Partnerships and Sisterhood
In June, a group of eleven girls and four chaperones from Powerful Beyond Measure (PBM) visited SEGA.
Powerful Beyond Measure educates and empowers underrepresented girls from the San Francisco Bay Area to become leaders in their communities.
SEGA’s Education for Life department together with PBM organized a Leadership Training workshop for SEGA students on June 20th - 24th. The training that SEGA and PBM jointly developed was based on the East African Girls Leadership Summit (EAGLS) training and experience. SEGA students and teachers have been receiving leadership training at EAGLS for the past five years. The goal of the EAGLS training is to develop the leadership skills of girls and young women and support them in becoming effective change-makers in their communities while building gender equality and a network in East Africa. (To read more about SEGA and EAGLS see our June 8, 2018 blog.)
SEGA is expanding that network of strong women beyond East Africa and creating a global community of educated, empowered women leaders.
Part of the workshops involved discussions about gender-based violence, self-confidence, and leadership empowerment (and what that means). PBM girls were paired with SEGA girls and shared honest feedback regarding leadership roles, human rights, and gender roles. Speakers also came to share their own stories with the students about how they overcame challenges to achieve their dreams. The girls were also encouraged to take leadership roles in community groups and wherever they were needed to lead. On the PBM blog, the girls noted that the SEGA girls were confident and not afraid to stand up and speak up. (To hear from PBM girls, read their blog here: https://powerfulbeyondmeasure2019.tumblr.com).
The SEGA students shared their reactions to the training as well:
"I was delighted to meet my [PBM] sisters; we shared a lot. Among the things I learned is there are goals and targets of the girls' declaration and those are education, health, safety, economic, security and citizenship. I am a woman and it is my right to be heard." - Manka, Form Three Business.
"I was impacted positively during the training. I learned that I should not give up, I can achieve anything that I want under the sun, I can also inspire and empower girls and women. There is no shortcut in life and that as a woman, I have to work hard to achieve my dreams and victory.” - Magreth, Form Three Business
"At Powerful Beyond Measure [workshop] I learned ways of saying no and how to give my heart and my mind positive things." - Loveness, Form Three.
“From this training I learned that girls have voices and can use them.” - Maria, Form Four.
"What I learned from the summit is that when different people with the same goal meet, then things become easy. Our differences cannot separate us from fighting for the same wishes.” - Zaituni, Form Four.
The PBM and SEGA girls also had fun opportunities to get to know each other through playing chess, sports, singing their school songs to each other, and dancing. After the five-day workshop, the SEGA and PBM girls went on a one-day safari, hiked the Uluguru Mountains, and visited the Mgolole Orphanage . Prior to their trip, the PBM girls had raised funds to buy toys and food supplies for the orphanage and everyone was incredibly grateful.
The PBM and SEGA partnership, and the partnership with EAGLS, are powerful and an important reminder that girls are marginalized not just in Africa, but also in the United States. These exchanges help shrink the world as we share stories and build sisterhood through empowerment, education, and supporting one another.