.
Destroying weeds to keep mosquitoes away.
Scholars work in groups to complete a project.
Scholars work in groups to complete a project.

Links:

Presenting the challenges of FGM
Presenting the challenges of FGM

End of Year One Presentations are done by Kisa Scholars after they conduct community assessments during their school breaks. The aim of the Year One Presentations is to see to what extent Kisa lessons have impacted Scholars in terms of their confidence, public speaking skills and, importantly, the ability of giving back to their communities.

During the school break last September, Kisa Scholars conducted community assessments and came up with several challenges facing communities. These included challenges such as drug abuse, early pregnancy, female genital mutilation, poverty, road accidents, polygamy, lack of toilets and the position of women in the society.

Kisa Scholars also identified the existing assets which could be used to address those challenges. This process is one of the first steps towards their leadership careers. Supported by their Kisa Mentors and the Kisa Curriculum, Scholars were able to come up with win-win solutions and sustainable social entrepreneurship projects.

On 30th January, 2016 the presentation event was conducted for Kisa Scholars at Moringe Sokoine and Orkeeswa Secondary Schools. The venue was Moringe Sokoine Secondary School in Monduli. The event was conducted in two sessions. The first session was about the Scholars presenting those challenges along with their creative solutions in front of the two judges and ten audience members in each room. Judges were AfricAid friends from different NGO’S in Arusha, and audiences were friends of presenters, including both boys and girls.

The second session was a small celebration that was conducted in the school hall, during which the judges gave feedback on Scholars’ presentations. Most of the judges spoke about personal development within the Scholars, such as improved confidence. Judges also complimented the Scholars for being creative with the solutions they proposed to address the challenges. One of the judges said “it is such an inspirational thing to see young women, being upfront to find out what are the challenges facing our communities and come up with unique solutions”. The judges also selected the best Scholar from each room.

A representative from Moringe Sokoine Secondary School, Mr. Haruna, provided Certificates of Completion to the 26 Scholars who did their presentations. He congratulated the Scholars for being active and committed not only to Kisa but also their studies.

Presenters getting certificates
Presenters getting certificates
Convincing the judges
Convincing the judges

Links:

Kisa Scholars Teach Road Safety
Kisa Scholars Teach Road Safety

The 2 Day Challenge is a new Kisa Project program. It is a practicum that allows Kisa Scholars to implement community service projects in their home communities. It integrates units from the Kisa Curriculum on project planning and management, budgeting, leadership and entrepreneurship.

2 Day Challenge projects are real-world projects carried out by Year Two Kisa Scholars. Projects emerge from the community assessments that Scholars undertake in Year One.  Scholars work in small groups and are supported to implement a discrete community intervention, over a two day period, in partnership with a local community.

Kisa Scholars from Moringe Sokoine Secondary School recently carried out three community projects: an awareness campaign among Maasai women about the effects of polygamy; a malaria prevention campaign in conjunction with a local hospital; and road safety education for primary school children.

Across the board we found that communities welcomed and were grateful for the support offered to them by Kisa Scholars. We received lots of positive feedback and are extremely proud of the professional manner in which Kisa Scholars conducted themselves. We have some very impressive leaders in the making!

We’d like to extend our thanks to all our Global Giving donors for contributing to the Kisa Project. We hope you enjoy the photos.

Listening attentively
Listening attentively
Enjoying learning
Enjoying learning
Scholars explain malaria
Scholars explain malaria
Discussing the use of bed nets
Discussing the use of bed nets
 

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Organization Information

AfricAid, Inc.

Location: Denver, CO - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.africaid.com
Project Leader:
Maria Galter
Executive Director
Denver, CO United States
$43,408 raised of $75,000 goal
 
134 donations
$31,592 to go
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