Merry Christmas from Women for Change

Reflecting on what has been a very successful year, Women for Change would like to wish all of our supporters a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This year, Women for Change has supported 21 graduates of the Kakenya Center for Excellence (the school started by Dr Kakenya Ntaiya), to undertake tertiary studies in Kenya, with an additional 3 women attending University in Sydney. All of these young women follow in the footsteps of Dr Ntaiya, the first Maasai woman to obtain a PhD in the United States. Without our support, these young women would not have the opportunity for advancement, nor to make a meaningful change in their community. This cohort are also supported by Kakenya’s Dream, and by Australian mentors working with Women for Change.

Linet, Sharon and Magdalene are now studying at Western Sydney University, University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney on full academic scholarships, generously provided by the universities, with accommodation provided by Campus Living Villages and Urbanest. Our deepest gratitude goes to all involved in this program, particularly in ensuring these girls are given every opportunity to succeed.

We started the year with a week of events around International Women’s Day, with Dr Kakenya Ntaiya and two recipients of Women for Change scholarships to Australian universities. Dr Ntaiya once again inspired us all, reminding every room she addressed of the power that education can have to transform lives and communities.

This year, we also launched the Standing on our Shoulders campaign, bringing together 40 professional women at all stages of their career across the business community in Sydney.  These women supported each other to raise funds for the education of women in the developing world by hosting events including a breakfast with Julie Bishop, a spelling bee, and several music concerts.  The money raised by this program (approximately $120k) will support the second cohort of graduates from Kakenya’s school to access tertiary education, and early in 2019 we look forward to matching students with the individual donors who have also made a pledge to this initiative.

In August, a group of supporters visited Kenya on a 14-day tour, hosted by Dr Kakenya Ntaiya. Throughout the visit, the group engaged frequently with the community, all of whom firmly expressed their gratitude for our work. Parents spoke glowingly of their thanks for the opportunities being provided to their daughters, and of the impact that our shared vision to transform communities through female education will have on their families.

Thank you again to all who have supported our endeavours this year, have a safe and Happy Holiday and we will see you in 2019!

Lizzie Garrett