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Lessons Learned in Kenya and Rwanda

Updated: May 10, 2023

Girl Rising CEO Christina Lowery just returned from visiting our programs in Kenya and a leadership training with Aspen Institute 2022 Fellows. Read about her experience below.

By Christina Lowery

I am just back from an extraordinary trip to Kenya and Rwanda and am filled with gratitude for all you are helping to make this important work possible.

Three colleagues of mine plus the Chair of our Board of Directors met in Kenya the first week of April to visit all of the local organizations we work with there. We had the chance to observe their programs with youth, see how they use and have adapted Girl Rising's educational resources for their programs and, perhaps most importantly, sit and have unhurried conversations (not on zoom!) about their work, the challenges confronting the families and kids they work with and how we can better support their work. It has led to deep discussions about what it means to deepen our programming and find new ways to collaborate and support their work. For a deeper dive, please read this blog written by Girl Rising Global Program Manager Richa Hingorani and Kenya Country Manager Debbie Odenyi. Also here is our latest newsletter which also gives some highlights into our trip.

The other part of my trip was a week in Rwanda for a fellowship program I'm doing with the Aspen Institute. 17 of us - all women leaders from around the world and all working on issues affecting women and girls and families - gathered in Kigali for a week of leadership training, reflection, and dialogue with incredible Rwandans from the founders of the University of Global Health Equity to theater directors to the Head of the Bank of Kigali to the Minister of Reconciliation. Our themes for the week were courage and forgiveness and we spent a lot of time talking about how both are required as leaders and essential parts of healing divisions and righting wrongs.

Thank you for your support of the work we do. I can tell you from witnessing it first hand (the first time I've been to Kenya since the start of the pandemic!), this work is changing lives!

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