“I want to give back to my community in my retirement.”
Jemima has been an educator in Kenya and is now nearing retirement. For her, this is not the end of empowering women and girls, but the start of a new chapter.
“My husband and I have both been lucky to have careers as educators. In this time I have seen the benefit of improving the access of young women with few opportunities to accredited programmes. Our programmes give young women the skills they need to become in-demand employees in the hospitality industry. But throughout my time what I have seen is that the classroom-based training and the time they spent doing training in the work environment is essential, but not sufficient. The time we spend mentoring the girls, helping them to believe in themselves and showing them that we believe they have bright futures ahead of them is fundamental. The community outreach we encourage them to participate in is also brilliant. When they students have the chance to give back to their communities they can see how far they have come, and that they can be – often they already are – an inspiration to someone else. It’s not enough for us to lift up one girl if she also doesn’t become an agent for positive change.
“Now I am retiring I am so excited to take what I have learnt from Project GROW back to my own community. The area where I originally come from has very few opportunities either for work or training for young women. I have the power to do something about that with my professional background, and the resources developed by Project GROW will help me to plan my project and build it on strong foundations.
“It’s so important that we show women that our dreams for our communities are possible. Many times we just don’t know how to start our projects, and this is why these resources are so important. I am happy to have had the chance to contribute my own insights to them, and to have had the chance to learn from others with different backgrounds.