|The 2009 MILEAD Fellows represent some of Africa’s most extra-ordinary young women leaders with the courage and commitment to lead change in their communities. The Fellows include emerging young women leaders engaged in actively leading change on critical issues that range from women’s health and HIV/AIDS, disability, community development to political participation and environmental and economic justice. They are between 19 to 25 years but have already demonstrated their commitment to serve and lead in the 21st century. Together, they form a unique community which can dramatically affect the lives of future generations of Africa.|
|“Each of these young women has demonstrated an outstanding promise and unlimited potential for African leadership.” stated the statement from the MILEAD Selection Committee.|
|Rosemary Mbeng Agbor (CAMEROON)||Sofiat Makanjoula-Akinola (NIGERIA/ SWITZERLAND)|
|Rosa Aku Bani (GHANA)||Fatimah Oluwakemi Bello (NIGERIA)|
|Oluwaseun Waziri (NIGERIA)||Sarah Simba Riziki-Neema (DRC)|
|Annette Quarcoopome (GHANA)||Daintowon Pay-Bayee ( LIBERIA)|
|Biringanine Julie Nzigire (DRC)||Charmine Linda Ntuli ( SOUTH AFRICA)|
|Muthoni Nduhiu ( KENYA)||Ruth Namwese (UGANDA)|
|Chiedza Mutizi ( ZIMBABWE)||Martha Mutale (ZAMBIA/ CANADA)|
|Huda Mohamed (SOMALIA)||Sebabatso Manoeli (LESOTHO/ USA)|
|Fatou Malang (GAMBIA)||Yvonne Laruni (UGANDA)|
|Rahab Njeri (KENYA)||Takondwa Kaliwo ( MALAWI)|
|Haika Harisson-Ngowi (TANZANIA)||Donmale Gbaanador (Nigeria/ USA)|
|Honorine Umoti Gasasira ( RWANDA)||Aminata Fall (GUINEA/ EGYPT)|
|Rama Salla Dieng (SENEGAL/ FRANCE)|
Ms. Rosemary Agbor was born in Buea in the South-West region of Cameroon. Rosemary is currently a student at University of Buea double majoring in Women and Gender Studies and Law. Rosemary is fluent in English and French. She is a member of Associates in Development, where she coordinated mobilization efforts to allow rural women to participate in voluntary HIV/AIDS screening tests and counseling. She has also worked with Women in Action, a grassroots umbrella organization helping to empower women economically. Rosemary is committed utilizing her expertise and experience promote women’s participation in development in Africa. Her areas of passion include: poverty reduction / income generation, women’s political participation, women’s political participation, ending violence against women and HIV/AIDS.
Ms. Rama Salla Dieng is promising author and development practitioner. Ms. Rama Salla Dieng was born in Senegal. Rama is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Development and Cooperation with a specialization in Risk Management in Least Developed Countries at the Bordeaux Institute of Political Studies. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Social Administration and Management from the Université de la Mediterranée Aix/Marseille II. She holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University Montesquieu. Rama has interned with the Senegalese Ministry of Education, focusing on gender-based violence at school, and has worked as the Coordinator of “Caremoon,” a project focusing on women and children’s health in the northern Cameroon district of Garoua. Rama is the author of a novel, La dernière lettre (2008), which she wrote at the age of twenty, and has also been a columnist for Nouvel Horizon Senegal. She is also interning at the Socio-Economic Development Unit of the United States Nation Development Programme County Office in Mauritius.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Literature and Africana Studies from Williams College. Born in Tema, Ghana, Annette is fluent in English, French, Ga, and Twi. As the elected co-chair of the Williams African Students, Annette worked to raise awareness on campus about contemporary social and political issues in Africa. She spent her junior year living and studying in Martinique, conducting a semester of independent research. Annette earned distinguished undergraduate honors at Williams, including the Yoken Fellowship in French Studies, the Ruchman Fellowship of the Oakley Center, and an appointment as a Williams College International Scholar. Annette aspires to pursue her passion of research on francophone and transatlantic relations in graduate school.
