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VVLEAD DOCUMENTARIAN PROJECT CASE STUDY REPORT

January 2016


AUTHORS: Elizabeth Andrews, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, Global Programs, Vital Voices Global Partnership Lucina Di Meco, Senior Program Manager, Global Programs, Vital Voices Global Partnership Laura Thompson, Program Coordinator, Global Programs, Vital Voices Global Partnership Alicia Maslar, M&E Fellow, Global Programs, Vital Voices Global Partnership Samantha Thurber, M&E Fellow, Global Programs, Vital Voices Global Partnership Anna Applebaum, McLarty Global Fellow, Vital Voices Global Partnership

EDITING: Yushuang Sun, Intern, Global Programs, Vital Voices Global Partnership Elyse Gainor, Program Assistant, Global Programs, Vital Voices Global Partnership

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Developing and implementing the Documentarian Project throughout the year required the hard work of a dedicated team. Special thanks to the entire VVLead team for their help and support.


TABLE OF CONTENTS Purpose and Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 3 Methodology.............................................................................................................................................. 4-8 Case Studies by VVLead Staff A Case Study on Amina Evangelista Swanepoel ......................................................................... 9-19 A Case Study on Jacqueline Mathaga ....................................................................................... 20-29 A Case Study on Jawida Mansour ............................................................................................. 30-36 A Case Study on Jayoung Naphtalie Margaret Otieno .............................................................. 37-50 A Case Study on Jenny Schwartz ............................................................................................... 51-57 A Case Study on Judith Awondo ............................................................................................... 58-64 A Case Study on Lumbiwe Limbikani ........................................................................................ 65-73 A Case Study on Memory Bandera ........................................................................................... 74-84 A Case Study on Muthoni Nduhiu ............................................................................................. 85-89 A Case Study on Nebiat Assefa ................................................................................................. 90-96 A Case Study on Njambi Kiritu ................................................................................................ 97-102 A Case Study on Patralekha Chatterjee ................................................................................ 103-109 A Case Study on Teina Mackenzie ........................................................................................ 110-117 Case Studies by Documentarians Coaching and Mentoring Women Leaders by Faith Ndunge Muisyo ................................... 118-128 Leading Women in Revitalizing Farming by Grace Odeke .................................................... 129-140 A Portrait in Courage by Mara Bua-Johnson......................................................................... 141-150 Mapping Sexual Harassment: Making Cities Safer by Patralekha Chatterjee ...................... 151-157 Broken but Not Crushed by Ritah Muyambo........................................................................ 158-165 Limitations of Documentarian Project ............................................................................................... 166-167 Lessons Learned from Participatory Data Collection Process............................................................ 168-170 Program Outcomes: The Case for All-Women’s Leadership Development Networks ...................... 171-174 Works Cited ........................................................................................................................................ 175-180

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Appendix Case Study Outline ................................................................................................................ 181-184 Call for Applications for Documentarian Project .................................................................. 185-187 Consent Form for Documentarian Project............................................................................ 188-189 Instructions for Staff Writers ................................................................................................ 190-191 Journal Entry Prompts.................................................................................................................. 192 Observation Guide Template ................................................................................................ 193-195 South-South Exchange Focus Group Discussion ................................................................... 196-197 Vital Voices Example Code List ............................................................................................. 198-200 VVLead Documentarian Project Participant Baseline Survey ............................................... 201-204 VVLead Documentarian Project Participant Satisfaction Survey .......................................... 205-208 VVLead Documentarian Project Post-Program Survey ......................................................... 209-211

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PURPOSE AND INTRODUCTION Funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), the VVLead Fellowship Program developed over the course of three years to serve and engage women leaders around the globe who had proven their leadership potential and focus on one of the three key issue areas: violence against women, harmful cultural and traditional practices, and economic empowerment for women and girls. Launched in late 2012, the fellowship set out to test and implement a new industry standard for women’s leadership development programs, as well as to prove the multiplier effect 1 of investing in women leaders. Through in-person and virtual interventions, VVLead provided capacity building, visibility and outreach support, and network development to fellows. Guided by three overarching principles — Connect, Learn and Collaborate — the major programming elements consisted of Peer-toPeer Exchanges, peer mentoring, online courses via the D2L platform, challenge grants, and an annual South-South Exchange convening. To date, the fellowship has engaged over 330 fellows across the globe. The Documentarian Project was developed in 2014 to gain a deeper understanding of how the program influenced its fellows’ leadership trajectories, as well as to explore program outcomes through a descriptive and contextual lens. To capture a diversity of voices and perspectives, VVLead utilized a participatory evaluation approach that resulted in 36 individual case studies that underscore fellows’ experiences in the fellowship. This final report is a compilation of case studies written by both VVLead staff and those fellows selected to participate in the Documentarian Project. 2

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The beneficiaries of the VVLead Fellowship Program are not solely fellows, but also the communities surrounding these women – including, but not limited to, colleagues, friends, families, mentors, mentees, and fellows’ service and information recipients. This is defined by VVLead as the multiplier effect. 2 VVLead selected five of the best case studies written by Documentarians to be included in this report. To see all Documentarian-written case studies, see Documentarian Case Study Project Final Report.

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METHODOLOGY In January of 2015, the VVLead team sent out a call for applications to all 2013 and 2014 fellows for the Documentarian Project. 3 These twenty-four “Documentarians” represented a diversity of countries and sectors and were selected based on their previous qualitative evaluation experience and interest in learning more about M&E. The 2015 Class was not included in the Documentarian application pool, as VVLead wanted to provide those fellows with one or two years of experience in the program with a new leadership and learning opportunity. Documentarians were required to participate in various in-person workshops in addition to online trainings throughout 2015 for the purpose of building capacity around qualitative M&E methods – particularly in-depth interviews, direct observations and journaling. Upon acceptance into the Documentarian Project, Documentarians agreed to the following deliverables and requirements: •

Attend and participate in two in-person workshops held in March 2015 and November 2015;

Participate in all Documentarian and Record-Keeping webinars and submit all required course assignments;

Submit journal entries in response to monthly prompts sent out by VVLead team;

Conduct a direct observation and complete an observation template;

Conduct interviews with case study subject and secondary sources to validate data;

Design journal entry prompts and collect entries from case study subject;

Produce and submit case study on one VVLead fellow by November 1, 2015; and

Moderate a focus group discussion at the 2015 South-South Exchange in South Africa. The Documentarian Project aligned with the overall VVLead practice of building the capacity of

fellows for their long-term professional and leadership development. Throughout the year, Documentarians were asked to utilize these qualitative methods and produce case studies capturing the fellowship’s contribution to the learnings, connections and collaborative efforts of their VVLead peers. Simultaneously, the VVLead team produced case studies on 13 of these Documentarians, also seeking to capture their individual stories, get greater clarity on their leadership trajectories and identify outcomes 3

See Documentarian Project Application in Appendix.

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of the fellowship program. The case study project sought to respond to the following evaluation questions: •

Leadership evolution: What is the fellow’s personal history that resulted in her current leadership role and trajectory?

Challenges and needs: What are the constraints the fellow faces in leading change? What are her needs as a leader?

Outcomes: How has the VVLead Fellowship influenced the fellow and her vehicle for change? 4

The objectives of the first in-person Documentarian workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in March 2015 were to: •

Understand purpose of the Documentarian Project;

Clarify roles and expectations of the Documentarian;

Develop a common understanding of basic principles of M&E; and

Introduce and practice use of various data collection methods and data analysis.

During the first in-person workshop, Documentarians were asked to choose a VVLead fellow as a case study subject that fit one of the following criteria: •

Fellow working on an issue or topic that the Documentarian was interested in highlighting;

Fellow that the Documentarian had a personal or professional connection with;

Fellow that lived in close proximity to the Documentarian; or

Fellow that was part of the Documentarian Project.

To ensure that all Documentarians’ stories would be included in this case study project, those fellows not selected by another Documentarian were selected as a Vital Voices case study subject. VVLead fellow Memory Bandera was also included as a Vital Voices case study subject, although she was not part of the Documentarian Project, due to her intensive collaborative efforts and leadership with others in the program.

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Fellow’s type of work (e.g., non-profit, civil society, advocacy campaign, social enterprise, business, and/or public office or government).

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Documentarians were trained in peer interviews, direct observations and journaling during the first in-person workshop, as well as subsequent 60-minute live webinars throughout the year. In order to verify and cross-validate the data collected on their respective subjects, Documentarians were expected to employ all three of these methods throughout the case study process. Similarly, the concept of triangulation 5 was built into all Documentarian webinars and the Monitoring & Evaluation minicourse series that was presented to all fellows in May and June of 2015. While Documentarians were encouraged to utilize a case study outline 6 that was presented by the VVLead team during a follow-up webinar in April, Documentarians were welcome to use their own outline templates and interview questionnaire, as long as the three aforementioned evaluation questions were addressed in their case study: leadership evolution of subject; challenges in leading change and needs as a leader; and VVLead outcomes. Documentarians were also encouraged to incorporate secondary sources and validate their primary data by conducting additional interviews with their subject’s beneficiaries, colleagues, mentors and other VVLead Fellows, as applicable. Documentarians were asked to conduct at least two in-depth interviews via Skype or in-person with their case study subject, as well as at least two interviews with third party persons on their case study subject. Vital Voices offered Documentarians a reimbursement of up to 100 USD for Skype, telephone, recording services or transportation expenses incurred during data collection. After undergoing a training on designing open-ended questions and practicing one-on-one interviews with each other during the first in-person workshop, Documentarians were encouraged to draft, share and edit one another’s questions on the D2L platform throughout the data collection process. In May and June 2015, VVLead facilitated Journaling and Observation webinars, respectively, for the Documentarians. Documentarians also used a semi-structured Direct Observation template, created by the VVLead team, as a data collection tool. As some Documentarians were unable to travel to conduct in-person observations on their case study subject – due to a variety of factors, including budgetary constraints – Documentarians were encouraged to conduct an observation on their case study subject during a live online webinar. 5

This involves examining consistency of evidence across different data sources, data collection methods, and/or evaluators as a means of obtaining verification. 6 See Case Study Outline in Appendix.

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Documentarian data collection occurred from April through September 2015. A hand coding webinar took place in July 2015 to help the Documentarians analyze their qualitative data before beginning the writing phase. Documentarian case study final drafts were due to the VVLead team on November 1, 2015. Out of 24 Documentarians, 23 submitted case studies. Similarly, the VVLead team conducted in-depth interviews with and collected multiple journal entries from fellows for the Vital Voices case studies from March to October 2015. Secondary sources were also used to gain background information on the socio-political context in which each respective subject lives and works. Subjects’ beneficiaries, mentors, colleagues and other VVLead fellows – as relevant – were interviewed to verify results. To standardize the interview process, VVLead staff members conducting case study interviews used the same open-ended interview questionnaire and were trained in interviewing protocol. Journal entry prompts were sent to fellows on a monthly basis starting in March 2015. Fellows received feedback and comments from the M&E Specialist, with fellows responding to specific follow-up questions via email or during Skype interviews. The VVLead team drafted a coding template that was used by all VVLead staff, and a master code list was developed to support the coding of all qualitative data for each subject. Templates of each one of these documents are in the Appendix Section of this report. The culmination of the Documentarian Project was the second and final in-person workshop in South Africa in November 2015. The objectives of the second in-person workshop were the following: •

Share lessons learned from case study data collection process;

Pitch subject’s story/advocacy issue to a group of “investors”; and

Complete focus group discussion training. A combination of individual and group presentations was utilized throughout the full-day

workshop to allow Documentarians to share their overall experiences with the project, as well as major outcomes observed and lessons learned from their case study data collection process. By the end of the second in-person workshop, Documentarians were prepared to facilitate small group discussions at the larger South-South Exchange, which provided them not only with a leadership opportunity, but also practical experience with another qualitative evaluation method. Data shared during the second Documentarian workshop and subsequent South-South Exchange focus group discussions were incorporated into the Limitations and Lessons Learned sections at the end of this report.

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The next section of the report consists of 18 case studies written by VVLead staff and Documentarians, followed by Limitations and Lessons Learned sections, and finally, a conclusion that highlights major program outcomes identified through the Documentarian Project.

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A CASE STUDY ON AMINA EVANGELISTA SWANEPOEL Introduction Growing up, Amina’s parents worked as professors at the top two universities in the Philippines. Besides short stints in Nigeria and Japan when her parents were on sabbatical, she spent most of her childhood in the Philippines. At 19, Amina left for the United States to pursue her bachelor’s degree at Wellesley College. Upon arriving at Wellesley, Amina was impressed with the high caliber and experiences of her female peers. “It was so inspiring to be around so many women who were so intelligent and so curious about the world and had so many plans about things they wanted to do.” The professors and president of the university encouraged the student body to pursue their goals and dreams after graduation. “When I was there the focus on success was you being able to choose what it is you want to do, and you going out there and doing it. That really resonated with me, and is still my definition of feminism.” After graduating from Wellesley, Amina stayed in the U.S. where she worked for two years at Human Rights Watch as an Associate in the Asia Division. Upon graduating with a double Master’s degree in International Affairs and Public Health from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, respectively, Amina struggled through a period of feeling underemployed and restless. It was during this time that Amina’s mother reached out to see if her daughter would be interested in starting an organization for women and children in Palawan where her mother was currently based. Her mother, Susan Evangelista, had taught at Ateneo de Manila University for 30 years before retiring and moving to Puerto Princesa. 7 Susan recognized that there was a real need for reproductive health services in their community and saw a clear opportunity to provide some really targeted support. Living in New York City at the time, Amina and her husband Marcus discussed the possibility of moving to the Philippines. In 2009, Amina returned to the Philippines to launch her own organization with her mother. Despite going through such a bleak time in New York, Amina says that today she is thankful, as going through that experience led her to where she is today. 7

“Staff.” Roots of Health. Web. 29 July 2015. http://rootsofhealth.org/who-we-are/staff/.

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Looking back, I see how depressed I was at my job and how disengaged I became by the issues I had once felt so passionate about…If I had not been so ready to leave NYC for a more engaging opportunity, [my husband and I] would not have seriously considered moving to Palawan to start Roots of Health. Today, Amina is the Founding Executive Director of Roots of Heath (ROH) 8, an NGO based in Palawan, Philippines that strives to empower women and girls and improve family health. The organization provides clinical services to women in underserved, resource-poor communities and sexual health education to students and people in the community. The organization is guided by the principal that health is a human right. In her role, Amina provides leadership in the day-to-day running of ROH and trains staff in implementing all organizational programming. She is the liaison between the ROH Board of Directors in the United States, the Development Committee in Hong Kong, and the Philippinebased Ugat ng Kalusugan Advisory Committee. Additionally, she oversees the organization’s finances and is tasked with raising new funds, often a challenging endeavor in the catholic and conservative country she lives and works in. In August 2015, Roots of Health turned six. Over the past two years the organization has received a lot of pressure from funders to expand their programs. The VVLead Fellowship Program, through its online courses and encouraging network of global women leaders, has played an influential role in helping Amina develop her management style so that ROH can expand its scope and impact. Throughout 2015, the organization has taken the time to pilot new services to communities outside of its current jurisdiction in order to ascertain what is manageable for 2016 and beyond. By the end of this year, Amina’s goal is to finalize a strategic plan with her Board to scale the organization’s capacities and offerings. Current Context Roots of Health operates in a predominately Catholic and conservative country. As such, the topic of reproductive health is controversial and many kinds of reproductive health education and women’s services are not supported by government officials. “It’s so frustrating to be working and knowing that at any given moment the Vice President of your providence, which is very Catholic, might 8

The local administrative arm of the organization is call Ugat Ng Kalusugan.

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ban contraception from public health clinics,” said Amina. While contraception is not illegal in the country, “non-contraceptive use is generally an economic issue rather than a religious one – women cannot afford it,” said Amina. In 2012, the rate of contraceptive use in the country was 48.9 percent compared to 84 percent in the United Kingdom. 9 Low levels of education and poor health results in more teenage pregnancies, which breeds a continuous cycle of poverty – and many women living in poverty simply cannot afford to pay for contraceptives. “The government is mandated to provide [contraceptives] to poor women for free, but most government health clinics are not given the funding to provide these commodities, and if a local government unit has a leader who is against reproductive health, that local municipality will simply not provide these services,” said Amina. Similarly, schools in the Philippines are not mandated to provide young people with sexual health education, so most school children grow up with little reliable information about their sexual health and where to go for help. Maternal mortality rates in the country are dismal as well. The adjusted maternal mortality rate in the Philippines in 2010 was 99 per 100,000 births 10, compared to 21 and 12 for the United States 11 and the United Kingdom 12, respectively, during this same year. The higher rate of maternal deaths in the Philippines is largely attributed to lack of reproductive health services. Data published by UNICEF shows that 62.2 percent of women in the Philippines in 2012 had a skilled attendant present during their delivery. 13 “What is so unacceptable about maternal mortality is that the causes of death are preventable, but it is the failure of the health system and health care of the women that allows them to die,” said Amina. “I think growing up, when people die of illness you assume that nothing could be done, but with maternal mortality it is so simple, everything is easily preventable, not expensive treatment or anything like that. It’s only having proper prenatal care and skill attendees at birth.” Roots of Health embodies a community approach and strives to work in high risk areas – communities that are hard to access, have limited health services, have low levels of education and income, and high levels of children. “They are engaging with the community members, and a lot of what 9

“Statistics.” UNICEF. 27 December 2013. Web. 31 August 2015. http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/philippines_statistics.html 10 ibid. 11 ibid. 12 ibid. 13 ibid.

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these reproductive health services are about is establishing trust to earn a reputation as an organization that is going to deliver on the ground,” said Roots of Health Board Member Suneeta Kaimal. One way ROH strives to foster strong relationships with the communities they serve is through their Community Health Advocates (CHA) program. ROH trains local women leaders as CHAs, who essentially act as liaisons to gain input from the community, distribute contraceptives and provide referrals. 14 The benefits of the CHA program are twofold: ROH develops and maintains deep connections and sustainable practices with the communities in which they serve, as well as empower local women through capacity building trainings that increase their self-confidence, knowledge and skills. The organization works not only with women and children but men as well. Suneeta said, Reproductive health is not just talking about what is the responsibility of young women to be able to support their own reproductive health, but also to really think about the role of men and women and be cognizant of the relationships and expectations that exist. For ROH, sexual education is not just about answering reproductive health questions but also addressing larger topics that focus on self-esteem and peer pressure. “Those kinds of things give men and women the backbone to be able to engage in positive reproductive health practices,” said Suneeta. “We [are] thinking about reproductive health in a holistic way that takes into consideration the drivers behind poor reproductive health practices.” Despite some community and bureaucratic pushback, Amina believes that government counterparts are grateful for the services ROHS provides, especially those local government agencies that cannot meet all the needs of their community members. ROH provides free contraceptives for women who want them, including condoms, pills, IUDs and implants. Other health services include pap spears and free prenatal vitamins, monthly prenatal checkups, birth plan counseling and assistance with birth. In 2014, Roots of Health met the contraceptive needs of 771 women; cared for 162 women in their Healthy Pregnancy Program; provided 664 prenatal checkups; taught 2,835 students in schools; and trained 32 Community Health Advocates (CHA) who impacted 756 women in Palawan. 15 When asked to reflect on the work she is doing in Palawan, Amina noted, 14

“Education.” Roots of Health. Web. 30 August 2015. http://rootsofhealth.org/what-we-do/education/. Swanepoel, Amina. “Introduction Presentation at VVLead Peer-to-Peer Training.” Peer-to-Peer Exchange. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. March 2015. Lecture. 15

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Our clients are some of the poorest women in Puerto Princesa and face the daunting challenge of raising families with extremely limited resources…When we started our work, these women were thrilled to learn new things and have access to free contraceptives and clinical services. Now I see that the women are still resource-poor and still face difficulties, but the fact that they have been able to control whether and when to have another child has made a huge and lasting impact on their lives. This motivates me to ensure we can keep our programming going, and reach as many women in this city as possible. Challenges and Needs One of the biggest challenges that Amina faces running ROHS is staffing. “I have found and cultivated some great staff members, but we also have many staff members for whom a position at ROH is simply a job, not any kind of passion.” While for Amina and her mother, the line between work and personal life is thin; yet, for some employees, ROH is merely a way to earn a paycheck and not a livelihood. Besides lack of passion for the mission, some ROH staff employees have left, and even broken their contracts early, when presented with a more lucrative offer elsewhere. The organization was left with a gaping hole when key staff members resigned in order to work abroad. Amina and her management team struggled to find adequate replacements for some time, and she was left “feeling so hopeless and worried that everything I had worked so hard to build would come crashing down.” The organization persevered, but securing high quality employees and replacements continue to be a looming problem. “The quality of education here is not great, so a lot of people looking for a job take a really long time and effort to train so that they are up to the standard that we want them to be,” said Amina. In fact, most of the organization’s employees are given their first email address when they start at ROH, and many of their employees must be trained in using computers and certain software before they can even start working. Thus, low levels of education and the inability to provide higher salaries to staff has created pressure and heavy workloads for Amina, her husband, who serves as COO, as well as Amina’s mother and the Co-Founder of Roots of Health Susan Evangelista these past few years. The other major impediment to the success of ROH is working in a religious and cultural environment that often is at odds with the safe sexual practices the organization strives to promote. As high schools in the Philippines are “super conservative,” ROH legally cannot hand out condoms to

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anyone under the age of 18. “This has been very tricky for us because what we really want to do is get these kids using contraceptives…But it’s been really difficult to get around this law,” said Amina. As such, they are not seeing the behavioral change that they would like. In the past, ROH faced some difficulty with obtaining permission from the city’s Department of Education to teach reproductive health in the schools in Palawan, but they are finding that more and more people are welcoming their services within their various communities. Still, even once ROH creates a new partnership with a school and begins classroom trainings, ROH is limited in what they can say and do. “The school principals would always welcome [Sex Ed classes] because they have pregnant high school students, but when we started showing the kids what a condom looks like they freaked out,” said Susan. The culture, Susan adds, is one in which talking about sex out loud is not done, even though teenage pregnancy noticeably exits. Low levels of education surrounding sexual health and reproduction means that ROH must often dispel traditional myths that are deeply rooted in the community. For example, some of the students ROH works with believe that jumping up and down after sex will prevent pregnancy. Others, she says, believe that they cannot get a woman pregnant the first time they have sex. The curriculum inside the classroom therefore focuses on the reproductive system, how pregnancy happens, what contraceptives are and how they can be used to prevent pregnancy. Despite the cultural pushback, knowledge gains among high school students are being seen. “Our survey results for knowledge are just insane. We’ll have a change from like 20 percent to 70 percent of those who know that jumping up and down after sex is not a contraceptive and will not prevent pregnancy,” said Amina. While Amina wishes they could make contraceptives more readily available to students, she is hopeful that the knowledge gains they are seeing will somehow translate into fewer unplanned pregnancies in the future. Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Program: Learn Amina applied to the VVLead Fellowship Program at a time she was seeking more professional development. The lack of conferences and trainings offered in the area she lives in, coupled with the fact that she was bogged down with the day-to-day operations of ROH, gave her few opportunities to seek new networks and skills. Similarly, having not gone to business school, she was not well-versed in managing or running an organization. As such, VVLead’s online courses in Strategic Planning, Human

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Resources and Monitoring & Evaluation have been the most invaluable to her personal leadership growth. Amina credits the Strategic Planning and Human Resources courses with encouraging her to see and evaluate how she was leading and handling the organization. In order for the organization to grow, Amina must entrust the day-to-day responsibilities to senior-level management so that she can focus on higher level planning and management of the organization. “[VVLead] really helped me to view my role within Roots of Health at a higher level… rather than kind of being focused on doing it all myself.” She has already started to utilize some of what she is learning and apply them to her organization, such as how to run things more efficiently, how to retain and motivate staff, and how to identify staffing needs. A major decision she has made since joining VVLead was create and hire two senior management positions so that she could share some of her responsibilities and delegate more of her work. As a way to empower some of her senior staff, Amina now finds time every week for them to sit down and participate in VVLead online courses – particularly the Monitoring and Evaluation and Human Resource modules. After watching the M&E course, she hopes that some of her senior level staff will be able to design a logic model for the organization’s high school and community programs. It is her intention that her staff increases their knowledge levels in M&E and human resources so that they can work on these areas themselves and better manage the people they work with. “What I have to do from here on out is really be integral in the high level planning and execution…and not so much actually running around on the ground doing everything myself,” said Amina. Besides sharing VVLead courses with her staff, Amina has also shared VVLead materials and activities with students and women in her community. With the help of VVLead, Amina planned a Mentoring Walk in Puerto Princesa in March 2015, which included 40 local students and women from the community and six mentors, including Amina, her mother Susan and other ROH staff. These staff members are women who normally facilitate ROH’s health and financial literacy programs, and therefore, were recognizable figures to the mentees. “The term [mentoring] was new for everybody, but they habitually do this of course, but a bit informally and without giving it a name,” said Susan. After speeches, in which the local University President came and spoke, the women broke up into small groups and participated in a Dream Channel exercise that allowed the women to articulate and share

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their short and medium terms goals with one another. 16 In a follow-up survey distributed and translated by ROH, one mentee described what she learned from her mentor during the mentoring walk: “The most important was the things relating to sexual health, and how to avoid unplanned pregnancy so my studies aren't interrupted.” Another mentee responded, “I learned a lot of things from my mentor but the most important was the value and responsibilities of being a woman. One of the important things here was the things I should and shouldn't do relating to sex (in order to avoid unplanned pregnancy).” While the actual event lasted just one day, many of the relationships established that day, Susan noted, are ongoing. What Makes VVLead Distinct While Amina thinks that the bond she shares with her Wellesley network is stronger, in terms of shared experiences, the support systems that Wellesley and VVLead provide are similar: “In both networks, I don’t feel competition. I do feel that every woman who I am connecting with sincerely wants to help.” Instead, Amina sees the VVLead network as a source of support, encouragement, new ideas and fresh perspectives. “Even though we are working on completely different issues on different contexts, we often have very similar struggles, especially in terms of balancing our work lives and our home lives, dealing with fundraising and potentially negative Board Members.” Amina has found solace in meeting other women around the world who she can relate to. When asked about the impact of the VVLead Fellowship Program, ROH Board Member Suneeta replied, “It has been an opportunity for her to be able to connect with other individuals who share that passion, who share that commitment, but also frankly, who share many of the challenges that she is going through as the leader of an organization.” Future outlook Despite a political environment that often does not welcome reproductive health education or services, Roots of Health has often found itself trying to meet the growing demands and needs of the communities they work in. In the beginning, the organization did implement a variety of programmatic activities, but over the years, it has spent a lot of time trying to develop its core offerings and identify those services they were best suited to offer. For this reason, various initiatives such as financial literacy programs will most likely come to a close at the end of this year. “While all those types of programs 16

The Dream Channeling exercise is introduced to VVLead Fellows during the Peer-to-Peer and South-South Exchanges, as well as during the first few weeks of the online training program at the start of each year.

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help contribute to an enabling environment for Roots of Health to work in, ultimately Roots of Health is more successful when it is much more targeted,” said Board Member Suneeta Kaimal. The organization is not big enough to provide programming for everyone who wants it, nor does it have the resources to do so. “Many communities need our help but our budgets are limited so [we] have to focus on the communities that are most underserved,” said Amina. Currently Roots of Health is in the planning stages to scale their programming that will reach areas outside of where they currently operate. “And we really have to do this because we really found out that the problems we have to deal with, the unintended pregnancies and the maternal gaps are not happening in Puerto Princesa as much as in the other cities,” said Co-founder Susan Evangelista. Moving forward, one challenge that Amina is dealing with is figuring out how they will scale their programming while still maintaining high quality services and programs. Until recently, Amina has worried that expansion meant less oversight and less assurance that everything will be done properly. Offering programming and services further away will mean that – with current staffing constraints – ROH cannot offer the same level of physical support that clients are receiving now. “I think Ami’s experience with Vital Voices has really helped her understand that we really should [expand], and how we can do it without sacrificing,” said Susan. Amina’s openness to hiring and sharing more of her responsibility with senior level staff, as well as continuing the successful Community Health Advocate program while scaling back on other programs, will allow ROH to reach these new communities. The ultimate ambition of ROH is to create an enabling environment in which behaviors around reproductive health have changed for the better. Board Member Suneeta hopes that the programs that ROH provides will raise awareness and change sexual health behaviors. “What we should be doing is putting ourselves out of business,” said Suneeta. “Part of the way of doing that is building the capacity of members of the community and changing the attitudes and behavior at the community level in such a way that there is positive reinforcement for good reproductive health practices.” Lessons Learned Being in the Philippines, Amina has often felt isolated from other VVLead fellows. It was not until she attended the in-person Documentarian Workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in March 2015 with 23 other VVLead fellows that she really felt a bond and true sense of belonging to the program. Prior to this, and especially during her first year in the program, she had not attended any in-person

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trainings, and therefore was restricted to the Desire to Learn (D2L) platform that houses all of the online curriculum and virtual trainings sessions. Thus, while she has learned the most through the webinars, the support system that she feels so strongly about today was not solidified until she attended her first in-person training. Part of this, she notes, was due to the fact that where she lives her internet connection is very slow, and so she often must watch the recorded and not the live webinar – a time when fellows are able to chat and connect with one another in real-time during the module. Thus, one can make the case that to obtain all the benefits of a multi-year fellowship program, virtual training must be coupled with in-person interventions to allow fellows to meet, network and connect on a personal level with one another. Access to an international network has also proven beneficial to Amina. Amina notes that if VVLead was exclusive only to Filipino fellows, the support and advice that fellows could provide would be limited, as Filipinos work and live under the same socio-political-economic context, and therefore, could not provide her with a fresh perspective. During the Peer-to-Peer Exchange that Amina attended in Tanzania in March 2015, directly following the Documentarian workshop, Amina was able to share certain personal leadership and organizational goals with the group and subsequently benefit from the collective knowledge of the handful of global women leaders in the room. During the training, Amina was able to consult with others fellows to obtain individualized recommendations for reaching her goals as well as find solutions to some of her pressing challenges. After coming back from the Documentarian Workshop, some of the fellows formed a Whatsapp group as a way to share frequent words of encouragement with one another – whether that be to console someone when a child is sick, share a recent promotion, or recognize and celebrate someone else’s accomplishments at work. Conclusion Participation in VVLead came at an opportune time for both Amina’s personal leadership development and the growth of Roots of Health. After participating in the Strategic Planning and Human Resources webinars, Amina recognized that, in order for her to focus completely on the strategic growth of the organization, she must build a senior leadership team that she can delegate more operational and programmatic tasks to. Expanding programming and services in other communities will mean that more people in Palawan will have access to sexual health information, contraceptives and maternal health services.

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To maximize impact in the communities that she works in, Amina believes that reproductive health services must absolutely be community-based. Identifying and training local women leaders as Community Health Advocates is one way of ensuring the sustainability of their programs. When the time comes that Roots of Health is no longer needed in a certain community, the CHAs remaining will be able to continue to share knowledge and services with the rest of their community. These same women are also left feeling confident as a result of the knowledge and skills that ROH has empowered them with. Additionally, in order for young people to engage in safe sexual practices, contraceptives must be accessible and affordable. Otherwise, as Roots of Health has seen, even if teenagers are taught otherwise inside the classroom, they will continue practicing unsafe sex if contraceptives are not readily available to them. Amina recognizes this reality but still hopes that increased sexual education will eventually lead to changed behaviors amongst students and community members. In order to gain the support of local government officials and access to new communities and schools in Palawan, Amina recognizes that ROH must first and foremost gain the trust from the communities they serve. As someone with deep roots in the Philippines, she has managed to create sustainable and effective programs that the communities want and need. Suneeta said, She comes to these communities not just as an outsider – someone who is coming and saying, ‘let me tell you how things should be done.’ Instead, she comes in as a member of the community, as a mother herself, as a wife herself, as an advocate and a real sort of pioneer in this field herself, and brings all of that energy and that empathy and that motivation to her work every day. This passion is evident in the work she has done to make Roots of Health the organization it is today. While finding her successor will prove to be a difficult task, Amina’s determination to grow the organization and empower her staff by sharing resources and delegating responsibilities is many steps in the right direction towards improving reproductive services and maternal health in the Philippines.

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A CASE STUDY ON JACQUELINE MATHAGA Introduction Jacqueline Mathaga—or Jaki as she prefers—grew up in a town outside of Nairobi in a household that supported her outspoken disposition and early conviction for gender parity. “I clearly remember being allowed this freedom to be vocal and loud, and to speak what was on my mind and to change my mind if I wanted to,” she recalls. “I [was not] boxed into a traditional role that girls could do this or couldn’t do that…my dad taught me very early that I could do whatever it is that I wanted, I could be who I wanted, I could—there was basically no limit.” Growing up in a family with four brothers, Jaki constantly questioned her mother when she was asked to stay inside the house to mop the kitchen floor while her brothers were allowed to climb trees outside. When asked to do household chores Jaki demanded, “Why can’t they do it as well?” However, while both parents “indulged” her outspokenness, her mother was keen on protecting her daughter’s reputation within the community. “There’s always this consciousness that your family does not live in isolation—that you interact with other community members and that you’re not alone,” said Jaki. While her parents encouraged her education and supported her career, outside of the household, her family was well aware of the cultural constraints that existed for girls as well as the patriarchal nature of their community and country. Her outspokenness as a child stayed with her as she has climbed the career ladder. “Because I was indulged at home and could voice and be vocal, it allowed me this confidence to be vocal outside,” said Jaki. “If something needed speaking up, I could speak up and not be afraid. I’ve seen other cases where, because a girl has not been allowed to speak up in her home, she does not, even though she has a very important thing to say.” This confidence has allowed Jaki to leave companies where she thought she was not getting paid or valued as much as she should. At a former job, upon realizing that her male colleague’s housing allowance was equal to her entire monthly pay, she left the organization to pursue a job that would allow her to earn as much as her male counterpart. “People limit you. And they place you at a certain place, and if you don’t pick up on the triggers to move, you’re going to be stuck in the same position forever.” Her ambitious nature and drive to grow professionally has led her to pursue new opportunities when faced with a glass ceiling at work. “I would try to move the ceiling, and if I could not,

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I would find an employer whose ceiling was placed higher than the previous one.” As such, Jaki has steadily risen in rank since her university days. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Natal in South Africa and Master of Public Administration from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, Jaki worked in fundraising and communication positions for various nonprofits in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. For a while Jaki tried, unsuccessfully, to secure a job within the government. “There is this view that to get a government job you need to know someone; and I don’t know anyone,” she said. “I have always gotten my jobs on merit….my CV speaks for itself.” As such, she ended up at the KTDA Foundation (KTDA), a management services agency that supports small scale famers in their production, processing and marketing of high quality tea in Kenya, where she has played an influential role in building the organization from the ground up. Jaki is currently the Foundations Manager at the KTDA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the KTDA. In this role, Jaki is primarily responsible for fundraising for welfare programs for smallholder tea farmers and their families. Jaki applied to the VVLead Fellowship program at a time when she felt isolated as a woman in a top management position. She was seeking a space where she could talk to and seek advice from other women about work. She also wanted to make a difference, but did not know at the time how to go about doing so considering the monetary and time constraints she faces as a single mother. “The Fellowship has been filling my need to constantly learn and network,” said Jaki. “This is where I have also developed the courage to work more on my personal passion – autism.” Vehicle for Change Although Jaki has proven to be a successful fundraiser and manager at the KTDA Foundation, her true passion lies in autism. Her son Jayden was diagnosed with autism at the age of five, and since then Jaki has become an outspoken advocate for children and their parents affected by autism. Her dream is to ensure that all autistic children in Kenya have access to the therapies and services they need to reach their full potential and to be a resource for other mothers and parents with special needs children. Autism is still a relatively taboo and unknown topic in Kenyan culture. In Kenya, there are no reliable statistics on how many children live with autism. Still, the Autism Support Center in Kenya reports that children with autism are treated as outcasts and are beaten, hidden away or killed, as they

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are often associated with evil spirits, punishment from God or products of witchcraft. 17 As a result, many children are misdiagnosed and do not receive the proper education or therapy services that they need to function properly in society. Jaki’s first encounter with the word autism was when her son was in pre-school. Jaki had grown increasingly worried that her son Jayden was not speaking at the age of five. None of his pediatricians were able to provide any explanations or diagnoses for his delayed development, so Jaki turned to the Internet to seek answers. Still, no one was able to properly diagnosis her son until a visiting educational psychologist from Swaziland spoke at her parents’ church and offered free one-on-one sessions with children in the community. It was here that her son was officially labeled as autistic. In the town outside of Nairobi—Athi River—where Jaki and her son reside, there are no special needs schools. To provide her son with a proper education, Jaki started sending Jayden to a special needs school in Nairobi—a two hour journey each way—until she realized her son was being beaten by his teachers. The other special needs schools in Nairobi, she said, were unaffordable. As a result, Jaki was forced to send her son to a school where no special facilities were offered and pay for independent speech and occupational therapy services. It was during this time that Jaki first started to wonder what other parents were doing, especially those living with lesser means than her. Resources for autistic children are scarce and too expensive for most parents in Kenya. Jaki has since become an outspoken member of the Kenya Autism Alliance (KAA), a Facebook group of 785 members made up of Kenyan parents who seek and provide support and information to one another. Currently, Jaki serves as the President of the KAA. “I chose her to be the President because she’s got the drive and the zeal to see changes happen in Kenya,” said KAA Founder Cyndy Langat. As one of the most passionate members of KAA, Jaki has made it a priority to share information about available events, therapies and treatments with other parents. The online platform is also a place where parents can post their personal experience and ask questions related to their child’s behavior or specific therapies. Founded in 2011, Jaki and Cyndy worked together to draft the goals and objectives for the KAA and are currently in the process of registering the Alliance with the Kenyan government. Once registered inside the country, the Alliance will be eligible to receive outside funding. 17

Autism Support Center (Kenya). Web. 22 July 2015: http://www.autismcenterkenya.or.ke/.

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Providing access to resources and information is a priority for Jaki. Ever the organizer, she has the desire to expand the support that KAA can offer other parents. “What I’m really interested in [creating] is a one-stop shop for parents,” said Jaki. Regardless of where you come from you’ll be able to access information. Whether you think your child is just being odd and you need to know where you can get a diagnosis. Or, you’ve gotten a diagnosis and are struggling with access to school or access to therapy…. I’d like to be that one place where parents can come. Having personally experienced the financial burden of providing the proper therapies to her son, Jaki is determined to make these resources more affordable and accessible in her community. “The poor are ignored,” said Cyndy when asked about lack of services in Kenya. “Those kids are very brilliant only if they are encouraged and empowered and if they are given a chance.” This is why the KAA is intent on creating a resource center that parents can go to seek information and receiving screenings for their children. It is the Alliance’s hope that the government will eventually subsidize some of these services so that treatment is more affordable for Kenyans. Challenges and Needs as a Leader One of Jaki’s biggest challenges is securing enough funding so that she can leave the KTDA Foundation and work on autism issues full time. As such, one of her short-term goals is to develop a fundraising or business plan that would allow her to support herself and her son if she were to quit her full-time job. The lack of cultural awareness surrounding autism in Kenya is a major impediment to Jaki’s efforts. “In Africa, people don’t understand autism,” said VVLead fellow Tamala Chirwa. “People have started talking about it but they don’t really get it.” As such, mobilizing a strong force of people to rally around this issue has proved difficult for Jaki. During Autism Awareness Month this past April, Jaki focused on creating messaging that was more than just “telling the community and country that autism exists,” she said, but rather, for parents to realize how important it is to start speaking out. “In Nairobi, I guess everybody sort of minds their own business and we have to do quite a lot of work [to make] sure parents come out and advocate for themselves and for their kids.” While Jaki used social media to get the message out to other parents about Light It up Blue Day on April 2nd, unfortunately, the advocacy campaign drew little attention in Nairobi. While Jaki now seeks to increase awareness all year round—

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not just in April—she feels the day was not a total failure, “I got my family to wear blue…I got a couple workmates to wear blue. That for me is very brave because I rarely talk about my son.” Jaki is determined to utilize various media outlets to increase communication. However, with limited funds, she is often resigned to organizing activities and awareness on a shoestring budget. Currently at a crossroads, what Jaki is noticeably missing is a mentor. Someone, she says, that has left her day job to start something from the ground up and can provide guidance for how Jaki can pursue her advocacy efforts fulltime. 18 In the evenings, once she has returned from work and spent time with her son, Jaki then turns her attention to her work with the KAA to engage with other parents in the autism community to answer their questions and be a source of information and resources. Balancing her day job and responsibilities as a mother and the work she does with the KAA has been a challenge. “If it was only about my day job then I wouldn’t be having a struggle,” said Jaki. “But it is just trying to fit everything else into my day and finding the right time without necessarily taking time away from the things that are important to me like my son.” So far, Jaki has been able to mobilize a strong support system on the KAA; however, she is steadfast on garnering more awareness and support outside of this online platform, especially for those parents that cannot readily access the Internet. Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Connect Jaki was accepted into the VVLead Fellowship program in January 2014 and has since attended two in-person trainings—a South-South Exchange in South Africa and a Documentarian Project workshop in Tanzania. The skills she has made from the online courses and the connections she has made throughout the fellowship have been the most useful to her work with the KAA as well as influential to her decision to pursue autism work full-time. Besides the peer mentor relationship that has been facilitated by VVLead, Jaki has developed a strong relationship with Tamala Chirwa, a VVLead fellow from Malawi. Tamala, a Professional Coach, reached out to fellows living in Kenya to offer pro bono coaching services, and has since been working

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Through the VVLead Fellowship, Jaki has recently been paired with Luz Amuchastegui, a VVLead Fellow from Argentina who left her corporate job with General Motors to work for El Desafio Foundation, a NGO that provides innovative social programs for Argentinean youth. Through the Peer Mentor program, Jaki and Luz will consult and provide advice on how to handle professional challenges.

