‘ONGOZA DADA’ INITIATIVE
‘Ongoza Dada’ is Kiswahili word meaning ‘Girls Lead’. This Initiative is about supporting, empowering and mentoring Adolescent Girls and Young Women to acquire the confidence and motivation to take up leadership positions at all levels. The space for women in leadership positions especially public service continues to shrink the world over. In Kenya, the story of women in leadership is one that needs thorough interrogation and adoption of innovative strategies starting with young girls if we are to have a significant cohort of the next generation of women in leadership. Young girls in schools and communities often do not have that many female leaders to look up to and hardly are they taught leadership as a life skill from a tender age. Marred with complete lack of/or ineffective mentorship opportunities; inadequate number of effective mentors; lack of/or inadequate social skills such as confidence or in some cases lack of or inadequate academic/professional qualifications; girls and women often lag behind on the leadership equation and hardly feature on key decision
tables whether in schools, communities, public service or corporate.‘Ongoza Dada’ Initiative aims at increasing the number of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in and out of school to become thought leaders, occupy leadership positions and become the next generation of female leaders across all fields and at all levels. Building on the premise that ‘girls who lead become women who lead’ and ‘the more women advance in leadership the more positive communities will change’, this initiative is timely and relevant.