Let us introduce Jackline – our new fantastic student!

We are extremely happy and proud to present the incredibly intelligent young woman called Jackline. Jackline is a hardworking and perseverant woman from Mutomo who has shown great academic achievements throughout her life. She is now studying a Bachelors degree in food, nutrition and dietetics, and is truly passionate about her studies. Nutrition is a major concern as there are many cases of malnutrition affecting especially children aged below 5 years. The amazing Jackline has already volunteered as nutritionist and in nutrition education programmes in hospitals.

Jackline would like to fight gender based violence and advocate for gender equality in future. She preaches the spirit of high self-esteem in the society since she believes one problem with violation of women is the lack of confidence in themselves. Therefore, she would like to work with organizations which support girl child education and deal with women empowerment, hence the mission of Women for Education. As a nutritionist, Jackline wants to can reach her community and teach and counsel them about the need for good nutrition.

Like Women for Education, Jackline also thinks gender equality is the view that everyone should receive equal treatment and that should not be discriminated based on their gender. Jackline sees that it can be achieved by eliminating gender inequality in employment by decreasing women reliance on informal employment by empowering women to get formal jobs and increasing women share of seats in the national parliaments and local government bodies. Furthermore, it is also vital to combat violence against girls and women in order to create an equal society.

Women for Education is immensely proud and honored to support the amazingly smart Jackline in her studies, and we strongly believe she will achieve great change in the society.

Beautiful words from the lovely Diana

Diana has sent us wonderful words about her first semester at Kenyatta University, where she is studying Economics and Finance. When Women for Education met Diana and her family in their home in Mutomo this summer, we were touched by her dedicated warm personality and we are looking forward to follow this young woman throughout her time in school and in her future career. Read more about her first semester and enjoy her beautiful and caring thoughts. 

My coming to university is a big dream accomplished in my life at last. I sincerely pass my gratetude to you all for seeing it right to take charge in educating me. I now feel better since i’m now in a position to get the right modelling to become a person of substance in the country and the world at large.

I now feel better since i’m now in a position to get the right modelling to become a person of substance in the country and the world at large.

Upon my coming here i have learned many things, some of them being having been placed into a position to brighten my future, i also have the chance now to exchange ideas with others adequately, thus knowing where we need to join efforts as a people for betterment of the entire nation and the global development too. University life is enabling me practise most theories i learn like issues of creative and critical thinking. Given that the place comprises everything and every sort of persons, morally upright and vice versa, it’s upon one to be wise and choose what best suits them. This requires proper reasoning.

I am hoping that this education will impart knowledge in me which i can use to develop the economy of our nation and the entire world. I believe that the education I’m acquiring will leave me  competent and a prudent person able to fit well in the society interms of manpower, decision-making and provision of solutions to matters of public concern.

Lastly, as a lady, I hope this position of being in campus will create some desire in young ladies too, who feel challenged and would thereafter work hard also to join universities hence boosting the number of literate and capable women from the grassroots. As a result, our grievances as the feminine gender will have a good number to air it and see to it’s accomplishments.

 

Thank you Diana for your positive energy and drive, Women for Education is honoured to support you!

“I am in the best place that I could ever wish to be in”

As 2016 has ended and we have entered a new year, we are excited to give you an update on the incredible year Women for Education has had.  We accepted the first four girls to our program and we are immensely proud of their motivation and drive. We communicate on a weekly basis with the girls and they send us updates on their university life. Please read Faith’s beautiful words and be inspired to make a change and contribute to a better world!

Stepping my feet in the university was the most wonderful and long awaited thing that has ever happened in my life. I always dreamt of it but at some point I went blank about this due to some inconveniencies. But Women For Education group has made my dream come true. I am in the best place that I could ever wish to be in.

I am in the best place that I could ever wish to be in.

Life in general is full of fun and seriousness at the same time. No one is there to control you. We have now done the introductory part of my course and it’s unexpectedly interesting. Not as many used to discourage me about it. I have met very interesting, funny and determined friends who have been hand in hand with me throughout. I have also enjoyed some outs that we’ve been going with my friends on weekend. The lectures have been so interesting especially Nigerian lecturers. They are so funny and you know, I love their movies and thus enjoy to see them talk in real life. We’ve also gone through various sessions of guidance and counselling about education and also real life situation. I’ve also joined the YCS group  and also a player in lawn tennis. It’s really been a stressfree moment .I have always committed myself to one Activity or the other. I am so proud to be a WFE member. We’ll live to lead.