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with Jaki one-on-one to help her define her goals. “She wants to be meaningful,” said Tamala. “She wants to be seen as someone who wants to play a significant and meaningful role in raising awareness of autism, and doing something about addressing it in Kenya.” As her coach, Tamala encourages Jaki to stay committed to the goals she has set for herself, despite the cultural challenges that she is confronted with. Tamala describes Jaki as a purposeful individual, someone who is seen as headstrong and levelheaded. “She’s headstrong [because] she seems to have her vision fixed on the autism work,” said Tamala. “And she is someone who remains steadfast on her path to get to where she wants.” One thing Tamala has been working with Jaki on is setting a firm deadline for when she will quit her day job and pursue autism work full time. What seems to hold her back, Tamala notes, is the reality of being the sole breadwinner for an autistic child. Together, they have discussed options for Jaki— such as securing a higher paying job in the interim period, so that she can save enough money for her to be able to quit her day job and work on autism issues full-time in the future. Financing her passion is a source of anxiety for Jaki: “I know that I want to work full time on autism. I still want to commit to it 100 percent, but I have not figured out how my bills will be paid.” Besides Tamala, other VVLead fellows have also encouraged Jaki to “just get on with it” and make her dream a reality. Regarding the role that the VVLead Fellowship plays in supporting her passion, she says, I have always known I was destined for more; meant for more responsibility; meant to change the world in some way. Starting the VVLead Fellowship Program crystallized my thinking and affirmed my desire to do more. I know what I want to do: change life for mothers of children on the autism spectrum; change how autism is viewed in Kenya. The fellowship is now equipping me with tools to not only do my day work better, but tools that are helping me better define my dream and plan for the future. The South-South Exchange (SSE) in South Africa was also the first time that Jaki was able to verbalize her passion in front of a wide audience, and the place where she was first held accountable by others for her goals. Jaki recalls a moment five months after the SSE when she was introducing herself to her peers at the Documentarian workshop in Tanzania, many of whom also attended the SSE. After describing what she does at the KTDA Foundation, a fellow approached her afterward and said, “How dare you! You’ve

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got five seconds to tell people what your passion is, and you go telling us about your day job?” Since then, Jaki has been working up the courage to speak up more about her passion for autism and take advantage of networking events. Jaki is determined to have something tangible to report back to the entire group at the 2015 South-South Exchange. “If I’m going to open my mouth at the end of the year, I better have [KAA] registered. Nobody has ever kicked me into action like that…which for me is awesome.” While at the South-South Exchange, Jaki connected with Rashmi Tiwari, a 2013 VVLead fellow from India. After sharing what she does with the KAA, Rashmi connected Jaki with someone in India, who later connected Jaki to Kimberly Amos, who works for a US-based autism organization – Elim Christian Services. Currently Jaki and Kim are exploring ways to collaborate together to design an individualized curriculum for Jaki’s son Jayden. “She’s passionate about not only putting a great program in place for her son but sharing her resources and information with other parents,” said Kimberly. With the guidance of Elim, Jaki’s hope is to solidify an educational model for her son that can then be shared with other parents. “If the school model works, then we can get another child to join, and then another one. And eventually, have a center going,” said Jaki. Learn Participating in the online courses has also been a source of motivation and accountability for Jaki. While Jaki had prior experience working on strategic planning for the KTDA Foundation, participating in VVLead’s Strategic Planning course gave her the first opportunity to design one for her life. “It allowed me for the first time ever to articulate all the thoughts that I had about wanting to do something for autism in Kenya,” said Jaki. “It allowed me to put it on paper and say, this is my vision; this is what I want to do.” Jaki has since been able to apply the knowledge and tools she has learned from the Strategic Planning course to her work with the Kenya Autism Alliance. The KAA now has a vision, a mission and a list of core values. “I know where it is that we need to go, what sort of issues I need to be thinking about right now,” said Jaki. “If it was left to a consultant that would have cost us money that we don’t have. So being able to do this for the Kenya Autism Alliance with the knowledge that I’ve got is, for me, really a benefit.” Jaki says that the strategic planning that her and the others have done for the KAA have also

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led to the drafting of a registration document for the group – an important first step in formalizing the group, and thus, garnering more buy-in from other parents. Collaborate Jaki met Israeli VVLead fellow Liron Peleg Hadomi during her first year in the Program while sharing her work about the Kenya Autism Alliance with other fellows on the D2L platform. The two connected and continued their conversations via Facebook, where Jaki learned about Israel’s advocacy campaigns for autistic children. The two women came up with the idea for a Learning Exchange that they then presented during the South-South Exchange in November 2014. The idea received much enthusiasm and interest from other fellows, and Jaki has been working with Liron ever since to plan a Learning Exchange in Israel. Regarding her vision for this collaborative effort, Jaki notes, Even though my interest is in autism…other people have other interests. There were fellows who were interested in seeing what happens in economic empowerment and what women in Israel [are] doing about the environment. So the idea was to have a bunch of us actually do a Learning Exchange in Israel and connect with different organizations. And then just learn from them. And then hopefully these women can come to our various countries where we work and then learn from us as well. Jaki plans to travel to Israel in July to meet with Liron speak with other autism organizations. Eventually, she would like to set up a Learning Exchange model that would allow Kenyan parents with autistic children to visit other parents in different countries to learn about what new therapies and services are available. Unexpected Outcomes VVLead has been a source of accountability, support and motivation for Jaki. She admits that now when she says she is going to do something she actually follows through. “Being in the midst of all these women makes me want to do better, not only in my day job but…it makes me want to do better with this dream that I have for autism. It makes me actually want to be better.” After talking with Tamala about taking her work with the KAA to the next level, Jaki took the initiative to host an in-person meeting for parents in her community. While only ten parents attended the first session, Jaki remains optimistic, as just getting Kenyan parents to take their conversations off-line and talk to one another about what issues they face is a big step for these parents in her country.

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Being part of an all-women’s network has also dispelled many stereotypes about female leaders that Jaki previously held. Before VVLead, Jaki felt that other women were unwilling to provide advice and offer guidance as she climbed the career ladder. Coming into VVLead, Jaki did not know what role she wanted to play with the KAA, or even how she should go about working on autism issues full time. Through the strong bonds she has forged with other fellows through her participation in the SSE, Documentarian Project and online platform, Jaki has received guidance, support and encouragement to make her dream a reality. Whereas before she felt like she could not pursue her passion for autism until retirement, she now feels a sense of urgency. “So now that I know what I am going to do, I am taking steps so it’s going to get done,” said Jaki. “I’ve got women on the VVLead platform that are keeping me accountable and checking back with me regarding where I am in my process.” Similarly, Jaki’s global network has expanded as a result of her participation in the Program and the connections she has made with other fellows. Outside of VVLead, people have not been as gracious with sharing their contacts with her. “People rarely give you their network because they know you’ll tap into them and there will be less resources for them.” However, within VVLead, Jaki has experienced the opposite. Most fellows she meets have happily introduced her to various contacts, as was evident with the Elim connection that was facilitated by Rashmi after the South-South Exchange. Not only is she now connected virtually with 329 other fellows around the globe, but she now has access to their connections and resources. Jaki is determined to share these resources and knowledge with other members in her community, especially the autism community in Kenya. Her desire to organize a Learning Exchange for parents in Kenya demonstrates her leadership tendencies and commitment to resource and knowledge sharing with others. Conclusion For now, Jaki’s days are divided between her day job and her personal life. While at KTDA, she is fully devoted and committed to the work, but when she gets home she puts her energies towards her son’s development and the KAA. Besides reaching a point where she believes her son Jayden is getting the best education and services he needs, Jaki is determined to create learning exchanges for other parents in Kenya. On a macro level, Jaki hopes that societal and institutional attitudes towards autism will change in Kenya. “Mothers are trying to figure out how to get the best life as possible for their children with a development disorder that is so confusing, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Jaki.

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Eventually, Jaki hopes she can devote all her time to helping these parents and communities that are in some way affected by autism. “Vital Voices was the first place I spoke my dream out loud and it is where I have started working on actualizing it,” said Jaki. “It is where I am meeting women who tell me—it does not matter how difficult or impossible it looks, it can be done.”

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A CASE STUDY ON JAWIDA MANSOUR Background Jawida was born into a poor Muslim family in a small Palestinian village. In her culture, the focus is on educating boys, whereas girls are expected to get married around the age of 15. Jawida grew up feeling very different from other girls in her village, who were more interested in thinking about boys and marriage than getting an education. An independent thinker and learner, Jawida did not aspire to become a housewife; instead she focused on her studies, proving to her parents how important receiving an education was to her. When Jawida was 17 years old she received a marriage proposal. By accepting this proposal, Jawida would lose the chance of furthering her education and developing a career. Demonstrating her utter aversion to the idea of marriage, Jawida threatened her parents that she would commit suicide if she was forced to marry and could not continue with her education. Fearing Jawida’s threat of suicide, her father consented to let Jawida continue to further her studies and agreed to pay her tuition fees for university, contingent upon her receiving high marks. While Jawida’s father supported her in her education until he passed away three years ago, Jawida’s mother did not feel the same way, as she was more traditional in her thinking and believed that Jawida should follow the path of other girls in her community. Jawida did not do well her first year at Birzeit University in Ramallah, Palestine, as she had trouble adjusting to living on her own in a new place. Since her grades were suffering, Jawida’s father told her that he would no longer pay for her education. She began to search for jobs to support herself though school and applied for a scholarship through an organization called Rescuing the Poor Families. Fearing she would not receive the scholarship and feeling very down on herself for not doing well in school, Jawida was ready to pack up and head home. Just as she felt that she was losing everything, Jawida received the news that she had won the scholarship. Typically, the scholarship was only offered for one semester, but the funder, who was a Palestinian businessman based in the U.S., took interest in supporting Jawida’s education. His mother had recently passed away, and within the Islamic tradition,

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there is a custom where the soul of one’s mother is honored through acts of kindness. 19 Consequently, he decided to fund the rest of Jawida’s university education. Though they never met and only communicated through letters, receiving this man’s help to fund her education was a milestone in Jawida’s life, as it served as an inspiration to her to help other girls continue their education. After she finished university, where Jawida received a degree in architectural engineering and a minor in business administration, Jawida worked for two and a half years in the private sector in Palestine as an architect and supervisor. In her position, Jawida experienced a great amount of discrimination by her male co-workers. Jawida explained that in Palestine, male engineers are trusted more than females and Jawida was often given administrative tasks that had nothing to do with her position. Due to the discrimination that she faced as a female, Jawida decided that she would not be able to grow in her career within the private sector, as her company would most likely keep her in a lowmanagement position rather than become a decision-maker, which was her goal. Jawida felt that the way to achieve her dream of helping others would be to work in the social service sector and so she decided to begin working for a non-governmental organization (NGO), the Lutheran World Service, in 2007. The Lutheran World Service works with local partners in countries around the world to find sustainable solutions to poverty and injustice. At the Lutheran World Service, Jawida was a trainer for students aged sixteen to twenty-five who wanted to start their own businesses. Jawida utilized her educational background in business administration in order to inform her work. She developed a curriculum and her own manual for small and medium enterprises to use in her trainings. In her work, Jawida focused on helping girls in their professional lives by convincing them to stay in the training and develop their education, rather than leaving to get married. In 2014, Jawida decided to leave her job at the Lutheran World Service due to disagreements with her boss, who she says was very dominating, as well as the fact that she felt if she stayed at the organization, she would never move up to a higher position from being a trainer. Jawida’s long-time friend from university, Rasha Qutteneh, who was interviewed for this case study, explains that Jawida

19

Khan, Muhammad M. The Translation of the Meanings of Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari. Chicago: Kazi Pubns Inc. 1995.

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had a frustrating time working at the Lutheran World Service, first because she was the only female trainer who did not garner the same respect as her male co-workers, and also because she had a difficult relationship with the head of her department. While Jawida wanted to use new and innovative tools in her training, her boss wanted to use typical training methods. Rasha says, “Jawida struggled a lot during the time I worked with her, still she didn’t give up. I believe I will read about her one day in newspapers as a role model for all women in Palestine.” Due to her experiences at both the architecture firm and the Lutheran World Service, Jawida learned a lot about herself and developed her goal to one day lead her own organization. Regarding these two experiences she states, “They let me know who I am and what I want to be in this life.” After leaving her job, Jawida went oversees to volunteer to teach orphans Arabic in Morocco. Though there were difficult aspects to volunteering in another country, the experience ignited her interest in working with children, who she feels are our future. When she returned to Palestine, Jawida acquired a position for the Family Strengthening Program of the SOS Children’s Village, which aids families in raising their children to become economically independent. This position allowed Jawida to utilize the skills that she had acquired previously as a trainer for The Lutheran World Service, as a volunteer at a children’s orphanage in Morocco, as well as her knowledge of economic development. Though Jawida states that this position allowed her to “achieve all of her dreams in one,” three months into the job, she was accepted into the three month long Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Fellowship called Leaders for Democracy, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Jawida felt that she should not miss out on the chance to take part in this fellowship program, which offered her important networking opportunities in Washington D.C., courses at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, the opportunity to gain experience working with an organization that implements programs in the MENA region, as well as write a white paper with her recommendations for the organization’s programs in the West Bank. Challenges and Needs as a Leader Jawida began to view herself as a leader one year ago when she gained the courage to leave her job at the Lutheran World Service and pursue the higher level work that she knows that she can attain. Jawida’s friend Rasha states,

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She’s a creative person. She wants all the time to do her best, to do something good for the community, to do something good with her life, to have a better career. She always dreams of a better life, a better way of living. I see that she has the potential. Rasha highlights that Jawida is very different from others in her village in the way that she thinks and her goal to do something bigger with her life. Rasha also emphasizes Jawida’s confidence, particularly in sharing her ideas with others or trying something new. Rasha says, “I feel she doesn’t fear to do something for the first time, no she goes for it.” Apart from taking the initiative to follow her goals, Jawida began to feel like a leader because she went from thinking about herself to focusing on her community in Palestine and its needs. Jawida’s goal for the future is to develop a women’s education center in Palestine that works to further women’s education and public participation in the country. In order to achieve this goal, Jawida needs financial management knowledge, which she is currently building through an online course. Further, she feels that she needs to gain negotiation skills in order to navigate the cultural landscape in Palestine, which does not avidly support women’s education. Moreover, Jawida needs encouragement to help her achieve her goals despite the adversity that she might face, particularly through the support of her community. Finally, Jawida needs mentorship in order to be connected with others who are doing similar work in another country and can help her to navigate her project going forward. In this vein, having the support and guidance of women in the VVLead network is very beneficial. One of Jawida’s challenges is motivating others, such as her community members or the youth she has worked with, to become interested in her ideas and galvanizing them to want to enact change in their own lives and the lives of others. Jawida is working on this challenge by reading books on psychology, particularly for teenagers, to provide her with guidelines on how to reach youth and work with them on motivation. Jawida cites that one of her biggest accomplishments so far in her life was making an impact on the lives of her trainees at the Lutheran World Service – some of whom had previously been addicted to drugs – who recently reached out to her and told her that they were affected and changed because of her, learning to be proud of themselves and confident to talk with others. Bilal Hir, Jawida’s former colleague at the Lutheran World Service interviewed for this case study states, “Jawida was a hardworking girl and I noticed that she was always keen to change herself to be better.” Bilal’s comment is evidence of Jawida’s perseverance to continue to develop herself both

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personally and professionally through the programs and fellowship opportunities in which she has taken part. Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Jawida learned about VVLead through a listing of opportunities on Facebook. She applied to the 2014 cohort because she felt that there were a lot of great women who were a part of the fellowship and wanted to learn from them. Through VVLead, Jawida has gained more confidence in her goal to empower the lives of young Palestinian women through education. Actually I never had this type of confidence that I’m doing things for my community, but when I met [the other fellows] in the conference at the South-South Exchange Program, it gave me that, Yeah, I’m doing good things for my community and I can also develop that and enlarge that. Further, though her interactions with other fellows, Jawida recognized the need to directly involve her community in her work. When I reflect on my VVLead experience is I think of the African proverb, ‘if you want to go quickly, go alone and if you want to go farther, go together.’ So I felt that being in this atmosphere of [other women] gave me the knowledge and courage to involve my community in what I’m doing so we can move forward and achieve what we want. Moreover, through the online 2014 Strategic Communications course, Jawida learned how to create effective communications materials to market her future women’s education center and write about her work. In addition, through her interactions with other fellows both online and at in-person trainings, Jawida has refined her networking skills and learned how to approach and communicate with others. This has opened her up to other people doing similar work and allowed her to gain new insights and perspectives on her plans. Through her connections with VVLead fellow Riham Helmy from Egypt and Shareefa Fadhel from Qatar, Jawida has decided to focus her future efforts on training young women in higher management skills so that they can be leaders in their respective organizations. At each step of your life you will find somebody, like in Vital Voices, I met a lot of girls who are so powerful that they are inspiring to you…When you feel that there are lots of people who are concerned about areas in the world that are different from their country, you become…you will have wings to fly and think widely about your situation you will not just think that in Palestine

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we are sacrificing and we are victims, but that we can also do things for people in other countries. They can help us and we can help them so there can be collaboration between each other. Jawida finds that VVLead is different from other leadership programs that she has participated in due to the fact that it is focused on women and each cohort is extremely diverse in regards to both regions and countries. “It develops you (your character) a lot when you hear about women who are struggling for something that is the basics of life…when you hear about the struggle that women do in those countries, it gives you strength to do better for your community.” Furthermore, Jawida likes that the program is holistic and takes fellows through the full process of building their business or organization. Rather than only focusing on one area such as business acumen or communications skills, the online and in-person curriculum allows fellows to develop knowledge and skills holistically in order to grow both personally and professionally. Though Jawida does not cite any negative aspects of the VVLead Fellowship Program, she does mention that at times, it can be difficult for her to be in the fellowship alongside other women who are younger, successful and confident, as she wishes that she had that same courage when she was younger. At the same time, she really likes that VVLead does not have an age limit. She states, What is nice about VVLead is they connect girls not in the same age, not in the same page and they put them together in the same pool or the same page…I think that you are young in your heart regardless of your face or your age as long as you can do something for your community. I think it’s a very positive thing for Vital Voices. In addition, when she initially applied, Jawida was nervous about the online aspect of the program, as she had never taken an online course and was not sure how to connect with the other fellows and trainers online. She feels that she gained the maximum benefit of the program when she attended the 2014 South-South Exchange Program in Johannesburg, South Africa and was able to meet other fellows face to face and connect them with their stories. Discussion This case study would benefit from further research in two years in order to evaluate if Jawida has attained her goals that are elicited in this research, specifically, gaining the knowledge and skills that

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she needs to build a women’s education center in Palestine and following through on creating this organization. Conclusion Education has been of central importance to Jawida since she was a young girl and she has carried this value with her throughout her career, inspiring other women to receive an education and better their lives. Through the VVLead Fellowship Program, Jawida has gained confidence in herself and her goals, developed a network of diverse women around the world that can support her in her work, and has gained concrete networking and communications tools that will benefit her as she moves forward. Due to her experience in VVLead, Jawida is now empowered to follow her dream of becoming the leader of her own organization in order to have an even greater impact on women and girls in Palestine through the power of education.

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A CASE STUDY ON JAYOUNG NAPHTALIE MARGARET OTIENO Introduction and Background Given a Korean name by a Congolese mother and a Kenyan father, Jayoung Naphtalie Margaret Otieno was born a child of missionaries in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Even at an early age, Jayoung was influenced by individuals from all over the world. Her mother served as chair of the Tanzania Chapter of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, and because of this, Jayoung was exposed to powerful women leaders whose life work was to improve the lives of the people in their communities and the world. The beginning of Jayoung’s academic career was “nomadic.” She was in and out of schools, traveling to different regions and different countries with her family of philanthropists. One of the greatest challenges, described by Jayoung as “most traumatic,” was transferring to a school in Tanzania where the curriculum was taught solely in Swahili. Only speaking English, it was undoubtedly difficult for the young academic to participate in the lessons. However, this adversity would soon be overcome by Jayoung’s perseverance to succeed. A mentionable moment in the development of her academic career occurred on a day in the class room when the teacher called out the class rankings. As the rankings were read in ascending order, Jayoung’s name was called “first from the tail.” In her naivety, Jayoung was “thrilled” about her ranking; that is until the other students began to laugh at her. In her own words, “That’s the day I determined whatever happens to me, I will always do my best, and I will not give them a chance to laugh.” From then on, Jayoung focused all of her energy into succeeding academically. In fact, exactly one year later, Jayoung was ranked third out of her classmates. After digesting the news, Jayoung ran home crying tears of pride to the arms of her mother. Jayoung credits her academic success, and especially this first experience of achievement, to her parents for insisting that she be placed in the same education level as the other children her age. Her mother once declared, “She [Jayoung] will shock you someday.” Her mother could not have been more correct in her prediction. Upon rising to the high school academic spectrum, Jayoung attended Karen “C” Secondary school in Kenya with a full scholarship. She notes that it was during her high school years that she came to fully realize her leadership potential. Jayoung was made class representative in her first year without any contestation from her class or school officials. Not only was she the class representative, Jayoung

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participated in every leadership opportunity that the school offered including: Secretary of the Christian Union, Assistant Laboratory/Library School Captain, Member of the Math and Science Club, Karen “C” Secondary Public Speaking Representative, Chair of the Girl Power Club, and Female School Captain. Early Influences and Milestones In her junior year of secondary school, Jayoung found herself chair of the Girl Power Club. This organization was founded with the purpose of creating a women’s leadership program that encourages young girls in the community to become agents of positive change through culture, art and dance. Jayoung initially joined the organization as an active way to stay out of trouble during her free-time after school. However, it is through the Girl Power Club that Jayoung was introduced to mentoring and the spark was struck to a future of helping young boys and girls overcome their individual life adversities in a meaningful and positive way. After graduating secondary school, students in Kenya are expected to take the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam in order to gain acceptance to university. The results of this test take approximately three months to receive, and during this time, many students find themselves getting into trouble. Instead of following her peers into boredom induced misfortune, Jayoung continued to gain experience as a volunteer with Girl Power Clubs Africa at Sadili Oval Sports Academy where she became involved in mentoring and training programs. It is during her time at Sadili that Jayoung received devastating news. Her KSCE exam results were delayed due to a misunderstanding attributed to her admittedly long name. With this impediment, Jayoung’s admission into university was significantly delayed. During this time, Dr. Elizabeth Odera, Founder of the Girl Power Club and Executive Director of Sadili Oval Sports Academy, invited 18-year-old Jayoung to become a member of their full-time staff. Jayoung happily obliged and became the Program and Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant. In a recent reflection of her post-KSCE troubles, Jayoung reached out to a former teacher who noted, “Now I know why you did not pass your exams as expected or you hoped, and I thank God for that. Otherwise you won’t be … challenging these girls.” It is through this deeper contemplation that Jayoung began to appreciate the impact of her serendipitous circumstances.

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Community Context Sadili Oval Sports Academy strives to promote education and life skills to the adolescent population of Nairobi’s slum communities. In a country where 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, Sadili is an oasis for children in need. 20 Not only does the organization provide food and clothing for the children, but it also provides mentoring services and life skills trainings in schools around the community. 21 The dispersal of information regarding reproductive health and safe sex is imperative in Kenya where the contraceptive prevalence rate is only 45.5 percent, compared to the 84 and 76.4 ratings of the United Kingdom 22 and the United States, 23 respectively. In Kenya, average age of a mother at the time of the birth of her first child in Kenya is 19.8 years old. This is more than 5 years younger than the average age of first-time mothers in both the United Kingdom and the United States. 24 Research has shown that with the implementation of policies and programs that encourage young girls to achieve in both academics and employment reduce the chances of early sexual debut. 25 Furthermore, participation in large-group secular activities, like Sadili Oval Sports Academy, has been proven to act as a preventative against substance abuse, risky sexual activity, and school drop-outs because of the presence of positive role models and strong social networks. 26 With the help of strong, women mentors, the young girls who have spent their entire lives living in the slums are given a glimpse of a better future. Because of women like Jayoung, the young girls can imagine themselves as a strong, successful community leader, academic, and global role model.

20

“Kenya.” CIA World Fact Book. Central Intelligence Agency. Web. 24 June 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ke.html. 21 “The Power of Sports.” Sadili. Web. 26 June 2015. http://www.sadili.com. 22 “United Kingdom.” CIA World Fact Book. Central Intelligence Agency. Web. 25 June 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/uk.html. 23 “United States.” CIA World Fact Book. Central Intelligence Agency. Web. 25 June 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html. 24 ibid. 25 Marston, Milly, Donatien Beguy, Caroline Kabiru and John Cleland. “2013 Sexual Debut Among Young Adolescents in Nairobi.” International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 39.1 (2013): 22-31. 26 ibid.

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Vehicle for Change An issue that Jayoung has encountered throughout her work as a mentor is observing the difficulty that women mentors—that are decades older than their mentees—have in forming deep and meaningful connections with the girls. At 22-years- old, Jayoung has a unique opportunity to influence the young women. Jayoung noticed that she is better able to have conversations from which the girls can learn, and most importantly, adhere, in contrast to her decades older co-workers. She stated, I realized that young people connect to other young people better, as opposed to people who are way older than them. … So it becomes very easy for them to relate to me, or of course, anyone else. … It’s a direct challenge to them because if you're going to talk to them about leadership, if you're going to talk to them about reproductive health and they see you understand these issues, then for them it's like if so-and-so can do it, I have no excuse. With wisdom beyond her years, Jayoung successfully educates young women on taboo topics. Because the women not only respect Jayoung, but see her as a peer, she is better able to communicate the important messages of safe sex and life skills that otherwise would not have any effect. Not only does her age influence her work, Jayoung also utilizes her own stories of personal adversity to connect with her mentees. This is especially important when considering that the majority of the 1,300 girls from 37 schools that Sadili had impacted in 2014 had grown up in the Kibera slums outside of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. 27 In her own words, If you have one or two things in common that you tell them, I know what it feels to be hungry or sleep hungry; I know what it means to come to school and everyone has a better snack than yourself, you have a better sweater or uniform but someone has better for everything. I know how it feels if your house has been locked up because you didn’t pay up. Then they sort of identify to you. By incorporating her own anecdotes of personal struggle into her mentoring, the girls find a peer that they can relate to, and thus are more likely to lead a positive outlook on the messages adults provide. 28

27

“The Power of Sports.” Sadili. Accessed 26 June 2016. http://www.sadili.com. Rhodes, Jean E., Renee Spencer, Thomas E. Keller, Belle Liang, and Gil Noam. “A Model for the Influence of Mentoring Relationships on Youth Development.” Journal of Community Psychology 34.6 (2006): 691-707. 28

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As a result of these personal connections, Jayoung’s mentees see her as a role model, and strive to emulate her determination and personal strength. “I would share my side of the story, and they would realize that if I’m my own motivation, I would work towards it. … When they’re done they’ll tell me [they] want to come and volunteer the way [I] did, because [they] don’t want to waste [their] time after school, because they know that if someone has made it, why not [them too]?” In this way, Jayoung is able to influence her mentees to be the best version of themselves. Through their observations of Jayoung and her continued success, the mentees see a future where they can be strong, educated, and thriving community leaders. Jayoung has clearly had a lasting impact on her mentees. One of the young women that participated in the program decided to take it upon herself to find two additional locations to begin her own mentoring program. The girl was originally a nineteen-year-old single mother with limited future prospects or personal goals. Since mentoring with Jayoung, the young woman has decided to pursue her education in order to change the lives of others in her community. Jayoung described the young woman’s personal success, One of the girls decided to pick two other schools and she started mentoring them on her own. And it's quite a good story; she was a single mother and she was nineteen-years-old, and she decided to come back to school. […] We trained her, and she went back and did all those things. The success of this young woman exemplifies not only the impact that Jayoung is having on the lives of her mentees, but also the continued propagation of success, by way of mentorship and positive influence, which has ripple effects throughout the community. Simply stated, Jayoung is an exceptional role model for young woman in her community. She understands their struggles because she has been in their shoes, and the girls respect her all the more for it. When asked about her experience as a mentor and why she enjoys her work, she stated simply “[There is] a joy that comes with helping people and seeing them grow.” Jayoung is not only an aspiration figure for her community, but a success story. The young women that she mentors aspire to be more like Jayoung in every aspect of their lives. Jayoung does not take this responsibility lightly. She pushes herself daily to be the best version of herself, not only for her future, but for the future of her community.

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Involvement with other Organizations Not only has the Girl Power Club and Sadili Oval Sports Academy driven Jayoung’s passion for mentoring and life skills training work, but she notes that the Sadili program has provided her with invaluable practical experience in her mission to mentor youth. Along with this practical experience, Jayoung has gained international experience from the Sadili program. In December 2012, Jayoung attended the Women Win conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands on behalf of the Sadili Academy. It was at this conference where she first met representatives from Vital Voices. From that meeting, Jayoung was encouraged to apply for the VVLead Fellowship. Jayoung was later admitted into the program and became a fellow in 2013. Jayoung was also recently chosen for the Akili Dada Mentoring Fellowship after receiving encouragement from VVLead fellow Catherine Kiama. This mentorship program provides young girls in Kenya with scholarships, mentoring services, and networking resources to its fellows who have a proven interest and passion for social change. 29 The impact of the Akili Dada Fellowship Program is far reaching including over 4,000 students impacted by Akili Dada Scholar-Leaders, 200 Club Members participating in community service and mentoring, and over 15,000 community members impacted through social change initiatives in 2013 alone. 30 Her acceptance as a mentor means that Jayoung will be working with young African girls in secondary schools to share her skills and knowledge with the next generation of African leaders. This prestigious position is more than just a title; Jayoung wants to continue to mentor Africa’s brightest and most promising girls to be the best leaders that they can be so that they have the greatest effect possible on improving the lives of those in their communities. Challenges and Needs as a Leader Jayoung recently graduated from the Kenya School of Law where she was a full-time student.. She had previously struggled with the idea of placing her mentoring work on hold in order to focus her attention on her education. Ever positive, Jayoung recognized this not as a setback, but as a step along the journey to self-improvement. By improving her own life through education, Jayoung hopes to inspire young girls to do the same. Jayoung is also beginning to expand her interests into the areas of social and 29

Akili Dada. “Fellowship Program: About the Fellowship.” Akili Dada. Web. 8 July 2015. http://www.akilidada.org/fellowship/. 30 ibid.

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gender justice. This has been facilitated by her experience with the Kenyan Constitution through her paralegal studies training. Inspired, Jayoung now dreams of pursuing a future in law. Furthermore, Jayoung has struggled with her personal vision as a leader, and at times has questioned if she is on the right path. “There are times where you feel you get tired and you ask yourself if you're doing the right thing. Or maybe you're doing the right thing, but are you doing it in the right way? Or addressing it using the right tools?” Jayoung’s entry into the VVLead Fellowship Program was accompanied by her employer and the founder of Sadili Oval Sports Academy Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Odera. While the inclusion of both Jayoung and Liz provided significant opportunities for them to work together to grow Sadili Sports, Jayoung felt as though she was unable to claim any of her accomplishments that she achieved as her own. Jayoung believes that by leaving Sadili and creating her own program or foundation, she will have greater freedom and confidence to accept and acknowledge her accomplishments. With her veracity for the continued betterment of her community, Jayoung has devised multiple strategies for creating change in regards to societal challenges she notices around her. While this aptitude for new endeavors goes to show Jayoung’s unique spark for community service provision, it poses a challenge when deciding where she needs to focus her time to ensure the success of the project. For example, Jayoung has exhibited interest in creating a documentary focusing on Kenyan citizen’s lack of knowledge of their constitutional rights, mentoring girls in the Maasai community, and the provision of a mentoring service for university students. In the future, Jayoung will need to decide which area of service she will focus on to achieve her personal and organizational goals. Jayoung’s greatest need at the current time is for a focus as to where she would like to apply her talents. She had vocalized this internal struggle during an interview. “There's a point where you can get and you really don't know where your life is and where your goals are.” Without a clear target, Jayoung has found it difficult to address where she would like to expend her energy. Jayoung’s involvement in the VVLead Fellowship Program has provided her with the tools she needs to establish a personal roadmap in regards to both the establishment of a mentoring program, and her own life plan. It is with the help and encouragement from the VVLead Fellowship, along with her other fellows’ support that Jayoung was able make the decision to focus on her own self-improvement with the goal of using her newly acquired knowledge to inform and inspire her mentees.

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Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Perhaps the most important asset that Jayoung was able to seize from the VVLead program, is the realization that she wants to start something for herself: “When I came for the South-South Exchange in Uganda, from the interaction I was having with other fellows, I had to sit down and really think what would I really like to do on my own.” Her inspiration was facilitated through her involvement in the VVLead Program, as well as through the encouragement and support of women in the Program that have also established their own visions. Connections Jayoung initially formed her connection with Tsitsi Dangarembga, a Zimbabwean VVLead fellow, through the online Desire to Learn (D2L) platform. A blossoming interest in documentary films is what drew Jayoung to Tsitsi, who is a novelist, filmmaker and playwright. The two women met for the first time in person at the 2013 South-South Exchange in Uganda. After the South-South Exchange, Jayoung, with the encouragement of her university friends, reached out to Tsitsi for advice about the creation of films focused on social awareness. They are currently still working together to devise a script for Jayoung’s film enterprise. Tsitsi has even connected Jayoung with individuals in her personal network to provide the young fellow with support within the African film industry. Another strong connection that Jayoung has formed as a result of being a VVLead fellow is with Angeline Makore. Jayoung and Angela also met at the South-South Exchange in Uganda. Angeline recalled in an interview, The first time I met Jayoung was a wonderful and pleasant moment. I saw a young lady just like me who was determined to make an impact on her community and the world at large. My first impression of her was that she is a person, whom against all odds, persevere[s] to achieve greatness. Angeline, who lives in Zimbabwe, stays in touch with Jayoung regularly, and the women have become accountability partners. They check in to see how each other’s classes are going, the level of involvement in the VVLead Fellowship, and to provide continued encouragement when applying to other leadership programs. The young women also serve as each other’s social support systems in times of need, or when they just feel as though they are falling behind. The women’s connection provides peer-guidance on the path to obtaining their individual life and leadership goals.

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Catherine “Kate” Kiama is a VVLead fellow living in Kenya who has encouraged Jayoung to follow her mentoring passion and apply for the Akili Dada Mentoring Fellowship, to which Jayoung was accepted. The women initially met through at the 2013 South-South Exchange, and then reconnected during the coordination of an International Women’s Day event in 2014. As an impromptu mentor, Kate has motivated Jayoung to expand her passion to support other fellows in areas for mentoring, especially those fellows with programs focused on youth. This has inspired Jayoung to continue following her passion of mentoring and to assist in the coordination and planning of activities for both alumni and current VVLead fellows in Kenya. Collaboration In March 2014, VVLead fellows Asmau Benzies-Leo and Joy Eze from Nigeria challenged Jayoung to participate in an International Women’s Day event. Upon accepting the challenge, Jayoung and VVLead fellow Isabella Ndolo collaborated to act as flag bearers in the 2014 Kenyan Mentoring Walk. This effort was supported by VVLead, but the bulk of the practical planning was reliant on the two fellows. Regarding Jayoung’s role in the International Women’s Day Event, Kate Kiama noted, “Jayoung was definitely actively involved in sending folks reminders on the venue and time, as well as helped to set up on the actual day.” This experience was new for Jayoung as she had never been a part of planning an international event, or an event of this scale. Through her work with Isabella, Jayoung learned important skills regarding the challenges of orchestrating large programs, as well as the personal reward and satisfaction when the program runs as planned. She also learned the value of sharing the workload and delegation when faced with large tasks. Because this was Jayoung’s first collaborative effort, she did not know what to expect. Through the facilitation and connections provided by the VVLead Program, Jayoung and Isabella had a positive learning experience and plan to continue their collaborative efforts in the future. VVLead’s Contribution to the Fellow’s Work The support from Jayoung’s cohort of VVLead fellows has provided her with much needed insight and wisdom into the world and work of beginning a mentoring program. Through both the online D2L platform, as well as the in-person events, the fellows’ camaraderie serves as a cornerstone to the efforts of the VVLead program. The women not only encourage and challenge each other, but they work as accountability partners, ensuring each other’s success. In this way, Jayoung has taken on roles in the

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2014 International Women’s Day Kenya Mentoring Walk, has been accepted into a mentoring fellowship, graduated university with a Diploma in Law, and has begun to strategize for the creation of her own mentoring program. All of these feats were posed as challenges to Jayoung, facilitated by, or strongly encouraged and supported by women involved in the VVLead Fellowship Program. Not only does VVLead serve in an emotional capacity, it has imparted practical skills upon Jayoung through online webinars that have drastically increased Jayoung’s professional capacity. With webinars related to strategic communications, strategic planning, and practical networking experience, Jayoung has come to realize the importance of business skills in a mentoring setting. One of the most relevant activities that Jayoung participated in with the VVLead Program was the Dream Channel. This activity encourages the fellows to chart out their goals, as well as active and accountable steps that the fellow will have to take in order to achieve the stated goal. This was extremely useful to Jayoung in realizing what she wants to do, and create, in regards to her future programming ideas. In the same thread, the realization that Jayoung wants to start a program of her own was a direct result of the confidence that she gained since joining the VVLead Fellowship Program. Clement Sukura, Jayoung’s former supervisor at the Sadili Oval Sport Academy noted her growth in leadership since joining VVLead, I have seen her engaged in various activities … visiting slum schools and engaging herself to educate young girls. I personally see Jayoung as a leader and a mentor ... due to how she dedicates her efforts [to] young girls in everything she does. She is just dependable in whatever she does, she does not wait for praise, and she is just like a parent who is there for us always. This was again echoed by current VVLead fellow Tsitsi Dangarembga who described Jayoung as gaining an air of “quiet confidence” since her incorporation into the Program. This confidence has enabled her to feel as though she has earned a place in the rankings of the accomplishments of the other VVLead fellows and has encouraged her that her dream to change the lives of girls is achievable. VVLead has contributed to Jayoung’s work by providing her with a support system to other VVLead fellow’s through the online D2L Platform, and through the in-person events. By reaching out to other women in the program, Jayoung is challenged and inspired to focus on her professional and personal goals. She has realized that while working for an organization is beneficial, she is interested in started her own program with her own goals in mind. Jayoung came to the realization, with the help of

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the VVLead fellows, that she needs to focus on her own personal development in order to make herself into the best individual that she can be, before attempting to help others. Because of this realization, Jayoung is determinedly attempting to focus on the creation of her own mentoring program. What Makes VVLead Distinct The Vital Voices VVLead Fellowship Program is set apart from the other fellowships and programs that Jayoung is involved with because it is composed of mature and business-minded women. This contrasts to the other programs that Jayoung is involved in because she now has the opportunity to be a mentee, rather than a mentor. At the age of 22, Jayoung is one of the youngest fellows currently participating in the Program. She views this age-gap as a unique opportunity to garner knowledge and inspiration from the more experienced women. “They’re either very big sisters, moms or grand moms...well I do not mind this. [This] absolutely means wisdom! LEARN FROM THEM!” Furthermore, Jayoung noted, “The Vital Voices Lead Fellowship exposes to various dynamics of leadership, people, and [of] everything a chance to learn, be challenged, [to] challenge, improve and [become] better, [and to] provide collective output! Through her involvement in VVLead, Jayoung has become a better leader as a result of the ongoing inspiration and support of the other VVLead fellows. They have both encouraged and challenged Jayoung to be the best community and global leader that she can be, and, importantly, to stay true to her passions. Fellow’s Future Outlook Jayoung is ever-focused on her future goals and aspirations. As a recently graduated paralegal, she has become increasingly aware of the social issues affecting the people of Kenya, especially Kenyan citizens’ incomprehension of their constitutional rights. Her idea is to work together with current VVLead fellow Tsitsi Dangarembga to create a film to expose the lack of constitutional knowledge and understanding of the average Kenyan citizen. Jayoung described the effort, “We would collect stories, or what you notice in the streets as you walk, and develop a story out of it. Then, see where the law addresses it or does not address it, develop a script out of it, and make it into a film.” This collaborative effort applies the knowledge that Jayoung gained through her rigorous paralegal courses, as well as strategic communication skills gained from VVLead webinars. This effort has the potential to change the way that Kenyans view their rights, and the overall competence of the general population in regards to the Kenyan Constitution.

