Evalyne, pictured above, is a 17-year-old high school student. Known as Eve to her friends, she lives in Soweto, one of the largest urban slums in Kenya - where opportunities for young women are few. When Eve was given the opportunity to attend the five-day East African Girls' Leadership Summit led by CAI, in collaboration with AMPLIFY, she jumped at the chance. Her experience was transformative. Through CAI’s creative processes that develop leadership and advocacy skills, she and the other girls realized they have the power to make a difference and were inspired to apply creative tools to do just that.
“After the Summit I went back to school and I was shocked to see a lot of girls had dropped out of school due to pregnancies. Many were a result of rape.” said Eve. She had previously ignored this situation as normal but now began mobilizing her peers and community. Applying the creative leadership skills she gained in the summit, Eve brought together 121 girls at her school and in Soweto to critically analyze the problems and identify possible solutions to end early teen pregnancies and sexual assault. She led role play sessions to empower girls to say no and defend themselves. She led discussions on gender equality with parents. Eve and the girls visited a police station to share their stories and request support in enforcing existing laws around sexual assault. As a result, both the cases of sexual assault in her school and number of girls dropping out have been reduced.
Eve notes, “I have come to realize that we, girls, are important. We are the ones who light up the society, community, and also the world.”
Each of us has an important role to play in lighting up the world. Your investment in CAI’s work to train creative leaders and support grassroots advocacy efforts has a powerful ripple effect. Together we are nurturing the kind of leaders this world needs – leaders like Eve – who will build an inclusive, collaborative, just and sustainable world. We honored to count you as a supporter and hope you will consider to help others like Eve.