The Day of the African Child arrives this year with a new focus for empowering Africa’s youth. As an organization, our own hope is to catalyze the development of tomorrow’s leaders by accelerating protection, empowering youth, and creating equal opportunity. This day celebrates the efforts that have been made to improve systems and programs for Africa’s youth and reminds us that there is still much work to do.
In rural areas of Kenya and Tanzania, also known as last mile communities, upgrades in education happen few and far between. Programs that enhance the learning experience — by helping instructors how to engage better through new methods and technology, teaching girls about their body and rights, and training youth how to make transition from school to the workplace — are essential so that these youth get opportunities to succeed too. Many organizations around the world focus on what is broken, wrong or not working, we are energized by all that is working well and all the talent coming to light.
Today, in honor of the International Day of the African Child, we are sharing with you stories of two amazing young women who have come from tough beginnings, yet have grown into powerful, educated, determined future leaders of Africa.
“Even though I have a physical disability and I am a girl child, I have not given up. I have big dreams for myself, my family and my community. Today I am a strong, courageous and an aggressive entrepreneur. With the training and support I received, I believe I am going to be an even greater person than I am today.” — Emily Thuranira
Emily Thuranira, who was selected by her school to attend Asante Africa’s Leadership & Entrepreneurship Incubator Program (LEI), attended the training program in Rukuma, Kenya. After numerous setbacks growing up like losing eyesight in one eye because of a tumor and losing her father to diabetes, Emily found herself a leader amongst her peers, giving motivational speeches at her school every Monday and Friday. After attending a second LEI training, she formed a youth group that would partner with Asante Africa’s Wezesha Vijana Girls’ Empowerment Program. In 2015 she attained a scholarship to join the Kenya Medical Training college. She graduated from this program in February of this year and now has a certificate in Health Records and Information Technology. The future holds big things for Emily, and eventually she hopes to get a diploma in medical records so she can be a lecturer.
“If my grandmother had not helped me escape early marriage at age 13, I would not have been rescued and given a scholarship by Asante Africa Foundation. It has always been my dream to be a doctor in my home village so my father can know a girl can be a doctor too. Now I am reaching my dream, because people in America invested in me. They will not regret their investment.” — Rosemary Koitumet
Rosemary Koitumet, who was a recipient of Asante Africa’s scholarship program, also benefitted from learning at after school girls’ programs that teach health, women’s rights, and learning useful skills to build a stable future. After 8th grade, Rosemary Koitumet was to be married off to an elderly man. But she had other plans! A day before the wedding, she ran to a girls rescue center where she eventually met Asante Africa co-founder Hellen Nkuraiya. Rosemary was admitted to Ole Tipis Girls Secondary school and she eventually graduated with a B-. Though this score wasn’t enough for her to qualify for university, she was then granted another scholarship to study as a clinical officer. After completing her studies at Kitui Medical Training College, Rosemary now works as an Intern at Kapsabet Referal Hospital in Kericho County.
Emily and Rosemary are two of the many youth that have transformed their own futures — thanks to programs devoted to their development. Asante Africa Foundation focuses on Africa’s children through education, skills, and opportunities. We are creating a new generation of active leaders and change makers.
Click here to know how you too can be a part of this change. Every effort matters!