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Furthermore, Jayoung’s personal experience on her university campus led her to make a startling conclusion: while primary and secondary school students have ample access to mentoring programs, university students do not. She notices that this often leaves university students feeling alone and without positive support systems. In her own words, “If these people have … mentoring programs and stuff like that that helps them keep their extra time busy and doing something constructive and seeing what is around the community that they can go, it is something that will also help.” Jayoung believes that these students become easy victims for recruiters from terrorist organizations. By starting a mentoring program for students in university, Jayoung hopes to curb the potential for young students to join these types of negative organizations. Lessons Learned The most significant variable in the case study involving Jayoung is her youth. Because of her young age, she is able to use her experiences within the VVLead Fellowship, and the skills that she has gained as a stage in which she is able to better develop herself into the global leader that of which she wants to become. Of all of the organizations that Jayoung participates, or has participated in, no other has surrounded her with older women whom have experienced the struggles of creating something new and different and can provide their seasoned advice to a young new comer. This plethora of possible mentors, for the expert mentor herself, may in fact be one of the most advantageous aspects of her participation. Unexpected Outcomes An unexpected outcome that was observed throughout the participants case study was the role that fellow’s play in their peers’ accountability. Not only are they accountable to the work that they are doing within the VVLead Fellowship, but to continually challenge themselves, apply for more grants and programs, push themselves to begin new, and more affective programs, and to develop themselves into better leaders, sisters, friends, and individuals. Aside from this notion of accountability, the fellows also spoke about the mutually beneficial exchange of ideas that the VVLead program’s platform facilitated, both online and in-person. Through the program, the fellows are able to connect with other social entrepreneurs who may or may not be more advanced in their careers than themselves. This provides a unique opportunity both for innovation, and for reflection. In Jayoung’s experience, the more established women were able to utilize

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her fresh and unaltered creativity to establish new areas of focus within their programs. At the same time, Jayoung was able to capitalize on the women’s experiences as business owners and successful professionals to develop her own life strategy and to begin the process of conceptualizing her goals. On a personal level, the VVLead Fellowship Program has provided robust emotional support through the friendship and sisterhood that the Program is founded upon. By connecting strong female leaders from all over the world, the program has facilitated the formation of bonds that are unlikely to be broken. These friendship are not only made to garner access to external professional networks, but are formed on the basis of similar interest. The women genuinely want each other to succeed in their endeavors and truly believe that the success of one, is success for all. Limitations and Future Research Though in-depth, there are limitations to Jayoung’s case study. First and foremost, members of the VVLead team were unable to travel to Kenya to conduct in-person interviews or site observations for the studies. This limits the understanding of the day-to-day actions of the participant, as well as limits the observation of body language, a critical aspect of interview methodology. Furthermore, future outlook for Jayoung is somewhat limited by the aforementioned lack of focus on one specific program or goal. This study could have further benefitted from additional input from peers, colleagues, mentors, and beneficiaries. Because direct beneficiaries were unable to be interviewed, the scope of understanding Jayoung’s mentoring efforts from a mentee’s perspective was narrowed. Future research may include increasing the time frame available to study the participant in order to observe long-term trends and changes, as well as increases in beneficiaries and strategic plans. Additionally, more interviews with individuals who are aware of Jayoung’s plans for the future may enhance the case study by providing clearer areas of focus. Conclusion As a young child, Jayoung learned from her missionary parents the value of serving others who are less-fortunate. Because of this, Jayoung joined the Girl Power Club in her secondary school in which she mentored young girls within her schooling system. It was through her involvement with Girl Power that Jayoung became involved with the Sadili Oval Sports Academy. Through her experience at Sadili, Jayoung realized her passion for mentoring young girls who grew up in the slums outside of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. This work is imperative as it educates the girls on the importance of safe sex, education,

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and life skills. Jayoung has realized through her time as a mentor at Sadili that the girls respond better to younger mentors and are less likely to question the information if the mentor is a peer. With this realization, Jayoung hopes to begin her own mentoring program in order to press on in her mission of mentoring youth. Jayoung’s current challenge and need as a leader is to devise a concrete plan of what path she wants to take in her own life, as well as in a plan for the creation of a mentoring program. While this is typical due to Jayoung’s young age and relative inexperience, the VVLead Fellowship Program has provided her with a platform in which she can access already established leaders, as well as seek out support and guidance. The encouragement provided by Jayoung’s VVLead fellows has encouraged her to make the realization that she needs to focus first on her own personal development, before assisting in the development of younger girls. It is the support from other, more established women that makes the VVLead Program distinct to Jayoung. She noted that as one of the youngest fellows, she has found an opportunity to learn from the more experienced women. However, it is not a one-way exchange of ideas. Jayoung has also provided the women with fresh and innovative ideas, previously unthought-of, to improve their own programs. Within Vital Voices VVLead Fellowship Program, Jayoung has become the mentee, instead of the mentor. This experience has proved to be exceptionally useful to Jayoung in terms of personal development and goal setting. Throughout this case study, the VVLead program has learned that the connections made within the program are responsible for inspiring the women to become better versions of themselves. This is especially seen in the personal development of Jayoung, who, after her involvement at the South-South Exchange Uganda, where she connected with other women leaders, was determined to create her own program for at-risk youth in her community. VVLead has provided fellows with an opportunity to develop personally in order to recognize their underlying skills and talents, thereby facilitating the development of new ideas that will change the lives of others. Through accountability, support, the exchange of ideas, and professional development, the women are able to challenge and support each other in their leadership positions which enable them to change the world.

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A CASE STUDY ON JENNY SCHWARTZ Background Jenny Schwartz was born into a privileged Jewish family in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Despite being caught in a material “bubble,” she was exposed to the importance of volunteerism and helping others at a very young age. After completing community service hours for a high school requirement, Jenny was inspired to devote her life to working on social causes. Jenny always felt very different from her schoolmates. Instead of being interested in contributing to social causes, Jenny felt they focused more on the importance of marriage and children in a woman’s life. “When you grow up in a really material world, when you realize that helping others, giving maybe a hug or a hand or just talking with people that is completely out of your world, they really appreciate that and they are thankful for that, you really want to do it for your life. I realized that I want to do it for the rest of my life.” When Jenny was twelve years old she lost contact with her father. She felt that if she was able to acquire an important position for an international organization like the United Nations, she might be able to gain his attention. From then on, Jenny set her sights on working for the UN. Jenny’s family was initially very reticent to support her life goals. After high school, Jenny began to study medicine at a private university in Argentina. During the second year of her studies she decided that medicine was not the path that she wanted to pursue and took off to backpack around Europe. Jenny announced to her parents that she was going to leave medicine to pursue studies in journalism and anthropology. Her mother stood adamantly against this idea and told Jenny that she would need to get a job to support herself, as she would no longer support her education. In the end, Jenny’s family did decide to support her, for which she is very thankful because they provided her with the means to pursue her career. After completing university, Jenny first gained experience in the realm of communications working for both a local Argentine radio station and Yahoo! and then became involved in a nongovernmental organization (NGO) called Mujeres en Igualidad (Women in Equality). There, Jenny worked on online and in-person campaigns to end violence against women. The founder of the

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organization, Monique Altschul, became a mentor to Jenny, encouraging her to utilize her creativity in her work and allowing her considerable freedom to pursue her ideas. Jenny is very proud of her work at Mujeres en Igualidad, particularly the large-scale campaign against femicide that she coordinated for the organization. Though Jenny loved the work that she was doing for Mujeres en Igualidad, the organization did not have enough funding to support her financially, so Monique supported Jenny in her decision to accept a position in the communications department at the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Buenos Aires, thereby allowing her to achieve her long-time goal of attaining a job at an international organization. Concurrently, Monique recommended Jenny for two fellowship programs to which Jenny was accepted: Doing Democracy around the World Fellowship Program with the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio, as well as the VVLead Fellowship Program at Vital Voices Global Partnership, where Monique is also a fellow. The Doing Democracy Fellowship is a learning exchange where Jenny was able to work with people from around the world to foster ideas to improve public life through citizen participation and the advancement of democracy. Though Jenny had worked very hard to acquire her job at the UN, as she began to gain experience at the UNHCR, she realized that she did not enjoy working for a large UN organization due to its bureaucratic nature, as well as the fact that she could not work directly with the populations that she aspired to help. This realization was a huge milestone in Jenny’s life. As she states in a journal entry, after met her goal of working at the UN, even though it did not repair her relationship with her father, the experience reinforced her commitment to serving others and working on social issues. As Jenny states, “…it’s like a chain, one thing helps others to come, like achieving one goals makes me feel stronger, being stronger helps me to knock on doors…so I think that everything is connected.” Both of the secondary sources contacted for this case study confirmed the fact that Jenny is best suited to working in an environment where she is able to work with a population hands-on. Monique Altschul states, “I think she is the ideal person for working at an NGO because she struggles to adjust to a very structured organization. Once she feels comfortable in an NGO, she comes up with all of these ideas and feels free to act.” Further emphasizing this point, Alejandra Ruffo, who was one of Jenny’s colleagues at Mujeres en Igualidad, emphasizes, “She needs to be in real contact with people and their problems…she wants to be in the places where things happen, among people and in action. I’m sure she will excel (as she usually does) when she finds that opportunity.”

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Jenny decided to apply for the VVLead 2014 cohort in order to have the opportunity to gain more knowledge and tools to improve her role as a leader, through both the online webinars and inperson components of the fellowship program. VVLead came at an auspicious time for Jenny, as it offered her the support network that she needed in order to make the decision to pursue hands-on work that combats violence against women and eventually leave her job at the UN. In addition, the fellowship provided her with a community of women that share her vision of making a difference in the world. Jenny highlights, “[Being a part of the VVLead Program] was a turning point in my life because I realized that I’m not alone. There are people there supporting me.” Before being accepted into VVLead, Jenny did not have this sense of belonging to a community at home in Buenos Aires. Taking part in her first in-person VVLead program at the 2014 South-South Exchange in Johannesburg, South Africa, Jenny was inspired to launch a networking project in Buenos Aires called the Buenos Aires Change Makers Happy Hour in order to develop a community of change agent in her city who would meet at regularly organized happy hours to develop connections and discuss ideas for social change projects. Jenny imagines this group as “an incubator of powerful ideas.” Challenges and Needs as a Leader One of Jenny’s biggest challenges is that she would like to pursue hands-on work for an NGO but needs to be able to support herself financially. For example, Mujeres en Igualidad does not have the funding to support her in a full-time position. Another challenge that she faces is that she is so busy with her current job at the UN that she doesn’t have the time to pursue the work that she loves to do, even as a volunteer. Jenny is addressing this challenge by taking the advice of Gabriela Garcia, a VVLead fellow from Guatemala, to stay at the UN for the moment in order to gain more experience and accrue more contacts that will allow her more networking opportunities for future positions. In addition, Jenny is utilizing the Holistic Life Mapping exercise introduced at the South-South Exchange in order to work on balancing her personal and professional life and find more time to volunteer for Mujeres en Igualidad to do the hands-on work that loves. Jenny feels that one of her greatest needs at this point is mentorship to aid her in navigating her next career steps, particularly as she moves away from working at the UN. In this vein, her network at VVLead is proving exponentially useful as she begins to think about her career trajectory. A third challenge Jenny is currently facing is in her work at the UNHCR. At times, Jenny feels that the general public’s reaction to the plight of refugees in their country is slow –

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although the issue is now gaining more public attention in light of the Syrian refugee crisis. She feels that in order to increase awareness about the issue, the UNHCR needs to change its strategies and utilize social media and the voices of popular celebrities in order to highlight what is happening. She is now using the confidence that she has gained at VVLead to advocate for these changes to the organization’s leadership. Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship The connections and support network that Jenny has developed through the VVLead program are the greatest benefit of the fellowship for her. One of the connections who has been a great mentor for Jenny is Rashmi Tiwari, a 2013 fellow from India. Jenny highlights that she has found a friend and sister in Rashmi, who inspires her and supports her ideas. Jenny was introduced to Rashmi at the 2014 South-South Exchange Program where Rashmi offered to help Jenny work on her networking project. Rashmi pushed Jenny to focus her project on one particular group, such as social entrepreneurs, and to organize her ideas and set deadlines. At the South-South Exchange, Jenny also connected with a group of fellows from Latin America who decided to form a WhatsApp group called “VVLead Latina” that allows women to stay in contact with one another on a regular basis to share knowledge and resources and offer each other both personal and professional support. Further, through consultant Allison Shapira’s training on how to pitch yourself and your ideas at the 2014 South-South Exchange, VVLead has fortified Jenny’s public speaking skills, which are important for the presentations that she gives at the UNHCR. Moreover, through consultant Liz Ngonzi’s 2014 online Fundraising course, Jenny has developed effective fundraising skills, particularly for her work with Mujeres en Igualidad. Jenny’s leadership trajectory has changed since beginning the VVLead Program, as she moved from achieving her long-time goal of working for the UN to deciding that working for a large international organization was not for her; but instead, that her true passion is working directly with people. Through meeting other VVLead fellows that had left work that they were unhappy with to pursue their passions, Jenny was inspired to do the same. She states, I believe I’m in this… search, because of Vital Voices. It’s not that I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m happy with what I have, I work at the UN, and I have a good salary…’ I want to improve myself every time to achieve my goals and when I achieve them, I want to have new goals. Maybe that’s because of

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being in VVLead, because when you surround yourself with the best ones, you believe that you are the best. The VVLead Program has provided Jenny with more confidence in herself and her work by surrounding her with a strong support network of global women leaders, including the self-assurance to speak up regarding her ideas for innovation at the UNHCR. “VVLead helped me to believe in what I’m doing and to be sure of myself to empower myself.” She adds, When I started VVLead it was like double starting because I was starting a new job in the UN…I was leaving the NGO style of working and also I started the VVLead program that was like [an] everything program, not just knowledge. It was a multi-everything program so I know much more about my work and how to relate with others, with peers, with colleagues, with authorities, with people from government and I’m trying to balance it with my personal life. That is not easy… if I look back one year ago, I feel that I was so small and tiny and non-strong – the opposite of strong, weak… [Now] I feel that I can stand stronger, like ‘here is Jenny!’ Being a part of VVLead has also led to validation of her career choices, particularly within Jenny’s family who didn’t initially support her work, especially at the NGO Mujeres en Igualidad, as they didn’t feel it was a “real job.” When Jenny found out that she was being interviewed for this case study she forwarded the email to her stepfather who congratulated her for the first time in her life and told her that he was really proud of all her goals and the work that she had done. Jenny states, “…he told me, ‘I know that I was really tough with you several times regarding your work, what you do and what you are committed to, but now I’m seeing the fruit of your work and I’m proud of that.’ It was very complicated, deciding to be different.” Moreover, Jenny says, “I know 100% sure that my friends and my family changed the way that they looked at me and my job and my work since being accepted into VVLead. It was like, ‘okay, we are talking with one of the VVLead fellows.’ Like more respect.” For Jenny, the VVLead Fellowship differs from other programs that she has taken part in due to the highly connected network that the program provides her with whom she is constantly in communication. Jenny highlights that the main benefit of being part of the all women VVLead network is that it has provided her with a community of women who understand one another and are all fighting for the same thing. Jenny states, “Being in a network of women, it’s healthy to have that strong feeling of belonging and to see that if we join all together, the change will be for the good.”

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Though Jenny could not find any negative outcomes as a result of the VVLead Fellowship, she has found that the time commitment needed for the program has been demanding at times, particularly with her workload at the UN and at some points it was difficult to keep up with all assignments. Jenny’s experience in the VVLead Fellowship Program has allowed her to embrace her passions and come to terms with her decision to eventually move away from working at the UN. Though it can be frustrating at times, the Fellowship Program has forced her to answer questions about what she wants to do next and to think about the steps that she needs to take to get there. Jenny states, Seeing these people inspires me to say okay, I’m not sure I am happy doing what I am doing in my job, the one that I am supposed to love and the one that I dreamed my whole life to be there…Maybe in a holistic way VVLead allows me to see that there is a way to have the life that you want to…like the balance between what you love and what you need to have and I’m not right now in the proper balance. In addition, the VVLead Fellowship has provided her with an invaluable network and community to support her through this journey. In the future, Jenny sees herself running an NGO or a change makers program, surrounding herself with successful people who share her ideals. Discussion This case study would benefit from further research in two years in order to evaluate if Jenny has reached and attained her goals that are elicited in this research, specifically, leaving her work at the UN and attaining a financially stable position at an NGO that allows her to do hands-on work in the field. Additionally, as Jenny has found great benefits both personally and professionally in the VVLead network, it would be of interest to this case study to assess whether Jenny is able to build a community of individuals committed to change at home in Argentina in order to offer her a local support system to bolster her work and provide her with a network of collaborators. Conclusion Jenny maintains a positive outlook regarding her future and her ability to meet her goals. She said, “I am going to quote Walt Disney: ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’ I dreamed my whole life to be in the UN and now I’m in the UN. I dreamed my whole life to go to Africa and knowing colleagues who are passionate like me and I did it. So it’s just setting your goals and doing the proper things. Know your skills and what you need to improve and just work on that.”

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Through the VVLead Fellowship Program, Jenny has found a global community of women that offers her support, guidance and fresh ideas. Through these new connections and the concrete tools and knowledge that the online courses and in-person programs have offered her, Jenny has gained more confidence in herself as a leader as well as in her dreams and aspirations for the future. The VVLead Program has allowed Jenny to discover the realm in which she excels professionally and has inspired her to pursue a path in which she can have the greatest direct impact on the lives of women and girls in Argentina.

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A CASE STUDY ON JUDITH LUM TAMUKONG AWONDO Leadership Evolution Judith Lum Tamukong Awondo was born in a rural village in Cameroon to a polygamous family of peasant farmers. First out of nine children born to her father, Judith was expected to perform arduous tasks around the homestead at an early age. This work, Judith would come to learn much later in life, would be classified today as child labor practices. At the time, Judith was just doing what was expected from female children in her village. Eventually, Judith and her mother wanted her to receive an education. This goal was especially important to her mother, whom like Judith’s father, was illiterate. Judith’s father only wanted to utilize the family’s meager resources to educate his sons, however, with her mother’s persistence, Judith was granted the opportunity to receive an education and went on to attain a degree in teaching from the Higher Teacher's Training College at the University of Bamenda. Judith’s passion for advocating against gender based violence was influenced by her attendance at a training based on gender sensitive participatory approaches in self-help promotion in 2002 hosted by Bread for the World Germany (BftW) and Society for Initiatives in Rural Development and Environmental Protection (SIRDEP). It was at this training that Judith made the realization that, “…[my] father discriminated or violated my educational rights when he preferred to send my bothers to secondary schools [and not me]. This workshop opened my eyes to be able to recognize the rampant rooted violent cultures to[wards] women and girls in my community and beyond.” Judith’s husband Martin Awondo, a development consultant, was able to secure Judith’s participation in the training program hosted in Cameroon through her volunteer work with the Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD). Mr. Awondo noted, During this period of internship and voluntary service, she acquired knowledge and skills in facilitating sensitization and training events especially in economic and social empowerment of women and other vulnerable groups. She also acquired knowledge and skills in lobby and advocacy, networking and project writing. After her participation in the BftW and SIRDEP trainings, Judith was recruited to become the Project Head from 2003 to 2005 for the Democracy and Empowerment of Women (DEW) Project for Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD). This project worked to mobilize

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women’s political participation through various workshops hosted throughout sixteen communities in the Northwest region of Cameroon. 31 Participation in this project included 291 women and 181 men to address the “knowledge and participation of the general public, especially women and the marginalized, on issues of governance and democracy.” 32 This experience allowed Judith to determine that the best way to create a change in women’s lives is to involve the men in the community. This was especially prudent in an environment where women’s empowerment programs were thought to encourage women to become disobedient to their husbands. 33 The challenge I found in empowering women was that women alone cannot change their situation because our traditions are so strong and these traditions are in the hands of men. So, if we don’t educate men to understand that women have rights, that women’s rights need to be respected, then you cannot claim rights from [the people] who [do] not understand [that] you have rights. Currently, Judith is working with an organization that she co-founded, Women in Action Against Gender Based Violence in Cameroon (WACameroon), to bring gender quality to Northwest Cameroon. WACameroon platform is to work with men in the local communities to decrease the occurrence of gender based violence against women and empower women with knowledge of their rights. Domestic violence is a major problem in Cameroon where in 2004, 39% of women in relationships had previously, or were currently experiencing physical violence. 34 Furthermore, Cameroon currently does not have legislation that protects women from domestic violence or spousal rape, and it is “understood that a wife consents to sexual intercourse with her husband at any time.” 35 Rather than provide resources only to the victims, WACameroon applies a nuanced “strategy of empowering and engaging men in combating gender based violence and discrimination” through the use of workshops and by engaging traditional community leaders. However, it is still important for WACameroon to provide services to 31

“Our Projects: Old Projects.” Community Initiative for Sustainable Development. Web. 19 October 2015. https://cominsud.wordpress.com/our-projects/. 32 ibid. 33 Awondo, Judith. Telephone Interview. April 2008. 34 “Cameroon: Domestic violence, including legislation, availability of state protection and support services for victims.” Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. CMR103371. Refworld, 2 December 2010. Web. 19 October 2015. http://www.refworld.org/docid/4db7b9d92.html. 35 ibid.

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victims of domestic and gender based violence. Between January and February of 2015, WACameroon provided services to at least five women who sought refuge from the organization after being battered by their husbands, including a girl who was repeatedly raped by her father. Challenges and Needs as a Leader WACameroon is lacking a plethora of standard necessities that are preventing the organization and Judith from reaching their personal, professional, and organizational goals. First, Judith and her team are without reliable transportation to travel to and from the rural field sites where WACameroon conducts their male-centered workshops. Because of this deficit, Judith and her team must travel by public transportation, which often takes hours in the best of conditions, to and from the sites. This is both costly in resources, as well as virtually impossible when weather conditions are not ideal. Furthermore, Judith recognizes that it is extremely difficult for her to retain quality staff members without being able to provide them with a competitive salary. While there are volunteers available for year-long stints, many of them move on to more lucrative positions elsewhere. In order to address these issues, Judith believes that she needs a mentor that has previously started their own non-profit organization who might have strong connections to potential funders. She also believes that they need to expand the organization to also contain a for-profit venture. This realization came after introspection that being strictly non-profit makes them reliant on outside funders for all of their resources. Judith is working to overcome these challenges by searching for more funders to support the most pressing needs of WACameroon. She struggles with the formation of programming that will properly serve the needs of the local communities in a capacity that WACameroon can facilitate — while still appealing to the viable international donors. This often leaves WACameroon with fractured programming ideas and incomplete proposals. Judith understands that the constant search for donors is not sustainable within her organization. She believes that by implementing a for-profit area of WACameroon, they might be less reliant on outside resources while still providing their empowerment services which would enable them to design their programming based on the observed needs of the communities they serve.

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Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Program The VVLead Fellowship Program was brought to Judith’s attention by a male employee who recognized the program as an opportunity for Judith to expand her leadership skills. After researching the VVLead Fellowship and Vital Voices Global Partnership, Judith said, I thought that if I could get into VVLead, I may get a lot of knowledge, a lot of information, and outside perceptions about it: getting a wider knowledge, a wider thinking from other persons globally; that is actually what motivated me. Besides, when I got to reading the literature about it, they talked about webinars, they talked about trainings which…yes, I think it was the trainings that motivated me. From her participation in the VVLead Fellowship program, Judith increased her capacity in fundraising, branding, leadership, and monitoring and evaluation techniques through her participation in online webinars. Judith put her newly founded fundraising skills to the test when she decided to sponsor a walk to bring awareness to wife battering and rape in her community for International Women’s Day. She noted that she was able to use the skills learned from VVLead to raise 700.00 USD to support the facilitation of the walk which included 200 local participants. Furthermore, Judith now understands the importance of brand creation and brand recognition after participating in the VVLead Branding Webinar. After the webinar, she noted that she better understands the importance of brand recognition and that she is working to ensure that WACameroon is easily recognizable to the international community. She has also applied the leadership skills within WACameroon to create better communication and organization in her office stating, “I also learned much from the leadership model. It really gave me the insight to be focused and to do effective communication in the office; in fact, I really strive to be a good leader through that model.” Judith credits her better understanding of monitoring and evaluation to her participation in the Monitoring and Evaluation Webinar. She now is working to implement better monitoring and evaluation techniques within her programs to provide the funders with quantitative data denoting WACameroon’s success and impact in the Northwest region of Cameroon. Furthermore, her participation in the Documentarian Project has expanded her knowledge of monitoring and evaluation techniques. She specifically appreciated the recorder that the Documentarians were provided during the first in-person Documentarian training by VVLead for use in the collection of

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qualitative data in the field. The recordings were then used to facilitate an understanding of interview transcription, and basic coding techniques. Judith noted, The M&E, the observation will really help us to be able to pick the changes that we will be able to generate through our project. I also want to say that the recorder is really doing much good to us. We are using it in the field now to record our changes because we can [evaluate the] outcomes through people testifying that they are able to change from this to that, just as you are doing with me. Judith concluded, “The in-person [training] has been so instrumental almost all the things, all the models covered in the in-person workshop. I am very convinced the days ahead they are going to generate a lot of impact for us.” Judith has had several remarkable achievements since joining the VVLead Fellowship Program. In 2014, WACameroon was awarded the Northwest Excellence Award for the Advancement of the Status of Women in Cameroon. However, it is not the award that of which Judith is most proud. She stated, “The major accomplishment that I have is that the communities in which we are intervening — actually men are able now to accept the existence of inequalities [sic].” She notes that her beneficiaries are now recognizing that women’s issues and the inequalities that they face affect every member of the community, and that it is the role of everyone to contribute to a just society. Discussion As to what makes the VVLead Fellowship Program different than other fellowship type programs, Judith stated, You can pitch a problem, you can pitch a success story, you can pitch anything. So that one is a skill that [I can use] both at my personal level and at work level. …I think it contributes to the feminist movement … which is all about the struggle to liberate women. It’s the struggle to improve women’s lives in the world. I think it is the contribution to women’s network. Judith is currently debating a future career in the political arena in Cameroon. She has been told by many of her supporters in the community that she would serve as a fantastic representative for her community. One of her political supporters is her mentor Ndi Richard Tanto who said, I see Judith as a grassroots female political leader in the years ahead. She has a mastery of gender issues, is committed to ending gender based violence, understands the Cameroonian

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context, has the capacity to mobilize people, and would be able to push across structural reforms that will impact on unequal gender relations in Cameroon. Language was a major limitation in this case study in terms of mutual understanding and clarity throughout the interview process. Throughout the interview process, which had to take place over the course of multiple days due to technical problems, it appeared that interview questions were not being efficiently understood, and that the answers provided were misdirected. Another limitation was seeded in the understanding of the fellow’s main drive and focus. After analysis, it was determined that the fellow and her organization are under extreme pressure to continuously seek out and secure the sponsorship of international donors. This makes it difficult for the aforementioned organization to define a clear message and strategic plan whilst negotiating terms for various sponsored community development projects. Future research for this project would include re-interviewing the fellow and providing her the planned questions in advance for her review. It would also include traveling to the location of the organization to observe the impact on the community and the programming provided. Conclusion Judith’s approach to eradicating gender based violence is nuanced being that it is based on the empowerment of males within the communities in hopes that once the men better understand women’s rights, they will be more accepting and respectful of women’s empowerment. This approach has been effective according to WACameroon by educating men and community leaders on women’s rights. As mentioned earlier, Judith firmly believes that if men are not aware of the possibility of women’s rights, they will be unable to support them. WACameroon has also provided counseling services to five domestic gender based violence victims in their office, expanding their reach and social support services. In an area where domestic and gender based violence rates are astronomical, WACameroon’s distinct approach is creating a flow of new ideas and concepts of empowerment into traditional societies. In regards to what participation in the VVLead Fellowship Program has provided to Judith, she noted, “I think VVLead’s approach is unique. The webinars, the in-person workshops […] it is a whole package.” The knowledge that she had gained has allowed her to better coordinate her community empowerment efforts in Cameroon. She has since increased her leadership capacity, branding skills, and monitoring and evaluation skills -- all necessary skills for acquiring funders for WACameroon. With a

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potential in politics, along with the increase capacity to better coordinate WACameroon, Judith’s future, and the future of her organization, appear bright. Through proper planning and project implementation, it appears that WACameroon will be able to touch the lives of more women seeking assistance in a society with high levels of gender based violence.

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A CASE STUDY ON LUMBIWE LIMBIKANI Leadership Evolution Lumbiwe Limbikani spent her childhood in Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka. Growing up in the highly populated neighborhood of Chilenje, she spent her childhood reading books from her mother’s library in order to remove herself, at least mentally, from the poverty surrounding her. Unfortunately, Lumbiwe, or Lulu, was forced to become an adult before her time when her mother passed away from malaria when she was only ten years old. Traditional norms meant that Lulu was then responsible for her two younger siblings, and was promptly tasked with managing the budget and procuring family food stuffs. Shortly after, her father became mortally ill, and Lulu and her siblings’ lives were changed again when they moved into the home of her maternal grandmother — a home already occupied by 16 other girls. Living with so many girls had quite the impression on Lulu, It was a house full of women, each with their own influence and impact, each seeing life in a very different view point [sic]. So you would hear one thing about this one, another one from this one, how to do something from this one or this one. Different role models and different stories at the same time that you could learn from, or things you knew you shouldn’t do because it didn’t work out very well for that person. A negative influence Lulu experienced while living with her grandmother was the amount of young girls who became pregnant before finishing their education. She distinctly remembers when her thirteen year old cousin became pregnant in the eighth grade — the mother of the girl insisted that she be married off, even though Lulu’s grandmother offered to finance the rest of the girls schooling. This led Lumbiwe to push herself as to not fall into the same path, and she achieved her goal as the first person from her household to be accepted to and attend university. That is why it was such a tragedy when she became pregnant during her first year. She recollects, “It was very scary to say, ‘Am I falling in the same pattern as the rest of the household? Is this the end of it all? Do I now have to stop school like everyone else that has been through this process? Do I now have to stop everything and get married?’” After the birth of the child, she fell into a deep depression. It was then that Lulu and her sister decided that they wanted more for themselves. Lulu’s sister decided to postpone her own education for the benefit of her sister, and looked after the child for two years while Lulu finished her degree.

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So I went back, I went back with a resolve of I can have a different life and I have chosen to have a different life because of that and joined a number of clubs in school to help out and make sure people then take charge of their own lives as well. Currently, Lulu is working to stem the flood of teenage pregnancies within Zambia, which typically ends the girl child’s educational career. She is conducting this work in impoverished communities where girls frequently become pregnant very young, often before reaching secondary school. Lumbiwe and a colleague are working to determine the reasons that the girls do not return to schools and to connect them to resources that can assist them in returning their focus to their education. 36 Research conducted by Restless Development, a youth-led development agency, noted that in 2008, 13,000 Zambian girls dropped out of school as a result of pregnancy. 37 Even more troubling is that 62% of those girls did not return to school after their pregnancy, totaling in over 8,000 girls whose education was prematurely concluded in 2008 alone. 38 These girls and their babies are seen as an unwanted financial burden on the family, thus the girls are often pulled out of school and married off. This is seen as a better option for the family unit who then receives a lobola, or bride price, as well as a reduction in familial responsibilities. Lulu said, [The male family members] say, ‘Well, by marrying her off, we’re making a bit of money. She’s also not a burden to us, she’s someone else’s burden so we’re saving money in that regard.’ So it does affect the girls who fall pregnant when they’re in school because they don’t really have much of a say as to what their future should look like. Not only does the girl feel ostracized by her family, but there is a cultural stigma associated with teenage pregnancy. Girls are often chastised for being immoral, while boys are cheered for proving their manhood by impregnating a woman. This has serious, long term effects on girls’ confidence and selfesteem. Another issue that Lumbiwe is determined to eradicate is the lack of educational opportunity for children in rural areas of the country. She noted, 36

Muntalima, Nelly. Email Interview. 15 October 2015. “Submission to the Parliamentary Sessional Committee for Youth and Sport for the Third Session of the 11th National Assembly of Zambia 27th January – 16th February 2014.” Restless Development. Web. 4 January 2016. http://restlessdevelopment.org/file/submission-to-the-parliamentary-national-assembly-of-zambia-090114-pdf. 38 ibid. 37

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It’s not everywhere where you find a school. You have very remote rural areas where a school is about maybe seven kilometers from where the children or the village is and so the children have to walk such a long distance just to get to school, and probably they haven’t eaten anything that day. By the time they come back they’re really tired and they have to do chores. So sometimes the parents think, ‘It’s a waste of time for me to make you walk all that way and back and you’re tired and not helping out at home. Why don’t you just stay at home anyway?’ [sic]. In this effort, Lulu works as the Head of Training and Support for iSchool Zambia, an organization that strives to provide all children with access to education through electronic tablets that are pre-loaded with educational materials. 39 iSchool also provides trainings to teachers all over the country which encourage the use of critical thinking methodology in the classroom. By providing teachers with newer and more thought-provoking instructional techniques, as well as providing students with the opportunity to access educational materials, Lulu is making progress in her efforts to ensure that every child receives an education. As a community leader, Lumbiwe is involved in multiple leadership organizations, including Alchemy Women in Leadership and Asikana Network, both which are founded and lead by VVLead fellows. She is also involved in her local Toastmasters club, for which she was the founding president of the University Club. Lulu now serves as Vice President of Education for the Toastmasters after previously serving as President and Area Governor for Zambia. As an active member of her community, Lulu also participates in her local Junior Chamber International which she enjoys because she has the opportunity to travel to communities in need and work with her hands to improve the lives of others. Lulu notes that she decided to join the VVLead Fellowship Program out of curiosity. In regards to her thoughts at the time of her application, Lulu stated, I didn’t think I was doing much in terms of helping women and girls and I didn’t know what else I could do; and this was like a platform to meet other women who were in the same field and thought maybe from there, I could offer help, or learn something.

39

“Our Total Learning Environment (TLE).” iSchool Zambia Ltd. Web. 15 October 2015. http://ischool.zm/total_learning_environment.php.

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Challenges and Needs as a Leader One of the challenges that Lumbiwe faces in her work is the traditionalist ideology regarding gender and the role of women and the girl child in society. She notes that women are not expected to be leaders, and that male peers often abhor the women who attempt to fulfill leadership roles. When asked how some men react to women leaders, Lulu recalled an instance shortly after she was promoted: “When I got my promotion, I was given the M&E team — to head the M&E team just here in March and a comment that one of them passed was, ‘I don’t think she should be my boss. She’s just a woman after all.’” She notes that in Zambian culture, women are expected to “follow orders and be very submissive” while managing the home and children, roles which are often taught through local initiation ceremonies. However, not all Zambian tradition is negative or gender biased. Lulu noted that overall, familial tradition teaches children the importance of respecting elders and yourself, along with taking care of the environment in which you live. But when you then talk about suppressing the person who you are [as a woman], not doing anything because now you are in this position of a [female] adult and don’t talk about anything. I think it has a very big ripple effect in a lot of things, in politics, in economic empowerment, in just development — the growth of a person. Believing that these gendered practices are negative for the advancement of society as a whole, Lulu advocates for girls to stay in school for the duration of their educational career by speaking out, as a woman, against the cultural norms. Another issue that Lumbiwe is fighting to address is the burden on children, families, and communities to send their children to school. A long walk to and from school coupled with the chores that the children are expected to perform around the home, lead many parents decide to pull their children from the classroom in order for them to be more productive domestically. Most often, parents do not see the value in long term education because they themselves did not have the access or the opportunity. It is also particularly difficult for children to make the long walks to school during the three month rainy period, which routinely leads to the creation of community schools. While an invaluable resource, these schools often do not have trained teachers and many of the volunteer educators do not have a background in education, limiting the students’ ability to prepare for the end of primary school exam. To provide those areas in which sub-standard educational practices are performed with access to

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a quality learning environment, Lumbiwe works with iSchool Zambia to provide educational materials to children in rural areas, as well as training and mentorship to community leaders and teachers. As a self-described perfectionist, Lulu recognized the importance of delegation skills and her need to relinquish tasks to others while attending the VVLead South-South Exchange in 2014. She began taking deliberate steps towards self-improvement even before leaving South Africa by cheering her delegates on and “leading from behind”. This style of leadership in which she pushes people to be the best version of themselves is something on which Lumbiwe prides herself. In an interview, Lumbiwe articulated, “Looking for that positive, that problem-solving ability and being able to support that, regardless of whatever you want to do as a person; I think that is my biggest strength — leading from behind … pushing people forward.” This notion was echoed by a colleague who stated, Lumbiwe is a good team leader who always makes sure she upskills [sic] her team members by organizing continuous development sessions. She offers guidance and support in the best way possible and constantly encourages her team members to think outside the box and to take risks. 40 Lumbiwe also feels that she needs more practice with strategic planning. While she has completed the VVLead Strategic Planning webinar on two different occasions, and appreciates the practice, she would like to learn more on the topic as a whole. Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Lumbiwe described in an interview the multiple skills that she felt that she gained through her participation in the VVLead Fellowship Program including: confidence, strategic planning skills, monitoring and evaluation techniques, how to work in a collaborative effort through delegation, positive networking skills, and improved public speaking skills. Lumbiwe has applied her strategic planning skills while she was applying for jobs. Conducting an introspective analysis was important to determine her strengths and weaknesses and to improve as a professional. Serendipitously, the Monitoring and Evaluation course began as Lumbiwe was promoted to Head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Team at iSchool. At the time, she had no prior experience or 40

Muntalima, Nelly. Email Interview. 12 October 2015.

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knowledge of monitoring and evaluation techniques, but she recalled “…then the webinar came through and just literally picking it up and applying it directly to my work — that has been seriously, seriously valuable.” A colleague at iSchool Zambia noted that Lulu’s participation in the VVLead Fellowship Program has impacted their team because of the new concepts and approaches that she has introduced after participating in the various trainings. 41 A less tangible skill that Lumbiwe has learned by being a part of the VVLead Fellowship Program is self-confidence. She noted, “[Before becoming a VVLead fellow] I knew what I wanted to do, but I had wobbly legs for me to stand up and go ahead and do it. … [I have received] a big confidence boost because there is that support system behind me.” As an introvert, Lumbiwe recognized the importance of networking with other business professionals in order to forge relationships that may provide future opportunities and now fully recognizes the importance of networking in regards to her own advocacy work. The skills that Lumbiwe learned through the VVLead Fellowship program have led her to be a part of a collaborative effort with VVLead fellows and sisters, Agnes Fallah Kamara Umunna and Regina Fallah-Hausman, to bring the iSchool ideology and educational structure to Sierra Leone. Lumbiwe and Regina applied for and were awarded the VVLead Fellowship Program Tech-Based Challenge Grant totaling in over $8,000 USD to purchase twelve student and three teacher tablets and other supplies for children in Sierra Leone. At this time, the tablets have been delivered to students and teachers in the schools. Additionally, since initiating this project in Sierra Leone, the fellows have been approached by other organizations, including UNICEF, who is interested in piloting e-learning solutions in other schools around the country. The effort of the three VVLead fellows has proven to be extremely fulfilling for Lumbiwe who originally felt as though she was not doing enough in her efforts to ensure that all children have access to a quality education. Lumbiwe has also made several connections through her involvement in the VVLead Fellowship Program since her incorporation in 2014. Her friendship with Agnes was founded through the SouthSouth Exchange in South Africa in 2014. Agnes and Lumbiwe rely on each other as a support system and provide each other with emotional strength to continue their efforts on their respective projects. Agnes also introduced Lumbiwe to her sister Regina, who is now working with Lumbiwe on the 41

Muntalima, Nelly. Email Interview. 12 October 2015.