Faith, we are so happy and proud to support you in your education and we believe you will achieve amazing things in the future!

Women for Education wish to welcome Sofia – our new brilliant team member!

Women for Education is happy to announce that the intelligent Sofia has joined our team! It is our pleasure to have Sofia as a part of Women for Education focusing on accounting and bookeeping. She has a Master of Science in Business and Economics from Lund University and is living in Stockholm since two years now working as a Business Operations Specialist at Microsoft AB.
Sofia has experience in entrepreneurship and engagements in non-profit organisations working with accounting and financials. So when we reached out to Sofia and gave her the opportunity to be a part of Women for Education and contribute with her knowledge to the organisation, we were very happy that she wanted to join us. The aspiration to work for the empowerment of women and the opportunity for higher education, irrespective of what part of the world we live in, is what drives Sofia to work for this organisation.

Welcome Sofia, we are very happy to have you and your brilliant competence on our team!

“Individuals should have the right to choose between various lifestyles, regardless of gender”

Women for Education is very proud to support Beatrice as she will study Economics and Sociology at Egerton University for the next four years. She is a young woman from Mutomo who is a great inspiration to Women for Education thanks to her amazing motivation and ambitions for the future.

As the oldest of eight siblings, Beatrice learned early to take responsibility; of younger siblings, the family’s property, but above all of her own life. This has made her dedicated, hard-working and optimistic. She believes her university studies will improve her possibilities to achieve change in her community.

Beatrice works as a teacher in a primary school and beside her work she has many interests. In her free time, she trains the volleyball team in her village and she also enjoys acting and writing.

During Beatrice’s interview with Women for Education, she confidently stated “Individuals should have the right to choose between various lifestyles, regardless of gender.” She wants to ensure that equal rights are instituted and that other young people are able to reach their full potential through access to higher education.

“Individuals should have the right to choose between various lifestyles, regardless of gender.”

As an all-around great person and a dedicated hard-worker, we strongly believe Beatrice will go far. We hope you find your studies inspiring and wish you the best of luck!

“Further studies can open women’s minds and make them realize who they are so that they can start working for their future.”

Meet Faith, an amazing and smart young woman from Mutomo who will pursue studies in IT at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Faith has always been a driven student and has also shown great engagement in extracurricular activities, including involvement in agricultural programs and the science club, as well as being a prefect at school.

Faith wants to challenge the male-dominated business world of IT and question the status quo. Her grandfather has been a great inspiration to her, encouraging her to enter the field of IT and engineering.

 

Faith believes education is key to attaining gender equality. She believes that if more girls are given the opportunity to an education, their confidence will be increased and they will feel encouraged to pursue a career. This will enable them to be empowered and contribute to their family and society. A lot of girls dropps out of school, for example as a result of pregnancy, and Faith believes the chance for girls to continue their education is essential. She states: “Further studies can open women’s minds and make them realize who they are so that they can start working for their future.”

“Further studies can open women’s minds and make them realize who they are so that they can start working for their future.”

Faith would like to become a role model for young women in Mutomo and raise the education level in her community by initiating programs. Then you are in need of good leadership. Qualities such as kindness, courage and confidence are crucial in successful leadership, according to Faith. Furthermore, she believes a good leader should show commitment in her organization by being helpful and hard-working.  
Women for Education is honored to support Faith and looks forward to following her journey! Good luck Faith!

We are proud to present Winnie – the biochemist!

Women for Education is very excited to present the intelligent, passionate and goal-oriented Winnie who will pursue studies in biochemistry at Pwani University. She dreams of being a female role model in science and to inspire other young women to realize their dreams.

Winnie grew up in a small village in Mutomo and is the only child in her family. She knows the importance of having someone who believes in you and encourages you to dream big. She says “You have to tell girls, and make them believe, that that they are as capable as men. Prove it to those who say you are wrong by setting an example yourself.”  She was lucky to be encouraged by a teacher and in the future she wants to give that back to other girls. According to Winnie, encouragement and awareness are key factors in achieving gender equality.

“You have to tell girls, and make them believe, that that they are as capable as men. Prove it to those who say you are wrong by setting an example yourself.”

Winnie has most likely already managed to affect other young people as she has been working as a teacher since finishing secondary school. She really enjoyed making other students realize their potential and helping them in building stronger confidence.

In the future, Winnie wants to develop society through research in medicine and increased awareness of women’s rights. By choosing a profession where women are underrepresented, she wishes her decision can inspire other women to dare follow their dreams of professional life and not let misconceptions about women get in their way.

