Life-Changing Training for 500 African girls

by AfricAid, Inc.
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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
Learning About Healthy Relationships
Learning About Healthy Relationships

AfricAid’s Career Day women’s leadership conference is one of the premier events on the Kisa calendar, and a key component of the Project. Held annually, it is aimed at current Kisa Scholars as well as Kisa Alumni. Scholars from Kisa Partner Schools attend, along with their School Liaisons. The event is also attended by AfricAid staff, Board Members, and invited guests. Every second year Career Day takes the form of an overnight event, allowing for a more comprehensive program.

AfricAid organizes and provides transport, accommodation (for overnight events), meals, guest speakers, small group leaders, and venue hire. Participants also receive a t-shirt, notebook and pen, all of which are highly valued by Scholars!

In 2015 Career Day took place from the 28th to 29th of August at Tumaini University (Makumira), just outside of Arusha. There were a massive 800 participants in total!

Scholars arrived by bus from their respective schools on the afternoon of the 28th and settled in to their dormitories. That evening, they heard from adolescent relationship expert Dr. Chris Mauki, before having the opportunity to showcase their singing, dancing and other abilities to each other in a talent contest.

The next morning, participants heard the personal stories of three inspirational Tanzanian women, who spoke to the packed auditorium of girls about their own journeys to success, including the many challenges they faced, and how they were able to overcome them to achieve their goals. Our guests this year were well-known print media entrepreneur Emelda Mwamanga, banking executive Edna Kallape, and former domestic worker, women’s advocate and Queen’s Award recipient Angela Benedicto. The girls were completely in awe of these amazing women!

After lunch, Scholars broke into small groups, each of which was led by someone who had successfully pursued a career in an area of interest to Kisa Scholars. These included engineers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, NGO sector professionals, journalists and a pilot. In addition to the guest speakers and small group sessions, awards were presented to outstanding Scholars and School Liaisons.

Feedback collected from Kisa Scholars shows they found the event inspiring and motivating and that it will help them to be more focused and better informed in choosing a career path. They also loved the opportunity to network and share ideas with their peers. For AfricAid staff, it was an exhausting couple of days, but well worth it! We’re delighted with the success of the event and really want to extend a massive thank you to our Global Giving supporters for your ongoing support of the Kisa Project! Your contribution to the Kisa Project is making a significant difference in the lives of young women in Tanzania.

The Guest Speakers Arrive
The Guest Speakers Arrive
Food for Thought
Food for Thought
Enjoying an
Enjoying an 'Energizer'
Exploring Career Options
Exploring Career Options
Taking It All In
Taking It All In
Kisa Scholars Final Meeting and Graduation
Kisa Scholars Final Meeting and Graduation

In 2013, 29 secondary school girls from Moringe Sokoine and Orkeeswa Secondary Schools joined the Kisa Project. Unsure about what the next two years of leadership and life-skills training held, but keen to learn, they embraced the opportunity. In May this year, 27 of those girls came together for the last time for the Leadership Immersion Final Meeting and Kisa Graduation Day.

Leadership Immersion is a Kisa practicum that allows Scholars to both hone their leadership skills, and ‘pay it forward’ by sharing some of what they have learnt with younger girls. They do this by teaching a number of lessons from the Kisa Curriculum to 15-20 girls in their home community, while also acting as a mentor to those same girls. At the end of the practicum Scholars meet with AfricAid staff to debrief, provide feedback, and celebrate the completion of their final Kisa milestone. Participants discuss interesting moments, new skills gained, and challenges they faced. Each Scholar also receives a Certificate of Completion of Kisa.

Among the key skills Scholars say they gained from the experience were: teaching skills; lesson preparation; and public speaking skills. Many Scholars also commented on how their confidence grew, and their communication skills improved. As part of recognizing Scholars’ achievements, prizes were awarded to those Scholars who had excelled at meeting the Leadership Immersion requirements. This includes demonstrating commitment and responsibility, and being pro-active in communicating with their Kisa Mentor.

On behalf of those graduating, Kisa Scholar Mary addressed those in attendance saying ‘I feel I lack words that can express how I feel being part of Kisa. AfricAid is the reason for who I am today. I thank everyone on behalf of other Kisa Scholars who are here.’

These girls will now join the Kisa Alumni Network, and Mentors at Moringe and Orkeeswa have a new group of 28 Year 1 Scholars, and 36 Scholars who have progressed to Year 2 of the program, to train, mentor, support and encourage.

The Kisa Project is delivering some amazing results, and we are truly grateful for the support we get from our Global Giving donors. Thank you for being part of the change!

 

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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
$41,051 raised of $75,000 goal
 
120 donations
$33,949 to go
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