Friday, February 11, 2011

Educating & Mentoring Kenyan Girls : Akili Dada

Last night I attended the Do Good Lab's screening of A Small Act. The film puts a human face on this problem in Kenya:

With a per capita income of $788, the approximate $1,000 it costs to fund a year’s tuition, fees, uniforms and books at a top quality public high school is well beyond the reach of many Kenyan families.

Once I'd arrived at the Do Good Lab event, I discovered that it was a fundraiser for an org I was unfamiliar with, Akili Dada. I learned a little bit about the org last night, and did additional research today. I was excited to see that Akili Dada lists Zawadi as a partner org - I discovered and then blogged about Zawadi just the other day:)

Akili Dada was founded by University of San Francisco Professor Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, who came to the USA from Nairobi, Kenya when she was fourteen for educational opportunities. The organization, the heart of which is in Nairobi, provides exceptional young Kenyan women with secondary school scholarships, leadership training, coordinated community service projects, and mentors. LOVE IT!

Loved it even more when I came across this on the org's website:

Akili Dada is changing lives!

* In 2011 we are providing critical and in-depth support to 40 brilliant young women who represent Africa's future.
* Thus far we have mobilized more than U.S.$200,000 to support Africa's brightest young women.
* 100% of our alumnae have earned full scholarships to universities around the world!
(Check out this beautiful example!)
* Our alumnae give back serving as Akili Dada Fellows, and by mentoring current scholars. Some have joined the leadership of the organization.
* We provide invaluable networking and lifelong learning to our oversubscribed network of professional women who volunteer to serve as mentors through our exclusive mentor-only events.
* We are mobilizing Africa's emerging middle class by providing opportunities for professional African women to make personal connections and investments in the next generation of African women leaders by serving as mentors.
* By eagerly sharing our award-winning model, we are transforming the way our partner high schools and other organizations around the world do business and invest in young women.

Great video summary about the org's work:

For more, check out the press and awards that the organization and its founder have received - including the note that they are Echoing Green semi-finalists this year!!! Keep up with their good news via Facebook.

One World Children's Fund (OWCF) is Akili Dada’s fiscal and legal home. To make a donation directly to Akili Dada go here, or to contribute to Akili Dada via Do Good Lab's campaign, go here.

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