Ms. Chiedza Mutisi is a Co-founder of the Collaborative Peace and Development Trust (CPDT)- a non-profit organization whose committed to the promotion of peace and prosperity at all levels in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa. Chiedza holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Enviromental Science from Africa University. She was an active student leader at Africa University, serving as a member of the Africa University Peace Club, the United Nations (UN) Model, where she played the role of the Ambassador of Angola to the UN, and the International Association for Students in Economic Sciences (AIESEC). She won an AIESEC Entrepreneurial Prize for her small business development proposal in. She also co- organized seminars on gender-mainstreaming processes at Africa University. Chiedza has led and coordinated outreach for community development projects and on issues of women’s empowerment and HIV/AIDS mitigation. Currently, she volunteers with the Collaborative Peace and Development Trust in Mutare, where she works with grassroots communities in her hometown of Sakubva. Chiedza Mutisi is an avid reader of political issues and current affairs. Chiedza Mutisi is interested in capacity building for peace and development. Chiedza is in conversant research, training and program management in the areas of Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Development. Chiedza was born in the township of Sakubva located in Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Ms. Donmale Gbaanador is a vibrant, lively young woman dedicated to using her life to bring positive and lasting change to Africa. She was born in the United States to a father from Rivers State, Nigeria and a mother from Panama. Educated both in the United States and Nigeria, she graduated cum laude with bachelors in International Studies: Politics and Diplomacy and minors in French and Business Administration from Texas A & M University. She is currently a third-year student at Texas Tech University School of Law. Donmale enjoys good food, cooking, traveling and music, dancing, and helping others. She sings soprano and has played the clarinet for 14 years. Her most exciting accomplishments is being chosen as a MILEAD Fellow. She is also proud to be part of Africa Christian Medical Missions, Inc., Jessup International Law Moot Court Team, and the Board of Barristers. Donmale is proficient in Gokana and French. She has interned with Africa Legal Aid in Accra, Ghana, and conducted research projects in Belize, Central America, and the Benin Republic. She plans on practicing immigration and international law. During her legal internships, she worked heavily on political asylum cases for African clientele. She strongly believes in and supports education for all girls, women and children in Africa. “Never underestimate the power of one to affect
Ms. Sebabatso Manoeli was born in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, and moved as a child to South Africa. She is fluent in Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English, and is a Mandela Scholar at Amherst College, where she is majoring in Political Science and Black Studies. Sebabatso founded and served as the Executive Director of Dream For Democracy, an organization established to empower African youth to participate in democratic processes through leadership development. She also was the Country Director for the South African team in the Harambe Endeavor, a Pan-African collaboration. She has volunteered in both Amherst and South Africa, providing services such as food, housing, and clothing to those in need. Currently, Sebabatso is in the process of starting Myrrh Seed International, an organization through which she hopes to promote justice and mercy.
Ms. Takondwa Kaliwo was born in Malawi. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities from the University of Malawi. Takondwa has been a member of the Global Youth Coalition Against HIV/AIDS and Taking It Global. As an Action Researcher for the Theatre for Development Troupe (TFD), she worked with the Creative Center for Community Mobilization on development initiatives for issues such as child labor, gender-based violence, and HIV/AIDS. She has also worked as for the University of Malawi Aids Awareness Programme as a member of the TFD. Currently, Takondwa is working as a Community Mobilizer for The Story Workshop, a Malawian Media Non-Governmental Organization. Through The Story Workshop, she facilitates the implementation of a food security project funded by the European Union, and works with rural communities in Malawi to create village-level action plans to combat food shortages as well as develop sustainable practices among community members.
Ms. Fatimah Oluwakemi Bello was born in Nigeria. She received a Diploma in Computer Technology as well a Bachelors of Medicine and a Bachelors of Surgery from Obafemi Awolowo University. She served as the Vice-Chair of Funds and Projects for Obafemi Awolowo University Medical and Dental Class of 2009, and was a member of the Ife University Medical Students Association, where she helped to conceptualize and later served as the financial secretary for Medidale, a magazine for the association. Fatimah is an active participant in the global fight against HIV/AIDS through her mission outreach work, providing free checkups, testing, and counseling for HIV/AIDS to local communities. She is an advocate for women’s issues and volunteers for Baobab for Women’s Human Rights and Women against Rape, Harassment, and Sexual Exploitation (WARSHE). She believes climate change effects would be more harsh on women in Africa than men, hence proffered youth led solutions, that won 1 of the best 200 entries in the World, in the 2009 World Bank essay competition. Fatimah is currently doing her medical internship and working on her community project, Girls Inspired which aims at encouraging young girls to go and stay in school in the Northern part of Nigeria. She is a member of Equality Now Women’s network, Amnesty International Group IV and Rotaract Club and also the elected general secretary of the MILEAD Fellows network. In future, she hopes to work on health care financing and policy reforms in Nigeria. For leisure, Fatimah loves to travel.