Winnie, we are very proud to support you and wish you the best of luck!

Women for Education announces collaboration with SMPI

Women for Education is happy to announce our collaboration with The Sweden Mutomo Projects International NGO (SMPI). SMPI is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to contribute to sustainable development with improved livelihood for the people in the district of Mutomo, Kenya. It is a semi-arid area with 200 000 inhabitants and one third of the population is living under the official poverty level of 1,25 USD/day.

The idea for creating an organization arose in 2001 as a result of Sten Kvarfordh’s charity work as a dentist at Mutomo Mission Hospital.  It started as a registered self-help group. The activities increased to a community based organization and later to a NGO. The activities are focused on five branches: schools, water, microcredits, children/education and sports.

The organization also has a local office in Mutomo with eight project managers. The aid projects aim to provide the community with support to help themselves and to encourage participation and commitment. The projects build on active contributions from the community in the form of labour, transport and material where possible. The funds for SMPI come from members, companies, organizations, private donations and own activities.

For more information, please visit: www.mutomo.se.

McKinsey Next Generation Women Leaders Award

We’re very proud and excited to share that our very own board member, Josephine Kahn, was awarded the prestigious Next Generation Women Leaders Award by McKinsey & Company!

Being recognized as a female role model, Josephine was selected from a large group of talented women across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The prize has been awarded to women who are believed to become outstanding female leaders, and use their talents to make a positive change in the world. How proud we are!

In addition to a financial prize – which will be donated in full to Women for Education – the award includes consultation by a McKinsey consultant, free of charge. We are very excited about this, and believe the donation and professional McKinsey guidance will help advance Women for Education in the best way possible.

So, congratulations to Josephine and Women for Education for being recognized as leaders who make a positive change in the world we share.

I dare to dream, do you?

Women for Education met with Dr Connson Chou Locke, lecturer in management at The London School of Economics and Political Science to discuss the importance of female education, role models and the cultural changes needed for gender equality. Dr Connson Chou Locke specialises in women and leadership and through her research she has come to experience many of the issues related to gender inequalities but also how education can help overcome this.

To begin with, the world’s population consists of roughly 50 % women hence one would assume that women would make up roughly 50 % of the students at primary school, university and in the labour-force. Unfortunately, in many countries across the globe this is not the reality and the only way increase female labour-force participation is to make way for girls in primary school, high school and all up at university-level.

However, to make this the reality we must change the way society perceives the future of the world’s girls and young women. In many developing countries the reality many girls faces is the one in which the families and the societies see little meaning in investing in female education. Girls are expected to marry at a young age before they become a burden for their families and quickly afterwards carry children of their own thus leaving no time for education. As a result, the chances for young women to get a higher education and to have a career of their own is small to none. We are all shaped by the culture and the society in which we grow up in and this proves that in order for the world’s girls to be educated there must a change in the way we perceive their future and an understanding of the benefits of having women in the labour-force.

A recent report from IMF shows the enormous benefits of female labour-force participation, clearly displaying that educated women not only have access to the range of opportunities that can only come with an university degree but how it can also benefit their societies. Increased competitiveness, economic efficiency and higher GDP are only a few of the benefits a country can reap from educating their girls. By putting dollar-signs behind their data, the IMF report have managed to provide a convincing argument that education is not just about gender equality but a way for countries to keep growing and developing.

However convincing reports like these are, one must keep in mind that the people who would truly benefit from the data presented are seldom the ones who have access to it. So how can we go about inspiring young girls and women across the globe to dare fight for their right to education? According to Dr Connson Chou Locke, the single most effective way for cultural changes is not laws but role models and giving people a chance to see, hear and experience the benefits of female education. By touching the life of young girls, role models can serve as the catalyst for change and inspire more girls to change the expectations that their families and societies have on them.

Essentially, higher education is so much more than just equal opportunities and gender equality, it is about changing the way people think and the way they perceive the world. It is about turning them into critical thinkers and intellectual equals. It is about the university atmosphere, the interactions with students that serves as an equaliser opening up a new world, a wonderful world.

By changing the life of one girl we can together inspire a whole generation of young women to dare to dream of a different life and a different world. By changing the life of one girl we can create a powerful wave with the potential to change the fundamental believes that so many countries are built upon. By changing the life of one girl we can together empower the next generation female leaders.

Yours sincerely,

Mikaela