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aforementioned collaborative effort to expand iSchool’s reach and provide accessible education to children in the rural regions of Africa. In an interview, Regina described the importance of the VVLead Fellowship Program for creating collaborative efforts noting that she would not have met Lumbiwe without VVLead and they would not be working together in their efforts to bring iSchool to Sierra Leone. She has also formed a close bond with VVLead fellow Tamala Chirwa. Tamala and Lumbiwe keep in touch regularly, and work together to provide assistance to VVLead fellow Consular Wilbert and her organization New Hope for Girls in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Discussion In regards to her successes since joining the VVLead Fellowship Program, Lumbiwe articulated, I didn’t know what I could do to do more in the work that I am doing, and learning these skills through the webinars was very helpful. Now, I’m applying to this, I’m applying to that. But then, going to the South-South Exchange and listening to all those stories and the work everyone else is doing, I’m thinking I am part of a bigger picture. I’m part of a bigger family that is working towards the same goal and I think it gave me a big boost, a big push to do more, to say more, to interact more, and to talk more about the issues that I’m very much interested in. This inspiration and self-motivation is what Lumbiwe considered the major benefit of the program. When asked specifically what her participation the Fellowship has granted her, she stated, “to be stronger and stand my ground in what I believe in and in my values and especially to be a spokesperson for the girls out there.” The VVLead Fellowship is different than the other organizations that Lumbiwe is involved in because it is an all-women’s network. After struggling with patriarchal norms in Zambia, an all-women’s network provides a judgment-free platform in which the women feel supported at all times. Lumbiwe also noted that she does not feel as though she needs to prove herself to the other fellows, noting that they are all accepting regardless of what point you are in a career. In an interview, Lumbiwe touched on the issue: Sometimes [in a mixed-sex organization] you feel you’re getting that patronizing support, a little pat on the head for doing something really well that maybe people didn’t think you would do well because you’re a woman. Whereas in an all-female network, you get a big applause

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because ‘hey I’m behind you because I know you can do it, and guess what, I think I can do it too because I’ve seen you do it.’ Lumbiwe’s future is bright. She was recently informed that she has been accepted into a Master’s of International Development and Gender Studies Program in London, England. She sees this opportunity as a stepping stone to a potential career at her dream organization, UNICEF. Lumbiwe aspires to work for UNICEF because she has seen the positive impacts of their work within her own community, and she also understands the influence that the organization has with African governments. She believes that by being a part of a large international organization, such as UNICEF, she will be able to perform more advocacy work at a higher level to keep young mothers in school to finish their educations. The VVLead Fellowship Program has been valuable to Lumbiwe as it has provided her with not only greater confidence in herself, but with skills in strategic planning, methods and evaluation, collaborative efforts, and networking. The methods and evaluations skills that she learned are not only useful for her job, but can be applied to her advocacy work to determine if her efforts are creating an impact in the lives of young mothers. Arguably, the most important thing that Lumbiwe has gained from her participation in the VVLead Fellowship Program is her collaborative effort with Regina FallahHausman in their endeavor to expand the reach of the iSchool program to Sierra Leone. By bringing opportunity and access to education to children in rural areas of the country, Lumbiwe and Regina are multiplying their efforts to provide promising futures for African children. With the help and guidance of the VVLead Fellowship Program, Lumbiwe has blossomed into a strong, female leader within her local community and abroad. Her arduous task of ensuring that young mothers receive an education is one of the most important issues of our time, not only in Africa, but around the world. By providing young teen mothers who have left the traditional educational system, as well as children in rural areas, with an accessible method of education through the use of pre-loaded tablets, Lumbiwe is preparing the next generation of Zambians for a better life. However, Lumbiwe is not content with only advocating for the teen mothers in Zambia. Through her collaborative efforts with VVLead Fellows in Liberia and Sierra Leone, Lumbiwe is changing the way that education, as well as teen pregnancy, is viewed by society — from a terminating point in a girl’s life, to a new challenge that can be overcome. As to the legacy she would like to leave, Lumbiwe said,

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Access to education. I would make sure everybody has access to education, especially women and girls because they’re very marginalized. When women get pregnant or get married, their education usually comes to an end. I would try to find ways of making sure, wherever they are, whether they’re not in school, in formal school, they have an access to an education and this education should be an education that teaches them to problem-solve in the areas they live in. Because I think women really contribute to the economy, and it’s a human resource that the world is not using at all, or as much as it could.

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A CASE STUDY ON MEMORY BANDERA Introduction Human rights are Memory Bandera’s passion, and working both with people and policymakers funnels her passion into action. Originally from Zimbabwe, Memory now participates in the VVLead Fellowship Program through her work in Uganda. Memory holds two positions simultaneously – she is the Director of Programs and Administration for East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defender Project (EHAHRDP) and the Founder of Girl Child Network – Uganda (GCN). Memory is deeply invested in the idea that all people deserve access to basic human rights. As a young girl, she believed that gender should not limit any girl or woman’s opportunities in life. As a young woman, she maintains her deeply held beliefs in gender equality while expanding her work to tackle other pressing human rights violations. Her family and a close personal mentor trusted her potential to be a leader and pushed her to succeed while encouraging her to apply for the VVLead Fellowship Program. As Memory’s leadership journey came to a crossroads, the VVLead Fellowship Program informed important professional decisions and spurred capacity development at her organization. VVLead has connected Memory to a large and vibrant network of women, regionally and internationally, that inspires her continued fight for human rights in east Africa and beyond. In her two professional roles, Memory is in charge of both daily activities and long-term planning, navigating the day-to-day operations at an established non-profit while negotiating the next steps of a grassroots organization. At EHAHRDP, Memory’s primary role is programming. She oversees all ongoing programs in different departments, from fundraising to implementation. EHAHRDP connects on-the-ground activists to supporters in the world of human rights policy. The organization oversees a vast swath of issues; they support human rights activists in 12 countries while also working with larger initiatives led by groups such as the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and the UN Human Rights Council. 42 Her work at EHAHRDP occasionally coincides with her work with GCN, such as a recent African Union study on African women human rights defenders to which EHAHRDP contributed.

42

“About EHAHRDP.” East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Projects. Web. 15 August 2015. https://www.defenddefenders.org/about-ehahrdp/.

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At GCN, human rights work takes the form of creating opportunities, expanding education and providing life skills and hope for girls, as well as helping at-risk girls with issues of violence and abuse. GCN runs four primary programs through local community clubs: the Girls Empowerment program; the Girls at Risk Support program; the Opportunity Program; and the Women Role Models program. 43 The programs take place at community clubs and the community decides which programs will best fit their needs; some communities have all four programs, others, only one. Although she established GCNUganda in 2009, Memory’s current role is more advisory in nature. For three hours a week, each week, Memory commutes to GCN for a meeting with its four full-time staff, two volunteers and one intern. She helps determine long-term strategies, think through financial obligations and fundraising, and other activities necessary to keep the organization functioning while preparing its future. The driving force behind Memory’s work at EHAHRDP and GCN is her desire to fight for human rights through direct impact on people and communities as well as through more systematic reform. Her passion bursts through both roles; she never prepares or writes speeches for her work, but believes “if I’m able to understand the issues well and articulate them to colleagues, then…it’s easier for them to believe in what we’re working in.” Passion for the issues comes out through her commitment to on-theground work as well as her policy expertise. Of her programming work at EHAHRDP, Memory appreciates that she can be “able to go on the ground and to be with the people and understand the issues they are working with, but at the same time, also [be] able to work on issues that will actually have an impact on decisions that are made in terms of…policies.” This rare combination is Memory’s favorite place to be; at the border between listening, learning and shaping people’s experiences through GCN and bringing their voices to the forefront through research and policy initiatives at EHAHRDP. It is a place where she’s been comfortable for a long time. Background Growing up in Zimbabwe, Memory quickly established herself as an innovator who saw opportunities and seized them. Early on, she was aware of the disparities between men and women’s roles and expectations in both public and private life. She recalls a primary school field trip to Parliament as an important moment in her young consciousness. Although a new quota system has helped women 43

“About Us.” Girl Child Network Uganda. Web. 15 August 2015. http://gcnuganda.org/get.php?site=about.

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gain more than one-third of the seats of Zimbabwe’s current Parliament, 44 from 1990-1995 there were only 17 women serving of 150 seats. 45 Exposed to the highest levels of government, Memory realized that the women were far less prominent than the men and felt instinctually that this was wrong. She muses, “I think that was the first time I started thinking about just what women can do in terms of leadership.” Several years later, as a member of the national Girl Guides Association, she tried to organize a camp for her peers so they could do all the same activities that boys did at camp. By the time Memory reached secondary school, she was aware of issues in the school environment. There were far, far more boys than girls in school leadership positions. Memory and several of her friends created an informal group to encourage girls to be more involved in the activities at the school. This group attracted the notice of their high school English teacher, Betty Makoni, who helped establish its presence at the school by bringing relevant speakers to their group discussions and helping navigate complex issues the girls were discovering, such as the prevalence of forced and early marriage and high dropout rates amongst girls in school. The girls and their teacher Betty expanded the program to other schools, first nearby and later throughout Zimbabwe. Within three months, their club expanded to sixty other chapters around the country, going from ten girls to 2,000. Memory served as the head of the chapter at her high school. After the first GCN class graduated, the girls and their teacher Betty decided to establish the GCN model as a stand-alone organization. With the help of several small grants, they opened the GCN office full-time; the girls worked there over a period of eight months before leaving for university while Betty quit her teaching job to join full-time. “There was something extraordinary about Memory,” said Betty. “[When] I resigned as a teacher, the person who followed me all the way in the community was Memory to be my first administrator…[she was] very organized in terms of paying attention to detail; she is somebody who is willing and able to learn. That’s why her leadership skills developed faster…Her level of passion is something that is admirable.” Memory and her friends’ actions struck a chord with issues that were being discussed in Zimbabwe at the time. Memory recalls, “Around the time we started GCN, it was a couple of years after

44

“Women make up more than one-third of Zimbabwe’s new parliament.” United Nations Women. Web. 15 August 2015. http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/9/zimbabwe-women-mps-sworn-in. 45 Gaidzanwa, Rudo. Gender, women, and electoral politics in Zimbabwe. Johannesburg: EISA Research Report No 8, 2004. Web. 15 September 2015. http://dspace.africaportal.org/jspui/bitstream/123456789/30329/1/rr8.pdf?1.

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[Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing].” The messages disseminating from the conference were “completely misunderstood” in Zimbabwe, with some talking about women trying to hijack men’s jobs and other discouraging stories. However, Memory remembers that her father, a businessman for stationary and bookbinding, was very interested in finding out more about the conference. Along with her mother, a teacher and education administrator, he strongly encouraged Memory to follow her instincts as she organized with others at school. “[My family] were the first people to actually encourage me to move forward with GCN,” Memory remembers. Although education is highly valued in Zimbabwe, with a literacy rate of 86.5% for men and women, 46 an education club focused on gender was not equally welcome. “There was a kind of stereotype that was created around girls who came to girls clubs,” said Betty. “They were called feminists, and you know feminists in a poor village can mean you are out of control. It was all misinterpreted.” Luckily, Memory had other supporters willing to support and encourage her leadership initiative. Rebecca Zeigler Mano, an American educational advisor at the US Embassy in Zimbabwe, noticed Memory’s leadership potential. Definitely, she was very outgoing. It’s not common to find a young woman…so outgoing [in Zimbabwe]. Culturally, there’s a lot of submissiveness, a lot of shyness, a lot of value put on…cultural norms that girls are quieter and helpers. But she was very, very assertive. Rebecca lived in the same neighborhood as Memory’s parents. Her husband had attended the same secondary school as Memory, years earlier, and they remained connected to the establishment. Memory applied to the United States Student Achiever's Program (USAP) in Zimbabwe, becoming one of 13 students during the program’s first year. 47 Rebecca Zeigler Mano created the program with the goal to “encourage and assist highly talented but economically disadvantaged high school graduates access scholarships and full-funding at top US colleges and universities.” 48 Rebecca says that the program “looks for academically capable kids who have some kind of a spark in terms of leadership [as well as an]

46

“Economic Growth.” USAID. Web. 15 September 2015. https://www.usaid.gov/kenya/gender-equality-andwomens-empowerment-kenya/economic-growth. 47 “USAP Global.” USAP Global. Web. 15 August 2015. http://usapglobal.org/. 48 ibid.

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ethos of wanting to give back to the community.” Rebecca developed an interest in Memory’s burgeoning work with GCN, She was one of the first who was chosen and I still remember very clearly the reasons why. She was a fine student; there were some students who were stronger actually. But she had been a big prominent member of Girl Child Network… She had already shown a lot of initiative in speaking out and working with young women. It was clear to me that she was not just going to study and go to the library [once granted a scholarship for a US university] but that she going to get involved on campus. Rebecca and Memory worked together to find a suitable university. Memory was excited by the prospect of an all-women’s institution after attending co-ed primary and secondary schools with obvious gender disparities. Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts was a strong fit. Rebecca remembers that Memory left a strong impression at the institution: And she was really a torchbearer at Mount Holyoke. I even remember at convocation when she got there, she was one of [around] two students mentioned when they talked about the class. She was really – she opened the door to Mount Holyoke for [USAP Global] because after that, we had two or three Zimbabweans going to Mount Holyoke every year...But we’ve had quite a few women pass through Mount Holyoke and everybody knows who Memory was. She was the pioneer there for us. Rebecca also developed interest in Memory’s burgeoning work with GCN. Rebecca continued to support GCN and has remained a constant mentoring presence for Memory – staying in touch over the past 16 to 17 years. Rebecca recommended the VVLead Fellowship Program to Memory, thinking that the fellowship could help Memory advance into the next stage of her leadership journey. VVLEAD At the time she applied to VVLead, Memory had lost some of the fire in her passion for human rights issues. Although she was working for an international law organization that promoted issues she cared about, the setting was not right. After college at Mount Holyoke, Memory pursued a Master’s of Science in International Relations at Suffolk University in Boston. After a brief stint in Boston, she decided to return to the continent as a Regional Program Coordinator for Youth Action International. She worked with youth groups in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Uganda. While working with Youth Action,

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she saw a need for gender-based programming for youth. She especially noticed this when working with young girls who had been abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army and were now mothers – girls whose needs were no longer filled by traditional youth programs. Memory left Youth Action to create a new branch of GCN – this time in Uganda, where she and her husband now live. After six months of full-time work launching the new GCN branch, Memory joined the International Law Institute-African Centre for Legal Excellence (ILI-ACLE). At the Institute, she felt like her work wasn’t connected to real people and the daily struggles of their lives. “It felt like we were working in a vacuum. We would look at issues and interview only very top people. It felt like we were losing the voice of ordinary people.” Memory felt disconnected from the work that had formed the core of her life thus far. When I tried to raise the issue, people didn’t see the value. I just sort of felt like people were focused on implementing and finishing projects and not really looking at the impact of what we were doing. I had a lot of doubts. It was at this time that she decided to apply to the VVLead Fellowship Program. She recounts, “When I applied to VVLead, I was looking at getting more connections and to network with other people, to help me decide which path I wanted to take… I thought VVLead would be a good opportunity for me…as I was trying to make that decision.” She knew what her strengths were as a leader – that she is good at managing people and relationships, good at guiding without micromanaging. This was how she had been able to keep GCN thriving in Uganda while not working there full-time. She was passionate and driven about the issues. But her weaknesses were also apparent. “I struggle with networking: when to network, who to network with, which events are valuable and once I get there, who is the right person to talk to about which issues.” She hoped that the VVLead fellowship Program could provide professional guidance for all of these issues. Challenges and Needs While Memory continues to work on improving her networking skills, her immediate professional challenges are different from when she applied to the VVLead Fellowship. Memory credits VVLead with helping compel her to improve her time management skills; in order to participate in VVLead, she needed to better organize her existing schedule. However, in doing so, she spends less direct time with GCN. She needs a strong leadership presence at the organization to maintain its

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momentum and further its vision when she is not present at the office. Indeed, success in human resources has been an ongoing and difficult challenge for Memory. A cycle of personnel has become familiar for GCN’s management. First, Memory finds a good but slightly under-qualified candidate; since GCN can only offer very limited pay, it is hard to attract qualified managers. Memory trains and mentors the new employee, supporting them for GCN leadership. However, through meetings that the employee attends as a GCN representative or through acting in another GCN capacity, the employee is exposed to other opportunities for which they are now qualified. Eventually, Memory must find and train another employee. Although not bitter about this human resources challenge, Memory realizes that there is a significant time investment for each employee – and thus this process is wasteful in terms of organizational resources. Unfortunately, to recruit qualified candidates for the long-term, GCN needs to be able to offer better pay and more stability. Indeed, a closely related organizational challenge is inadequate fundraising. As a small nonprofit, GCN must constantly search for new sources of fundraising. There are very few long-term grants that could provide a basis for the kind of long-term planning and organizational development that Memory wants the directors of GCN to pursue. While aware this is not a unique constraint, Memory hopes to be able to expand GCN’s fundraising abilities in order to grant the organization more flexibility and creativity in its work. Outcomes of Fellowship The VVLead program has addressed some of Memory’s personal needs and professional challenges. Memory’s experience of VVLead has provided her with professional guidance, networking opportunities and, most importantly, capacity development. Over the course of the program, she has attended a Peer-to-Peer exchange, a South-South exchange and participated in the online platform’s numerous course webinars. Soon after joining the program, she was hired by East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defender Project. She began the balance of working full-time at EHAHRDP while remaining in a guidance role at GCN – and credits VVLead with developing her professional capacity to do so. “I think she started micro, very grassroots, which is a good way to start,” says Memory’s longterm mentor Rebecca Zeigler Manor.

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She’s…been able to keep her passion and keep those girls and women in her head but now able to work on a much larger scale… I’ve definitely watched her grow professionally. I mean, now she’s working on a much larger scale with law and human rights and human issues. Rebecca believes Memory is pushing forward on a positive trajectory. As a step forward on that trajectory, Memory believes that the financial management webinar course is the most useful concrete skill that VVLead has provided for her. Before VVLead, Memory did not focus on financial accounts – she just did not know how. Now, she says, When I’m with the financial team and working on the budgets…I don’t need to ask them to simplify them for me…I feel that, for me, that was a huge achievement because I used to just brush numbers off. But now actually being able to look and read the statement and understand what they mean has been really helpful for me with both GCN and [EHAHRDP]. When EHAHRDP received a large funding grant last year, Memory was better able to grasp the status of the project, and thus better able to oversee it in her role as Director of Programming. Financial accounting has been equally important for GCN: “It’s also helped me realize the need to develop a good financial system for GCN, which we did at the beginning of this year. With GCN now, we have a system, it’s a start.” Strategic communication has also been an important learning tool. Before taking the strategic communication course, Memory never focused on how she communicated her message. Instead, implementing the program and meeting program targets were her primary goals. “But being able to actually think about communication as part of programming and as part of the tools that we can use to show the work that we’re doing…was also quite useful for me.” Memory and her team at GCN came up with strategies for a blog and revamped their Facebook page and website. “Once we started using social media and other tools [for GCN], we realized that we’re beginning to get some visibility. We’ve had people who have contacted us, just because they’ve seen our posts.” Memory credits the course webinars as being key to her learning process for financial management and strategic fundraising. However, it is often difficult for her to access the webinars during the live recording. The Internet too often fails, or the connection cannot run the live video. Memory does not believe this is the fault of the VVLead program – and, indeed, could not name any specific negative outcome of the program – but is frustrated nonetheless. She wishes that she could

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contribute to the webinar discussions and ask questions as they arise during the presentation. Additionally, she feels somewhat disconnected from the women who are able to log on regularly and update each week. The information is still useful but the camaraderie is lost. However, Memory is taking concrete steps through VVLead to increase her connections and improve her networking abilities. She has organized all the VVLead Ugandan fellows to begin meeting on a regular basis, in order to network, learn from and contribute to each other’s work. This idea sprouted after a Zimbabwean colleague of Memory’s visited Kampala. “She was in town and she wanted to meet up with another friend, a Ugandan. And then during our discussion, we found out that we were both VVLead fellows and we had never met.” Ever the innovator, Memory wanted to create an environment and opportunity for such regionally linked fellows to be involved with each other. For herself, she was looking for women for GCN’s Women Role Models program, especially to speak to young girls about business development. After the first group of seven fellows met, however, Memory realized that she could contribute to the other women’s needs as well. Currently, all 16 Ugandan fellows are connected to the informal network through a Yahoo group and WhatsApp chat. The group decided to do an online poll to learn more about each other’s initiatives, interests and what skills or expertise they were willing to share with other fellows. They are now visiting each other’s workplaces to learn more about the different programs and organizations run by these women leaders. Memory will first visit with Rehmah Kahsule, the founder and president of CEDA International, Uganda, an organization that focuses on leadership, mentoring, and entrepreneurship development. Indeed, beyond new skills and abilities, Memory draws strength from the international network of women leaders. She says, “Sharing ideas and learning more about what others are doing has been a really enriching experience for me.” At a time when she doubted herself, she was able to connect to other women, hear their stories, and learn how they were pushing past barriers of their own. After joining VVLead, Memory was able to leave a negative working environment where she felt disconnected from her sense of purpose and joined EHAHRDP, where the mix of activism and policy work fuels her passion for human rights. For now, Memory truly enjoys her work at both EHAHRDP and GCN and looks forward to several more years in each position. Eventually, Memory hopes to return to university for her doctorate in organizational management. In addition to those goals, Memory has a larger dream. She hopes to see GCN become the premier organization for girls in Uganda, with sustainable management

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practices and effective service delivery. She anticipates many more girls receiving mentoring and leadership support - and that, she believes, will be her ultimate legacy. So far under Memory’s leadership, GCN Uganda’s services have reached approximately 2,100 girls in 2014, an increase of 500 direct beneficiaries since 2013. Discussion Memory’s story serves as a useful case study for the VVLead Fellowship Program because she represents two different aspects of how women leaders participate in the fellowship. VVLead fellows often are either the leaders of an existing organization or are lower in the employee hierarchy but are looking to start new enterprises. Depending on these differing perspectives, fellows receive and participate differently in the various activities and offerings of the VVLead program. Memory, however, participates in the program from both perspectives – she is the founder of GCN-Uganda but also works as an employee at EHAHRDP. For GCN, Memory has been able to implement or initiate new programs, protocols, and administrative responsibilities that stem from the VVLead Fellowship Program’s courses on strategic communication and human resources. At EHAHRDP, she has been able to work more closely with different teams on responsibilities such as the financial accounts, helping the organization run more efficiently. It is important to note that Memory has not only shared the content she has learned from the VVLead Fellowship program with her staff, but also utilized many of the Program’s learning models within her organization. At EHAHRDP, Memory was able to suggest new activities for a staff retreat – activities modeled after VVLead’s peer-to-peer exchange, which aims to have women leaders learn from and with each other without traditional power hierarchies. As Memory continues to work in and for her community, these methodologies will continue to spread, whether through the new group of VVLead Uganda fellows that Memory has organized or through the new generation of women leaders that GCN is helping to mentor and to thrive. “Memory is somebody who works for something she creates; she’s a visionary,” said Betty. “It’s [her] baby and I know she’s going to see [to] its growth and development.” Although Memory’s example is useful, there were some significant limitations to this case study. None of Memory or GCN’s direct beneficiaries were interviewed for this study. Technological challenges and language barriers prevented this study from accessing the target population of GCN – young girls in disadvantaged communities in Uganda. Furthermore, additional information on Memory’s work with

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human rights activists and policymakers through EHAHRDP is somewhat limited. The delicate position of human rights work in many east African countries necessitates a sensitive approach when garnering information for a case study such as this. However, this study could have benefited from additional input from the beneficiaries of the GCN and EHAHRDP programs. Moreover, collecting more information from Memory’s colleagues and friends could help deepen the portrayal of any changes and outcomes. With more time, follow-up inquiries on how the VVLead experience continues to impact Memory after the fellowship’s conclusion will yield additional lessons. Further data from GCN and EHAHRDP, such as any available monitoring and evaluation data, could help target the impact of the VVLead Fellowship Program in more quantitative terms. Conclusion From a young girl with a leadership spark to working for human rights at two different organizations, Memory Bandera takes the initiative in order to make a positive impact in the world. As founder of Girl Child Network-Uganda and Director of Programs and Administration for East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defender Project, Memory is able to create and run mentoring programs for girls as well as forge connections between human rights activists and their policy counterparts. Through the VVLead Fellowship Program, Memory has learned concrete skills – such as financial management and strategic communication – that are yielding tangible results in her professional life. Furthermore, the international women’s network created by the fellowship provides new connections and generates momentum for Memory to renew and improve her work. Memory – determined, experienced, and with new knowledge and connections – continues to be a torchbearer for women’s leadership.

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A CASE STUDY ON MUTHONI NDUHIU Introduction Born and raised in Kenya, Muthoni Nduhiu is one of the most promising young women leaders in a country where “gender norms hold women back from reaching their maximum potential. Women have less access than men to credit, markets and training. Males typically control household income and assets, deciding how to allocate and spend the funds earned through their wives’ labor.” 49 Despite having grown up in a privileged family setting (her mother was a banker and her father a business man), Muthoni was taught by her parents very early on the values of serving others and hard work. Muthoni studied Law at the University of Nairobi and opened her own legal practice, gaining experience in corporate and commercial law, aviation law, contracts negotiations reviews and management, energy law, state corporations laws and regulations, capital markets transactions, legal compliance audits, and mergers and acquisitions. Working at her law firm did not fulfill Muthoni: she felt that she was not having a positive impact on people’s lives and this frustrated her. The turning point for Muthoni happened as she witnessed a close friend being trapped in an emotionally and psychologically abusive marriage, unable to escape it as she was economically dependent on her husband. Muthoni realized that without economic independence there would be no free choice or self-determination for women in Africa. From this realization, Muthoni says she decided to “change women’s lives for the better by empowering them economically.” She started fantasizing of quitting her legal job in order to do something that was going to be more meaningful for others. She envisioned the creation of an organization that would foster women’s entrepreneurship through capacity building, advocacy, and the creation of partnerships with corporations, individuals and foundations committed to solving community needs through women’s economic empowerment and leadership. She shared this vision with her network of friends and came up with the basic outline of the Mastermind Africa Alliance, for which she is the nonprofit organization’s founder. 50 As described on its website, 49

“Economic Growth.” USAID. Web. 15 September 2015. https://www.usaid.gov/kenya/gender-equality-andwomens-empowerment-kenya/economic-growth. 50 Mastermind Alliance. Web. 15 September 2015. http://mastermindafrica.org/.

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Mastermind Africa Alliance is a women led, development focused consultancy that seeks to collaboratively engage governments, the private sector, civil society and donor institutions to develop, plan, implement and evaluate interventions such as legislation, policies, regulations, initiatives, campaigns and programs that support and work towards achievement of full and active participation of women and girls in the socio-economic and political sphere […]. At its core, the Mastermind Africa Alliance seeks to offer gender specific interventions to address inequalities and challenges faced by women and girls at home, school, work and in society at large. As part of the business model developed by Muthoni and her friends, Mastermind Africa Alliance trains women on the skills and knowledge necessary to become entrepreneurs. They also approach large corporations working in Africa and advise them on corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and projects that have the potential of empowering women to become economically independent, while contributing to corporate profit. In 2009, Muthoni took part in the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Development in Africa (Moremi Fellowship). The Moremi Fellowship targets young African women leaders, ages 19-25, living on the continent and in the Diaspora, chosen because of their potential or actual achievements at the international, national, and grassroots levels to further the advancement of African women. During this one-year fellowship, Muthoni underwent leadership training and met women from all across Africa. One of them, Catherine Kamer, a 2013 VVLead fellow, talked to her about the VVLead Fellowship Program and encouraged her to apply. VVLead’s Impact Muthoni applied to the VVLead Fellowship Program at the end of 2013 and was accepted into the 2014 Fellowship Class. Through the VVLead fellowship program, Muthoni reports having gained her “sense of driving force,” as well as the deep vision and mission for the Mastermind Africa Alliance. She says: “Armed with my conviction on the difference I wanted to make in women’s lives plus the affirmation from being accepted into the fellowship program, I began the online trainings with growing the company in mind.” Asked about the major decisions she made since becoming a VVLead fellow, Muthoni responds,

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I think from joining VVLead and having that proper context, I was able to say, okay this is what I’m going to engage in full time and give all my energy to it. So one major decision was discussing with the really important people in my life and saying, ‘look, this is a decision I’ve made, I’m going to deal in the CSR consultancy and the goal would be women economic empowerment and I’m totally running with that.’ And also just putting structure, incorporating Mastermind, getting a certificate of incorporation... All that came after VVLead and me seeing the significance of getting Mastermind running fulltime. In September 2014, Muthoni registered the organization, created a website and began reaching out to clients. She also formed a team, reconnecting with some of the women she had met through the Moremi Fellowship and inspiring them to get involved in the project. Challenges and Needs as a Leader Despite Muthoni’s enthusiasm and skills, the Mastermind Africa Alliance has not financially taken off yet. Muthoni is improving her business model and reaching out to new corporations and investors but so far has not been able to ensure funding for her project. At this time, she’s the only one working full-time for the organization, as she cannot afford to pay for staff. She has a team of very committed consultants who work pro bono in the evenings and during their free time. They continue with their day jobs and hope to fully dedicate themselves to Mastermind Africa Alliance once it takes off. In 2015, while she received training as a VVLead fellow, Muthoni also took part in the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Program and the Mandela Washington Fellowship. According to Serrainne Nyamori, Head of Operations of the Mastermind Africa Alliance and a close friend of Muthoni, interviewed by Vital Voices as secondary source for this case study, while these activities are very important for Muthoni’s personal leadership and growth, they have limited the time she was able to fully dedicate to the implementation of the organization’s business plan. Serrainne says that The programs are good but they should be spaced out […]. If they are taken in a series, then I think one is at risk of just getting in their heads of just getting all these awards but there is very little time for actionable work. In the long term, the connections, skills and visibility Muthoni has gained through these programs will certainly be beneficial to the organization. However, in the short term, it has proven difficult for her to

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balance the intensive trainings and travels required in these programs with the everyday needs of the Mastermind Africa Alliance. Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Connect Muthoni says she draws her inspiration from the encounters with the other high achieving women with whom she connects daily, also thanks to the VVLead Program. Through the VVLead Program, she developed personal and professional relationships with other powerful women, from whom she receives “unconditional help” for her project. Through the VVLead Fellowship, Muthoni has connected with women leaders from across Africa who are providing her with support in defining her life and professional goals and have kept her “on track,” improving her ability to make decisions and to focus on her vision for the Mastermind Africa Alliance. Asked about the value of the support she received through VVLead’s international network, Muthoni says, I think the international perspective is really useful because you are able to understand a different approach to how it’s done in literally every conceivable country. You are probably bound to find somebody who has an opinion or can give you a tip on how it’s done in their country and that’s really refreshing because it really challenges you to think beyond your boundaries, country boundaries, continental boundaries and just have a global vision…Being part of such a network, it actually opens your mind, it unlocks your mind and I think that’s such a valuable mind shift. Through the connections and learning experiences she gained as a VVLead fellow, Muthoni reports having gained more confidence in her work and the encouragement she needed to engage in it much deeper. She also developed useful business connections that might develop into full-fledged projects for the Mastermind Africa Alliance. During the Peer-to-Peer Exchange in Tanzania, for example, Muthoni talked about her business model with Ritah Muyambo, another VVLead fellow. Ritah facilitated Muthoni’s connection to someone who runs a corporate foundation in Kenya and would be interested in the kind of services Mastermind Africa Alliance has to offer. The last time we talked to Muthoni, she had connected with the foundation, sent them a proposal and was waiting for them to respond with a date for a face to face meeting where they will be discussing her proposal.

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Learn Through the VVLead Fellowship, Muthoni reports having had the opportunity to be involved in a “continual learning and supportive process.” In her mind, VVLead is unique in its long-term, individualized commitment to the fellows. Through the VVLead Fellowship and the D2L online platform, Muthoni attended webinars on monitoring and evaluation, strategic planning, vision and goal setting. She also took part in the Documentarian Project workshop in Tanzania, a two-day intensive workshop where 24 Documentarian fellows were trained in M&E and qualitative evaluation methods. The possibility to always access the online DL2 platform has also been very helpful for Muthoni, as it serves as a memory of the lessons she learned in previous years. Overall, Muthoni says she learned to trust her vision and transformed Mastermind Africa Alliance from a free time activity to a true life mission as a result of VVLead. Thanks to the sisterhood she felt within the network, the help and the encouragement she received from the VVLead network, Muthoni also reports having gained clarity on her vision and having learned to be bolder and more selfconfident in her decision making. Conclusion and Lessons Learned At this point in her personal and professional development, Muthoni needs to have the time and concentration to put into practice the lessons she has learned from the international training and networking opportunities she was provided and focus on her initial mission: the development of programs that economically empower women in Africa. In the past year, Muthoni took part in numerous prestigious fellowships, which developed her leadership skills, but left her little time to focus on the dayto-day details of running a newly founded organization. VVLead has proven key in Muthoni’s personal and professional development, giving her the support network, the leadership skills and the mentoring she needs to become a successful CEO for the Mastermind Africa Alliance. With this, Muthoni can now channel the experiences and skills she learned through VVLead and her other fellowships to her long term vision. “To put Mastermind in a place where anyone who wants to engage with a company knows that it’s a stop shop to be able to make real sustainable long-term impact on women and this is through the business model that I will be applying when investing.”

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A CASE STUDY ON NEBIAT ASSEFA Introduction and Background Nebiat Assefa was born in Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea. At the age of ten, her middle-class family, which included her mother, father and three sisters, moved to the small city of Mek’ele in the northern region of Ethiopia. Growing up, her mother, a nurse, played the most influential role in shaping Nebiat and her sisters’ personalities. Both her mother and father, a technician in the Ethiopian Air Force, placed the highest priority on their daughters’ education. While it was not unusual for girls in their town to attend school, some of Nebiat’s peers dropped out of school early in order to get married. Nebiat recalls, If you go to a rural area, it was difficult at that time to go to school because they believe that it doesn’t matter whether a woman or girl goes to school or not, at the end of the day, she will get married so that she will take care of her children. Her parents, however, did not entertain any other ideas for their daughter and supported Nebiat throughout her entire educational trajectory. Nebiat attended the Addis Ababa University where she received a degree in Theatre Arts. Initially, she was disheartened when she learned that she had been assigned to this department. “Joining [this] department was one of the moments I fe[lt] frustrated and [wanted to] give up on my years of hard work because most people don’t give enough recognition for the field and I had that stereotype mind towards the department.” After her first year, Nebiat had the opportunity to switch majors. However, she surprised herself, realizing that she loved the arts and decided to stay on and complete her studies in this field. Upon graduating from university, Nebiat began working full-time as a journalist for an Amharic newspaper. “After I be[came] a journalist I be[came] alerted, I wanted to know more, upgrade my knowledge… [S]o I began digging every opportunity that can help me understand the world, even though Internet was not that much cheap at that time.” Nebiat was persistent in her efforts to secure a scholarship to study abroad, but was ultimately unsuccessful. A couple years after graduating from college, she was accepted out of 800 applicants to work for Ethiopia’s government-owned media company as a Junior Radio Producer. “But my thirst for knowledge and wanting to achieve more [would

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not] back down,” she said, and after two years she was promoted to be both a radio and television producer for the company. Current Context and Vehicle for Change Today, Nebiat works as a Senior Producer for the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), 51 where she produces radio and documentary television programs. Her radio programs focus mainly on African culture, music, art and lifestyle issues, and on Sundays, she hosts a weekly lifestyle and cultural radio program. Her passion, however, lies in producing television documentaries. These documentaries focus on social and cultural issues related to Ethiopian literature, art, history and music. Although the organization is now independent from the Ministry of Information, Nebiat says the agenda is still largely set by the government. As a result, she is confined to covering certain topics and has less autonomy to produce programs that focus, in particular, on women’s issues. In Ethiopia…there are different kind[s] of radio programs and TV programs, but women’s issues are not that…vibrant. I mean, people, they don’t buy airtime to produce on women’s issues or other social problems. They prefer to buy airtime in order to make entertainment programs. Despite some of these limitations at EBC, working as a journalist all these years has made Nebiat more aware of social issues in her country, and in turn, has inspired her to uphold a greater sense of duty. “The process of being mature made me realize that I have to be a better person to make a change in my society. Being empowered [is] not only for myself but also for the sake of my society.” As her portfolio currently focuses on cultural issues in Ethiopia, Nebiat strives to give a voice to, and shine a light on those communities that ordinarily receive little attention or notice. Much of her time is spent in remote rural areas around Ethiopia, learning, capturing and promoting traditional ways of life that are becoming obsolete to most in the modern world. One of the subjects in her documentaries, Hagos Gebremariam, who is a sociology lecturer in Adigrat, a town located in northern Ethiopia near the border of Eritrea, spoke about the importance of her work highlighting his community’s traditional culture. Most of [Nebiat’s programs] are on dying culture or something in danger that she wants to preserve again that people will get focused on – government’s attention and society’s attention 51

Previously known as Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency.

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will come and those dying culture will be lifted up again and be reborn again and that’s what happened to my community too. After her program aired on Ethiopian television, the mayor of the city established a committee that would conduct research on cultural traditions as a way to preserve the culture. Hagos said that this was the first time that his people were given the opportunity to promote their culture to outsiders. He also said that he appreciated Nebiat’s taking the time and effort to take part in all aspects of their society so that she could fully understand and portray the culture. “Some journalists mainly focus on celebrities or elite groups, but Nebiat’s quality was that she really goes to the remote rural area to dig out very good information, firsthand information from the society,” said Hagos. One of Nebiat’s most striking qualities is her desire to develop herself personally and professionally. “Nebiat always works tirelessly on developing herself in knowledge and profession,” said Tewodros Hunde, a colleague that has known Nebiat for about six years. Her list of professional development is impressive. She has participated in international conferences and trainings in South Africa, Turkey, Italy and Thailand related to issues such as climate change, HIV/AIDS in Africa, as well as global economic governance. All of these opportunities, Tewodros explained, have allowed her to widen her knowledge and discuss solutions to these various pressing problems. “In the professional aspect, Nebiat is among the few people I know who are committed to perform a task to the fullest of their capacities,” said Tewodros, “This quality of hers has also been recognized by the organization by putting her among the best performers of the year for all of her working years.” Current Context Nebiat recently obtained her master’s degree in Theatre and Development, a degree that focuses on tackling social problems through art — specifically theatre. “If we can combine [social] issues with entertainment, we can attract more people,” said Nebiat. For her master’s thesis, Nebiat used participatory theatre to educate highly affected communities about the dangers of irregular migration – a growing phenomenon where a person enters, stays or work in a country without the necessary authorization or documents required under immigration regulations 52 – a topic for which she has a great passion. The situation in Ethiopia remains unstable with respect to irregular migration, as the country is 52

“Glossary on Migration.” International Organization for Migration. International Migration Law Series No. 25 (2011). Web. 29 October 2015. https://www.iom.int/key-migration-terms.

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both a transit and destination state for asylum seekers, international migrants, and/or refugees. Ethiopia’s government maintains an open-door policy, allowing humanitarian access to those migrating to Ethiopia, but does little to protect nationals seeking refuge outside of Ethiopia. While Ethiopia hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa, due to deteriorating conditions in many of the camps, as well as a number of other insecurities, more and more refugees (including Ethiopian nationals) are departing the Horn of Africa. 53 In some communities, people invest very substantial amounts of money to migrate to Saudi Arabia, often illegally, but when they get there they are exploited, killed or sent back to Ethiopia with no money. One of those communities is Woliso, which is about 114 kilometers from Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. For her thesis, Nebiat wrote her own script, recruited actors from the local town and directed a play that unearthed the dangers of irregular migration. Incorporating community actors provided the people of Woliso the opportunity to share their stories. “People participate, they give their ideas, they shape their theater…It shows that they know something about the issue,” said Nebiat. Tewodros, who edited her script, said he has learned a lot from Nebiat about this topic. I have learned that in Ethiopia, irregular migration has been growing at an alarming rate in the past six years. Last year, 150,000 Ethiopians were repatriated home from Saudi Arabia after the government announced a crackdown on undocumented foreign workers and most of them were tortured and sent back home without any money. What is more shocking than this is the report that quite a lot of those who returned from Saudi Arabia have been trying to go back to Saudi Arabia despite the horrors they faced. Unfortunately, many of the people from Woliso that Nebiat interacted with during the participatory theatre process eventually migrated illegally to places like Saudi Arabia. We tried to communicate with them, but whenever we tried to show them the results of irregular migration, they know it, but still they want to migrate. We tried to tell them they are going to kill you, or they are not going to give you money, or you are going to work like 24 hours or 18 hours, something like that. All in all, they know it, but still, even after the whole performance they decided to go. 53

“2015 UNHCR Country Operations Profile – Ethiopia.” UNHCR. Web. 29 October 2015. http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e483986.html.

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Despite the harrowing stories they portrayed in front of the audience, she explains that many of the people had already made up their minds to migrate even before the performance started. Still, she is not giving up and hopes to devote more time to this cause. In the future, Nebiat hopes to reach and educate those most at risk of irregular migration before they make their final decision to leave Ethiopia. Related to her aspiration of producing documentaries to raise awareness about this issue in her country, she said, “I want to work hard to…change our youth’s way of thinking. At this point, people only think [that] if they get out of our country…if they flee or if they migrate they can get money, but that’s not the actual thing.” Outcomes of VVLead Nebiat applied to VVLead at a time when she was looking for opportunities to develop her leadership skills and build her self-confidence. Her sister heard about the fellowship first and encouraged Nebiat to apply in 2013. “I always thought that I didn’t have any leadership qualities. Even in our organization, whenever my boss tries to give me something, some position or he wants me to represent him, I always back down. I don’t want to involve in that area.” One thing Nebiat believes she has gained as being part of the fellowship is self-confidence, especially when it comes to her skills and capabilities, as well as becoming more comfortable with speaking up about her accomplishments. In our culture people don’t speak that much about their performance normally. If you meet an Ethiopian, most of the time they don’t want to say, ‘I can do this, or I can do that.’ I’m influenced by that. Mostly before I don’t like to say, ‘I can do this… I can achieve this thing.’ I feel it is boasting or something like that… But after VVLead, I tried to enjoy what I know also. I started to enjoy my capacity. The validation she has received as a fellow has also encouraged her to move forward on her more substantial professional goals. I start to think that my idea matters. First when I was thinking to have my own production company or something like that, it was kind of a dream. Something that cannot be achieved. But when I start the courses, especially the [Strategic Planning] course…when I try to set my goals, my mission, my – everything that we took in the beginning of our course, it was really impressive and I start to think that my ideas can be achievable, in one way or in the other.

