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Impact Stories & Blogs

Our team share their insights and perspectives on the impact our program is having on youth in East and Central Africa.

    by Yaffet Girum Tesfaye, Cohort 27, Ethiopia   I broke YALI RLC EA’s all-time Microsoft Office Certification record by scoring 936 out of 1000 on my Microsoft PowerPoint Examination. At 20 years old, I am also the only alumnus who has ever done and successfully passed the four main Microsoft certification examinations; PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Access.   When I joined YALI RLC EA program, I did not expect to leave with four Microsoft certifications. I had joined to be empowered in my role in youth advocacy. I am a student of Computer Science and Engineering, a man of many te...

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Wednesday, 2 October 2019, 6:23 AM

By Ambrose Kamya, Uganda, Cohort 31 In Uganda, this is just one of the thousands of both told and untold stories of women and girls violated annually. According to the Uganda Demographic survey (2017), over 56% of women in Uganda have ever experienced sexual violence. This has led to death and poor reproductive health of women and girls thus preventing them from achieving a better life. However, the existing solutions mainly address sensitization and post-violence reporting thus leaving survivors with limited options to seek urgent help when being violated. I decided to do something about i...

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Monday, 2 September 2019, 10:20 AM

By Michelle-Rita, Kenya, Cohort 26. On 10th April 2019, MasterCard Foundation in collaboration with YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa (YALI RLC EA) and Ashesi University put up a forum for young professionals from different industry sectors to exchange ideas and experiences. Thirty-five YALI RLC EA alumni graced the event all the way from Cohort 1 to Cohort 31. There was a panel discussion, “The Future of Work & Growing your experience in your career through mentorship”. The panel was comprised of a multi-generational set of experts from vastly diverse industries. A common...

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Monday, 2 September 2019, 10:19 AM

By Shakiib Mustafe Ahmed, Somalia, Cohort 29 In the last few years, I had been contemplating what to do with my life. I wanted to become a leader, make an impact and be the voice of the voiceless. I had no idea how to approach this burning desire in me. I knew I needed to make a difference, not just to myself but also to the country that I truly love. After many sleepless nights of pondering over this idea, I decided that I will start my journey by taking on an initiative or a course that would help me in these areas that I desperately wanted to succeed. After intensive research on initiativ...

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Monday, 2 September 2019, 10:13 AM

by Heidi Mumia, Kenya, Cohort 2 My YALI RLC EA story begins at age 33 when I got accepted into the program. I was at a fairly advanced stage in my career having accumulated work experience of about 8 years. Though I was working hard and had a few achievements in my name, I felt I was not fulfilling my purpose. I had a burning desire to impact the community I worked in. My journey of transformation began with self-discovery. At the Center, a number of sessions have been designed for participants to master themselves, their purpose and ability. Before I joined the program, my interests were a...

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Monday, 2 September 2019, 10:07 AM

Carolyne Kamau, Kenya, Cohort 1 I was heavily involved in the arts as a dancer and as an actress in a community-based youth group and an international dance movement respectively. I was in my fourth year of undergraduate in Law School at the University of Nairobi. I held a few leadership positions as the organizing secretary, chairlady, choreographer and a lead facilitator.  I was also actively engaged in peer education, an avenue through which I practiced most of my leadership skills to become a sought after facilitator because of my sense of understanding, self-drive, proactivity, and inn...

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Wednesday, 14 August 2019, 2:10 PM

Julie Munyi Ogwapit, Kenya, Cohort 2 2015 was a tumultuous year for me. I was employed and doing fine but at the same time, I was a little bored and restless and dreaming of doing something more meaningful and impactful with my life. I began working on a business plan for a soft and life skills training program for kids and started exploring options to elevate my skill set.  It was during this time that I came across an advertisement for the YALI RLC EA program.  The description appealed to me particularly the transformational leadership element and the opportunity to develop and refine my...

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Friday, 9 August 2019, 8:28 AM

Papi Sibomana, Rwanda, Cohort 13 I am a visually impaired young leader passionate about community transformation.  When I graduated from University of Rwanda with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance in 2014, I was discouraged by multiple attempts made looking for a job in vain. I sent out many applications that I lost count of but never received a single interview invitation.  In early 2015, I decided to volunteer with Bright Future Cornerstone (BFC), a social enterprise that provides collaborative education for success in the area of leadership, tech-innovation and entreprene...

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Monday, 8 July 2019, 12:38 PM

by Dr. Cedric Patrick Le Grand Ouanekpone, Central African Republic (CAR) , Cohort 1   Prior to joining YALI RLC EA, I was a young medical student and social change-maker. I was on the board of three local associations that I founded with my friends and colleagues to stand up for human rights, gender issues and access to quality education and affordable healthcare. When the war started in 2012 in CAR, I was committed with my team to treat patients in IDP camps, churches and mosques and to train young people helping them to refrain from violence. In that light, we produced a movie “The Do...

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Tuesday, 2 July 2019, 11:59 AM

Waruguru Kiai, Cohort 5, Kenya   The YALI RLC EA program has greatly shaped my approach to social transformation in public service. For the last four years, I have engaged with more than 2,000 women and men with specific focus on devolved governments and good governance, financial literacy and access to government procurement opportunities. As a Nyeri County Youth Governor, I have engaged more than 100 Project Implementation Committees in over 10 Nyeri Constituency Development Fund Committees on Public Finance Management and Social Audit Strategies to avoid wastage of public resources.I ha...

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Wednesday, 8 May 2019, 9:12 AM