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IWD 2021 | Awareness and Action | #ChooseToChallenge | Empowered women empower women!

As we continue to celebrate International Women's Day 2021 throughout the week, we will continue to share stories of women's achievement, awareness against bias, and action for equality here at The Angaza Project! Today, we focus on awareness against bias and action for equality and to help us with that, we highlight our Career Connections within our Girls Empowerment.

Awareness & Action | Within our Girls Empowerment program, we have Career Connections which the girls always get excited about. Career Connections is where we bring in our friends of the greater Nairobi area that serve in professional roles or engage in sports that the girls can not only learn about, but can also see themselves in for the future. The Angaza Project appreciates our many partners and friends who have poured into the program over the last few years. There have been many positions or sports that have been long considered a job or sport for a male, but the girls saw women serving in those roles and breaking barriers. They got to see themselves in it all.

"As these amazing women came to share their profession and what it took to get there, we saw the looks on the girls faces first hand. We even take field trips to companies or agencies to visit women in their jobs and the look in their eyes of amazement and excitement has been so worth it. " says Michelle Akoth, Girls Empowerment Coordinator at The Angaza Project.

"It builds their confidence and now that they have seen it themselves and know a lady in that position- a connection to it, they know it IS possible. Now, when they hear comments about something not being a job for a girl or anyone discourages them from engaging a sport "for men", they will think back to this connection and experience and do it anyway- they will choose to challenge"- Jennifer Wiley, Founder of The Angaza Project.

Before the pandemic, we enjoyed a visit from the Inked Sisterhood which is considered one of Kenya's first all female biker clubs. They were featured on the BBC and our Founder happened to know Anne so she brought the Inked Sisterhood on their decked out bikes to visit us at The Angaza Project. These amazing women on brightly designed bikes roaring in the streets, 10 deep, turned every head as they drove up to The Angaza Project. The girls squealed with excitement when they now saw what they were hearing in a distance. The Inked Sisterhood shared this sport as being a place for girls too and let the girls see and sit on the bikes that were definitely decked out in pinks, yellows and all bright designs. The girls got to ask questions about it and hear their stories about being a female pushing through in what so many in the nation may still say is a sport for men. Not only did they hear about it as a sport for girls too but each of the Inked Sisterhood ladies was a professional in the community. They met a Lawyer, a Teacher, a Publisher, an Author, an Accountant, and a Mechanic! Yes!

Our friend Anne is not only an Inked Sisterhood member, but a Teacher, Author and owner of a Publishing company in Nairobi, Peer Publishing! She has given our Girls Empowerment over 20 sets of her workbooks on girls health matters. What really allowed us to see the importance of Anne's visit was when we heard from one of the girls "I have always wanted to ride, I will do it now" So, thank you Anne and the Inked Sisterhood! We appreciate you all!

We also want to take this time to appreciate the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) where we were invited to take a field trip and meet women working in science as Lab Scientists and Researchers. These women in science shared their path of study and hard work and their own experiences breaking into the professional world to motivate our girls. The Girls Empowerment had the chance to ask them questions and see them at work in the mosquito lab, hepatitis labs, and other testing labs. "The girls were hearing about the serious and focused studies it takes in school to move forward to these opportunities so as they heard this from a lady in the actual position, it had their attention," says Michelle Akoth, Girls Empowerment Coordinator.

Another amazing lady that we love connecting with is our friend Belly of CEO Mindset, CEO/Owner of Jullians Collections, and Board Director of Ambitious Girls 254. Belly and our Founder Jennifer have been friends for quite some time now and Belly has poured into the girls empowerment on numerous occasions over the years with her team. Belly and her team from Ambitious Girls 254 came to The Angaza Project and shared their various professions to give the girls a direct connection to real women working in these positions of a lawyer, a teacher, community developer and more. One of several activities she has done with the girls is a Vision Board where they were able to connect with "I am" statements and aspirations. Belly is also the CEO/Owner of Jullians Collections, a lady business owner!!! So, she shared business skills, business ownership, financial management, and leadership with our girls.

The Angaza Project appreciates our friends and partners in the community! Empowered women empower women! Each of these women and what they pour into our program is truly amazing! Stay tuned again tomorrow for another highlight about raising awareness against bias and our action for equality while getting pamoja with our community!

Learn a Swahili word! Pamoja means united

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