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When asked to reflect on her dream at the start of the program she responded, “I want[ed] to upgrade myself and make a change in my family, work environment and in my society as a whole.” However, when she first joined the VVLead Program, Nebiat said that she did not have answers for, or clarity around, how she was going to bring about such change – or even what kind of changes she was hoping to achieve. “Before I joined the VVLead program I had too much energy with blurred image and that wasn’t taking me nowhere,” said Nebiat. “But now I know where I can find myself in five years. For me, this was a big step. At this stage of my life I feel like I have the map and compass of my life, which means I know where I will go next and already know where my next destination is.” As it relates to her greater impact on her community and country, Nebiat has since solidified her future professional goal: opening up her own production firm where she will have total editorial control over the topics broadcasted. In terms of her own personal development, building her self-esteem and being practical in her dreams, she says she has “walked miles” since joining VVLead. With the material she has acquired from VVLead’s online courses, Nebiat says she has an advantage over other people at work. She notes that she has found the strategic planning course the most helpful, and has started to use it as a way to plan out her future. Now when she speaks to her boss, she feels like she has a different point of view as a result of the webinars and readings she has done with VVLead. With the new knowledge she has gained, she says, “I feel like…my way of thinking is not ordinary. I have something different from other people.” The information that she does acquire from VVLead’s online platform, especially as it relates to strategic planning, she shares with her female colleagues and friends – many of whom are similarly confused about their futures and career trajectories. Conclusion Her increased confidence since joining the program, as well as affirmation of her leadership capabilities, has led to Nebiat’s desire to start her own organization. Eventually Nebiat would like to open up her own production company and further her skills in documentary filmmaking. By staying with her current organization, Nebiat believes that her creativity will be limited by their editorial policies. Instead, she would like to start her own media organization in order to have full editorial freedom to advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. “I want women’s and social issues to be a big issue in the media,” she said. With her own organization, Nebiat would like to produce her own talk show where

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topics such as women’s issues, irregular migration, and child marriage can be discussed openly. Nebiat believes that she can make change and it is her personal mission to create a better environment for women living in Ethiopia. First, however, she says she needs to obtain more financial security in order to start her own company, as well as a business partner that has the operational skills to open up an organization. While she has the motive, passion and journalistic skills to produce programs, she realizes that she needs the help of someone with previous management experience. Before participating in VVLead’s international network, Nebiat says that her immediate surroundings did not encourage or inspire her to attain loftier goals. Now, Nebiat says that being surrounded by socially like-minded, ambitious women leaders in the program has motivated her to achieve more in her professional life and be an even bigger agent of change in her community. Being a woman in a developing country is what awaken[s] me in the morning and keeps me to fight on every challenge that I face. I always want to be judged by my work, not by my gender. This is me, I am educated, yet I face many challenges because I am a women. This always reminds [me] about the life of women who live in the rural areas. 80 percent of [the] Ethiopian population live[s] in rural area[s], and half of the population is women, so I want to be a voice for those underprivileged women.

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A CASE STUDY ON NJAMBI KIRITU Introduction What motivates an individual and drives their actions is often a question of passion. In other cases, those actions are born from a sense of duty. Sometimes, however, it is both. If one asks Njambi Kiritu why so many of her positions on charity boards focus on the empowerment of women and children and education, her initial answer might be that she is not exactly sure what made her gravitate towards these issues. She might also explain soon thereafter, that women are the “biggest sufferers in Africa,” and often referred to as “beasts of burden.” Njambi might then remember her own childhood, and the discrimination against women she experienced growing up in her own home—reflecting on how as a child, she was not allowed to sit down and converse with her grandfather when she visited, and how she seemingly always had to assist her grandfather’s wives in the kitchen. She cites her experiences and the reality many women face in Kenya as “the things that pull one towards empowering those who are disenfranchised.” She is not solely driven by passion, but also by a sense of responsibility to Kenyan women and children who have not been afforded the same privileges she has. Who then, it stands to ask, is Njambi Kiritu? That answer could take a multiplicity of forms. Her colleagues have recognized her as “deeply caring,” “patient,” and “genuinely committed [to] trying to work with children.” Njambi is a Kenyan woman who started her own communications agency called Impact by Design that is still in operation today, and is a Board or Trust member for several nonprofits and corporations. One such nonprofit is the Flying Doctors Society of Africa, an organization dedicated to treating and preventing obstetric fistula among Kenyan women. Obstetric fistula is a devastating condition in which radiation, surgical trauma, an accident or, most frequently, a complication of obstructed child labor, causes an abnormal tear between the bladder and/ or rectum and vagina and results in uncontrollable leakage. According to a report done by Campaign to End Fistula in 2011, there are an estimated 3,000 new cases of fistula each year in Kenya—and only 7.5% of these women are able to access medical care for their condition. 54 Confronted with this reality, and impassioned by the 54

“Fistula Surgical Camp in Kenya Benefits 200 Women.” Web blog post. VVLead, 9 July 2015. Web. 25 October 2015. http://tinyletter.com/VitalVoices/letters/fistula-surgical-camp-in-kenya-benefits-200-women.

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violations of women’s rights witnessed in her lifetime, Njambi contributes to a greater solution by sitting on the board of The Flying Doctors Society of Africa and managing fundraising. Her colleague from the Society lauds the way in which Njambi’s “actions and word are […] congruent,” and how dedicated she is to “rolling up her sleeves” to do the less glamorous and more difficult work that no one else does. Of all the boards on which she sits however, Njambi is most invested in the Children’s Village Trust, a nonprofit and home for Kenyan children who have experienced significant trauma in their lives. There are currently an estimated 2.6 million children under 18 years of age who are orphaned and/ or vulnerable 55 in Kenya. 56 For as long as she can remember, Njambi has volunteered at various homes for children and orphanages—a responsibility she recalls her father instilling in her at a young age—and began taking her daughter Ciru along with her at a young age. Much to her alarm, Njambi discovered that many of the homes she was helping were misappropriating resources and, even worse, that some of the children in these homes were being abused. In some cases, the abuse was sexual. Disheartened with the trajectory many of these homes took, but hopeful towards what she might be able to accomplish for Kenyan children, Njambi founded the Children’s Village with two friends in February of 2013. The home can hold 96 individuals and is currently home to 45 children, many of whom lovingly refer to Njambi as “cucu,” or grandma. One of Njambi’s colleagues at the Children’s Village describes how upon entering the home, one might find her resolving conflicts between children or providing advice to the home’s caretakers. She is not an absent founder by any means, and her active role in the home’s day-to-day operations exemplifies her dedication to service. The same colleague from the Children’s Village described her position as anything but a “remote-control leadership”... and that Njambi is a hands-on, responsible person. Njambi Kiritu was not always the confident and empowered woman she is today, something she actively admits in conversations about her leadership trajectory. Before becoming a VVLead fellow, sitting on numerous charity Boards, and starting her own nonprofit, Njambi was a young professional with impressive academic credentials. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from a university in Florida,

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Meaning being at high risk for lacking sufficient care. Lee, V. C., Muriithi, P., Gilbert-Nandra, U., Kim, A. A., Schmitz, M. E., Odek, J., Mokaya, R. & Galbraith, J. S. “Orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya: Results from a nationally representative population-based survey.” JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 66 (2014): 89-97. Print. 56

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thriving on multiple merit scholarships, and quickly ascended the corporate ladder in the first jobs she held afterwards. She reflects that besides a strong foundation of ethical values—instilled in her by her father—and the love of her family, her academic and professional success has always been what has held her together. However, Njambi also describes her younger self as lacking in confidence, a woman dedicated to completing and achieving all that was asked of her as a means of rectifying experiences that she viewed as failures. Her struggle and subsequent survival through two failed marriages, domestic violence and cancer have tested her resilience and self-confidence. The same can be said of when Kenyan post-election violence in 2008 brought her communications agency’s business to a grinding halt, and Njambi had to temporarily shut down all operations of the very company she started from the ground up. Njambi’s communications agency, Impact by Design, served as the event planner for the first International Women’s Conference for the Kenyan Association of Women Business Owners (KAWBO), funded by Vital Voices. Impressed with the agency’s work, Vital Voices hired Impact by Design again to host the Corporate Ambassadors Program in Kenya. These collaborations meant the beginning of Njambi’s relationship with KAWBO, and consequentially, Vital Voices. After being invited to sit on KAWBO’s board, Njambi helped develop the organization’s structure and build office capacity. She additionally attended some African Business Women Network (ABWN) meetings as KAWBO’s secretary, and as a result of her attendance, Vital Voices eventually picked Njambi to participate in two training programs. In one of these programs, Vital Voices trainer Zoe Dean-Smith helped Njambi explore her vision, mission and personal values and taught her how to develop goals in various life aspects. Vital Voices women like Zoe were able to show Njambi how good leaders possess thorough self-awareness, and know where their strengths as well as areas of potential growth lie. Following these trainings, Njambi was introduced to VVLead, where she helped organize the Fellowship’s South -South Exchange conference in 2013. After this experience, Njambi applied and was successfully admitted to the VVLead’s 2014 Class. Challenges Njambi’s life has been one of resilience in the face of adversity, and she continues to tackle challenges today. Whether it was leaving an abusive relationship or struggling to pull a public relations

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company out of disarray and bankruptcy, Njambi has faced many different kinds of challenges. She has learned a great deal from each one through which she has persevered. In 2008, widespread post-election violence rocked Kenya and businesses all over the country began scaling back costs and letting people go. At this point Njambi had seen relative success with Impact by Design, her public relations firm, and was unwilling to lay off those who had served both her and the business well when the economy was better. Njambi describes how months went by with hardly any business, and how keeping her staff ate into Impact by Design’s savings. The company was forced to close in June of 2011. Thankfully, the Managing Director of the region’s largest supermarket chain walked Njambi through reopening and Impact by Design was able to open back up again two months later. Njambi also admits that before participating in VVLead and developing the confidence she has today, she was prone to accepting all requests asked of her. Despite her ability to juggle so many commitments, she was often spread too thin. Njambi also describes her old self as being susceptible to bullying and has struggled in learning how to stand up to those who attempt to take advantage of her. Outcomes By participating in the VVLead Fellowship, Njambi has been brought to believe that making ripples within one’s community is possible—and that future and current possibilities and involvements ought to be evaluated with this in mind. The somewhat insecure woman of her past who indiscriminately accepted requests is no longer; today Njambi’s colleagues refer to her as a “natural mentor” who takes a “hands-on approach” in resolving issues in the professional realm. Confident in her ability to make change, Njambi only now takes up opportunities where she believes her talents will be best employed—and has additionally critically evaluated her commitments in terms of how they might help realize her self-proclaimed dream of seeing “every Kenyan woman and child tap into their growth potential.” Speaking with those close to Njambi reveals what kind of influence she has on her colleagues and friends. Her daughter Ciru describes her as “firm and fair” with a “soft heart,” however, she does not entertain mediocrity. She is a woman that many are proud to know and work alongside. Njambi also found VVLead’s webinars informative and important for the future of the Children’s Village. Kathleen Holland’s Strategic Planning course instructed Njambi on how to perform a SWOT analysis (a tool that evaluates a venture’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) for the

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Children’s Village. She explains that learning how to conduct such an analysis for the home brought her to critically evaluate the way in which the children’s education is handled, as well as the average age of the children admitted. She concluded that the children were not benefitting from being sent to public schools during the day and learning outside of the home, and that on average, children who entered the home at a later age had experienced more significant trauma in their lives and needed greater mental attention and care. Because of the insights she gained from performing this SWOT analysis, Njambi plans on writing a position paper to the Children’s Village’s Board of Directors that will focus on reviewing the future age bracket for children admitted to the home. She is also looking into hiring a full-time psychologist for the Children’s Village, as well as beginning home school instead of continuing to send the children to public schools outside the home. After participating in a fundraising webinar led by VVLead trainer Liz Ngozi, Njambi learned about the concept of cloud funding and how it could help her reach her goals for the Children’s Village. After connecting with Njambi, another VVLead fellow, Gili Navon, suggested Njambi use cloud funding to raise enough money for an accelerated learning resource center for the children at the home. Although Njambi has not yet started the cloud funding process, she plans on doing so in the near future. Njambi and Gili’s connection has also led to physical collaboration: the two have agreed to an exchange program where students from the Israeli university, where Gili is a professor, can apply to intern and volunteer at the Children’s Village. Njambi has also agreed to support Gili’s project on women’s development in India by presenting her proposals to Asian communities in Kenya in order to garner funds. Because of her participation in VVLead, Njambi was able to connect and collaborate with Alice Emasu, a 2013 fellow who works on treating fistula in Uganda. Alice described to Njambi the way in which Terrewode—an organization she founded, and one of the first to address fistula in Uganda— works to assuage women’s suffering due to fistula. The Flying Doctors Society of Africa, where Njambi sits on the Board, was able to implement some of the methods that Terrewode uses in Uganda to increase the amount of women they help in Kenya. Whereas before Flying Doctors would advertise its free fistula treatment clinic solely via radio and television, following Njambi and Alice’s connection and subsequent discussions surrounding the organizations they are both involved in and the methods they

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use, Flying Doctors began using community health workers to venture out into rural communities in Kenya and promote the clinic directly to women suffering from fistula. From one fellow to another, Alice was able to offer Njambi advice on how to increase the amount of women benefitting from the Flying Doctors of Africa’s efforts. To Njambi, the arguably most important outcome of participating in VVLead has been her improved confidence. She points out that becoming a fellow has given her a sisterhood that she can fall back on for guidance in both her personal and professional life, and that the fellowship’s missionoriented approach has reaffirmed the fact that she stands for something. With this newfound confidence, Njambi was able to stand up to a colleague who had continuously belittled her in the past, and challenge them on issues of governance in court. Discussion Although Skype calls with Njambi, her colleagues, and family were for the most part successful with minimal technical difficulties, it is worth considering how performing the interviews in an in-person setting would have improved quality or led to gain of new information about Njambi’s personal and professional experiences. Additionally, as many of the tools Njambi gained from VVLead are skills she will carry with her for the rest of her life, it is hard to see how her participation in the fellowship fully impacted her professional trajectory in the short-term. It would arguably be more beneficial to see where Njambi is with Impact by Design, The Children’s Village, and her various Board positions in five years. Overall, Njambi exemplifies how important it is especially to invest in the professional development of women who may already look successful. Upon the beginning of her relationship with Vital Voices, Njambi had already graduated Summa Cum Laude from university and started her own business. With the VVLead Fellowship however, Njambi gained planning and professional skills and gained a clearer and more positive sense of self. Because of VVLead, Njambi can present a self-assured and more confident version of herself—and consequentially inspire others (both women and men alike) to improve themselves as well.

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A CASE STUDY ON PATRALEKHA CHATTERJEE Introduction and Background Until the 1950s and 1960s, journalism in India was a purely male profession. There were few women in newspaper offices that wrote columns or worked on weekend editions; instead, often covering fashion and flower shows and almost never sent on reporting assignments by their male bosses. 57 Even today, when the number of women in this profession has exponentially grown, female journalists still face discrimination and violence threats. 58 A female columnist, journalist, author and activist for women’s rights, Patralekha Chatterjee describes herself as independently minded and strong willed. Talking about her personal and professional journey, she describes a succession of life changing, bold choices that took her out of her comfort zone and progressively involved her more into bringing social and cultural change in India. Growing up in a relatively privileged family (her father, an engineer, and her mother, a homemaker with a post-graduate degree in Physics), Patralekha’s parents moved frequently within India when she was a child in order to accommodate the demands of her father’s job. Often forced to learn new languages, attend new schools and make new friends, Patralekha acquired early on a taste for independence and self-reliance. Right after finishing college, Patralekha left her family, at that time living in Mysore, Southern India, to move to Bangalore and take a job in the advertisement department of a newspaper. The choice to be on her own was considered radical by the standards of the middle class India and marked the first major milestone in her life journey. It’s at this time that Patralekha discovered her passion for journalism. In her own words: “I realized that writing, analyzing, expressing myself are what energized me the most.” Still, she had no contacts, no professional training in journalism and could not find a job in this field. Fueled by her passion, Patralekha decided to leave her well-paid job to take a year-long post-graduate diploma course in mass communications at the Indian Institute of Mass Communications. 57

“Research Study on Media and Gender in Asia-Pacific.” IFJ Asia-Pacific. March 2015. Web. 15 September 2015. http://www.ifj.org/uploads/media/INDIA.pdf. 58 Raina, Pamposh. “Why Female Journalists in India Still Can’t Have It All.” The New York Times. 2 September 2013. Web. 15 September 2015. http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/why-women-journalists-in-india-stillcant-have-it-all/?_r=0.

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After one year of living on the few savings she had put together while working in advertisement, Patralekha got her diploma and started working as a journalist for a few hundred rupees a month. Despite the low salary, she loved her job. Talking about that time, she says: Being part of a newsroom, working with other young reporters, most of them single and migrants like me, was a lot of fun. I covered the assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India, and the anti-Sikh riots that savaged Delhi soon after. I also covered terrorist assaults. In 1986, I got married to a fellow reporter, a colleague in another newspaper. It was a marriage of love, and a milestone in my life. We did not live with my husband’s parents as most Indian couples did at that time. My husband was encouraging and supportive of my aspirations. In 1989, Patralekha was the only South Asian to be selected for The Journalists in Europe Programme with a fellowship from the French government to report from Western Europe and the new democracies in Eastern Europe. She had never been outside South Asia and describes this opportunity as “a fantasy come true.” In order to take advantage of this opportunity, however, Patralekha had to renounce to her job and leave behind her husband for one year. After doing some thinking, once again, Patralekha decided to step out of her comfort zone and accept the position in Europe. Asked about it, she says, The year in Paris was a transformational one. […] It opened my eyes to the wide world beyond what I knew. New country, new culture, new people. The Berlin Wall came down in November 1989. Communism collapsed and I got the chance of a life time to witness history as it unraveled right before my eyes. The fellowship offered me a chance to travel all through Eastern Europe and write articles... That year made me a lot more aware of social issues and set me on the track I am now. After returning to India in 1990, Patralekha started working for India’s number one economic newspaper, The Economic Times. The job offered her a chance to analyze social issues including genderrelated ones from political and economic angles. Covering a crime story, she once met a woman who had been a victim of domestic violence, covered 85% in burns and most likely going to die because of them. Interviewing the woman, she found out that it had not been the first time that her husband tried to kill her. Because she had five sisters at home who all had to be married off though arranged

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marriages, that woman felt that she could not leave her husband without bringing shame and stigma not only on herself, but onto her sisters, hindering their chances of getting married. This story deeply impacted Patralekha, who later wrote, Even though I was not writing specifically on women’s issues, when you are actually seeing things like that, you are face to face with the real stuff reality, which was not necessarily my reality or the reality of my immediate people in my immediate circle. I thing that was the beginning, that was the seeding of my consciousness. Gender based violence is a pervasive problem in India. Data from the International Crime Victimization survey, cited in the World Report on Violence and Health, reports that 1.9 per cent of women aged 16 and above in Mumbai report having been sexually assaulted in the last five years. 59 According to a study of the London School of Economics and Political Studies, Recent estimates of lifetime partner violence among ever-married women are 39.7 per cent for all types of violence (emotional, physical or sexual). A study of 2,000 pregnant Indian women found that 30.7 per cent of women who had not wished to have sex had been forced to do so, while a separate survey of 397 women in rural South India reported that 34 per cent of women had been hit, forced to have sex by their husband, or both. 60 In the 1990s, Patralekha lived in the United Kingdom for a few years, following her husband’s career. There, she started working as a freelance journalist for Women’s Feature Service (WFS), an international NGO headquartered in India, reporting on women’s stories in Europe. In 1995, on behalf of WFS, she covered the Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace, convened by the United Nations in Beijing, China. Ever since, Patralekha has been writing and speaking about gender and development issues throughout the world, publishing on a wide range of very authoritative publications. Patralekha writes regularly for The Lancet, British Medical Journal, Intellectual Property Watch and several Indian publications. She has a column (Dev 360) in The Asian Age and in the Deccan 59

Coast, E., Leone, Tiziana, and Alankar Malviya. “Gender-based violence and reproductive health in India.” The London School of Economics and Political Science. Web. 15 September 2015. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/southasia/2013/01/23/gender-based-violence-in-india/. 60 Coast, E., Leone, Tiziana, and Alankar Malviya. Gender-based violence and reproductive health in five Indian States. New York: Routledge, 2012.

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Chronicle, two multi-edition English language Indian newspapers with a combined circulation of 1.4 million. She also writes occasionally for The Daily News and Analysis (DNA), a top, multi-edition English language newspaper published in India. Patralekha has received multiple awards and honors. Among them, the Media 21 Global Journalism Fellowship from a Swiss NGO, Info-Sud, to report on access to healthcare; and the Media Fellowship from National Press Foundation (US) to take part in a Journalist to Journalist training program on HIV/AIDS and attend the annual International AIDS Society conference in Cape Town, South Africa. According to Patralekha, the Indian media has a tendency to dramatize news, particularly news concerning women’s issues and gender inequality, often missing out on the real story. They cover extensively sensationalistic stories, like rape and homicide, neglecting to explain the underlying causes of discrimination against women and the daily challenges and threats that women face, like malnutrition, female feticide and lack of education. “In a male dominated profession, as a woman journalist it is commendable that her columns appear in the op-ed pages of English and Hindi newspaper dailies,” said Anita Anand, her former supervisor at the Women’s Feature Service (WFS). Still, being one of the few journalists in India who focuses on women’s issues, Patralekha felt lonely at times, haunted by moments of doubts and hopelessness. In 2013, a friend told her about VVLead and encouraged her to apply. After speaking with Rashmi Tiwari, a 2013 VVLead fellow, Patralekha’s interest in the program grew and she then decided to apply. Challenges and Needs as a Leader As an independent journalist and writer, Patralekha had moments of doubt, burdened by the hurdles that arose in her journey. Yet, she has an unshakable faith in herself and in her gift as a “wordsmith.” She says, I believe being blessed with the power of communication and I can use it to communicate ideas, which can make a difference to the society I live in and the people who surround me. I believe I have contributed significantly in foregrounding issues which would have otherwise slipped off the radar, but I also know that I have miles to go. This sense of purpose and mission keeps me going through all the dark patches. I believe it is important to reflect about what one really

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wants to do in life. Once that becomes clear, one should recognize that there will be obstacles en route and accept them. For example, Patralekha recognizes it was not easy to give up a well-paid job with recognized newspapers in order to be able to focus on the social issues she cares most about. She had to renounce the financial security and outreach she automatically had working for India’s top economic newspaper. As an independent journalist, Patralekha had to try much harder to get her voice heard. After time, though, the decision to consistently focus on social issues paid off. Now, she has syndicated columns, consultancies with the United Nations and her writing on issues related to violence against women, female feticide and “honor” killings have appeared in media outlets around the globe. Asked about this, Patralekha says, “My sustained focus on these areas at a time when the media space is crowded by other more ’saleable‘ issues has enhanced my credibility as a writer and has led to several invitations to speak at public fora to lecture students.” Patralekha finds her driving force in the firm belief that, through her work, she can make a difference for women in India: “As a writer and communicator, I am driven by the mission to sustain the spotlight on violence against women and the violation of their economic, political and social rights.” She feels motivated by the recognition that her work receives among the public, including ordinary men and women who write to her from all parts of India to thank her for her support. VVLead’s Impact Patralekha joined the VVLead Fellowship Program in 2014. She says that being part of a wider network of women deeply committed to enhancing women’s leadership and reducing gender inequality made her feel less lonely. As part of the VVLead network, she felt the support she needed to deepen the focus of her work on women’s issues and particularly violence against women. Patralekha says she highly benefited from the “sense of solidarity” she felt among the fellows, the constant feedback she received on her articles and the increase in readership. She told us, I was a ‘mainstream’ journalist writing for the Indian and international media covering a range of issues prior to becoming a VVLead fellow. […] Being part of this international network of women leaders working in diverse disciplines is extremely empowering for an independent writer. […] As an independent writer, I have not had the advantages of specific institutional affiliations. Belonging to the VVLead network is encouraging and it has influenced my leadership

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style by helping me stay focused on my driving mission all the time. It has also reminded me of the importance of brand building in order to achieve one’s mission. As a VVLead fellow, I feel encouraged and inspired by interactions with my colleagues during webinars and on social media platforms. Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Asked about the role Vital Voices played in her leadership development, Patralekha responds: “Being a VVLead fellow has been an exciting journey. I have learned a lot about how other fellows working in other disciplines are making their presence felt in the area of violence against women.” As a result of the VVLead Fellowship, Patralekha started writing more, with a stronger focus on women’s issues. She also started being more present on social media and disseminating her work more broadly. Learn Through the monitoring and evaluation webinars , the public speaking and branding trainings and the interaction with other fellows, Patralekha reports having learned to promote her message on social media platforms and monitor the number of people she reaches. She says she understood the importance of owning her story and her brand and promoting it broadly. Through her participation in the South-South Exchange in Johannesburg South Africa, Patralekha improved her public speaking skills and her elevator pitch, which she is using extensively when speaking on public panels. Connect Through her connection with other fellows, for example Elsa Da Silva, Patralekha understood the importance of using social media to advance her cause. She was able to connect with younger people, learning about their perspective and enhancing her ability to communicate with them. She was also able to mentor younger journalists, like Kameshwari Ayyala, whom she met at the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk. The Global Mentoring Walk is an opportunity to highlight the importance of women’s leadership and to accelerate the impact of women leaders through mentoring. The Global Mentoring Walk convenes established women leaders and emerging women leaders to walk together in their community. As they walk, they discuss their professional challenges and successes to establish a mentoring relationship. Asked about the impact of Patralekha’s mentoring, Kameshwari responded,

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Her articles are in a way a learning process for me. Not only on language level but also on the level of what’s happening around the world when it comes to women. I know and have faith that she will be the first person I will contact when I will need guidance. […]Indian women lack confidence and that is why they are mostly dependent. Yes, women from past few years are confident and career oriented but they often give up for their family, which is not a wrong thing to do, but not at the cost of one's happiness. We or I have been brought up under the realization that we will have someone who will look after us, but I think when this thought will change, mentoring will be a talk not just about family and career but economy, innovations and so on. Conclusion Thanks to her drive and commitment, combined with the focus and insight she gained through her VVLead Fellowship, Patralekha has been able to position herself as one of the very few women journalists in India working with a specific focus on women’s rights. Asked about her vision, she responds, India cannot march ahead if half its population lags behind. My work is guided by my personal mission to get public and policy recognition of the pivotal role of women in India’s future, and to enable them to access healthcare, education, equal rights, and opportunities and live without the fear of violence.

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A CASE STUDY ON TEINA MACKENZIE Fellow’s Leadership Evolution VVLead fellow Teina Mackenzie has been an exceptional example of a community organizer, environmental and youth advocate, and political reformer in not only the Cook Islands, but globally. As a Cook Islander, Teina has brought together her community through the dissemination of knowledge regarding deep sea mining and issues related to a changing climate. She has involved local youth into this process by facilitating debates between students, which are attended not only by the community, but also by local politicians and representatives from mining corporations. This methodology provides a foundation for a strong community by providing future leaders with leadership and capacity building skills. She also recently represented her island nation by sailing a traditional vessel to Australia in order to bring global attention to the Pacific Islanders’ ongoing struggles with the effects of climate change and rising sea levels. She has also worked to improve the life of VVLead fellow Consoler Wilbert by increasing Consoler’s capacity to oversee her organization. Teina, along with other VVLead fellows who attended the Peer-to-Peer Exchange in Dar es Salaam in March 2015, has worked to encourage and empower Consoler by providing her with the emotional support she needs to continue moving forward. Undeniably, Teina is the type of person towards whom people gravitate. By involving individuals in her efforts in a captivating and fulfilling way, Teina is able to devise programs and initiatives that work to change the problems that she sees in the world. Teina grew up in a variety of countries as her father was involved in seismic oil exploration. Born in North Africa, Teina lived in Spain, Pakistan, Bolivia and the United States before eventually residing in Canada. She believes that all of the moving in her youth provided her with a sense of “cultural tolerance and embracing of diversity.” She also attributes her un-abiding empathy towards assisting the most vulnerable members of society, whom she lovingly refers to as “the underdogs,” to her own experiences of being an outcast in some of these countries throughout her childhood. Teina started university, but due to a major hip surgery, left and began working for a hypnotherapist. The town, however, was a hub for dance troupes from the Cook Islands intent on enticing local Canadians to their island for vacation. Teina became friendly with the Cook Islanders over the years and eventually received an offer to work in the Pacific as a travel agent. With serious

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persuasion from her mother, a native Cook Islander, Teina accepted the job offer and relocated herself and her son. Initially, the relocation was extremely difficult; Teina experienced social exclusion from the island, but eventually, she met and fell in love with her partner, with whom she now has five children with. After transitioning between various employment opportunities, Teina is now able to practice advocacy work while also supporting the income-generating airport transport company that she and her partner started. Teina’s focus has currently been centered on educating communities in the Cook Islands and the Pacific region on the impact of deep sea mining endeavors. Deep sea mining corporations are particularly interested in the South Pacific Islands at this time because the islands sit on a reserve of minerals and metals that are extremely valuable in various global industries. 61 Educating Pacific Islanders on the potential benefits and dangers of deep sea mining is crucial for the islands to make an informed decision that could affect the ecological climate for generations to come. These potential risks include, but are not limited to, benthic disturbances, sediment plumes, and toxic effects in the surrounding waters — effects that are both unpredictable, and large-scale to the point that studies have recommend abandoning manganese mining efforts all together. 62 As an activist, it is Teina’s mission to form a coalition between the islands in order to create connections between community leaders, as well as between the mining corporations and the communities. This is imperative as the impact of mining is not limited just to the surrounding waters of the island that allows it, but impacts all surrounding ecosystems. 63 She is forming these coalitions by involving the local community and the corporations through youth debates sponsored by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). Teina believes that involving students in the debates with government officials, members of non-government organizations (NGOs), and community service organizations (CSOs) creates a balanced and non-abrasive environment for the issues to be pushed into the community. The most recent debate was held in Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands. The debate included fourteen students from nine regional high schools and included three judges: a member

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Halfar, Jochen and Rodney M. Fujita. “Danger of Deep Sea Mining.” Science 316. 5827(2007): 987. Web. 15 August 2015. 62 ibid. 63 ibid.

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of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of a local Rotary Club, and a Honiara resident who was formerly the director of SPC. Other notable attendees included the European Union (EU) Ministry of Mines, EU Ministry of Finance and EU Ministry of Environment. Members of local NGOs were also in attendance along with members of mining exploration companies, local community members and parents of the debaters. Teina noted of her efforts that involving the community in a non-aggressive way “creates great awareness” regarding such a contentious issue. This initiative not only has a positive impact on community knowledge of environmental issues, but also provides students with valuable life skills in the process. Regarding the initiative’s impact on students, Teina said, It’s not just personal development [and] professional development. Governance issues were covered and a real awareness for these young people [was created] on how they can be more useful in their communities. … Also empowerment, reminding them that they can actually be a part of making change … by being involved, by keeping involved, [and] by being engaged in issues that are important to their country. Not only does this issue spread knowledge of deep sea mining practices throughout the community, but it grooms the next generation of young leaders in the Pacific Islands. Furthermore, the accompanying media campaign hosted by the local government, NGOs, and CSOs spreads the information produced through the debates quickly and effectively through the communities. She summarizes her initiative in this way, [We are] building young leaders and getting them involved in governance issues and [making them] aware of development issues in their country. Then you’ve got the community awareness through the parallel media campaign, and then third, you’ve got the collaboration between all these different entities. So all these components kind of come together and work through this initiative. It’s really successful. In regards to Teina’s success, fellow organizer Vira Atalifo recalled, Teina’s amazing at both [debate] events [in the Cook Islands and the Solomon Islands], as she can work logistics, loop in key stakeholders in government, NGO and private sector for training sessions, be a mentor, and train students on debate tips [and] skills. The original idea of having the youth debates to increase public awareness was [Teina’s], and following the success of the

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first one in the Cook Islands, we received interest from our other member countries to hold debates as well. Aside from being extremely important to youth development, this position is of great importance to Teina — it is her first paid consultancy position. This validation of her skills in communication, community outreach, and environmental advocacy has encouraged Teina to continue to strive to provide much needed services and information to community members. Challenges and Needs as a Leader A resolvable issue that Teina is facing is a general lack of human resources necessary for Teina to realize her goals in large spread advocacy efforts including political reform, deep sea mining, youth development, and environmental issues. She realized that her own work is suffering because of the lack of human capital to which she could delegate tasks, crediting the deficit to the Cook Island’s nation-wide struggle with depopulation. Without the extra help she finds it difficult to move her initiatives along, which decreases the enthusiasm for her work, noting that it is “tiresome” to constantly push herself to stay engaged when overworked. Ideally, Teina wants to improve the standard of living for those living in the Cook Islands, and provide more opportunities, so those Cook Islanders who have left will someday return. Still, even Teina has considered temporarily leaving the Cook Islands for another country that can provide her with more encouragement and resources for her various initiatives. A less tangible challenge that Teina is facing during her deep sea mining initiative is the cultural perception of “otherness.” Even though her mother is a Cook Islander, and the fact that Teina has lived in the islands for many years – even raising her children in the Cook Islands – Teina is still viewed as a cultural outsider. This is mainly because Teina’s accent and speech pattern are more like that of a North American, and also because she does not have conversational knowledge of the native language Maori. She noted, “People love to claim me as a Cook Islander for a number of reasons. Then, they love to claim me as the other side, not a Cook Islander, for other reasons that would suit them. So, my personal challenge is simply in who I am.” She combats her situational otherness with the successful work that she has done within the small island nation and by challenging herself on a personal level to desensitize herself from those who question her commitment to the Cook Islands by letting her actions speak louder than their words. The VVLead Fellowship Program has validated Teina’s efforts on a personal and global level. She stated in an interview,

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Through Vital Voices, I’m able to show that I have an impact when I work with [other fellows] and we start doing things for … organizations elsewhere. I showed that I can have an impact elsewhere and that is a strategy to let [the Cook Islands community] know that I can work here and work with the community. Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Since joining the VVLead Fellowship, Teina has participated in a variety of online webinars that have focused on capacity building exercises. Initially, she viewed the webinars as helpful refresher courses on things that she had already learned throughout her participation in other capacity building programs. However, as her participation in the fellowship grew, she realized that the webinars were providing her with the tools and methods necessary for determining a direction for her future goals. The Strategic Planning webinar was particularly important to Teina, who noted “Simply putting my mind to these issues made me consider my future more seriously.” While noting that she considers herself more of a free-spirit who does not want to be tied down by the rigidity of a structured life plan, Teina now understands the importance of having an end goal with flexible means of accomplishment. Furthermore, the VVLead Program has provided Teina with a sense of validation through both the capacity building exercises, as well as the recognition as a leader in her own right. This experience was afforded to Teina at the South-South Exchange, an in-person capacity building training in which VVLead fellows gather for a week from all over the world. She recalled, “I felt noticed, cared for, and appreciated. Having such genuine attention from my peers gave me more self-esteem and definitely more fervor to go out and make positive change in the world.” This recognition was especially important for Teina as the South-South Exchange occurred during the half-way point of a mission called the Mua Voyage, in which groups of Pacific Islanders sailed from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand to Sydney, Australia using a traditional double-hulled vessel called a vaka as their only method of transportation. Using the wind, waves and stars to navigate their journey, the Pacific Islanders formed the Mua as a way to bring a message of concern to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Congress in Sydney, Australia regarding climate change and rising ocean levels that disproportionally affects the Pacific Region. Shortly after arriving on the shores of Sydney Harbor, Teina boarded a plane for Johannesburg, South Africa where she joined sixty-two other VVLead fellows for the South-South Exchange. Covered in

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fresh bruises from her arduous Mua Voyage and wearing traditional Cook Islander garb, Teina remarks that she was given “curious attention” from the other women in attendance. She recalled, “Everyone was just so open in receiving someone new. I think that’s just a testament to women that involve themselves in their communities or different innovative ventures. I think that’s the thing – they are very warm, very kind, so I felt that straight away when I arrived.” More than just networking connections, at the South-South Exchange Teina received emotional support and inspiration from the other women to continue on her Mua Voyage, as well as other initiatives for environmental awareness, long after she left Johannesburg. She recalled that she gained mana, Maori for spiritual power, 64 from her involvement in the South-South Exchange and her interaction with other VVLead fellows. [C]onnecting with all of the women at the Exchange and the amazing things that they are doing for their communities and out from there was just – it added so much more mana … to the message that we had been taking around. And just to caring about people, you know, and that’s what I have to say about Vital Voices and the South-South Exchange is that I came back from is … the huge sense of nurturing, protecting, caring, and really wanting to do justice, fairness, and all these incredible things that I am all for. It was just great. It just stirred my passion even more getting back on that vaka the next day – literally the next day – and sailing on our longest and most difficult – most challenging part of the sail. On her return to the Cook Islands after the vaka expedition, Teina had ample time to consider her experience at the South-South Exchange. Deep in thought, she revealed that interacting with VVLead fellows from all over the world and observing how selfless they are with their time and skills motivated Teina to be more generous with her time and to allocate more energy towards her advocacy work. Teina’s connections have become an important facet in her pursuit of helping others. Most notable is her desire to help VVLead fellow Consoler Wilbert’s organization New Hope for Girls along with other fellows that she met at the 2015 Peer-to-Peer Exchange in Tanzania. This group, who refers to themselves as “the Initiators,” has been actively working to gather funds and formulate a strategic plan to re-build and strengthen New Hope for Girls, which provides capacity building skills to girls in Tanzania. Currently, Teina is rallying other fellows to contribute to Consoler with the skills that they 64

“Mana.” Maori Dictionary. Web. 15 July 2015. http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/word/3424.

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already possess in lieu of monetary donations. “What Consoler saw from us is [that] you can empower [other fellows]. Just that empowerment from being there on the ground saying, ‘We’re going to help you, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do a strategic plan.’” By encouraging other fellows to focus on applying the skills that they already possess, they are providing human capital and practical skills – arguably more important than financial assistance alone. The focus on the financial is what Teina views as one of the negative outcomes of developmental assistance at large. “In the end, you can throw as much money but if you don’t know how to manage it properly or you don’t have it going to the right places, it’s still going to fall over. So, you need that sort of … human capital and that knowledge and resource to assist in that manner.” Teina has a vision in which VVLead identifies areas where fellows are struggling, and then sends a qualified fellow with a skill set to provide assistance. She has started to implement this idea herself as mentioned with Consoler, but remarks that it is difficult to keep other people engaged without greater support. By implementing a system of peer-to-peer assistance, Teina believes that fellows that may be struggling will not only feel empowered, but also gain the practical skills that are necessary for their success. Conclusion Teina’s current focus is to educate local communities on the benefits and drawbacks of deep sea mining through the facilitation of youth debates on multiple islands in the Pacific region. This initiative not only involves local youth, but brings together communities, politicians and representatives from the deep sea mining corporations. By providing local youth with the opportunity to become involved in politics, Teina hopes to encourage the students’ interests in both the environment and to develop the students’ educational goals through empowerment and capacity building. These debates have been successful in the region because they have been structured in a way that facilitates a balanced and nonthreatening environment for local communities to voice their concerns. A political future seems imminent for the community leader. With a strong sense of personal drive, Teina’s focus is on reforming local politics to focus on the interests of the communities represented. While posed with cultural challenges from spending her youth outside of the country, Teina is motivated to help her people and to prove to them that she has their best interests in mind. Through her involvement with VVLead, Teina has gained a sense of validation and empowerment which she uses to pursue her goal of becoming a political leader for her country. In regards to her political

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entrée, Teina humored, “Mind you, [Liberian VVLead fellow] Agnes has said she’ll come and campaign for me to be Prime Minister, so I’m kind of already on that level. I’ll have a whole campaign; I’ll have a whole colorful campaign market for the next elections! People will be like, ‘Who’s the Cook Islander? What is she doing with all these women from all across the world?’” Joking aside, Teina’s political ambition may not be so distant after all. In 2014, Teina ran as an independent candidate in the Cook Islands Parliamentary elections. Although ultimately unsuccessful, there is a strong possibility of a second run in the near future. Overall, Teina’s participation in the VVLead Fellowship has provided her with tools that she was unaware that she needed in regards to strategically planning her future goals. She has also created strong bonds with women outside of the Pacific Islands region that she can relate to, and whom also support her in her work. The most notable outcome from Teina’s involvement in the VVLead Fellowship Program was the personal feeling of validation that Teina gained from participating in the South-South Exchange, as well as through her interaction with fellows and the VVLead Team Staff. In her own words, Teina described what her membership in the VVLead Fellowship has provided her: Support has come in terms of the organizers, and in the simple things like helping me arrange or being a part of Exchanges, encouraging me to apply to be a Documentarian. Those things have just really been very useful for [my] self-esteem and for empowerment, and for belief in being able to sort of just keep moving. … Just having the energy [and] the enthusiasm to really strive, that’s what I get from the fellowship.

