Carolyne Sunte, mentor, daughter, aspiring journalist and leader, is one of Asante Africa Foundation’s most passionate advocates for making a change in her community of Maasai, Africa.
Carolyne says, “Still, I was unsatisfied. I searched for a way to make an impact on my community, not just my family. I was lucky to find people who thought like me, people who had also gone through the Leadership and Entrepreneurship Incubator. Together, we created the Angaza Foundation a group that provides entrepreneurial training, leadership, test-taking assistance, motivational lectures, health education, financial literacy, team building, and charity.”
Angaza Foundation (‘to enlighten’), works in Narok and Isiolo Counties in Kenya to spread knowledge where gaps exist. The foundation’s areas of focus range from self defense to reproductive health to dream mapping. Angaza Foundation is a prime example of a strong organization that derived from a local community need and led by young people with the confidence and skills to think strategically about how to best organize and meet those needs.
While Carolyne was not able to travel to the United States to be a part of our The Journey to 2020 event this Saturday, she still continues to motivate us with her dedication and passion for the work she does as a program coordinator and mentor. With today’s post we wanted to give you a glimpse into Carolyne’s insight and the work she does for her community. We hope you are just as inspired and excited by what she has to say as we are!
“When you educate a girl, you have educated the whole community.”
When we asked Carolyn why she wanted to be a mentor, she told us about the challenges she and other girls and women faced as being marginalized in their community. She says, “I had a strong will that one day I will change the trend in the male dominant society.” In fact, Carolyn was the first educated girl in her family lineage since existence.
“[The Asante Africa Foundation] made me realize my dream and helped me to see the leadership qualities in myself.”
By pursuing and education, Carolyn was already taking the first step to changing the male-dominated trend in her community, which also created a path for other women and girls to follow in her footsteps. With the help of Asante Africa, Carolyn was able to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills that would aid her in pursuing her goals.
“My mother was the best mentor during my childhood life, she was the kind of a woman who would want[ed] us to be leaders and to give back to the community.”
Aside for the role Asante Africa played in her life, Carolyn’s mother was also one of her biggest mentors and inspiration, and is an example of the importance of women teaching and leading other women in their community to be leaders. Being faced with the marginalization of women in her community, Carolyn had a strong desire to mentor others who were struggling with the same issues. “I believe it’s important to communicate what you know,” she says. “To provide useful, honest guidance while ensuring that you give best solutions to different individual needs, capacities and opportunities.”
But just because Carolyn is a mentor does not mean she has stopped learning herself! In fact, one of the important challenges she mentioned about being a mentor was that very thing: continuous learning. She says, “Being a mentor also means you should continue learning about what’s going on in current trends, country economy, the school, the community, or the world at large. Always keep an alert eye on trends, topics, and developments that may impact me, the community both now and in the future.”
“Educate the next generation of change agents whose dreams and action will transform the future of Africa and the world.”
Carolyne has a strong opinion about what we can do as a community to encourage our young women to be leaders in their communities. One word: education! We must continue to educate our young women to set sustainable goals, and Carolyne particularly mentions goals that will provide economic empowerment. Our young women can and will be the change agents in their society!
Finally, we asked Carolyne for some advice she could give to young girls who want to be leaders in their community. She left us with this: “The change we want to see today begins with you being the change. Nothing is impossible ..when you educate a girl, you have educated the whole community.”
Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing some of your unique experiences with us as a mentor and Asante Africa Foundation advocate! We are also so thankful for the work you do in your community and beyond!