Coming soon: girls rocking in politics
posted by Isabel Garcia on April 7, 2014
Thanks to your support, we partnered with Strathmore University in Nairobi, and the summit is scheduled for August 12, 13 and 14 at Strathmore Conference Center. We chose August as the most ideal timing for students and politicians since schools are closed and parliament is in session. After collaboratively finalizing on dates, we worked on creating a student roster. Half of the attendees have confirmed they'll participate in the event. For those who haven’t confirmed, we have identified students at alternative schools as back-up participants. We secured two local school buses to ferry students from rural areas to the main city. We originally planned for 25 female leaders speakers, but so far only seven have confirmed. We're waiting for responses from the others, and as an alternative option, we've identified other leaders from grassroots NGOs and the private sector.
Risks and challenges
Our main challenges are mostly budgetary. We underestimated the cost of ferrying students from all over the country. As a result, we partnered with schools to provide school buses as a solution. So far we have two, but even as we provide fuel and pay for drivers, there are other costs, such as meals during trip, sanitary towels, medicine and emergency funds incase of breakdowns, and costs of accommodation in Nairobi for three days. This cost is amounting to KSH 15,000 per student. We're looking to partner with Nairobi-based boarding schools as a way to cut on accommodation costs.
We haven't held the conference yet, but look forward to sharing personal stories from conference participants with you in the near future.
Right now our main focus is to putting together the best summit we can. We're working to loop in local businesses, especially female-owned businesses, as sponsors of the summit, as well as local and international development NGOs based in the country. Our next steps are to finalize the list of student attendees and panelists and securing three more buses.
Help convene the first ever “Girls Political Conference” for rural girls in Kenya
Why we care: Girls in iGLOW’s target areas face harsh living conditions, have high school dropout rates and many marry and become mothers before the age of 18.
How we’re solving this: Providing leadership and political skills training to 500 girls at a three-day conference to enable girls to recognize their self-worth, abilities and immense career and leadership possibilities.
iGLOW (Girls Leading Our World Initiatives) believes that unless girls are prepared and inspired from a young age to broaden their horizon of possibilities and see themselves as leaders, including actively participating in politics, the cycle of poverty and poor governance will persist in Kenya. iGLOW’s approach uses young people to motivate the younger generation. We position ambassadors, young female and male role models who have recently graduated from university, as the inspiration for empowering young rural girls. We recruit exceptional ambassadors from all backgrounds with a passion for political leadership and girl’s empowerment to connect with the girls by facilitating iGLOW trainings and sharing their personal leadership and educational journeys.
With an overall aim of motivating girls to take on the mantle of leadership from a very young age, and building on iGLOWs momentum of the last two years, this project will help convene the first ever “Girls Political Conference” in December 2013 that will bring together 40 iGLOW ambassadors and a total of 500 rural girls between the ages of 11 and 18 with an interest in political leadership to dive deeper into iGLOW’s mission through three days of powerful female speakers and skill-based workshops meant to hone their leadership skills. The conference will be the first step in forging a powerful girl’s political platform bringing together the rural girls with leadership aspirations and connecting them with youth ambassadors and powerful women leaders from different political parties, sectors and regions. Conference sessions will cover topics including:
- Ms. President: Why we need more girls in political leadership
- Kenyan women in political office
- Global female leaders
- Effecting change in your community
- Sharing your ideas on local and global issues
- Leading with others
- Issue advocacy
- Running for political office
- Running for school office and starting a school club
- Public speaking and messaging
As the only program in Kenya that focuses on girl’s political preparation, iGLOW’s hands-on leadership program continues to build a strong cadre of confident young girls and women who will be at the forefront of societal change. Girls who become empowered as political change agents, not only become active citizens, but also motivate their parents and friends to become more informed and more active. Thus, the program has a large spillover effect that will encourage positive political engagement beyond the individual girls.
- Stationery costs include folders, writing pads and pens for 550 people at $1.50 per person
- Food costs will cover meals for 3 days for 550 people during the conference
- Transport costs include bus hire and fuel and will cover the transport for 500 girls, 40 ambassadors and 10 speakers