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COACHING AND MENTORING WOMEN LEADERS A CASE STUDY ON: TAMALA SARAH CHIRWA WRITTEN BY: FAITH NDUNGE MUISYO Introduction and Purpose The objective of this case study is to capture outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Program through the experience of Tamala Chirwa. This case study seeks to understand the following guiding questions as they relate to her involvement in VVLead: (i) leadership evolution (ii) leadership challenges faced, needs and the support required (iii) leadership perspective and, (iv) Impact and outcomes from VV Lead program. Methodology Selection of Subject Tamala Chirwa, the case study subject, was purposively selected on the basis of her comparative advantage and ability to contribute significantly to the research. Tamala is one of the VVLead fellows undertaking the documentarian course and therefore understands the process that would be needed in documenting her case. Additionally, the researcher has a personal interest in the subject of mentoring and coaching which the fellow is currently involved in. Data Collection Data was collected using qualitative techniques from primary and secondary sources covering a period of four months (May – August 2015). The rationale in employing a qualitative method was to allow respondents to provide descriptive information about their thoughts and feelings on the questions asked. Primary data was obtained using an in depth interview guide. Secondary data was drawn from the fellow’s journal entries on leadership, her CV and broad literature review on leadership. The collection of data involved a three staged process. The first phase involved emailing an informed consent form to the fellow, (hereafter referred to as the subject) that explained purpose of the study, confidentiality and how anonymity of gathered data would be assured. The second phase involved gathering data from the subject using a semi-structured open ended interview guide. The interviewer used a digital voice recorder and note taking to capture responses. Notes taken during the interview mainly captured subject’s key points and phrases. After the interview, a colloquial transcription of the

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data was done with quotes captured verbatim indicated by italicized quotation marks. Follow-up questions arising from the interview were emailed to the subject and responded to using written responses sent via email. The open-ended interview guide utilized consisted of five sections, each corresponding to the research objectives to ensure all key subject questions were covered. The five sections were as follows: Section one: background information; Section two: leadership evolution; Section three: personal, contextual and organizational leadership challenges and support required by subject; Section four: leadership and management style; And section five: subject’s perspective on impact of VVLead. The third phase of data collection involved quality assurance check done through triangulation. Open-ended questionnaires were sent electronically to four respondents who were randomly selected from a pool of eight contacts provided by the subject. The key informants interviewed were one family member, two professional contacts and a friend. Interviews conducted were purely inductive, eliciting key informants’ views on Tamala’s leadership path, values, leadership challenges and needs. Interviewees were allowed as much freedom as possible in answering the questions and asked to give examples where appropriate. Research Limitations The key limitations faced during data collection included a conflict of schedules for subject and interviewer which made it difficult to schedule appointment. As subject and interviewer were in different geographic locations, there was no opportunity to observe subject in a work-related context. The interviewer had no background information on key informants to decide the best fit candidates to interview based on the knowledge of subject. Due to time constraints, this study did not include a verification of findings with key informants. The responses may therefore be prone to bias or highly subjective. All the four selected key informants were willing to respond to interview questions but had busy schedules. Two did not manage to respond on time, in effect delaying the data analysis process and one formant proved impossible to schedule a preferred time. In the interest of time, the interview was dropped. There was an assumption that key informants would give in-depth details on subject. However, this was not to the extent that was anticipated. Overall, they could not provide much detail on what they perceived to be Tamala’s leadership challenges and needs as they said they did not feel qualified to

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provide this level of information. In this regard, there was limitation of the value added of the key informants. Finally, the process of data collection, reviewing, transcribing, collating the huge information and shrinking it to a few pages that corresponded to the objectives of the study proved to be daunting exercise. Data Analysis Qualitative analysis was done by hand coding, question by question, using data collected from both primary and secondary sources. All similar themes were grouped together, with relationships between factors deductively constructed using the themes and cause-effect patterns. Research Assumptions Assumptions that were held in the data collection process included that through the case study, the interviewer would be able to explore and clearly bring out the various perspectives, interrelationships and experiences that have inspired the subject on her leadership journey. Recommendations for Further Research Should there be an opportunity to conduct follow up research, the following aspects will be included: role and Impact of coaching and mentoring women for effective leadership and the degree of leadership uptake for women as a result of coaching and mentoring. Leadership Evolution This case study is about Tamala Chirwa. She is 45 years-old, a 2014 VVLead fellow, a mother, wife and an entrepreneur with strong business acumen. She holds a Master’s of Business Administration and a Coaching Certification in Leadership and Talent Management with 19 years’ experience acquired from diverse sectors. She is the founder of two organizations, Women’s Leadership Footprint, a coaching and mentoring practice where she is also its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Bayenji Women’s Club-Malawi. Leadership does not exist in a vacuum but is framed by social, cultural, economic and political context of a country. Women around the world bear a disproportionate burden of poverty. Malawi is no exception as it remains one of the least developed countries, currently ranked number 174 out of 187 countries surveyed on the United Nations Human Development Index of 2014. It has a population of 16,829,144 people with a 50-50 split of male and female. Despite strong economic performance registered during the period 2005-2010, poverty remains widespread and concentrated in rural areas

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with more than half the population still living on less than $1.25 a day. One of the greatest manifestations of poverty is the lower status of women comparative to men in Malawi. Women in Malawi have a lower literacy level at 68.5% compared to that of men at 81.1%. 65 They are overshadowed by men’s dominance in key decisions making positions and have limited access and control over resources and assets such as land. Additionally, they are impacted more negatively by structural barriers in financial, legal and political systems that limit their participatory as key decisions makers. The main economic activity in most rural areas is subsistence farming with communities deriving over 80% of their livelihood from agricultural production. In January 2015, Malawi experienced heavy rains leading to severe flooding across the country, claiming the lives of 176 people and causing serious damage to property, livestock and crops. 66 Due to the severity of the floods the Malawian government declared a state of emergency in the country. Despite the challenging contextual background that Tamala is currently in, she is using her leadership skills as an instrument of empowerment, targeting women leaders and managers so they can become more effective and have greater impact in their work. Many women do not easily gain access to boardrooms where elite groups of males maintain their power. Tamala is one of the minority women that have served and sits on several boards including corporate sector giving her an opportunity to be the voice for many women and advocate in the issues that they face. This confirms the notion that promoting women’s leadership has wider reaching ripple effects beyond the women themselves. Women are change agents that not only tend to plough back the benefits that they accrue from leadership lessons but widely share their knowledge and resources, thereby positively impacting their families, communities and society. Tamala is a transformational leader that is going beyond transactional relationships and is inspiring, stimulating, and paying attention to women as individuals. Her advice to women that are getting into leadership positions for the first time is: Immerse yourself into a leadership role with a teachable and learning disposition. Avoid the posture of ‘I know what I am doing or I know it all’. Assemble a formidable team to push your 65 66

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2103.html. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/17/malawi-floods-kill-176-people.

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agenda forward and tap into pockets of wisdom, skills, knowledge that is deposited in the people around you and learn from them. Tamala considers herself to have a versatile leadership style that employs varying leadership and management styles as is demanded by the situation. Her style espouses collaboration, participatory, team player and transformational qualities. Tamala has a strong leadership and community service orientation with robust experience in leading individuals and groups. She believes her calling is in mentoring other women. She says: “This is what I was meant to do in this life as a way of making a positive difference”. She has been involved with Vital Voices as well as other organizations that support leadership such as Federation of National Associations of Women in Business in Eastern and Southern Africa (FEMCOM) and National Association of Business Women in Malawi that she helped set up. To celebrate International Women’s Day 2015, in collaboration with Vital Voices Global Partnership, she spearheaded the planning and organizing of the Global Mentoring Walk that involved 45 mentors and mentees in Malawi. Tamala considers this an important event to cultivate a mentoring culture in Malawi for professional women leaders. Fellow’s Background Raised in a large extended family and a first born daughter in a family of five girls, Tamala’s beginnings were humble. As she was growing up, her dad was one of her early influencers. Tamala’s father was an influential senior government official who later worked in the private sector heading several organizations. When she was only 17, her father died. Being the first born, she was obligated to take on leadership roles early in life and help support her mother. At the time of his death, Tamala’s father had modeled the way and set a high standard that Tamala aspired to achieve. She took on decision making, problem solving, and role modeling to her younger siblings and also became a breadwinner. The gap left by her father was huge. This was a difficult time for her but she continued to draw inspiration from the strong legacy that her father had left. Tamala considers her mother a strong, resilient woman, whom despite undergoing numerous challenging circumstances of her own, always bounced back from these hardships. Her mother was a strong support pillar during the difficult times. When she later joined college, she worked hard, emerging as the best student in her class and received an excellence award. This award gave her a sense of pride and achievement. It was the first time that

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she got a real sense of the concept of success and the recognition of potential. “It made me feel that I could be someone worthy of all that is associated with great and remarkable individuals in my community.” Tamala’s professional growth has not come easy but over time she has risen through the ranks after starting off in lower cadre positions and rising through senior management positions to CEO. Tamala nostalgically remembers in her early years after college, how her mother linked her up with a prominent business woman in Malawi. Armed with her college award and passion, Tamala poured her energies into learning and growing in entrepreneurship. Together with the business woman, Tamala was instrumental in setting up the National Association of Business Women in Malawi. As a protégé, Tamala credits her experience in running a business and advocacy for women issues from this business woman, who was one of her professional influencers and mentor. This woman was later to ascend to power to become the second female president in Africa – Hon. Joyce Banda. Besides her father, other male mentors also played an important role in the subject’s early years of her corporate career. While working at an investment bank with many older women, she remembers being confronted with an unexplained hostility from her female colleagues as she had a ‘tag’ of success that seemed to follow her. She was subsequently regarded as a professional threat and alienated, with no female workplace mentors or support. Her male boss played the role of mentor and provided invaluable professional support and guidance during this season. At the age of 22, Tamala excelled, becoming the envy of the very colleagues that had earlier frustrated her efforts and alienated her. Recognizing the need for self-development, she continued to study while at work to add onto her credentials. This paid off as four years later while a public relations student, she won another award as ‘Secretary of the Year South Africa’, representing Johannesburg-South Africa. That was a huge milestone in her career as this award opened doors and offers on a silver platter. Challenges and Needs of a Leader Leadership is dynamic as it involves investment in building human capital and developing the collective capacity of individual members to work together to achieve meaningful impact. In this process, challenges are expected in any leadership capacity or role. All leaders face personal challenges or have to deal with varying challenges at home, the community and at organizational level. More often than not, leaders feel isolated and unsupported without life coaches, executive, leadership and career

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coaches or mentors deliberately surround themselves with and seek to network with other women in leadership. Evidence suggests that women in leadership must develop coping strategies to deal with various pressures and challenges that they face. Personally, Tamala had to put on hold her professional growth for a number of years as she joined her husband on an international mission position in Ethiopia. During this period as a stay home mother, she had time to reflect on her life, growth and the direction that she wanted to pursue. She made this time count by researching on coaching and mentoring, an area of passion that finally led to the birthing of her coaching company. In January 2015, Tamala relocated back to Lilongwe Malawi, after years of living in the Diaspora. Evidently, personal experiences are powerful motivators for coaching others on similar journeys. At the organizational level, Tamala admits that her own leadership trajectory has been characterized with challenges to a point where she began questioning her calling and mission and especially in her current role as CEO of a coaching company. One’s context can also be both a barrier but also enabler for inspiration. In Tamala’s case, there are cultural barriers that inhibit empowerment. Tamala reckons that many people in Malawi do not understand what coaching is all about. She thought that upon relocating back to Malawi from the Diaspora she would quickly establish a broad clientele base and begin coaching immediately. However, Tamala perceives her patriarchal community as one that is deeply rooted in cultural nuances, where women leaders are not easily appreciated and must prove their capabilities over and over again. Due to these behavioral and cultural explanations that include gender stereotyping of leadership, Tamala has had barriers to reach to her target groups. There is a tendency for the community to confine individuals in a box, without appreciating the level of progress and growth that one has made over the years to get to where they are. There is an unspoken and subtle hostility towards individuals who seek to grow others - you are always regarded as a ‘Prima Donna’ and people are afraid of making one rich especially in this kind of work. Tamala contends that as a female CEO of her own company, many women do not appreciate the hard work it has taken her to get this level. Additionally, coaching and mentoring is a new concept in Malawi whose contribution and benefits are yet to be fully appreciated. Many people in Malawi equate coaching to laying bare your life to a stranger talking about your plans, challenges and therefore there is

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some lack of appreciation of the coaching and a general unwillingness for many to get involved. Seeing that her initial approach of casting the net wide in the market in terms of promoting and marketing her services did not work as coaching was shrouded in mystery, Tamala decided to change her strategy. Firstly, she decided to create awareness on coaching as an important process for any leader as it facilitates ground shifting changes in their lives. Secondly, she narrowed her scope of clientele to only individuals and organizations that understand or are willing to benefit from coaching and mentoring. Her current focus is to now grow her clientele portfolio with limited targeted clientele, mobilize resources and establish strategic partnerships with stakeholders working with women in leadership. There are high expectations placed on leaders. Tamala believes that some of the most important values and ethics that leaders should demonstrate are: authenticity, professionalism, integrity and courage to take bold and unpopular decisions when required. She believes that whatever leaders do must have impact. Leaders must offer service to others and exemplify excellence. Any leader must have the ability to communicate his/her vision or strategy so as to inspire and influence individuals for change. While the list of expectations from leaders is long, it is worth remembering that leaders have needs, too. Their needs have to be met to keep them relevant and continually responsive. For Tamala, these needs include the need to have a relevant network of peers who can provide a strong support system. There is a need to be understood and for women to buy into her vision. Being the CEO of her organization, she feels she needs to institute a board in place that will act as a sounding board. She desires not to be judged by cultural biases but by the skills and added value that she brings to women. Leaders need to be surrounded by other leaders, therefore developing a network of leaders with similar interests that provide the needed support. In part the Vital Voices network of fellows has provided a great network and pool of fellows with rich experiences to draw from. Additionally, leaders need to keep learning and adding onto their body of knowledge and experience. At the time of documenting this case study, Tamala was in the process of enrolling onto another coaching training program to deepen her skills and expertise in coaching and mentoring. Despite advances to empower women leaders, there is still a long way to go before women in general and especially in Africa make substantial inroads into top positions and board rooms. Change is slow but there are visible signs of progress.

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Outcomes of VVLead Fellowship Seeing that the VVLead program supports a global network of emerging and established women leaders, the leadership capacity of each participating fellow is challenged, affirmed, strengthened and deepened. Through the program, Tamala has built new skills in: visioning and strategic planning, developing case studies, public speaking and communicating with influence. This has helped her improve on how to deliver an effective pitch for her business, and brand herself. This has in effect led to new businesses and strategic partnerships with VVLead fellows and with other clientele as well. Tamala describes herself as being more confident to seek out business opportunities and promote her business services as a result of undertaking the program. In being able to communicate with influence, I am now more confident to knock on the doors of decision makers in the market who give me time to explain what I am all about and the work I am doing. The association with Vital Voices has enhanced my credibility and leadership/business clout. In this regard, I now have on my portfolio of clients, organizations such as UN Women and Standard Bank Malawi. I am also gaining the visibility I need as the ‘go to person’ when it comes to issues relating to coaching and mentoring. Tamala is enhancing her organizational, planning, analytical and negotiation skills. Knowledge gained through the VVLead Fellowship include: fundraising and resource mobilization, strategy development and strategic communications, and monitoring and evaluation. Through the skills built and modules learnt, Tamala has managed to translate this knowledge into practical strategic working documents that she uses for her practice. For example, she now has developed an annual budget which she reviews quarterly. Tamala sees herself as a valuable asset and has appropriately set a level of remuneration that covers her business costs. With this, she is able to negotiate better contract terms such as competitive consultancy rates and extension of contracts for her coaching engagements with clients. Tamala can confidently package her ‘Asks’ when requesting for funding for activities. An example of this was when she was planning for the Inaugural Global Mentoring Walk in Malawi in March 2015 and was able to solicit for financial support from Standard Bank (Malawi). Through the VVLead program, Tamala has made a number of connections and collaborated with other VVLead fellows. One of these examples includes her connections with Agnes Fallah Kamara Umunna. This bond was formed when these two fellows attended the Peer-to-Peer Exchange in Mexico

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in June 2014. The bond has deepened over the months, leading to professional collaborations where Tamala invited Agnes to sit on the board of her organization. Agnes has been instrumental in the initial website set up of Women’s Leadership Footprint. In addition, Chisomo Ngulube, a journalist with the Malawi Television and VVLead fellow based in Malawi, was instrumental in ensuring that the 2015 Global Mentoring Walk organized by Tamala in March 2015 was covered on national television. In 2014, Jaki Mathaga from Kenya who is also a 2014 VVLead fellow and Habiba Osman, a VVLead fellow in Malawi, benefitted from pro-bono coaching services offered by Tamala during the International Coach Federation Coaching week. Through this mentor-mentee relationship, collaborations have been forged and support offered to Jaki with regards to her mission of working with autistic children. Other budding collaborations are with Rocio Bernal of Mexico and Lumbiwe Limbikani of Zambia who will offer technical support and best practices for online learning platforms, which Tamala hopes to utilize when she launches online coaching classes. Last but not least, collaboration has been pursued with Hema Vallabh of Mexico, a previous mentee in the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, on the development of a mentorship curriculum for delivery in 2016. Hema was referred by Amaya, a 2014 VVLead fellow that interacted with Tamala during the Peerto-Peer Mexico Exchange in June 2014. Both Hema and Amaya were mentees in Fortune/U.S. State Department mentorship program. VVLead has greatly contributed to Tamala’s work. This symbiotic relationship between Tamala and VVLead has already opened up an opportunity for Tamala to facilitate two sessions of the VVLead Exchange programs on coaching and mentoring. These opportunities have been a huge learning and growth curve. In terms of branding, the exchange program provided some level of visibility and acted as reference on coaching and mentoring for her company. As a spill-over effect of the coaching facilitation with VVLead, Tamala has had a stream of referral clients seeking her services. Before joining the VVLead program, Tamala was an Associate Coach at a different coaching training institution. However, since joining VVLead, she has followed her vision and driven by passion, took the reins by driving her own coaching and mentoring practice. Tamala attributes her ability to improve her business brand and put in place informed systems and processes to the VVLead program. The training modules delivered by VVLead have largely contributed the needed framework and structure. As leadership is all about influence and learning, Tamala has learnt some lessons in her

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journey that she freely shares. As a leader, she will continue to draw inspiration from other great minds but not necessarily copy their path. Rather, she will define success in her own terms and set her own pace. She has also accepted that her leadership path may be beset by many challenges; however, there is a lesson in every challenge encountered. To date, no negative outcomes or issues have been documented as a result of Tamala’s participation as a VVLead fellow.

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LEADING WOMEN IN REVITALISING FARMING A CASE STUDY ON MARA BUA JOHNSON WRITTEN BY: GRACE ODEKE Section I: Introduction and Purpose This case study focuses on documenting and sharing the experience and leadership growth of 2014 VVLead fellow Mara Bua Johnson. The ability of the VVLead Fellowship Program to mentor women into individuals that are changing lives through leadership is lauded. Women’s leadership goes beyond empowerment; this is preciselywhat VVLead is doing; changing and nurturing women’s lives by bringing out leaders in them. Brief Introduction of the Fellow Mara Bua Johnson is described by her community as a “socialpreneur” and woman leader who is swift and active. She is the founder and CEO of Building Futures Worldwide (BFW), a national NGO in Uganda. Born to a family of chieftainship in Northern Uganda (Otuke), Mara’s grandfathers were chiefs (Jago) and her roots can be traced to a family of cultural leaders who valued togetherness and family orientation, a value imparted by her mother and grandparents. This leadership chain has not been broken. Mara’s mother, Honorable Betty Okwir (RIP) was an educator who rose to representing her people in the 1987 Constituent Assembly and Parliament, and later became the Minister of Education and Sports, and the first woman Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda (1988 to 2002). Her father, a retired civil servant, is the ‘Ngurapuc’ clan chief head. The Lango people are patrilineal and so children belong to fathers. What Mara Does In 2009 Mara founded Building Futures Worldwide, an organization raising the status and potential of rural girls and women through agriculture. Mara has revolutionized the landscape of farming in her community in Lira district, Northern Uganda. Her motivation is derived from her conviction that Uganda needs to embrace agriculture, which still thrives as the backbone of Uganda’s economy but is sadly now viewed by communities as a punishment. The LRA conflict that devastated Northern Uganda for 26 years crushed the agricultural economy in the region and so the need for concerted effort to revitalize it. “With over 70 percent of the people in Lango region living in poverty

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(compared to the national average of 35%), we need to break the cycle of poverty they are trapped in� she remarks. Mara trains her community and promotes health and nutrition, through fruit and vegetable farming, driven by her vision for a healthy, empowered and a peaceful community. She has turned agriculture into a social enterprise with economic gain. In order to make money, BFW prepares and sells packed fresh juice from fruits (papaya, oranges, mangoes, tamarind, watermelons, lemons, avocado and pineapples) from her farm and community farms. The partnerships she has created with fresh fruit farmers in her community provide an additional supply of fruits. Vegetables such as spinach, cow peas, cabbage, eggplants, and other indigenous species provide fresh vegetable to the local market. Mara is adding value to the agricultural products (poultry and vegetables) and finding markets in nearby towns and Kampala city. In her search for markets, her networking skills have become pertinent. Her focus is to improve household incomes, feeding and get more families out of poverty. According to Mara, approaching the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger (Millennium Development Goal 1) from a social responsibility angle in the rural community is more rational for tangible development. Most communities have the basic resources to eradicate poverty and hunger but lack the know-how of creating wealth and food security. This is where BFW comes in to partner with women who still hold responsibility for feeding families by organizing women farmers into groups. Mara has gone further to support women without land to utilize her family land, provide seeds, pesticides, fertilizer and farm equipment, search for markets, packaging materials and transportation, while women provide labor. These parties agree on how to share from the sale of farm proceeds: 50-50 or 40-60. The women farmers also receive training on seed identification, environmental conservation, home management, personal health and hygiene, child care, savings and they envisage creating a saving scheme in the near future. Communities need to be helped to appreciate that they need food just as they need the money. With an attempt to shift from subsistence to an economic production in order to get out of poverty, families in Lango tend to be inclined to reason that money is all they need and have forgotten about household food. The recent trend seen is that, food produced is sold off and families are left with barely anything to take them through the year. About 90 percent of the population in Lira is engaged in subsistence farming (Rogerson, 2010).

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Leading by doing is what Mara believes in. “Transformative leadership style is what I choose, it works, and it collectively changes lives.” Engaging her community in practical farming activities has enabled the women and girls appreciate a new start and embrace change. This innovative intervention is re-echoed in a statement by Muhtar Kent (Chairman and CEO of Coca Cola). “Nothing will do more to build a more peaceful, more prosperous and more sustainable world than the empowerment of women and girls” (Nelson, 2012). Currently Mara has developed about 5 acres as demonstration plots in her family land where groups of women and girls come to learn viable farming skills. Mara is championing transformation of negative attitudes among the people in Lango that agriculture is not punishment for those who dropped out of school. Targeting students in schools is a priority Building Futures Worldwide is pursuing in order for youths to begin to appreciate farming as a lucrative source of a decent livelihood. In Uganda, agriculture plays a vital role in development of the communities through a thriving economy; more so because women form the bulk of the (80 percent) agricultural labor and only few have rights to own (7%) or control use of land (FOWODE,2012). She recently embarked on planting pine and fruit trees to emulate the practice to the communities while contributing to the improvement of nutrition of the mothers and children and future income. Mara has collaborated with a number of leaders to reach out to schools in her community with motivating messages that have continuously encouraged students to stay in school and for parents to support girls in returning to school who dropped out of school due to pregnancy and early marriage. She has established school demonstration plots in collaboration with Aboke Primary School, St. Catherine Secondary Schools and Ngetta District Farm Institute- Lira. Mara is proud to see that so far she has supported 22 girls in going back to school and undertaking vocational training after dropping out of school due to pregnancy. She has been able to do all of this through her meager personal resources. She gathers groups of women on Sundays and market days to teach them about the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Education promotion is factored in as a powerful tool of Building Futures Worldwide programmes. Mara helps contribute to building peace and healing wounds among families created during the civil war. Women and children are the most affected. Children come to Mara’s home every Sunday in Adidikgweno Village, and are given sets of activities ranging from photography, art and crafts, games (riding, skipping, football, and building blocks), cooking and dress making. Each group is allocated

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a volunteer trainer. The groups take breaks and learn about respect for each other, forgiveness, sharing and taking turns, patience, and leadership. On the other hand, Mara has put together a task force of peace builders, counselors and religious teachers, all community role models who conduct meetings with the community and teach/counsel couples, parents, elders and children. Through interaction they learn from the community the issues that are affecting them and build peace. It delights Mara that she is able to see tangible results from her efforts. Such a case is Lorna Alum who got support from BFW to study at Uganda College of Commerce- Aduku. As a school dropout and mother, her husband encouraged her to approach BFW for support. Mara connected her to various professional women (tailors, caterers, lawyers, doctors, business women and women farmers). Today she is inspired and has decided to be a poultry farmer. The ongoing land disputes have inhibited the productivity of small-scale farms due to reduced cultivation, decreased investment and loss of economic assets. The economic consequences of land conflict limit growth and constrain economic opportunity, perpetuating the conditions that drive many of these disputes. Moreover, land conflicts have been compromised by limited transparency in the negotiation of land use, mistrust of outsiders among the people, fear of instability and limited awareness of investment opportunities (Corps, 2011). This is where Mara comes in to give more light, since the formal law in Uganda has recently been marked by several drastic changes in land policy, creating uncertainty about rights and ownership. Mara is able to attend clan hearing and make her contribution to resolving the land disputes by virtue that her father is the clan chief. The effects depend on who controls the productive assets such as land and labor. Section II: Methodology Selection of Mara as the subject for documentation was based on a number of considerations. Among these were access and communication with the fellow and targeting a fellow with potential growth. Following the assertion that women are an economic reserve that is currently untapped (Nelson, 2012), it was prudent to document Mara, who is focused on enabling her community tap this resource. This case study was conducted during the period of April-October 2015. Data was collected by consent of the subject and the respondents. Methods of data collection used were, face-to-face interviews, questionnaires, literature review and observation. Electronic multimedia was also used;

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WhatsApp, email and telephone solved issues of distance. Tools used included check lists, questionnaires and consent forms. The assumptions were that the respondents gave a true and honest representation of their views; however, corroboration of information collected was done across respondents. Limitations of These Case Studies and Further Evaluation The limitation is that the resources were inadequate to enable me visit the project sites. Much information was based on the subject and recommended respondents. Telephone connectivity was also a serious challenge given our locations and this delayed smooth communication. On several occasions we failed to connect due to our remote geographical locations. Evaluation can best be conducted after one year. Section III: Leadership Evolution Mara is a young emerging community women leader in Northern Uganda, making a social shift in her community. Her distinctive leadership abilities have enabled her to mobilize women to embrace farming as a way of positively changing their lives and their families. She still has exciting and fond memories of her childhood that stretch as far back to when she was 8 years-old. Mara enjoyed bird hunting episodes in the wilderness with her cousin, brothers and uncles. Her superb skills in using the catapult earned her a permanent place as a member of the hunting team even as a little girl. She defied the cultural stereo type in Lango that specified that hunting was a masculine role. Mara recalls her mother making her pair of shorts and this made her fit in among the boys. Others referred to her as ‘ole’ – a Lango pet word for males. In 1988, the sudden change in the career of Mara’s mother, environment and transition of life affected her when her family moved from rural Lango to Kampala, the capital city. Prejudice against people from northern Uganda at the time was widespread due to the prevailing LRA war in northern Uganda. “It was horrifying to be associated to northern Uganda. This was unsettling for me; I had to be strong, brave and resilient. I withstood the maltreatment,” she articulates. Words of encouragement from her grandparents kept her strong. “You are what you are, be true to yourself. You can only pretend to be something else, but in the end you are the one who is cheating yourself. This made me always be myself,” Mara recalls.

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Through Mara’s school years, she led in different capacities and performed various roles in school clubs. While at Makerere University she represented her Hall of Residence in the General Representatives Council, a prominent university body. Mara’s university activities revolved around making life better for the people she worked for and hence her passion for development. While in the UK, she was unanimously elected North East Housing Ethnic Minority representative. “I went through a foxy kind of work life, through several fields of work from marketing to research, mental health to community resettlement work, radio program development and now farming” Mara says. Mara attributes her growing interest in social work today to her prior involvement with the SOVA UK campaign whose primary purpose was to get more women into male dominated jobs under the ‘Women into Work: Building Futures’ program (Building Futures Worldwide organization borrowed a leaf from SOVA for its name). It was then that she understood and appreciated the need for targeted and deliberate actions to have women in specific leadership positions. Deliberately, SOVA, in partnership with other mainstream organizations, ran a campaign to have the first ever UK Home Secretary and election of Jacqui Smith, the first UK woman Home Secretary, was the result of this campaign. Upon returning to Uganda in 2009, Mara offered voluntary services to ABC Children’s Aid (formerly Uganda-Australia Foundation), working for their community radio as the program development manager in war-torn Pader district. This offered her an opportunity to exhibit her innovative abilities. The high levels of unawareness among rural women who had just returned from the camps after losing almost all during war struck Mara upon her return from the UK. The human development indicators in Lango region are still bad having experienced the 26 years of Lord’s Resistance Army that ravaged the region. Mara emphasizes, Most of the rural women are suffering because they do not have skills and the support and I am afraid this ignorance will be passed on to their daughters who will later pass it on to their children; and the circle recurs. I wanted to change that for rural girls. Hence the conception of Building Futures Worldwide, an organization developing programs to raise the status and potential of rural girls. This is embedded in the fact that gender inequality slows economic growth, and conversely, gender equality can increase the productivity of investments in agriculture and other livelihoods initiatives.

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Women are statistically the majority and so their needs and interests must be as an integral part of any development policy as those of men (NOVIB, 2011). Mara says finding VVLead through a search engine on the internet was a great opportunity she had searched for a long time. The great stories about work of other women fired and ignited her leadership energies. Section IV: Challenges Mara’s road through the leadership path has been life-changing and worth sharing, though tainted with challenges. For her it’s not just leadership per se. Mara reveals, It’s my desire to see my community happy, healthy and sustainably and consciously motivated to contribute to a better life. Seeing people sitting aback with almost no hope of regaining their glorious past, I decided that I will do what I can with what I have to make a positive difference. The fulfillment and lessons from her previous encounters have motivated her to replicate wherever she got an opportunity to do so, however she is sometimes incapacitated by inadequate resources to sustain the process. Pecuniary and Institutional Challenges Financial challenge is one of the impediments faced along the way in realizing her goals. Because Mara has no regular income or organizational budget support yet, she is compelled by her vision to sacrifice her meager personal resources to meet costs such as transport for volunteers, internet, and supplies for the girls and women. (Proceeds from the farm are still inadequate). As an emerging socialpreneur leader, Mara still faces challenges accessing financial support for her projects even with the numerous project proposals submitted to potential funders for funding. “Most donors still prefer to support already established and successful organizations. I need to cultivate a strong relationship with funders though it’s going to take a while before I can get funding” she laments. Mara has improved on her resource mobilization skills through VVLead and remains positive and optimistic. Access to skills building institutions has been a daunting challenge but she and her girls have had to travel far off distances to other towns or Lira town in search for training opportunities. Socio-cultural Challenges Farm work in a dominantly agricultural setting is a concern because over 80 percent of labor required for food production and 60 percent in traditional cash crop production is supplied by women in

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Uganda (Gerald Shively and Jing Hao, 2012). “Most times the men are reluctant to respond to what they consider women issues and more so the reason I’m focusing on empowering the women,” Mara asserts. In particular, less labor intensive and improved farm tools and equipment are what they need. There seems to be a misunderstanding and contradiction of certain concepts such as child labor by communities in a cultural context. In Lira, Mara began a vegetable garden at a school but, due to child labor laws, the children were not allowed to do any digging, so she asked parents to help, but only a few are willing to give support. Mara has explored other ways to engage with pupils (Robbins, 2014). She introduced farming in school demonstration plots as a way of motivating students and teaching them about agriculture as a co-curricular activity. Cultural stigmatization is one challenge affecting girls who have dropped out of school due to pregnancy. Woman elder and activist, Molly Opita says, Convincing culturally traumatized girls to go back to school after child birth is a challenge due to the negative reaction of society. They look at these girls as failures as most of these girls don’t end up marrying the men who got them pregnant. They feel unfit to mingle with other girls. Even the parents are usually reluctant to invest more of their little resources on these girls. Mara underscores that, it’s bigger than just the girls who are convinced to return to school. The community does not like to see teen mothers learning together with their peers in the same school arguing that this has a bad influence on others. So BWF goes an extra mile to enlighten the community too; which is a process. The girls feel disempowered because they are isolated and consequently, they develop forms of resistance which in most cases may foster their failure in education. “When the teenage mothers are denied the support they need to pursue education, this condemns them and their babies to the vicious circle of poverty and ignorance. Because we expect girls to succeed in school, we make provisions to meet the needs of the girls” Mara articulates. Brenda Olila, a beneficiary from BFW made a thrilling comment during the interview, When I got pregnant in senior three, I was so scared. I heard about Mara and contacted her after I had my baby and she gave me an audience. Mara’s story really inspired me to go back to school. Even without school fees to take me back to school, she raised it for me. I completed my secondary school and went to do catering. I want to start my own business to become economically sustainable. For now I want to gain more experience by helping in Mara’s project.

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Mara has established a production workshop in St. Catherine Secondary School that produces cards for events, crafts’ items, liquid soap, pottery and a cake bakery, that are sold and student members get a proportion from proceeds to sustain themselves. “When a girl drops out of school, she is followed up and supported with funds from this financial pool from the workshop to return to school. This is a very good initiative that really requires a resource push because it’s yielding very good results due to its peer to peer support nature,” Mara says. Needs Mara needs a helping hand to put in place a sound organization as learnt through VVLead. Currently she needs tools, seeds and equipment. Breaking into the donor world is what she still strives to do being a small organization. She appreciates that VVLead has opened doors by providing exposure, skills and the opportunity to network with women and organizations across the world. One major need in order to realize her dreams is to invest in practical life skills through establishment of vocational training through partnerships or setting up a model training center in Lira. Harnessing the agricultural potential is what she looks out for. Steps Taken to Address Challenges and Needs Although Mara recognizes the community as a valuable asset, through its collective labor offered by the women as a group, breaking the cultural rigidities is a process that will take time to evolve; and that is why education is a key component of the BFW programmes. Molly Opita, a clan executive member for women, describes Mara as selfless and compassionate: “She gives to the extent that she does not have. She recently cleared and donated her wardrobe to the impoverished girls and women in Otuke. Sometimes Mara spends her modest resources to buy wears for the needy children in her community.” Mara is concerned about children who are most of the time half naked and are susceptible to illnesses; abused girls and child mothers. Home visits to affected girls by Mara create an opportunity to speak to both parents and the girls. To date more than 100 girls have either returned to school or done vocational training as a result of such visits. These humble efforts are creating impact and changing women lives. Sandra’s story is one such. She is currently at YMCA pursuing a vocational training course in catering. One of the main skills Mara has learned from VVLead is networking, and she has utilized her newfound skill to connect girls to opportunities. Mercy told me that she was able to continue with her

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studies in agriculture because Mara connected her to the Director Ngetta District Farm Institute (Dr Scholar Bwali) where she is now working towards starting a piggery and a poultry farm. Above all Mara keeps her eyes on the Almighty God whom she counts on for spiritual strength and energy to go on. Section V: Outcomes of VVLead Skills and Knowledge Gained Mara attributes much of her progress in moving towards achieving her dreams to VVLead. She was at a point where she felt blurred and stagnated, yet had so much ahead of her. “Although I’ve led others to focus to grow themselves, but I had a big problem focusing on a particular thing to grow myself,” Mara acknowledges. The rich VVLead learning platform has helped her connect to women and organizations that have been resourceful. She lauds VVLead for offering her the critical skills she needed to get out to the world and raise her voice. Strategic capabilities, advocacy and communications have enhanced her connections, visibility and leadership. Within the VVLead network, Mara is in awe that she has created a valuable network that has selflessly guided and motivated her (in fundraising, organization management, planning and introducing her to their support networks) within VVLead fellows such as Teina Mackenzie, Lumbiwe Limbikani, Agnes Fallah Kamara Umunna, Janet Akao, Victoria Sekitoleko and Rehmah Kasule, among others. The vital skills (resource mobilization, branding, documentation and record keeping, marketing, and monitoring and evaluation) acquired have also enhanced her in focusing the direction of Building Futures Worldwide (BFW) towards transforming it into a social enterprise that is self-sustaining (able to raise money for itself), for its program facilitation and rely less on funding from other organizations. The production workshop in St. Catherine Secondary School shares proceeds between BFW and club student members. Contribution of VVLead to Building Futures Worldwide The VVLead Fellowship Program has had an immense contribution on Mara’s leadership journey towards progress. She boasts that she has sharpened Building Futures Worldwide (BFW) goals and her personal goals, too. Her confidence levels have greatly improved and she attributes this to knowledge gained from VVLead modules and platform. As a transformational leader, Mara shares and delegates responsibility of leadership with her peer leaders. She recognizes that it’s important to offer

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opportunities for BFW members to learn and develop leadership skills and provide an open environment for constant dialogue on leadership and learning ideas. Added to her are, social mobilization skills, networking skills are what she has recently incorporated in her work. Mara shares, I can now confidently walk and knock doors. BFW is taking shape through the practical application of these valuable skills I have attained through support and encouragement from VVLead fellows and the D2L platform; specifically branding, resource mobilization, and marketing. I realized how un-knowledgeable I was about running an organization as a functioning body. I had the right reasons, right aims and I knew where I want to be, but I had no idea how to get there. The in-person trainings at VVLead provided convenient and continuous learning platform, collaborative work models, creative and analytical thinking, and a supportive network. These courses have aided Mara organize herself and the organization, the Documentarian Project gave her good reflection of herself. She now has a better grasp of visioning and goal setting, strategic planning and communication, financial management and budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, journaling, record keeping, and social and behavioral change communication. Connections Mara has made valuable use of networking skills honed from the VVLead and seized networking opportunities she has come by during a peer to peer workshop and online connections. Support and encouragement from VVLead fellows; Janet Akao, Lumbiwe Limbikani, Agnes Fallah Kamara Ummuna, Rita Muyambo, Teina Mackenzie, Nancy Obi, Rehmah Kasule, Victoria Sekitoleko, Njambi Kiritu, Jayoung Otieno and Grace Ikirimat, have further ignited her momentum. “I learnt that there is no stopping at ano- answer given, you have to push, the connection is growing and whenever I feel stuck, I communicate by a click and they respond positively. With these connections, there is no limit,� Mara says. They took her by hand and taught her documentation, mapping, leadership and mentoring, fundraising and harnessing the digital power. She enthusiastically says, The VVLead Fellowship program has redirected my course and focus. I found out through the course that I was not the only one with a challenge to achieve something for the good of mankind, there were many other women who had gone through worse and stood tall and

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strong. I now feel empowered and energized. I now lead with an open mind and I lead with the team spirit. Section VI: Conclusion In conclusion, support for a transformative approach to women’s leadership is a key strategy to successfully sustain women in leadership. This is what the VVLead is doing. Mara’s case study brings to light the fact that women’s leadership goes beyond empowerment (though many would argue that women’s empowerment is the first step towards leadership). While empowerment has to do with building capacity, leadership is both concerned with the building of personal capacities and confidence, and with building the capacity to mobilise others; exactly what VVLead has done for Mara. Promoting women’s leadership has benefits far beyond the individual women themselves as women tend to plough back benefits into their families and this has a ripple effect on the community and future generations. Development can only take place if women have a voice and the resources to make a difference to their own lives and community (NOVIB, 2011).

