Today, March 8, 2020, is International Women's Day and The Angaza Project is grateful to be part of the overall voice with so many other amazing organizations around the world that have the same heart!
"Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive, gender equality is not just a women's issue but a business issue, a gender equality world can be healthier and wealthier, an equal world is an enabled world, and we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations, and celebrate women's achievements" (IWD, 2020).
Here at The Angaza Project, we are doing just that! We have created various programs that provide girls and women a path to charge forward in education and economic opportunities. Our Shining Scholars Sponsorship program partners with High Schools in Kibera for girls to have a seat in the classroom without financial or personal hygiene barriers, our newest Shining Brighter college education program gives young women a path after High School to higher education, our girls and women's empowerment workshops are broadening perceptions and building confidence, and our Maridadi Skills workshops are helping women to learn new skills that can provide an income with dignity.
We are inspired by the girls and women in our community and to help us celebrate this important day around the world, we would like to highlight Michelle! She inspires us! Michelle is our Girls Empowerment Teacher and Coordinator and she has been with us since the very beginning in Kibera, Kenya.
There is a story about how we met Michelle (we will share more in a future blog post) but we would like to highlight how much she inspires us! Michelle has grown up in Kibera and knows the struggles for girls first hand. Having had challenges in education herself as a young girl, she is determined to make a difference for girls after her! She knows the financial barriers, the personal hygiene barriers for young girls who are trying to figure it all out and balance it all against the environment, and the road blocks set down by...... the community at large. She conquered it all and is now in a position to influence those behind her!
Not only is Michelle our Girls Empowerment Teacher and Coordinator, but she has been the recipient of our Women Who Shine 2018 and 2019 which provided professional development scholarship. Michelle had the opportunity to attend various workshops through a provider in the greater Nairobi area that focused on goal setting, financial literacy, and creating influence. In January 2020, Michelle became a recipient of our very own Shining Brighter education program where she is going to college and working on her higher education. Of course this important for her, but it is also serving the girls under her in Girls Empowerment. The girls are seeing that it IS possible, it IS important, college education IS for girls too, and each IS equal! Michelle is not just facilitating our girls empowerment lessons, she is a true mentor to those girls!
Michelle inspires us! Truly! With more scholarships building for Shining Brighter, we hope to see more young women in our programs walk across the college stage and turn their tassel!