Rose Akinyi is a 21 year old young woman born and raised in the largest urban slum in Africa; Kibera Nairobi. Rose grew up in an environment where women did not have voice and power due to lack of financial autonomy, absence of women in leadership positions or being relegated to the domestic setting. She always dreamt of better circumstances; To be different than the women who had gone before her and the need to ensure the same for her peers.
Rose was motivated to turn these dreams into reality by becoming part of (any) women led programs and/or forums. The opportunity to turn this dream to reality was enabled when at 15 years old, she was one of the lucky girls selected to attend the prestigious Mentoring and Empowerment retreats hosted by the Resource Center for Women & Girls. She learnt, based on these experiences and those of other sisters she met at the center that young women can understand, articulate and formulate solutions to the issues and challenges they face in their lives if and when given the space to do so.
Resource Center for Women & Girls was that space for Rose and this led to her active engagement in the program, which then led to her transition as an intern, and thereafter as a full-time staff member at the organization. Rose is currently the Outreach & OralHerstory Staff. Her passion for women & girls rights and the need for them to be more presented & be able play a role in the larger women’s movement in Kenya, regionally and globally was nurtured over the years & she was certain she wanted to be an expert in the field.
For this reason, she enrolled at St. Paul’s University & is currently pursuing a diploma in Community Development & Social Work. Rose believes that Education together with her experience in working with girls will make her a POWERHOUSE! My active engagement at Resource Center for Women & Girls has opened spaces and avenues for me to start the path of realizing my dreams to empower and fight for girls’ rights. I have been invited & participated in young women and girls’ forums such as; With & For Girls 2020 Award Ceremony, East African Young Women Leadership Mentorship Institute by Akili Dada for a SRHR project, Box Girls – Girl child summit as a panelist, She’s the First (Girls First Summit) for the Girl Hour & The 10th Africa Conference on Sexual Health & Rights held in Sierra Leone.
My vision is to make young women and girls realize their potential, how to articulate their voices, and to help them understand their worth. I envision a world where girls are taught that it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to feel comfortable in your own skin, it’s okay to not follow the masses, it’s okay to be YOU and you are ENOUGH! My feminist dream is to see more women in leadership spaces – and the increased implementation of equality laws.