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A PORTRAIT IN COURAGE A CASE STUDY ON GRACE IKIRIMAT ODEKE PLACING ADOLESCENT GIRLS AT THE HEART OF DEVELOPMENT WRITTEN BY: MARA BUA-JOHNSON Chapter I: Introduction & Purpose Grace Ikirimat is a 2014/2015 VVLead fellow. This case study is intended to highlight and share her experience and progress through the leadership program. This is a story of courage in charting the course of her leadership development ignited and empowered by Vital Voices. It is a tribute to Grace’s integrity, dedication and commitment beyond the call of duty. Brief introduction of the Fellow Grace was born in the Kumi district, in Eastern Uganda. She was born to a teenage mother, an experience that triggered her work with adolescent girls today. As Alyse Nelson highlights, “women often find their voices as leaders through a series of events and experiences that change the way they see the world” (Nelson, 2012). Grace attended most of her education in rural schools in Eastern and Northern Uganda, which were characterized by inadequate education facilities and qualified teachers. It’s at this point in life that she made a firm choice to make something of her life. Her determination led her to beat all odds and excel in her education despite the obstacles. In 1986, civil war ravaged parts of eastern and northern Uganda unsettling all spheres of life, including the education system. The conflict disrupted Grace’s education for one year. In her article Tokunbo Koiki sates that, “girls are more likely to have their education cut due to adverse circumstances such as poverty, conflict, or natural disasters as exemplified by the story of ‘Wadley’ in the film” (Koiki, 2013). As a young girl who had excelled to go to advanced secondary school, Grace was trapped between taking risks to find a school that would admit her or dropping out of school totally as the civil war was ravaging through Eastern and Northern Uganda. “As an adolescent, this was a very tough time where I had to sober up and keep being positive about my future. Most of my friends dropped out of school due to this interruption,” Grace remarked. Weeks turned into months and peace was not coming anytime soon. Grace became frustrated with the situation and it was at this point that she decided to take a risk. She boarded an army truck and travelled

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with the soldiers to cross from Soroti to Mbale - rebel controlled areas in Eastern Uganda, in search of a secure environment to continue her education. Grace remembers surviving two ambushes. However, her determination to find a school in a safe environment outside the conflict areas overcame the risks and dangers along the roads. What the Fellow Does Today, Grace is married with five children and has been promoting sexual and reproductive health education and formal education for adolescent girls in Kumi district, eastern Uganda. The reproductive health journal indicates that, “while half of Uganda’s population consists of adolescents, adolescent sexual and reproductive health services are limited and do not address the needs of adolescents.” Grace makes an effort to ensure that adolescent girls and women in her community are empowered and their lives are improved, despite her own deficiencies. This fearlessness is supported by Alyse Nelson when she wrote that, The women who have taught us about leadership didn’t wait. They didn’t delay taking action to seek out funding, training, experience, or the invitation or recognition of others. They understood that there is no perfect moment for leadership to begin. They rose from wherever they were, with what resources they had, to challenge the status quo however they could (Nelson, 2012). Chapter II: Methodology This case study was conducted during the months of April-October, 2015. Data was collected by consent of the subject and respondents. Primarily the methods for collecting this data included were through face-to-face interviews. The distance challenge was resolved by use of electronic media such as WhatsApp calls and direct calls. Tools for obtaining further information comprised of consent forms, and questionnaires. The consideration for documenting Grace was based on her potential for growth, easy communication and access, common values and interest. Limitations In a few instances the case study was being seen as exploratory rather than explanatory. This resulted into a lot of information being withheld. Additionally the self-selective nature of interviewees could have led to them presenting only a more positive experience. Collecting data would not have been a major problem if travel to different sites were easily made and less costly. Gathering beneficiaries who

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were already away from project sites was challenging. Many required provisions to enable them travel to meet, others required permission from their work places, schools or homes. Meeting those in schools was a long process and required a period of waiting. Geographical location and financial constraints was a major limiting factor. Some distances were too far beyond 600 miles. This made using observation as a method of data collection impossible. Although this is possible, one will need to be financially prepared to spend days away in order to collect the necessary data required and also be prepared to travel all the way and possibly not meet the beneficiaries, especially those who are not in close contact with the organization anymore. Where mobile phone use was available, connectivity became a challenge. Too many dropped calls interfered with interviews. Bad weather (rainfall) was a major hindrance to calls. Also electricity not being available everywhere, many people do not want to stay on the phone for too long in order to conserve their battery life and save on charging costs. Places that offer solar phone charge collect UGX 500 (0.14 USD) per phone and this is a lot of money in the rural areas. Some beneficiaries were reachable through a neighbor, sister, mother, father or friend and only until they were together was I able to have an interview. There were instances where I had to but credit and send to the phones in order for the participant to call back. Assumptions The assumption was that the selected interviewees would be open to discuss the subject’s leadership trajectory, responding truly and honestly while giving accounts of their observation. Furthermore, there was the assumption that the selected persons would respond quickly to the request for an interview. At the time, there was the assumption that communication channels would allow scheduled collection of data and access to sites and face to face meetings would be feasible. Additionally, there was the assumption that one may get financial support to help them with reaching out to collect data. Some organizations will promise a small grant but the process to receive the grant incurs delays that may overlap deadlines because your request may not be a priority on their list of projects to be funded. Although time and budget were an issue for me, Grace’s project is interesting, shifting focus from women and girls alone to women/girls and men/ boys and the relations between them.

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Chapter III: Leadership Evolution A few years after the civil war, Grace returned to Ngora High School in eastern Uganda to pursue her advanced secondary education. While here, she became the deputy class captain and treasurer of the Schools’ Wildlife club. Grace narrates that, the stereotypical attitude that the best women deputize men was prevalent at that time, but she performed her roles excellently and this helped shape her character and compelled her to find solutions for social problems in the community years later. “Unless women and girls are able to fully realize their rights in all spheres of life, human development will not be advanced.” 67 “At first I didn’t look at myself as a gender activist because at the time the culture in Uganda defined gender activists as ‘noise makers’, something which is progressively getting redefined,” Grace acknowledged. It’s common that most institutions and organizations are filled with bureaucratic and hierarchical decision making and reporting systems that disadvantage women. Yet, it is getting increasingly evident that, “In addition to improving the lives of individual women and girls, gender equality improves the prospects of families, communities and nations.” 68 The lack of systems or policies in place to defend the women harassed in organizations Grace worked for never deterred her or made her submit to injustice. She believes that her growing interest to reach out to the adolescent girls who seemed to be grappling with lack of information and skills for good decision-making regarding their reproductive life was the reason she began exploring how she could be part of the solution to fill this gap. “My own life experiences challenged me to be the one to change the status quo. I did not know what to expect in my adolescence and so faced it with unique challenges,” Grace explains. Mounting evidence confirms that, Lack of educational and employment opportunities, accidents and injuries, early sex, HIV and AIDS, mental health issues, child labor, adolescent marriage and teenage pregnancy are just some of the risks that can prevent adolescents from realizing their capacities as they transition to adulthood. 69 Working with population and development programs in Uganda, Grace became exposed and 67

http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/ourwork/gender-equality/overview.html. http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/ourwork/gender-equality/overview.html. 69 UNICEF, The state of the World’s Children 2011. 68

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gained better understanding of social- policy issues. However, she is still concerned that more women suffer the burden of reproductive health problems than men, and yet decision-makers are mainly men who don’t prioritize women’s issues in resource allocation. Interaction with her community at the grassroots level revealed that the girls and women felt that they had no powers over their destinies. In her search for solutions to challenges her community was experiencing, Grace discovered the World Pulse virtual community. While networking on the World Pulse virtual platform, Grace met Beatrice Achieng, a Community Solutions Program (CPS) fellow. Beatrice encouraged Grace to apply for the VVLead Fellowship Program. She was delighted to find that she was accepted into the program. A few months into her participation in the VVLead program, Grace initiated a mentoring program for young women to provide an opportunity for them to connect with other women from various backgrounds and across the world. Eight women got enrolled into the program. Sebia Tino is one of the girls who is being mentored by a mentee in the USA and has been fortunate to be supported to complete her secondary education. Sarah, a young university student also benefited from the mentoring program, receiving support towards her tuition fees, and she is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at Kyambogo University. “The education system in Uganda is not addressing adolescent sexual issues adequately,” says Grace with an expression of sadness. The article in the Reproductive Health Journal validates her fear, further pointing out that, The government of Uganda recognizes a need to strengthen adolescent sexual and reproductive health services. Some of the ways identified to achieve this would be to: avail updated information education and communication materials on adolescent health and development, integrate and implement adolescent sexual and reproductive health in school health program, and increase the number of facilities providing adolescent friendly sexual and reproductive health services” 70 Successively, Grace and four other like-minded women, all working at the Population Secretariat were compelled to establish SHIP - Sexual Health Improvement Project. Today SHIP covers six districts (Kanungu, Ngora, Masindi, Rukungiri, Sembabule and Dokolo) in Uganda reaching over 7,000 youths. It’s a model worth adopting by the education system since it’s proven to yields positive results. “We use 70

www.reproductive-health-journal.com.

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interactive games and sessions conducted by community members we train and facilitate with a modest lunch. It’s also culturally sensitive since sexual health issues are delicate,” adds Grace. The article further notes that, “Adolescents are quite explicit about what they want from health-care providers. They value their privacy and identity, and want to make decisions for themselves based on correct information.” This awareness led Grace to begin meeting young people from her community, and guiding them to speak on specific focused areas. Grace has also harnessed the power of digital networking which has yielded good results. Through her social networks she was able to mobilize over 150 text books for the Nyero community library to improving education. This is proof that, “Improving women’s access to technology has the potential to spur their economic advancement and stimulate broader economic growth.” 71 Grace is also founder of a NGO, Alias-Women Our Roots (AWOR) which is a direct result of the wealth of knowledge and guidance obtained through VVLead mentoring. Today AWOR is registered with a certificate of incorporation. “My passion is to share what I have by paying it forward,” Grace emphasizes. Chapter IV: Challenges Grace has been pivotal in matching and connecting the girls to mentees. One challenge Grace has faced in the implementation of the online mentoring program is follow up. Grace says, Much as I have a passion for improving people’s lives, it comes with a price. There is already a misunderstanding of the concept of women’s empowerment among rural women and so an extra effort needs to be put to clarify this among both women and men who believe the women want to take over their (male) positions in their homes. I think the approach has to change for us (men and women) to work as partners. Also there is the expectation that everyone will get excited about the mentorship program and embrace it with both hands. Many interactions have proved otherwise. People show interest in your presence and once you are out of sight, you are out of mind. Further attempts to contact them come to no avail. Grace is currently serving on a short-term assignment as a governance officer with an 71

Kirrin Gill, Kim Brooks, Janna McDougall, Payal Patel, Aslihan Kes. Bridging the Gender Divide – How Technology Can Advance Women Economically.

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International organization in Liberia. She has to coordinate AWOR activities virtually with her team back home. It’s a challenge that she has to overcome. Her organization is young and this gives it stiff competition with established organizations for funding. The results of the initiative are amazing, but momentarily facilitation support has been from individuals. Engagements are not acknowledged by supposed potential partners. Emails and or letters if written are not returned, phone calls are not returned, and when visiting their offices, they are never available or in their offices. This has made collaborative work with established existing leaders very difficult. Needs For Grace, their results clearly show that adolescents have real sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues that need to be addressed. In-school and out-of-school adolescents have problems such as unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), defilement, rape and substance abuse. Unique to the females was the issue of sexual advances by older men and adolescents. She further highlights reproductive health (RH) needs which would be solved by establishing adolescent friendly clinics with standard recommended characteristics (sexuality information, friendly health providers, a range of good clinical services such as post abortion care etc.). With regard to health seeking behavior, most adolescents do not take any action at first until disease severity increases. Grace appreciates that women need assistance in their self-determined development efforts. Children’s education, hygiene and health are still strongly considered the domain of women even with the limited access to health services, and resources. She is seeking resources to strengthen these programs, partnerships and human resources to implement the programs and facilitate volunteers. Alias- Women Our Roots is working on its visibility and so a vibrant and interactive website is what she seeks to virtually organize, design and strengthen networks. Adolescents in Uganda have multiple sexual and reproductive health needs that require a special focus through adolescent friendly services. This calls for resource support in terms of health provider training, information education and communication materials as well as involvement of key stakeholders that include parents, teachers and legislators Steps Taken to Address the Challenges and Needs Meeting administrative demands for her initiatives from her personal funds such as telephone bills, internet services, transport; and sometimes school fees for girls becomes a challenge. She has

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established networks with a handful of individuals across the globe that make contributions to support a couple of girls stay in school. The good working relationship she has built with institutions who have contributed support to run some of her planned activities have been very useful. According to the 2011 report released by the World Bank indicating that, “In Uganda, 85 per cent of girls leave school early, resulting in $10billion in lost potential earnings.” Grace backs this statement saying, “many girls want to stay in school, but lack of school fees, sanitary wear, simple basic welfare force them to surrender to early marriage, give up school and runaway to distant towns to find domestic work or any other form of labor to survive.” Grace’s moving accounts of the girls and women she has supported bring their situations to life, as they confront violence in their communities, deal with psychological handicaps or improve the living conditions of girls, leaves one indebted. Through her work, adolescent girls have the unique potential to stop poverty before it starts – but they need our support. They need information, healthcare and education. Laws should be reviewed, money in their pockets and their communities and governments to realize their true value. Alias-Women Our Roots is promoting education of girls and empowerment of women through financial literacy. Providing health information to adolescents in schools to empower adolescents make informed decisions about their sexuality. Therefore supporting leadership development for girls and provide mentoring opportunities to advance girls is what she is pursuing. Chapter V: Outcomes of the VVLead Program Skills and Knowledge Gained Grace has become conscious of the concept and style of leadership that she practices in her organization. As she learns and practices leadership, she ensures she is sensitive to the contextual environment. She is learning to work towards creating opportunities for her to take leadership roles through nurturing, empowering, inspiring and being a role model to the girls and young women. The Documentarian Project, monitoring and evaluation, book keeping, peer mentoring, leadership and mentoring, survey design, strategic planning and communication, fundraising, and branding are some of the courses that brought new meaning to organizational management for Grace. From them she has been able to learn to adapt skills, think globally, build relationships, inspire trust, lead courageously, align the organization, influence and negotiate, shape strategies, foster open and effective communication, attract and develop talent, demonstrate vision, use sound judgment, drive

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execution, inspire and empower, work cross functionally, focus on quality and continuous improvement, and apply financial acumen. Contributions of the VVLead Program to SHIP and AWOR The effective leadership and management VVLead employs such as directing, motivating, inspiring, and empowering the group, their organization or team to achieve important goals and the support of individually tailored leadership skills has particularly been effective in developing the collaboration, connection, learning, conflict resolution and sharing skills that are emerging as a critical effective contemporary leadership for Grace. Interpersonal skills, team building, decisiveness, conflict management, continual learning, oral communication, creativity and innovation, integrity and honesty and cultural awareness are some of the leadership competencies she has built on. Social media platform has been very instrumental in keeping Grace focused on creating networks. She now believes and appreciates herself as a leader. From webinars with Alyse Nelson, a clear and focused driving force has been developed by Grace. She has been able to learn ethics such as collaborative working models, creative and analytical thinking, shared and distributed leadership, and continuous learning. Among which are skills and knowledge of branding, visioning and goal setting, and planning. These have given Grace direction and have helped her shape her personal and organizational goals. Grace also says learning from other great women on the platform has helped her appreciate that she can do it too. “The approach of the VVLead Fellowship Program is rich in content, easy to navigate with practical skills and handy for busy fellows. Once I’m unable to attend live webinars, I visit site later at my convenience and complete work required,” Grace states. Connections These networks have helped her continue pursuing her dream of making a better community for women. She is a listener and a voice who appreciates that women are silently suffering irrespective of their status or position in society and how they deal with this suffering depends on their level of understanding, exposure and cultural set up. Grace has always been encouraged by colleagues and friends to take on higher leadership for her community. “On a few occasions I have been approached to vie for leadership positions and this gives me contentment that people see a leader in me. This clears my fears and doubts,”said Grace. Grace says her exposure to gender issues are traced back to Dr. Miria Matembe – “lawyer by training and a politician by calling with a passion for women empowerment” – a

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woman she admires for her action and nurturing young university women into leadership. From her acquired knowledge to use the multi –media to connect to others, Grace has been able to connect with Sharon Multani-Colebrook, a social entrepreneur from the UK after they connected online and she was able to read Grace’s article. She found out that Sharon has dedicated her life to making re- useable sanitary pads for girls and women. As a result of their connection Sharon was able to donate sanitary pads to Mukura Memorial Secondary School during her launch of Menstrual Day onMarch 28,2015. Kirthi Jayakumar, 2015VV Lead fellow, was able to connect with Grace and through the working relationship designed a logo for AWOR. Grace has also been able to develop useful connections with Nancy Obi and together they have done community outreaches in Liberia with the Liberia women mentoring group. They were able to hold a workshop for business women and youths in Bopolu and co-organized the 2015 mentoring walk. Over 100 women mentors and mentees participated in the 2015 Mentoring Walk. Grace was able to also gain useful mentorship in business skills, community engagement approaches from Nancy Obi. Currently, Grace and Mara Bua-Johnson (Building Futures Worldwide) are discussing best practices and approaches to integrating the SHIP concept into Building Futures Worldwide community programs. Conclusion As a growing leader, the VV Lead Fellowship program has been fundamental in facilitating Grace’s reflection on her values and attitudes, finding solutions to her challenges in order to achieve her goals, sharing and delegating responsibility of leadership with peer leaders, caring for the development of leadership among the girls she is leading, maintaining a network of leaders to continuously increase leadership skills, growing and expanding through developed and cultivated leadership. Over the months Grace has been equipped with skills to influence the issues that she most cares about as well as strengthening her own organization to deliver powerful leadership experiences. Creating and enforcing the conditions that empower girls and allow them to reach their full potential depends on stakeholders working together. The opportunities that VVLead has provided for Grace to experience, learn and improve her leadership through a variety of programs and activities has been essential in expanding her leadership development and work towards girls’ issues.

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MAPPING SEXUAL HARASSMENT: MAKING CITIES SAFER A CASE STUDY ON ELSA D’SILVA WRITTEN BY: PATRALEKHA CHATTERJEE “Glad I could be the voice on sexual violence. I had so many women and men come up and thank me for the talk. Many women said they identified with it” - Elsa D’Silva’s Facebook post soon after her Tedx talk on September 26, 2015, Washington, D.C. A. Introduction and Purpose The objective of this case study is to capture the outcomes of the Vital Voices Lead Fellowship Program on social entrepreneurs through the experiences of Elsa D’Silva, Managing Director and CoFounder of Safecity, (www.safecity.in), an online crowd-mapping platform that collates reports of sexual harassment in public spaces in urban India and visualizes hotspots in city maps. The case study also examines the broader context of Elsa’s evolution as a leader and her other successes in a career which have contributed to the making of the person she is today. B. Methodology Selection of Subject Elsa and I connected through the Vital Voices network. The meeting took place in 2015 in Delhi during Elsa’s visit to the city. She was keen that her work be evaluated as part of the Documentarian Project and my background as a writer and journalist led to talk of collaboration. Women’s safety was a major issue in Delhi, as in many other cities across India. I was curious about the model used by Safecity to improve women’s safety. Data Collection The data was collected using qualitative research, mostly between July and September 2015. Qualitative research enabled better understanding of the socio-cultural context and challenges on the ground. Primary data was collected through face-to-face and e-mail interviews with Elsa and her former colleagues, her team members in Delhi and women who have attended workshops related to sexual harassment. This was supplemented with a site visit to the Lal Kuan area of Delhi, where Safecity was active earlier this year, and e-mail interviews with VV Lead fellow Samjhana Phuyel of Nepal, who collaborated with Elsa.

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Secondary material was collated from Elsa’s blogs, media interviews, social media posts, tweets, posts in the VV Lead Fellowship Program’s Facebook Page and Elsa’s presentations overseas as well as the Safecity web site; it was also collected from the campaign case book kept by Salini Sharma, Safecity’s project coordinator in Delhi. Substantial data came from my own research and writing on issues related to violence against women and my own insights (based on experience) on the pluses and minuses of the Safecity model in tackling sexual harassment in urban India. Recommendations for Further Research: Follow-up research could examine in greater detail if policy leaders are acting on the valuable data that Safecity has collected and how the collaborative ventures between Safecity and organizations run by other VV Lead fellows shape up. It will also be worthwhile to research how best to protect those brave enough to identify themselves while reporting their personal experiences of sexual abuse in public spaces, especially since some of the women who have reported sexual harassment and violence have been killed. C. Leadership Evolution Who is Elsa D’ Silva? She calls herself “a travel junkie, a dreamer, an explorer, an amateur photographer, a budding writer and a sugar craft specialist.” She has travelled for work and leisure to 50 countries, many of them several times. Elsa started working at the age of 19 as a flight attendant, mainly to see the world. Her first employer, Jet Airways, offered only domestic flights at the time. But she used her staff travel benefits to visit the United States, Europe, Israel, Australia and the Pacific islands of Guam and Pohnpei. Her leadership skills were recognized early and she was promoted from a flight attendant to a flight safety instructor. She trained pilots and cabin crew on safety and emergency procedures. “Travel is what fuels me. It is the best education one can receive as it opens your mind and heart to new experiences – culture, food, people, language, history, architecture,” Elsa says. It is this curiosity and interest in the wider world and a passion to explore beyond the familiar and the comfort zone which lie at the heart of Elsa. She has always taken risks, the hall-mark of a leader. She is also an excellent networker, building a web of connections across disciplines, age-groups and countries.

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A supportive family environment greatly contributed to the evolution of Elsa the leader. This is critical in a socio-cultural context where not all women get to exercise personal choices as freely as they may like to. Elsa was fortunate to be born in a family which nurtured her and supported her all the way. “My family has always been supportive of my choices and decisions,” Elsa says. “They have given me my space to explore my potential throughout my career, especially when I made the decision to move into the development sector. Without their unfailing support I would be a lesser human being.” Early Indicators of Leadership Qualities Elsa’s leadership qualities were evident from the start of her career. Lucy Rocha, a former colleague in the aviation industry, says, “Her ‘Never Say No’ attitude helped the team to explore and be creative which made the atmosphere in the team very positive. With her guidance and leadership her team managed one of the most successful and profitable routes at that time.” Another former colleague Mandar Pradhan says, “Very few people have the courage to give front roles to their subordinates. Elsa is one boss who will not think even once if she has to promote, guide and give opportunities to her staff.” Leadership Style Elsa’s leadership style comes through the many anecdotes she narrates about the way she managed her moves in the aviation industry and surmounted teething troubles. She worked around each obstacle, worked hard, and went on to the next level. Many of these obstacles were, inevitably, cultural in nature. Elsa recalls, Training pilots was a challenge because they were used to me serving them tea and coffee and now I was training them on safety procedures and administering a mandatory test which they had to pass. But they realized I knew my subject and over time, I earned their respect. Another pronounced trait is Elsa’s determination to learn from everyone and everything around her. She is constantly striving to implement best practices and improve her knowledge about the problem she has to deal with. She has firm faith in technology being a game-changer. Elsa’s leadership style also consists of incorporating other risk-takers in her team. Her Safecity team in Delhi is led by Salini Sharma, a bio-technologist who switched to gender-related issues.

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Safecity In her current work, Elsa has chosen to focus on safety in public spaces because without this women are not comfortable stepping out of home and this hampers their education and career possibilities. Safecity works in a new digital way – by identifying the danger points on the city map. The full name of the project is Safecity, Pin the Creep. Elsa’s corporate background and her pragmatic nature made her realize that a successful social entrepreneur does not try to do too many things in too many areas. She is focused on making women and girls break the silence on sexual harassment in public spaces, a critical first step. The App In practice, how does the project work? Through a very simple reporting form, it uses crowdsourced data to make a map that digitally pins the creep by showing what the incident was and where it took place. People can choose to be anonymous. This encourages more people to share their experiences through stories, photographs and/or videos. If there are many incidents reported from a particular place, it is designated a hotspot. The website is also a valuable data repository. It has incidents from over 20 years ago, in great detail. Can an app really make a city safer for women? Elsa believes it can. She cofounded Safecity with that firm belief. She did it in December 2012, a few days after the horrific gang rape of a student in Delhi. “If you have been sexually harassed or abused in public spaces in India, please share your story with us on this crowd map. You can report anonymously in under 2 minutes,” promises the Safecity website. So far, it has elicited reports from more than four dozen Indian cities, including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. Safecity has also expanded its reach to other developing countries. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Elsa said the idea came to her during a visit to Sweden where she heard of HarassMap. They use online and mobile technology to deal with sexual harassment and assaults in Egypt. The Campaigns Safecity also conducts awareness campaigns and workshops on sexual harassment in schools and colleges. A good example of its work on the ground can be found in Lal Kuan, a poor neighborhood in Delhi. Safecity organized a campaign there from January to April 2015. It wanted bystanders to intervene and the community to take action against sexual harassment. Documenting such harassment

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was a first step. The reports were uploaded to Safecity’s website and followed up with focus group discussions, community meetings and interviews with survivors of sexual violence. Elsa inspired many local residents to join the campaign. Anita, an 18-year-old school student, took part because she routinely faced harassment while going to school. “Boys would stare at me, sometimes they abused.” Safecity’s response was to create the Staring Wall, a mural of eyes. There were collateral benefits too. Sanju, 30, says the campaign helped get the street lights fixed. D. Vital Voices and Elsa’s Leadership Vital Voices has played a critical role in helping Elsa and Safecity scale up nationally and internationally. Safecity’s partnerships have been fostered mainly through collaborations with other Vital Voices fellows whom Elsa met during various exchanges and events that Vital Voices organized. Elsa says Vital Voices has been a great platform to meet women entrepreneurs who are passionate about women’s issues. She attended a Vital Voices peer-to peer exchange program in Kathmandu in August 2014. She met several VV Lead Fellows with whom she has collaborated – Samjhana Phuyal in Kathmandu, Nepal; Jane Anyango in Nairobi, Kenya; Sonal Kapoor and Jaya Tiwari in Delhi, India. Talking about Elsa and the work they do together, Samjhana says that during the exchange program, “I shared my experiences about the rampant harassment in public transport in Kathmandu.” As Elsa was also working on similar issues, they started talking about how to work together. Samjhana collected around 500 stories of sexual harassment. She sent them to Safecity, which posted the stories online. With this, Samjhana could prove to the authorities that 71% of the harassment was inside public buses. Elsa also helped Samjhana raise funds for a women-only bus service. Samjhana says, “I know Elsa only because of Vital Voices. If she hadn't come for the peer-topeer exchange, I would never have met her.” Thanks to a grant from Vital Voices, Elsa and Safecity are also working closely with Jane and her Polycom Development Project in the Kiberia slum of Nairobi. Safecity conducts training workshops on campaigning, community organizing and crowd-mapping technology to make public spaces safer. From October to December 2015, Polycom and Samjhana’s organization Social Empowerment for Empowering Women (SEE-W) will be working extensively to crowd-map data on Safecity's reporting platform, enabling organizations to design campaigns and interventions based on trends and patterns.

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As for Safecity’s Delhi project coordinator Salini, she met VV Lead fellow Patralekha Chatterjee online and followed it up with a meeting in Delhi in 2015. This led to collaboration on this case study. In Delhi, Safecity’s Uttam Nagar chapter runs a campaign with the NGO Protsahan, which was founded by Elsa’s VV Lead peer Sonal Kapoor. The campaign – to address sexual harassment in public spaces – is being rolled out by girls between 10 and 16. Sonal found that sexual violence faced by young girls restricted their access and mobility in public spaces. This was hindering their attendance at the Protsahan center. A number of girls had dropped out or were facing family pressure to do so. The campaign is meant to address this issue. The collaborations enabled by Vital Voices have done a lot of skill building. With Safecity’s help, these organizations realized the importance of reporting, how to facilitate it, the need for hyper local data. Jane’s Talking Boxes project in Nairobi took inspiration from Safecity’s model to extract data and design interventions to influence school policies on child protection. Earlier, Jane had a hint about widespread sexual abuse in schools by people in authority. Now she had evidence. E. Other Organizations Supporting Elsa’s Leadership Evolution Besides Vital Voices, several organizations have invested in Elsa. An Aspen New Voices Fellow, she says Aspen has helped her fine-tune her communication skills, to and has helped her pitch articles for CNN and other international media outlets. Elsa is connected with the Cherie Blair Foundation and the Sweden-based Social Entrepreneurship (SE) Forum. The Swedish program on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability helped her make the transition to the development sector. She leverages its alumni network for funds and partnerships. Today, Elsa is building herself as a thought leader. Her mentors at the Cherie Blair Foundation and the SE Forum have also helped her think how she can monetize her work and be less dependent on grants. F. Challenges Leadership is about taking risks. It is fraught with challenges as well as opportunities. For Elsa, an added challenge was to switch careers after 20 years. “I had to learn, unlearn, relearn many things,” she says. Confronting sexual violence is like opening a Pandora’s Box. Elsa sometimes wonders if it can ever be eradicated. “Then I tell myself to focus as I am helping people on a daily basis.” After a workshop on

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child sex abuse, a nine-year-old girl told Elsa she could now go home and tell her mother what had happened to her because she now knew it was not her fault. That is worth taking up all the challenges. Elsa says she is always learning new things – about human rights, feminism, its history and so on. She wants to do a course that can give her a thorough grounding in these areas. That is the kind of person she is and that is the kind of people she would like to work with – passionate about the issue but committed to working in a professional manner. G. Conclusion Elsa and Safecity have done pioneering work to puncture the squeamishness around reporting sexual harassment in public places. But as Elsa quickly agrees, it is just a first step. The next step is to use the data to influence policy, which Safecity is doing by working with the police in several Indian cities. Elsa has a remarkable ability to forge the right connections for the right cause. She readily acknowledges that Vital Voices has been critical to this, especially by connecting her with other women entrepreneurs. Over the last two years, she had the opportunity to attend VV-sponsored peer-to-peer exchanges. One such exchange at Kathmandu has been a game-changer, helping Elsa team up with other women social entrepreneurs not only from India but also other countries and continents. Vital Voices has further helped her scale up operations through a grant for her collaborative work in Nepal and Kenya. These collaborative ventures which draw inspiration from Safecity’s model of crowd mapping sexual harassment have made a promising start. Under Elsa’s leadership, it is evident that Safecity has already started moving towards its second phase as is demonstrated by its collaboration with the police department in several Indian cities. There is a tough road ahead. But given Elsa’s record, there is every reason to hope that she will overcome all obstacles.

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BROKEN BUT NOT CRUSHED A CASE STUDY ON CONSOLER ELIYA WILBERT WRITTEN BY: RITAH MUYAMBO Acknowledgments I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to Consoler Eliya Wilbert for allowing me to tell her story. I am humbled by her strength, her positive attitude and she always wears a beautiful smile even when she is in pain. She tells her story effortlessly and with no regrets. Her forgiveness is amazing. My gratitude is also extended to the people whom I interviewed and were willing to share their perspectives and spent time speaking to me. These were •

Eliya Wilbert: Consoler’s husband

Charlton Meena: Consoler’s brother

Dr Daria Mejnartowicz: A friend

Sean Callaghan: Consoler’s mentor

I would like to thank the VVLead team especially Elizabeth Andrews for her patience, guidance and professionalism. I really valued her input into the all the work that I did. Last but not least, I also want to thank my beautiful daughters, Ratidzo and Rumbidzai for all the support and understanding while I was writing this case study. 1. Introduction This case study provides detailed and qualitative information about Consoler Eliya Wilbert, the Chief Executive Officer of New Hope for Girls (NHGO) operating in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 72 The main purpose of the case study is to capture the outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Program through Consoler Wilbert Eliya’s voice. The case study will attempt to show Consoler’s evolution in leadership from when she was young, at school and in her career and as a VVLead fellow. It also explores the highlights of her life, the challenges she faced, her needs and desires and how VVLead contributed to her growth and success as an extraordinary leader.

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2. Methodology During the Documentarian Workshop in Tanzania in March 2015, Consoler had a chance to talk about her story and how she started the centre. She accepted the invitation to have her story told. Through her story, a group of VVLead fellows came together and decided to start a small project that was supposed build the capacity of her organization. However, the project is still being considered. Interviews started in April 2015. Different methods were used to collect data, which were mainly qualitative in nature. The main tool that was used was an interview guide that was customized for the two groups to be interviewed. The first interview guide was for the main subject. The second interview guide was for secondary sources that included her husband, brother, her mentor and friend. Emails of introductions and consent forms were emailed to respondents who responded positively. Questions were then emailed to respondents a week before the interviews so that they could prepare their responses. Skype interviews were held. All interviews were recorded and transcribed. Consoler was observed only once during the field visit in Tanzania. Articles were read from the internet. A number of pictures were collected that told untold stories about Consoler and the shelter. Therefore, case study materials were collected and accessed from public information through photographs, online biography, news reports and organizational documents. The basic assumption at the beginning of the study was that the main subject would be interviewed every month and taken through the journey for 5 months. It was also assumed that her husband, Eliya Wilbert, would be readily available. An interview with one of the girls at the shelter had been scheduled, however the girl was a minor and consent was difficult to get. Consoler’s health was a challenge throughout the study since it was difficult to have long interviews with her. She got tired very easily. In June 2015, she became seriously ill. Later on, she had to travel to India for an operation. And when she returned, she was under heavy medication and was unable to conduct the interviews for long periods at a time. Data analysis Coding started as soon as data collection started. Open coding and data collection is integrated in activities, thus, the data collection stage and open coding stage occurred simultaneously and coding continued throughout data collection. A review of the data collected and interviews revealed repeated

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ideas, concepts and as certain elements became apparent. These were grouped into concepts, and then into categories. These categories formed Consoler’s story. 3. Leadership Evolution A Woman of Strength Consoler Eliya Wilbert was born on January 9, 1983 in rural Kagera region northwest of Tanzania. Consoler comes from a family of 7 children and she is the only girl. However, her early child hood was spent with her grandmother until her death in 1989. She then moved to stay with her Aunt while attending primary school. She completed secondary school and went to University in 2005 where she studied sociology and then went on to complete her master’s degree in Social Work. She met her husband Eliya Wilbert while at high school in a Christian Student Association commonly known as UKWATA. Theirs was “love at first sight”. They found each other and based their marriage on unconditional love that had no secrets and complete support for each other. She is married with two children. Currently, she is the founder and C.E.O of the New Hope for Girls Organization (NHGO) operating in Tanzania. Consoler’s story is a story of a survivor who suffered in the hands of women in positions of power on different levels. Her leadership is based on servitude, humility, unconditional love, forgiveness, integrity, trust and a positive outlook on life. Her thought and personal leadership is also based on Christian values. Issue at Hand: Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Grandin and Lupri (1997) define violence against women and girls in the domestic sphere, as violence perpetrated by an intimate partner and/or a family member against women and girls of all ages, including harmful practices justified on the basis of anti-rights interpretations of religion, tradition, or culture, and/or customary or other social norms. It encompasses many forms of violence, including psychological, sexual and physical violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’ and dowry-related killings, female infanticide, and sexual abuse. 73 The prevalence of domestic violence is known to be very high, and it is the most common form of violence against women globally. Women experience violence across their life cycle. Based on 73

Violence Against Women: International Perspective (2011) Indian Journal of human rights and the law.

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available data, 74 domestic violence is already high among young women aged 15-19 years. Domestic violence has profound effects on women and girls’ physical, sexual, reproductive, and mental health, and on levels of women’s morbidity and mortality. Violence against Women and Girls in Tanzania Tanzania was the first country in Africa to undertake a National Study on Violence against Children – for the first time measuring all forms of violence (sexual, physical and emotional) amongst girls and boys and giving national estimates of the prevalence of violence. 75 Almost three-quarters of both females and males interviewed reported experiencing physical violence by a relative, authority figure (such as teachers), or an intimate partner prior to the age of 18. The same survey indicated that the vast majority of this abuse was in the form of being punched, whipped, or kicked. More than onehalf of females and males aged 13 to 17 years reported that they had experienced physical violence in the past year by either a relative, authority figure or by an intimate partner. Broken but Not Crushed It is within this context that Consoler grew up. She suffered at the hands of a trusted aunt who was in a position of power. Her aunt physically tortured her and forced her to sleep in a store cupboard and beat her everyday with an electrical iron box cord or broom stick while naked and fed rotten food from the dustbins. Consoler’s dream was to go to school and be a graduate. She attended primary school and when she turned 11 years old, her aunt introduced her to a man who was to marry her, claiming that the man was rich because he owned a bicycle and was a newspaper vendor. She escaped the arranged marriage when her father assisted with her enrolment at a private school. Her nightmare returned when her aunt found out where she was schooling and arranged for three teachers to mistreat her. One day, unsuspecting Consoler arrived at school and was asked into the staff room where her aunt and the three teachers beat her for 8 hours. She escaped and on her way home, she was nearly raped by a stranger. The physical beating resulted in her admission to KCMC hospital in Kilimanjaro where she was treated for six months. To this day, Consoler has serious back problems and nerve

74 75

Adolescent Girls and Young Women : The Gap Report 2014 UNICEF, 2011. Violence against children in Tanzania: Findings from a national survey 2009

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damage that hinders her from performing various activities. She suffers from continuous headaches, concentration difficulties and eye coordination complications. It became Consoler’s call to help other girls facing the same trauma and violence. She often recites Matthew 6:33 which says “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The odds of her dying, being completely paralysed, and being depressed were high. But Consoler, a strong and brave personality was physically broken but her soul was intact and her belief in God and determination pushed her to achieve much that many could not. 76 Sean Callaghan is a mentor, a father and friend to Consoler. He is a programme development specialist for similar initiative as a VVLead with a particular focus on inspired individuals. He helped Consoler to realize who she is and what she can do with what she has. As described by her mentor Sean, “Consoler bargained with God from an early age and promised that if God rescued her, she would give her life to rescue young women and girls who had experienced physical, emotional and sexual violence in her community.” Consoler remained true to her word and promise. In May 2010, Consoler founded “New Hope for Girls Organization” (NHGO) with the aim of ensuring that girls become empowered, independent, valuable and not vulnerable. She wanted to bring healing, confidence and hope to girls who had suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse and trauma. 77 Consoler knows from personal experience that too many girls in Tanzania suffer abuse and cruelty, are deprived of education and other opportunities, and are forced to marry when they may not be ready. More than 150 girls have directly been mentored by Consoler and provided for physically and emotionally. 4. Challenges and Needs as a Leader Against All Odds Consoler opened NHGO when friends, family, neighbours and her school mates believed that she could not make it. To them, she was a broken vessel but Consoler showed them that she was stronger and continued to grow stronger each day. Consoler’s biggest challenge is her health. She is therefore limited in what she can do physically. NHGO is also not formally funded. She relies on the 76 77

www.inspiredindividuals.org http://inspiredindividuals.org/individuals/consola-meena/

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goodwill of friends and well-wishers. Eliya, who works at the US Embassy as a Diplomatic Post Office Supervisor is the only salary that subsidizes for rental, food and schools fees for the girls in the centre. Consoler’s wish is to build a New Hope Village for young women and girls who have been victims of physical, emotional and sexual violence. She hopes that the Village will be equipped with a boarding hostel, school and vocational structures. She also dreams of starting a tailoring school and shop run by girls. Her hope is that the tailoring shop could fund 20 % of the running cost of the organization. Eliya worries about Consoler’s health, It is deteriorating every single day because she works more than her health can handle. If she has to live longer, and I need her tomorrow, I have to make sure that her health is maintained, I have to be by her side to help her with activities and make her rest. Consoler had different experiences that contributed to her growth as a leader. She was exposed to women leaders within VVLead network and told her story. She has used her story without fear and shame to help others. Her story has made such a big impact on young women and girls showing that, “There is no shame in accepting your circumstance and changing it for the greater good. Forgiveness, humility and unconditional love builds strong leadership.” She has been a mother, grandmother, wife, friend, mentor, coach, teacher and professional model for young women and girls. 5. Impact of VVLead Fellowship VVLead itself has exposed Consoler as an individual, personally and professionally to different aspects of leadership. Personal Relationships Consoler has met mentors, coaches and created friendships who are now contributing to her life personally and professionally. Some of the strong connections she has made include Dr. Daria Mejnartowicz, Nina Tesfamariam, Agnes Umunna, Lumbiwe Limbikani and Gili Nivon. 78 Dr. Daria Mejnartowicz a VVLead fellow from Poland and COO of Vital Voices Chapter Poland reached out to Consoler and offered her support and expertise. They have developed a strong relationship and friendship over the years. 79 Agnes Umunna, the executive director of Straight from the Heart (SFTH) a human resources development project meant to reach out to the victims, survivors and perpetrators of 78 79

http://www.newhopeforgirls.org/about-us/founder-story www.straightfromtheheartgroup.com

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the Liberian civil war is another VVLead fellow who has become a very close friend of Consoler. Consoler sees Agnes as a close friend, confidant and mentor. Agnes has been trying to fundraise for the centre and provides professional support as well. 80 Gili Navon, the founding director of Amar Majuli Headstart, an organisation committed to achieving sustainable development goals in both the economic sphere through agriculture, tribal art and eco-tourism, and the social sphere through women's empowerment and community participation offered to be an intermediary in finding university volunteers from Israel. Nina Tesfamariam has been like a mother to Consoler, offering much support. Lumbiwe Limbikani is another VVLead fellow who visited Consoler by surprise. She also spent some time at the house and introduced the girls to ZeduPad. 81 She has become a close friend as well. Professional Impact Dr. Daria Mejnartowicz, Nina Tesfamariam, Agnes Umunna, Lumbiwe Limbikani and Gili Navon have assisted in expanding Consoler’s networks. They have assisted her to grow in her confidence and be able to reach out for assistance. Consoler indicated the importance of the courses offered by VVLead. She explained that they are not only for professional growth but that they are practical and “have helped me personally especially the financial courses. I am finding them very helpful when I attend them. Its only that sometimes I am not able to attend because of my health.” She has access to resources that have assisted her in running and improving her organization. Dr. Dara quoted her as saying, As one of 120 people in the world, I was chosen to take part in the VVLead Program. Therefore, what I do must be good. Of course, the support of my husband, Eliya Musa is priceless, not only maintaining our home out of his salary. My Eliya is also the ambassador of the New Hope for Girl Organization. 6. Discussion In this case, Consoler’s health and story immediately pushes one to sympathy and limits objectivity. Limited interviews were conducted due the Consoler’s health. The internet bandwidth in Tanzania meant that some of the responses were very difficult to hear and record. There was also the 80 81

www.headstart.co.il http://www.zedupad.com/

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language barrier which was a limitation and restricted the number of interviews with some critical stakeholders. Therefore, some of the conclusions in the case study were limited. 7. Final Message Personal Reflections on the Contribution of VVLead From a global view, VVLead contributed and continues to add to the leadership of fellows. Consoler benefited tremendously from the programme. On a personal level, she gained some great friends. She continues to relate to how when she was in India (at her most lonely time) having the operation, she continued to receive messages and calls from her close VVLead fellows whom she had only known for less than two years. She is forever grateful. She is looking forward to a new NGO through the VVLead lessons, discussions and support. She feels she missed out a lot when she became seriously ill. However, it would have added value to Consoler’s leadership trajectory if a different strategy had been employed. It is possible that VVLead could conduct a proper analysis of each of the fellows, identified their weaknesses and strengths before the actual training. They could then cluster the fellows in different categories and take them through a personal journey. Many fellows are great leaders and need personalised type of mentorship more than just the skills. They need more exposure to other fellows though activities like the South-South Exchange. Mentoring and coaching individuals should be about the quality of those who go through the finish line and continue to make a difference and impact more lives. Not to say that this outcome has not been realized through the current programme but that a lot of fellows were left behind and struggle to catch up. A reflection on Consoler’s engagement and involvement with VVLead shows that more could have been done for her. Perhaps Consoler was a unique case but she could have benefited from a personalised type of mentoring from VVLead. Part of assisting Consoler is to tell her story strategically so that she gets the assistance she needs. If she was in good health, she could achieve much more. However, her services are one of many that are needed in her community. She needs to scale up her model. She needs resources to run the centre professionally. There is a lot of good will from friends and VVLead fellows who have committed themselves to assisting Consoler but there is a lack of leadership in taking the initiative forward. As VVLead fellows, it is a challenge put to them to find ways exposing and assisting Consoler in her quest to give sexually abused girls and young women a chance of a decent life in Tanzania.

