International Women’s Day recognizes and honors women and those who have made a global impact on women’s issues. At Asante Africa Foundation, we want to honor someone close to home and our community.
Asante Africa Foundation Program Associate, Mary Olusi Kwena is one woman directly creating and affecting change in her community through her work in Kenya. Her passion is evident by her work history which includes community-based capacity-building and workshop facilitation on child protection issues, work with the Kenya Human Rights Commission including gender mainstreaming and child rights, facilitation of life skills training for youth, and counseling of HIV positive children.
Mary was born and raised in Kenya. Her female role models include her mother; who has helped guide and been a constant support of motivation for her, and Dr. Eddah Gachuckia; founder of Riara Group of Schools, and who helped launch the Forum for Africa Women Educationalists (FAWE), blazing the trail for a revolution that increased access to education for millions of girls in Africa.
Mary believes that with education and strong female role models close to home and in the larger community, the challenges women continue to face; geographical, deep cultural stigmas and traditional female roles, can surely be overcome.
“The improvement of opportunity for girls, closing the gender gap and ending violence towards women begins with the family at home, then the educational community and finally the global village. We must educate and be the example, not just hope for it.”
Mary is doing exactly just that. Living as a passionately driven single mother in a culture that can trump a woman’s spirit. She hopes to convey the importance of gender equality and opportunity to her son so that he may understand and champion his future daughter’s rights, and the those of future generations.
So, in the spirit of International Women’s Day, we honor Mary’s passion for creating, educating and helping to solidify the path of equality and opportunity for girls and women in her community. Because it starts at home, in the local community and with one woman at a time.
HONOR A WOMAN