“It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you always” ~Oprah Winfrey
Born in rural town of Homa-bay, Kenya, Faith, better known as Fei-zy, is one of the initiators of Girls Shift Africa. An organisation that aims at breaking the cycle of poverty and dependency by upLifting, inSpiring and emPowering girls and young women to be who they really are and shine their lights.
I know that my purpose in life is to empower girls and young women to believe in themselves no matter what, regardless of the circumstances. I want to be there as a sister for the girls that I work with in schools and for the other young women, I want to be there to listen and at least offer a piece of advice with the resources I have.
My childhood was not easy, as a young girl no one believed in me, expect for my father who kept showing me love regardless of the circumstances. I was always the quiet, shy girl and most of my friends and family didn’t appreciate me. I lost both my parents at a young age-my mother to an attack during the 2007/8 post-election violence and had to fend for my siblings and I. I believe that the experiences I went through helped shape the person I am today.
In July 2012, I had a calling to change young women’s lives, to make the world a better place for this generation and from the moment I started working with Girl Shift Africa, it’s been a journey I can’t stop talking about. At Girl Shift Africa,we really love focusing on the inside rather than the physical appearance.We do this by working on the emotions of an individual then we work on the outer appearance because as we all know, change starts from within. Basically this is to connect the girls with their inner potential. The meditation is an empowering process about self-discovery and courage.These tools offer solutions to transform people’s lives.
As part of Girl Shift Africa, I have been involved in several activities like helping the elderly, working with special needs children and visiting orphans. I also go into the slums, informally and freely interacting with women and girls, giving health talks, information on how to live a happier life, and motivation on topics such as contraceptives, neighborhood cleanups and blood donation. I hold a certificate in HIV/AIDS management and sexually transmitted diseases from Hope Worldwide. I am also a graduate of the Journey Intensive Seminar, a globally acclaimed method of healing emotional trauma.
In 2012 I was selected as one of the 13 participants to attend the YWLI Feminist Leadership Institute. This great opportunity transformed my life. The experience at the institute was inspiring and exciting.
The Institute equipped me with feminist leadership skills that I need to empower and inspire the girls and women I work with.
I believe that through the institute I have grown in character and capacity. I was deeply transformed to great leadership, authenticity and passion. A light was ignited inside me to believe in the empowerment and support for girls and young women.
I am so proud to call myself a feminist and an activist .Thank you YWLI, for giving me an opportunity to be part of such a transforming space. May you be blessed abundantly.
Young Women's Leadership Institute (YWLI) is one of the four partner institutes of the African Centers of Excellence (ACE) for Women's Leadership program run by the Institute of International Education (IIE) , Ethiopia Office.