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LIMITATIONS OF DOCUMENTARIAN PROJECT Both Documentarians and VVLead staff reported difficulty in collecting data from subjects and subjects’ secondary sources due to the international scope of the project. Most common data collection challenges centered on Internet connection issues, limited availability of the subject, and problems in identifying and reaching out to beneficiaries who were able to speak about the subject and her work. Vital Voices recognizes the limitation of case study subjects self-reporting their own outcomes, and therefore, efforts were made to validate the data through interviews with subjects’ beneficiaries, colleagues and family members, as well as multiple journal entries submitted by subjects. Additionally, efforts were made during the data collection and analysis phases to include and report on all possible contributing factors, such as other leadership and mentoring programs that the subject previously participated in that may have also influenced subject’s vehicle for change and leadership potential. Similarly, the VVLead data collection team made best efforts to understand and capture the varying socio-economic and political variables that might also plausibly contribute to the individual fellow’s leadership journey and achievements. The number of case studies produced from this project represents a small sample size of the 330 fellows in the program. Therefore, generalizations about the fellowship’s impact on all participants cannot be made. Additionally, while efforts were made by the VVLead team to standardize the qualitative analysis process, Vital Voices acknowledges that researchers’ individual biases, backgrounds and experiences may influence the interpretation of the data. 82 Although Documentarians were reimbursed up to 100 USD for expenses incurred during the data collection phase, the lack of a travel budget limited some from gaining direct access to their subjects, as not all Documentarians lived in the same country as their subject. As a result, some Documentarians could not conduct in-person interviews with, or direct observations on, their subject. Vital Voices staff faced the same restriction. Vital Voices recognizes that more robust data could have been collected on subjects had Vital Voices and Documentarians had the opportunity to meet and speak with subjects and their beneficiaries in person. 82

There is also the potential for bias among Vital Voices staff and Documentarians as a result of the close relationships formed between staff and Documentarian, as well as between fellows, throughout the program.

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The lack of in-person exposure greatly limited data collection as interviews were limited to phone calls or Skype, which often proved complicated for those living in remote areas with poor Internet connectivity. Some Documentarians reported that secondary sources censored information, and that face-to-face interaction would have aided in building a rapport to a level where interviewees felt comfortable sharing both positive and negative insight about the subject. Both Vital Voices staff and Documentarians reported that due to the close bond formed between the interviewer and subject, it was often hard to maintain a professional relationship during interviews, especially when emotional and sensitive background information about the subject was discussed. 83 At times, the writers’ objectivity may have been compromised as a result of the personal relationships that were solidified throughout the data collection process. This is evident in the fact that little to no negative insight was produced by the data collector. The lack of negative data suggests bias in that the data collector was favorable to the subject as a person as well as her work. In the future, Vital Voices should consider hiring an external consultant that can contribute a third-party perspective to the program evaluation. And finally, the VVLead staff acknowledges that, in some cases, it was very early to draw conclusions regarding the outcomes and impact of fellows' participation in VVLead. This is due to the fact that many fellows are at points in their careers where they have identified their vehicle for change, but due to funding and human resources limitations, they have not fully implemented their ideas and various initiatives. And for those subjects who recently launched their respective vehicle for change, their long-term impact is not readily apparent. Similarly, while the knowledge gained from the online courses, and the connections made from the in-person trainings and online platform are more easily verifiable on a short-term basis, the full impact may not be wholly seen for years to come. As a result, while the data collection team was able to identify some plausible linkages between the fellowship’s outputs and the fellow’s leadership capacities and achievements, the data could be strengthened with follow-up interviews with each subject in three to five years time.

83

It should also be noted that while formal consent forms were obtained from each subject, due to the public nature of this report, some personal data – in regards to their backgrounds and/or the names of family members and beneficiaries that asked not to be identified – was purposefully omitted from subject’s case study.

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LESSONS LEARNED FROM PARTICIPATORY DATA COLLECTION PROCESS With the intent of boosting fellows’ M&E capacities, as well as collecting holistic data on specific program outcomes, the Documentarian Project proved beneficial for both beneficiaries and the team’s program evaluation efforts. While VVLead acknowledges the uses and benefits of other participatory evaluation methods, there were many takeaways and insights learned from the Documentarian Project. These lessons learned are outlined below. The opportunity for Documentarians to experience both roles – that of the interviewer and the subject – led them to appreciate the data collection process as a whole. As a result of their dual role, Documentarians were cognizant of the amount of time and effort necessary for the collection, transcription and analysis of qualitative data when they were the subject. This appreciation for the data collection process led many Documentarians to then recognize the value of qualitative evaluation and the importance of storytelling. In fact, many of the women reported during the second in-person workshop that they now have a great appreciation for qualitative evaluation, and M&E in general, and see the power of writing about and sharing the stories of other women leaders to wider audiences. In addition to building their evaluation, writing, communication and leadership skills, Documentarians reported that being interviewed forced them to reflect on their leadership trajectories, where it is they want to go and the tools they need to get there. Some women also reported that being interviewed allowed them to reflect on their past, which led them to feel a greater appreciation for their accomplishments and successes. Lastly, many Documentarians reported that they felt privileged to learn from and document the lives of other women change makers. The sharing of experiences, challenges and new perspectives encouraged solidarity among the women leaders, as some Documentarians realized they are not alone in the work they are doing despite often feeling isolated in their communities. One Documentarian reported that the inspiration she received from writing her subject’s story encouraged her to continue on her own difficult path. The mutually beneficial aspect of the Documentarian Project ultimately led to the program’s success and commitment from participating fellows. That is, Documentarians were trained in evaluation methods that not only allowed them to collect data and write case studies on VVLead fellows that highlighted program outcomes, but the skills they gained through the Documentarian Project’s in-

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person workshops and online webinars were also seen by Documentarians as transferable to their respective organizations. Over 75 percent of Documentarians reported relevance of the Documentarian Project to their professional needs, with many reporting that they will apply these newly acquired M&E skills to their own programs at work. 84 Some Documentarians also reported that the ability to immediately apply the theoretical M&E concepts through the case study project – and produce a case study from start to finish in a structured way – gave them the confidence to talk about and employ M&E at their own organizations. In order for this participatory evaluation approach to succeed, then, it is imperative that participants see the relevance and use of the skills they are employing, not only for the donor or program’s evaluation project, but also for their professional needs and individual growth. And finally, as no fellow was the subject of both a Vital Voices case study and Documentarian case study, no empirical evidence exists on whether a Documentarian was able to capture different data than a Vital Voices staff member. That is, is it unclear whether a Documentarian, due to her being seen by her subject as a peer rather than a Vital Voices staff member, led to more transparent, uninhibited responses by the subject. If future research is conducted, it would be worthwhile to understand whether a beneficiary’s peer relationship with other beneficiaries produces greater insight on the program’s impact, be that negative or positive. Still, the benefits of training beneficiaries in qualitative data collection methods are that beneficiaries can help collect data on program outputs and outcomes, and subsequently, assist decision makers with improving program design. This will not only potentially boost a program’s evaluation efforts – especially for those organizations that are unable to conduct rigorous in-person monitoring and evaluation efforts themselves – but also empower beneficiaries with M&E skills that are highly transferable. Although the VVLead team remains unsure of whether Documentarians were able to collect more novel data than VVLead’s data collection team, it is clear that Documentarians shared fellows’ stories through a different lens. One thing to note when considering a participatory evaluation method is the potential for differing motivations between the program implementer and beneficiary. The case studies written by VVLead staff placed stronger emphasis on VVLead’s impact while those case studies written by Documentarians focused heavily on the fellow’s background and leadership trajectory. 84

As reported by Documentarians in the Documentarian Project Post-Program Participant Satisfaction Survey.

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Whereas VVLead wanted to highlight the connections, learnings and collaboration that resulted from the program, Documentarians focused more on the actual work fellows are engaged in. That is, Documentarians’ case studies were largely human centered rather than focused on outcomes of the program. It is important, then, to note that a participatory evaluation program that utilizes both program staff and beneficiaries, while certainly providing more holistic data, will garner multiple focuses and motivations.

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PROGRAM OUTCOMES: THE CASE FOR ALL-WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT NETWORKS Much of VVLead’s quantitative data captures changes in fellows’ skill levels and networks. The qualitative nature of this project, however, allowed VVLead to better understand how the program’s various activities and interventions have led to changes in fellows’ leadership trajectories, and as a result, greater impact in their communities. While the case studies highlighted outcomes as they related to VVLead’s three overarching pillars – connect, learn and collaborate – they also captured the nuanced, residual effects of an all-women’s leadership development network. These “soft” outcomes are no less influential on the fellow’s individual trajectory and speak to the many benefits of supporting women’s leadership circles. Two major outcomes included fellows’ increased self-confidence and validation as a leader as a result of their participation in the program. Fellows expressed increased confidence as a result of the new skills, capacities and knowledge they gained through the webinars, most notably the Strategic Planning course. Many fellows felt that simply being associated as a VVLead fellow led to increased visibility and recognition as leaders, as well as credibility, by their peers and professional networks. This external validation led many fellows to recognize their leadership potential, with many women starting to see themselves as leaders for the first time. Such validation led many of the fellows to take bold action steps – whether that be pursing their passion fulltime or pursing a leadership role within their community, organization or business. Another major outcome of VVLead is the sense of sisterhood the fellowship created. Unlike a professional network where a member’s public failure can be interpreted negatively by others, VVLead’s all-women’s fellowship created a space where fellows felt supported and encouraged to take risks. In fact, some of the women, as a result of their participation in the fellowship, quit their day job at some point during the program in order to pursue their passion fulltime. Additionally, some fellows reported a strong sense of belonging and solidarity with their “sisters,” and the realization that they were not alone in their work. Having a space and platform to openly share their goals and passions, as well as personal and professional needs and challenges, and then receive widespread support from other women facing similar challenges, gave some the motivation they needed to leave their comfort zone and embark on a new endeavor. Being surrounded by a cohort of inspiring women leaders motivated some fellows to

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implement necessary action steps for their businesses or organizations as well as pursue previously dormant passions. As such, fellows reported a greater sense of accountability for their words and actions, which led many to act on the goals and strategic plans they shared during the in-person exchanges and online courses. VVLead’s hybrid learning model – the online platform coupled with in-person exchanges – is vital to the program’s capacity-building mission. The online platform provided a space to facilitate technical webinars where fellows could build their skills and knowledge. Additionally, the interactive nature of the D2L online platform provided fellows with a toolbox of resources, ideas, connections and support that could be tapped into instantly from anywhere in the world. The closed Facebook group also created a space for fellows to broadcast new ideas, fundraising opportunities and general words of encouragement. The use of other forms of social media such as WhatsApp also proved instrumental to connecting women with one another and sharing knowledge and resources. Many fellows created WhatsApp groups directly following in-person exchanges as a way to stay connected in real time, while some WhatsApp groups were created in order to connect fellows in specific countries and regions. Still, the in-person trainings, many fellows reported, were highly influential to their participation in the program. Some fellows who were interviewed expressed that it was only until they met the other women in-person during the exchanges that they felt fully committed to the program. Similarly, the inperson trainings are where many of the collaborative efforts were solidified. While many connections were in fact initiated online, it was not until fellows met face to face that they formed strong bonds and commitments with their peers. The concept of goal actualization was highlighted in many fellows’ case studies. Many fellows entered VVLead with a blurred vision for their future. Throughout the program, fellows were able to define their goals and verbalize action steps for achieving professional goals, most notably through the Peer-to-Peer and South-South Exchanges, and the Strategic Planning online course. This was especially helpful for those women who were spread too thin by competing priorities and were encouraged by their peers and course facilitators to focus their efforts and refine their plans. The opportunity to articulate their goals and verbalize their passions in front of a supportive, non-competitive cohort of other professional women – and be held accountable for their words – led many to not only crystallize their thoughts but take actionable steps towards achieving their goals.

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The international makeup of the program proved extremely valuable to fellows as well. Fellows were able to learn about approaches taking place beyond their borders and then apply them to their local context. Some fellows reported that such global insight allowed them to conduct better work within their own communities, as they were able to see and learn how other women are confronting development issues inside their respective countries. The international network also provided opportunities for certain fellows to expand their work across borders, as was the case with two of our fellows in Kenya and India, which ultimately provided fellows with global exposure and more professional opportunities. It is interesting to note that while fellows came from a diversity of socioeconomic backgrounds and countries, many of the leadership and organizational challenges they faced were the same, specifically issues related to work-life balance and fundraising. The lack of an age limit among participants also proved beneficial, as the fellowship engaged women at varying points in their careers. As a result, each fellow was able to give and receive unique support from others in the program. That is, fellows were able to play the role of the mentor and mentee at various points in the fellowship. Fellows were able to share knowledge, skills and resources regardless of age and experience, which aided in the fellowship’s non-hierarchal nature. For those fellows just starting off on their careers, they were able to take advantage of the experiences and resources of those fellows with many more years of professional experience. On the other hand, younger fellows were able to provide creative and fresh perspectives, tools and approaches – including the use of technology – to the wider cohort. Despite differences in age, all fellows had the desire to enhance their leadership skills and were deeply committed to improving the lives of those in their communities. While no major negative outcomes were reported by fellows, some fellows did complain that, at times, the program offerings were too time intensive. At one point, VVLead offered three online courses per week, which many fellows reported was too much, especially considering existing day-to-day responsibilities at work. While most courses were optional, many fellows still felt pressure to keep up with all course offerings in order to be eligible to attend the in-person exchanges. 85 As a way to

85

Invitations for in-person exchanges were sent to fellows based on their participation in the program, as monitored through the Attendance Tracker.

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encourage fellows to watch webinars, the recorded versions of each live webinar were posted on the D2L platform in order to accommodate conflicting time zones and work schedules. Another criticism reported by some fellows is that VVLead does not provide funding outside of the challenge grants. At times, there seemed to be a lack of understanding by fellows that VVLead is an incubator of women leaders, and is not intended to be a financial institution that funds individual fellows’ projects or businesses. Rather, VVLead strives to build fellows’ strategic, communication and fundraising skills during the program so that they are empowered to raise the necessary capital for their respective programs and businesses in the future. The issue-specific challenge grants offered by VVLead provided fellows with an opportunity to kick-start new and innovative initiatives that they may not have had the funds to implement in the past. The challenge grants, which required fellows to match VVLead funding with other in-kind and/or monetary funding, were created in order to build fellows’ skills as leaders and increase their capacities in areas such as fundraising, advocacy and outreach and program development. Despite these onetime individualized grants, some fellows still had financial expectations that could not be met by the program. Overall, VVLead provided emerging and established women leaders with the skills, resources, support and robust networks to take strategic steps towards achieving their personal and professional goals. The individual stories and voices outlined in this report provide evidence that, when properly invested in, grassroots women leaders can produce significant impact in their communities through their advocacy, business and organizational vehicles. The economic, social and political impacts of not investing in these global women’s leadership networks, then, is simply too great for the international community to ignore.

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APPENDIX A CASE STUDY OUTLINE A. Introduction and Purpose •

Objective of case study: To capture the outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Program through individual Fellows’ voices

The guiding questions you seek to understand include: Leadership evolution of Fellow; challenges the Fellow faces in leading change and Fellow’s needs as a leader; and outcomes from the VVLead Fellowship Program

B. Methodology • • • •

Describe the process of selecting the Fellow, how data was collected and data collection sources used What assumptions are there (if any)? What tools—e.g., observation guides, interview questionnaires, surveys, etc—were used to collect data? (You may want to include some or all in the appendix) Over which period of time was this data collected?

C. Leadership Evolution •

Current Context (Personal and professional) o Introduce Fellow  What is your current profession?  How do you manage your time?  What’s a regular day like for you?  Problem/issue Fellow is working on • How did you get interested in these issues?  What is your dream?  What is your driving force? o Context Fellow is working in: Country and community background, as relevant and applicable (are there larger country-wide or community-wide statistics that can frame context and/or give greater perspective to Fellow’s story?)  Where did you grow up and with whom?  As a young girl, what was growing up in ____________ like?  Country-wide statistics/Issue specific statistics (Secondary Sources)  Optional: How has _________ affected your trajectory? (if applicable)

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Involvement with VV or other organizations that support leadership development and/or provide mentoring opportunities  What has been your involvement with Vital Voices to date? (please list all Fellowships completed)  Why did you decide to apply to VVLead?  What other leadership organizations, fellowships or mentoring programs are you associated with? Fellow’s background o Tell us how you got to where you are today – and what you see as your major “milestones” or accomplishments up to now o What do you see as your strengths as a leader?  Where did you learn these skills? o What skills are you working on? Early influences/inspirations/milestones/challenges o What/who inspired you to pursue the work that you do? o What particular life experiences or people influenced you to become a leader? o

D. Challenges and Needs as a Leader •

Challenges (e.g., organizational, contextual (e.g., Boko Haram, Ebola), familial, personal) o What are the most difficult challenges you have faced or are currently facing in your work?  (If applicable) How did you overcome these challenges? o In reflecting on your experiences as a leader, have you ever hit a point where you started to doubt yourself as a leader or lose hope in your work or mission? Elaborate. o How would your work look in the ideal world?  How is this ideal world different from where you are now? Needs o What is currently missing that would help you better achieve your personal, organizational, professional, business and/or campaign goals?) o As a leader, what kind of support do you most need now (such as training, mentorship, advice, connections and services)? o Think back to when you started. How have your personal needs as a leader changed from then until now?

E. Outcomes of VVLead Fellowship •

Capacity building: skills and knowledge gained through the VVLead Fellowship Program o What skills have you gained through VVLead that have been the most useful to you?

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What happened as a result of these newly gained skills? Please describe specific examples of when and how you utilized these new skills. What knowledge/insight have you gained through VVLead that have been most helpful or profound to you? o What specific online course have been the most helpful to you and/or your work? Inperson training? (If-applicable) Kinds of connections made through the VVLead Fellowship Program (e.g., other VVLead Fellows; people outside of Program that you were connected to through VVLead) o Please elaborate on one or two influential connections you have made as a result of VVLead.  Who are the connections?  Were these connections made online or in person? How was connection made?  Intensity of connection (i.e., established relationship or one time connection)? o What impact did these connections have on you? Please be specific. This impact could be personal, professional or both.  What came out of connection (i.e. results)? o o o

Collaboration with other Fellows as a result of VVLead (if any) o Please elaborate on any collaborative efforts you have engaged in with other VVLead Fellows (if any)  How did this collaborative effort begin? Who is involved?  What exactly did/does collaborative effort do?  What impact do you feel this collaborative effort has had on you?  What impact do you feel this collaborative effort has had on the beneficiary? (if applicable)

Negative outcomes and/or issues arising from participation in VVLead Fellowship Program o If applicable, have there been any negative consequences as a result of your participation in VVLead?

VVLead’s contribution(s) to your work o Thus far, how has VVLead helped support and influence you and/or your work?  What support have you found most valuable and why? o Since joining VVLead what major decisions, if any, have you made either personally or professionally?

Change in leadership trajectory since beginning the VVLead Fellowship Program

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o

Think back to when you started VVLead. How has your trajectory changed from then until now?

Other factors contributing to success and if/how VVLead is distinct o Going back to your experience with _____________ how has your experience with VVLead been different?  What do you see as the main benefits of being part of an all-women’s networks? How have you experienced these benefits?  What do you see as the main benefits of being part of an international network? How have you experienced these benefits?

Future Outlook/What’s ahead for Fellow o What are your future plans? o Where do you see yourself in the future? o What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

F. Discussion • • • • •

Lessons learned Unexpected outputs/outcomes Limitations with case study, if any What further data collection and evaluation is needed Any unanswered questions

G. Conclusion/Final Message •

Summarize main points identified in results

H. Bibliography I. Appendix • • • • • •

Informed Consent forms from every subject you interview Interview Guide/Questions for your subject Interview Guide/Questions for your primary sources Journal Entry Questions Observation Guide(s) Other documents, if relevant

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Appendix B Call for Applications for Documentarian Project The VVLead Fellowship Program has received funding from our partners at the UK’s Department for International Development to support a select group of Fellows to focus on strengthening qualitative monitoring and evaluation and leadership capacities through a 20-person Documentarian Project. In an effort to capture experiences, learnings, participant voices, stories, reflections and outcomes from the VVLead Fellowship throughout the year, Documentarian Fellows will utilize a range of qualitative approaches, including, but not limited to, interviewing peers, conducting guided observations and journaling. Selected Documentarian Fellows will be required to attend two in-person workshops in 2015—in March and November—in addition to completing the Record-Keeping webinars and coursework in April. Upon completing all requirements of this Project, you will be guaranteed attendance at the 2015 South-South Exchange. The first in-person workshop, which will take place from March 20 to 21, 2015, will frame the roles and expectations for each Fellow over the coming year and offer training on the various qualitative tools that each Documentarian Fellow will be expected to use. During this one-day session, participants will also delve into activities focused on examining and documenting their own leadership paths and histories prior to becoming a VVLead Fellow. The second in-person workshop, which will take place immediately following the South-South Exchange in November 2015, will serve as an opportunity for Fellows to report back on their findings, participate in case study interviews—wherein Vital Voices staff and/or consultants will focus on charting the path of Fellows following initial engagement in the program—and gain training in telling their own leadership story. As a Documentarian Fellow, you will: • Build applicable and transferable monitoring and evaluation knowledge and skills. • Strengthen leadership capacities. • Enhance storytelling skills. • Gain opportunities for networking and resource sharing among participating Fellows. The Responsibilities and Requirements of each Documentarian Fellow are as follows: • •

Commit to at least four hours of Documentarian Project activities each month, in addition to regular VVLead Fellow responsibilities. Submit monthly journal entries that capture your personal experiences, learnings and outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship and reflect upon your experience as a Documentarian. (Note: Journal entries may be in response to monthly prompts sent out by the VVLead team in addition to free form.)

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• • • • •

Identify VVLead Fellows to interview (Vital Voices may facilitate pairings as well) and capture experiences from and outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship through peer interviews. (Note: interviews can be conducted in-person or via Skype.) Complete guided observations during webinars, online platform engagement and in-person workshops. Participate in all Record-Keeping webinars and submit all required course materials, including quarterly survey responses. Participate actively in both in-person workshops, in March 2015 and November 2015. Engage in case study interviews with VVLead staff and/or consultants.

Please contact Elizabeth Andrews (elizabethandrews@vitalvoices.org), Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for Global Programs, with any questions or comments.

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VVLead Fellowship Program Documentarian Project Application Please return this application to Elizabeth Andrews (elizabethandrews@vitalvoices.org) by Monday, February 2, 2015. First Name: Last Name: Email Address: Please answer the following questions (1-2 paragraph maximum for each question): 1. Why are you interested in serving as a Documentarian? 2. What skills and capacities do you hope to gain and/or build upon by your full participation in this Project? 3. Please describe any previous qualitative monitoring, evaluation and research experience that you have (e.g., interviewing; conducting guided observations; journaling). 4. Are there any approaches not identified in this application that you would want to utilize to capture information and stories about your VVLead Fellowship experience and that of your peers? Please describe if applicable. 5. Do you foresee any time restraints or other commitments that might interfere with your ability to fulfill your monthly responsibilities as a Documentarian?

By submitting this application, I acknowledge that I have read and understand the monthly duties and responsibilities of a Documentarian Fellow and that I will fulfill all requirements listed herein. I also understand that if I do not fulfill these responsibilities, should I be accepted to participate in this Project, that my admission to the South-South Exchange Program in November 2015 may be rescinded. Please print and sign your name below __________________________________

_____________________________

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APPENDIX C CONSENT FORM FOR DOCUMENTARIAN PROJECT Thank you for agreeing to participate in this study. This consent form provides information about your participation in the Documentarian Project. Purpose: The Documentarian Project seeks the following: to capture all outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Program, to understand how and why these outcomes happened, and to highlight VVLead Fellows’ voices. In doing so, the evaluation will document the experiences, learnings, application of new skills and results of VVLead Fellows. Please tick the appropriate boxes

Yes

No

()

()

I have been given the opportunity to ask questions about the Documentarian Project.

()

()

I agree to take part in the Project. Taking part in the Documentarian Project will include being interviewed by a member of the VVLead team. I understand that my taking part is voluntary; I can withdraw from the study at any time and I do not have to give any reasons for why I no longer want to take part.

()

()

()

()

I understand that I will not receive compensation for participating in this evaluation.

()

()

I understand that my participation in this project will take no more than thirty minutes.

()

()

While this study poses little to no risk to all participating parties, I understand that some interview questions may invoke an emotional reaction, as discussing my own personal experiences may be uncomfortable or sensitive.

()

()

I understand my personal details such as phone number and address will not be revealed to people outside of Vital Voices Global Partnership.

()

()

I understand that my words and my stories may be quoted in Vital Voices’ publications, reports and web pages.

()

()

Taking part in the Documentarian Project I understand the purpose of the Documentarian Project.

Use of the information I provide during the Documentarian Project

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Please choose one of the following two options: I grant permission for my real name to be used in the above. I do not grant permission for my real name to be used in the above.

() ()

I understand that other Vital Voices staff may use my words or stories in publications, reports and web pages, only if they agree to adhere to the permissions granted herein.

()

()

()

()

So we may use the information you provide legally I grant permission to Vital Voices Global Partnership to use information collected throughout this project.

Name of participant [printed]

Elizabeth Andrews Researcher

[printed]

Signature

Date

__

Signature

Date

If you have questions about this evaluation, please contact: Elizabeth Andrews, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, Vital Voices Global Partnership Email: ElizabethAndrews@vitalvoices.org

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APPENDIX D INSTRUCTION FOR STAFF WRITERS A. Introduction and Purpose (one for entire project) •

Objective of case study: To capture the outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship Program through individual Fellows’ voices

The guiding questions you seek to understand include: Leadership evolution of Fellow; challenges the Fellow faces in leading change and Fellow’s needs as a leader; and outcomes from the VVLead Fellowship Program

B. Methodology (one for entire project) • • • •

Describe the process of selecting the Fellow, how data was collected and data collection sources used What assumptions are there (if any)? What tools—e.g., observation guides, interview questionnaires, surveys, etc—were used to collect data? (You may want to include some or all in the appendix) Over which period of time was this data collected?

C. Leadership Evolution (writer to complete per Fellow) •

• •

Current Context (Personal and professional) o Introduce Fellow o Problem/issue Fellow is working on o Context Fellow is working in  Country and community background, as relevant and applicable (are there larger country-wide or community-wide statistics that can frame context and/or give greater perspective to Fellow’s story?) o Involvement with VV or other organizations that support leadership development and/or provide mentoring opportunities Fellow’s background Early influences/inspirations/milestones/challenges

D. Challenges and Needs as a Leader (writer to complete per Fellow) • •

Challenges (e.g., organizational, contextual (e.g., Boko Haram, Ebola), familial, personal) Needs (what is currently missing that could help Fellow better achieve her personal, organizational, professional, business and/or campaign goals?)

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Steps taken to address any challenges and needs

E. Outcomes of VVLead Fellowship (writer to complete per Fellow) •

• • • • •

Outcomes pertaining to operating principles of VVLead (as applicable): o Kinds of connections made through the VVLead Fellowship Program (e.g., other VVLead Fellows; people outside of Program that you were connected to through VVLead) (CONNECT) o Capacity building: skills and knowledge gained through the VVLead Fellowship Program (LEARN) o Collaboration with other Fellows as a result of VVLead (if any) (COLLABORATE) Negative outcomes and/or issues arising from participation in VVLead Fellowship Program VVLead’s contribution(s) to your work Change in leadership trajectory since beginning the VVLead Fellowship Program Other factors contributing to success and if/how VVLead is distinct Future Outlook/What’s ahead for Fellow

F. Discussion (writer to complete per Fellow) • • •

Limitations with case study, if any Further evaluation/research needed Case Study-Specific Lessons Learned • Lessons learned from this specific case study (note: think about who your audience is and what useful lessons you want to convey to them)

H. Conclusion/Final Message (writer to complete per Fellow) •

Lessons learned from this documentarian case study project on the whole (note: think about who your audience is and what useful lessons you want to convey to them)

H. Bibliography (each writer to submit with completed case study) I. Appendix • • • • • •

Informed Consent forms from every subject you interview Interview Guide/Questions for your subject Interview Guide/Questions for your primary sources Journal Entry Questions Observation Guide(s) Other documents, if relevant

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APPENDIX E JOURNAL ENTRY PROMPTS Journal Entry Prompt # 1: How has participation in the VVLead Fellowship Program changed your leadership trajectory to date? Journal Entry Prompt # 2: Describe your journey in life prior to becoming a VVLead Fellow. What do you see as the major "milestones” (can be positive and negative) that influenced your journey? If any of you have done the life mapping exercise, this is very similar. Feel free to recreate a previous life map that you have drawn out. These entries do not need to be formal – you can write in short sentences and paragraphs. Be concise, clear and descriptive! Journal Entry Prompt # 3: In reflecting on your professional trajectory, has there ever been a point where you doubted, questioned or lost hope in your work, mission or organization? What were the specific circumstances? How did you overcome this obstacle? Journal Entry Prompt # 4: For your fourth entry, please answer the following short prompts (1-3 paragraphs each): · What limitations have you faced thus far in your data collection? (For example, little to poor Skype connection with your subject; cannot communicate or contact your subject’s beneficiaries because he/she does not speak your language and/or have access to the Internet; cannot observe your subject in-person due to geographic location and/or budgetary constraints; etc.) · What assumptions, if any, are present?* · If time and budget were no issue, what additional data would you collect on your case study subject?

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APPENDIX F OBSERVATION GUIDE TEMPLATE Pre-Observation: Observation Location: (if location is not a physical place, please provide link to webpage) Observation Date: Observation Time: Observation Duration:

Observation Notes: Activity Observed: Sequence of Events:

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Relevant Quotations:

Notes and Descriptions:

194

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Post-Observation: Noticeable Patterns:

Personal Reflection:

Major Participants:

Follow-Up Questions:

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APPENDIX G SOUTH-SOUTH EXCHANGE FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION Date of Focus Group Location of Focus Group Number of Participants Category of Group Moderator Name Asst. Moderator Name Question

Brief Summary of Response

Notable Quotes

196

Observations

Appendix


Question

Brief Summary of Response

Notable Quotes

Observations

Final Notes:

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APPENDIX H VITAL VOICES EXAMPLE CODE LIST Accountability Adversity Ambition Autism Balance Branding Career Value

A sense of accountability to the other VVLead Fellows Personal challenge (cultural, familial, etc.) overcome by the fellow Reference to Fellow's personal sense of ambition Reference to autism or work done for autistic children Work/Life balance Mention of VVLead online Branding course Mention of the value of the Fellow's career, either at the personal or the community level

Challenge Challenge Grant Communication Confidence Courage CPS

Professional challenges mentioned by the Fellow Project/work completed as a result of receiving VVLead Challenge Grant Reference to communication skills learned/used by the Fellow Reference to Fellow’s increase in self-confidence Anecdote of personal courage, overcoming personal fears Effort to create cultural, policy or social change

Culture

Reference to local cultural constraints and/or local and traditional norms

D2L Day Job Documentarian Project Dream Channel Drive Education Family Fundraising Future Outlook Gender Goal Actualization Human Resources Inspired Introspective KAA

Desire to Learn online platform Reference to day job Reference to VVLead Documentarian Project Reference to Dream Channel activity Personal drive to succeed Reference to the importance of education or educational background Familial reference Fundraising skills, opportunities, or plans to fundraise Reference to Fellow's vision for the future Mention of gender, gendered roles, or gendered constraints Mention of the Fellow's professional goals becoming a reality Mention of VVLead's Human Resources online webinar Mention of being inspired by others, especially by other Fellows Aspect of Fellow's personality; see Personality Kenyan Autism Alliance

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Leadership Mentor Merit Money Multiplier Effect Needs Nonprofit Opportunity

Fellow's leadership skills and/or behavi r Mention of mentor outside of VVLead Personal merit used to achieve goals Lack of personal finances (i.e. trouble paying bills, etc.) People directly benefiting from the Fellow’s services or businesses What the Fellow has determined that they need to be successful Mention of nonprofit work Reference to a personal or professional opportunity

Organization

Reference to creating organizations, organized systems, or organizing events

Outspoken P2P Peer Mentor Personality Priorities

Aspect of Fellow's personality; see Personality Peer-to-Peer Exchange Peer mentoring through VVLead Reference to strong aspect of Fellow's personality Mention of time constraints related to prioritizing goals and workload Reference to personal privilege (i.e. University education, school supplies growing up, etc.)

Privilege Project Management Relationship Building RKS SBCC Service Provision Social Media Socio-Political Context

Reference to Fellow's project management skills Reference to Fellow's relationship building skills Resource and Knowledge Sharing Mention of Social and Behavioral Change Communication online webinar Services provided, or future provisions, of Fellow's program Reference to the use of social media outlets (i.e. Facebook, twitter, instagram) The socio-political context of the country in which the Fellow is located (i.e. Apartheid in Kenya)

Upward Career Mobility

Reference to the VVLead South-South Exchange Reference to the VVLead Strategic Communications online webinar Reference to the VVLead Strategic Planning online webinar Mention of technology, or technological issues Reference to the desire for upward career mobility through the desire for promotions, professional development, or through the changing of career tracks

Validation VV Collab

Fellow’s worthiness and/or value is recognized externally Mention of collaborations with other VVLead Fellows

SSE Strat Comms Strat Planning Technology

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VV Connect

Connection with other VVLead Fellow(s) facilitated by the VVLead Fellowship

VV Ext Network

Extended social networks facilitated by the connections through the VVLead Fellowship

VV Motivation

VVLead Fellowship motivates Fellow to want to leave their day job and pursue their dreams

VV Support

Fellow to Fellow or Staff to Fellow support facilitated by the VVLead Fellowship

VVLead Webinar VV Financial Management Irregular Migration

VVLead Fellowship Program Reference to the online webinars provided by the VVLead Program Reference to VVLead Financial Management online webinar course Reference to irregular movements and migration from the East and Horn of Africa

Gender Based Violence (GBV) Empowerment

Reference to violence against women Reference to Fellow feeling empowered and/or Fellow’s desire to empower others

Violence Religion

Reference to violence that is not gender specific Mention of Fellow’s religious beliefs, religious restrictions and/or freedom of religion

Censorship

Mention of information being suppressed by the government and/or private organization

Network

Mention of networks outside of VV

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APPENDIX I VVLEAD DOCUMENTARIAN PROJECT PARTICIPANT BASELINE SURVEY 1) First Name * _________________________________________________

2) Last Name * _________________________________________________

3) How familiar are you with qualitative program evaluations? (Please check only one response)* ( ) No experience ( ) Received training on evaluation, but have not implemented myself ( ) I have participated in carrying out an evaluation ( ) I have designed and led an evaluation

4) Please rate your current skill level for each of the following subjects on a scale of 1 to 10 (1= Very Low Skill Level, 10=Very High Skill Level): *

Developing a logic model for a program (e.g., identifying inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and long-term

1Very Low Skill Level

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

201

9

10 Very High Skill Level

No Experience

()

()

()

Appendix


impacts) Developing indicators to measure program outputs and outcomes

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

Developing an interview guide for qualitative research or evaluation (NOT human resources interviews, such as for hiring staff or volunteers)

()

()

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()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

Conducting interviews for qualitative research or evaluation (NOT human resources interviews, such as for hiring staff or volunteers)

()

()

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()

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()

()

()

()

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Transcribing interviews

()

()

()

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()

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()

Coding qualitative data (i.e., classifying responses to

()

()

()

()

()

()

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()

202

Appendix


interviews or open-ended surveys into themes or categories to facilitate analysis) Conducting structured observations of workplaces or people

()

()

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()

()

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()

()

Writing case studies

()

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()

Storytelling to show programmatic or organizational impact

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()

Using journal entries for qualitative research or evaluation

()

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Facilitating small group discussions for qualitative research or evaluation purposes

()

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()

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()

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5) On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident do you currently feel as a woman leader (1 = Very Low Confidence Level, 10 = Very High Confidence Level)?* ()1 ()2 ()3 ()4 ()5 ()6 ()7 ()8 ()9 ( ) 10

6) On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident do you currently feel about your ability to take on new leadership roles in your community (1 = Very Low Confidence Level, 10 = Very High Confidence Level)?* ()1 ()2 ()3 ()4 ()5 ()6 ()7 ()8 ()9 ( ) 10

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APPENDIX J VVLEAD DOCUMENTARIAN PROJECT PARTICIPANT SATISFACTION SURVEY 1) Name (Optional): _________________________________________________

2) Please rate how fully you think each of the following program objectives were met, using the following 1-10 scale: (10= program objective was fully met; 1= program objective was not met at all).* 1Program objective was not met at all

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

To develop knowledge of basic principles of monitoring and evaluation (M&E)

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

To introduce and practice qualitative data collection methods

()

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()

()

To introduce and practice qualitative data collection analysis

()

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()

To increase the leadership capacities of Documentarians

()

()

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()

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9

10 Program objective was fully met

N/A

()

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()

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()

()

Appendix


To gain opportunities for networking and resource sharing

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

3) Please share any comments here: ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________

4) Please rate your satisfaction with each program element, using the following 1-10 scale: (10= Very satisfied; 1= Very unsatisfied).* 1- Very unsatisfied

2

3

4

5

6

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8

9

10 Very satisfied

N/A

Overall experience

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()

Relevance of the Documentarian Project to my professional needs

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Journaling webinar

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Journaling prompt assignments

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Observation webinar

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Observation assignment

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Hand Coding webinar

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Focus group discussion inperson training

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Case Study Project

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Length of Program (March 2015 November 2015)

()

()

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()

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()

5) If you rated your satisfaction with any of the program elements as 'Very unsatisfied' or 'Very satisfied', please share any specific feedback you have on what made the session stand out in this way. ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________

6) What about this program did you find most valuable, enjoyable or useful to you and your work? Why? Note: You may be quoted in reporting and communications. Please write your name if you are comfortable with having your quote attributed to you. * ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________

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____________________________________________ ____________________________________________

7) What about this program did you find least valuable, enjoyable or useful to you and your work? Why?* ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________

8) Please share any additional comments/feedback that you have. ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________

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APPENDIX K VVLEAD DOCUMENTARIAN PROJECT POST-PROGRAM SURVEY 1) First Name * _________________________________________________

2) Last Name* _________________________________________________

3) Please rate your current skill level for each of the following subjects on a scale of 1 to 10 (1= Very Low Skill Level, 10= Very High Skill Level):* 1Very Low Skill Level

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Developing a logic model for a program (e.g., identifying inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and longterm impacts)

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

Developing indicators to measure program outputs and

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

209

9

10 Very High Skill Level

No Experience

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

Appendix


outcomes Developing an interview guide for qualitative research or evaluation (NOT human resources interviews, such as hiring staff or volunteers)

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

()

Conducting interviews for qualitative research or evaluation (NOT human resources interviews, such as for hiring staff or volunteers)

()

()

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()

()

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()

Transcribing interviews

()

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()

Coding qualitative data (i.e., classifying responses to interviews or openended

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210

Appendix


surveys into themes or categories to facilitate analysis) Conducting structured observations of workplaces or people

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Writing case studies

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Facilitating small group discussions (focus group) for qualitative research or evaluation purposes

()

()

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()

211

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VVLead Documentarian Project Case Study Report  

The individual stories and voices outlined in this report provide evidence that, when properly invested in, grassroots women leaders can pro...

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