The Young Changemaker’s Program uses various approaches to cultivate a generation of leaders in young women from underprivileged backgrounds. The girls at the secondary school level are offered the opportunity to develop their life skills and become future changemakers through the program which adopts a holistic approach to scholar development.
Through fundraising, the program is able to sponsor tuition for a select number of students, assisting many who would otherwise drop out upon completion of free primary education due to lack of funding. The program partners with four public secondary schools to accept girls who are not only underprivileged and have demonstrated academic success, but who have also demonstrated leadership skills. Scholarships covers tuition, board, and other fees throughout secondary level as long as recipients meet the program requirements.
Leadership Skills Building:
The leadership curriculum includes: a) service learning where scholars assess their community needs and design and implement a project to address these needs. Seed money is provided and the project fosters community engagement, identification of challenges and potential solutions, planning and mobilization of implementers, budgeting, leadership monitoring and evaluation; b) leadership clubs based at the partner schools are open to non-scholars who take part in group mentoring sessions, presentations, and service activities; c) leadership training academy is a 3 day residential workshop held thrice a year for scholars and alumni, with a training curriculum including leadership and 21st century skills. Objectives include sharing projects from service learning, strengthening the Akili Dada community, and developing personal leadership skills.
Volunteers from various sectors and alumni are paired with scholars to act as mentors. Mentors and scholars are expected to meet for one-on-one and group sessions at least 6 times a year to offer emotional, ethical, and career support, as well as the opportunity to network and access role models. Mentors complete regular evaluations post interactions to assist in monitoring and evaluation. Akili Dada also facilitates separate forums to support mentors and to act as networking events.They invest in girls and young women as change agents through comprehensive scholarships, leadership development and skills-based mentorship.Leadership development is rooted in service to others
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportIncreasing or sustaining enrollmentExtra-curricular activitiesMentorship/internship/job placementFinancingGirls' EducationHealth/NutritionEthics & Values/ReligionEntrepreneurship skillsInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)Art & Music
Model details2005Not-for-profit21st century skills (soft skills)Vocational/technical skillsOtherLeadership skills and mentorshipHealth/NutritionEthics & Values/ReligionEntrepreneurship skillsInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)Art & MusicActiveLong-term projectScholarshipsKenya High SchoolPrecious Blood High School RirutaMary Hill Girls High School Loreto High School Limuru
BeneficiariesOrphans and vulnerable children
The program works with four of the top National High Schools in Kenya, which are required to accept two girls from each county across the country who scored the highest on their KCPE (secondary school entrance exam). They work with the schools to identify who of the accepted girls cannot afford schools fees. Those girls are offered the opportunity to apply for an Akili Dada Scholarship. Once the student has been interviewed and selected, Akili Dada confirms that her financial situation is valid and then sponsors her.
Over 7,000 people reached since 2005, over 5,000 people in underpivileged communities have been reached by the scholars social change projects, over 1,000 families, mentors and partner schools have benefitted from projects, 4,000 indirect student beneficiaries have been reached through scholars social change projects.August, 2014
When this program was founded, it was purely a scholarship program to increase access to high quality education for bright girls from underpriveleged background. The program has grown in a number of ways to better serve the mission of nurturing transformative leadership in a generation of young African women from underpriveleged background. As a result, they created activities and support that serve to incubate the girls and prepare them to be leaders who are committed to serving those around them, and live their lives with more choices.
The main activities implemented to serve this purpose are leadership academies and group mentoring sessions. Leadership Academies are 4-day residential workshops that are attended by Akili Dada Scholars at the end of each term. Each Academy is designed to train Scholars on a different relevant aspect of leadership and personal development, incuding empathy, sexual and reproductive health and rights, public speaking, etc. In addition to academies, group mentoring sessions are offered to Scholars and Club members alike. The sessions are facilitated by dedicated mentors, and each revolves around a different topic. In addition to a platform for discussion among peers and with trusted adults, the mentoring sessions also serve as a place to learn new skills, especially around social entrepreneurship
As part of our 2015-2017 Strategic Plan, we will expand the scholarship program to one additional school. Our targets for new scholarships given are 16 in 2015, 18 in 2016 and 20 in 2017. That said, we are scaling our work and impact by hosting career symposiums in our partner schools that reach an average of 500 students per event and are also increasing the number of schools in which we run mentoring sessions. We realize that the need for Akili Dada programming around skills training and mentorship is highly needed, and we will continue to address that need to the extent that we maintain the quality of the program.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
Our M&E Strategy for the Scholarship component of the Young Changemakers program is well- developed. We collect data related to Scholars and their families so that we can understand where they are coming from and what kind of support they might need to be successful. We track their academic records to monitor their progress and the impact of the scholarship and other activities on their performance. We also complete activity reports after mentoring sessions and academies for M&E purposes and partner with schools to monitor attendance and mentor sessions
100% of scholars have been employed
100% of scholars have graduated from secondary school