Ms. Charmaine Ntuli was born in South Africa. She is currently a student at the CIDA City Campus seeking a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. While at school, she has been a campus leader: she was elected to be the first female Chair for the CIDA Black Management Forum Student Chapter, earning her the nickname of “First Lady” by her peers. She founded the CIDA Debate Union and co-founded the Women ‘N Sync organization at CIDA. She was nominated to represent the CIDA City Campus at the Goldman Sachs Global Leadership Program based on her leadership, academic performance, and community participation. Charmaine has worked as a child mentor and a peer-to-peer counselor, and was the project manager for an effort to coordinate a women’s week celebration. In the future, she hopes to play a crucial role in Parliament or exert some type of political influence.
Ms. Muthoni Nduhiu was born in Kenya. She graduated with honors from the University of Nairobi, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Law Degree. She is fluent in English, Swahili, and French. Muthoni volunteered for the Gender Violence Recovery Centre, and is a member of the Rotaract Club of Nairobi. She was a Legal Consultant for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, where she coordinated a team for a case study on legal empowerment of the poor, focusing on women and children. She gave legal advice in such areas as reproductive health rights, gender-based violence, and property inheritance, and the case study’s final report subsequently received funding to continue proposals of legal empowerment. She is currently a Legal Research Assistant, and with professional passion for issues of transitional justice and women’s rights. She is currently writing an article on women and transitional justice.
Ms. Huda Mohamed was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, but was forced to leave her country because of the continuous civil war. Her family moved first to Egypt, hoping to return to their homes, but as the war continued, they migrated to the United States. She received a Bachelor’s Degree with majors in Political Science and Pre-law from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree in International Development Administration with a concentration in leadership in human services from Western Michigan University. She is fluent in Somali and English, and speaks conversational Arabic. Currently, Huda works as a Youth Facilitator, providing professional outreach to families in Michigan, and she has also been responsible for facilitating group mentoring programs and providing pre-employment skills training for community youth. In the future, Huda would like to work in international development organization and design projects to advance the livelihoods and educations of women in Africa.
Ms. Yvonne Laruni was born in Uganda. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and a Certificate in Customer Care from Makerere University Business School. She is fluent in English, Luganda, and Luo. She was a Field Researcher for Raising Voices, where she gained a Training Certificate in Research of Violence Against Women. Yvonne helped to spearhead the formation of Icon Women and Young Peoples’ Leadership Academy, where she currently works as a Program Officer for children and youth, helping to equip youth who have dropped out of school with leadership skills. Through her work at icon, she has established networks of youth throughout Uganda, building the Young Leaders Network and the Girls2Leaders Movement. In the future, Yvonne plans to focus on developing the role of children’s leadership in African society.
Ms. Rahab Njeri was born in Kenya. She graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts Education, with a major in Linguistics and a minor in Literature. She is fluent in both English and Swahili. At University, Rahab was the Professional Development Director of the Rotaract Club as well as the Environmental Projects Director, where she created mentoring programs. She currently works as a Community Development Co-coordinator with Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO), a community-based organization focusing on the conservation of the Kikuyu Escarpment Forest and other natural resources in the Lari District of Central Kenya. Through KENVO, Rahab has worked with organizations such as the United Nations Environment Programme to be an active leader in environmental matters, especially those concerning women. She was chosen to represent KENVO at the 2008 International World Birdlife Conference, and was also nominated by KENVO to participate in the Africa-Canada Eco-Leadership Programme, subsequently spending three months in Canada and three months in Tanzania. Rahab has worked as a secretary to the Lari Youth Empowerment Network, established by KENVO. In addition to KENVO, she is also interning at Ornithology Section, Zoology Department of the National Museums of Kenya.
Ms. Sofiat Makanjuola-Akinola was born in Nigeria. She is fluent in English, Yoruba, and French. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from McGill University and a Master’s Degree from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in Public Health with a concentration in International Health and Development: Sexual and Reproductive Health. Sofiat was a Peer Advisor as well as the Vice-President of Communications for McGill’s African Students Society at McGill University. At Tulane University, she was the International Student Representative for the Student Government Association. She is a recipient of the Governor’s General’s Canadian History Medal for the Millennium Award and 2007 Compton International Fellow. Currently, Sofiat is working as a research assistant in the field of health and international development for the International Center for Migration, Health, and Development, a non-profit organization based in Geneva. She collaborated in the development and review of a policy paper on malaria prevention for the United Nations Population Fundand also assisted developing research paper on migration and tuberculosis issues for the World Health Organization. Currently, she is working on a Gestational Diabetes Mellitus project in Jamaica and Panama funded by the World Diabetes Foundation.
Ms. Aminata Fall was born in Cairo, Egypt, but is a Guinean native. During her youth, oppressive human rights’ policies tore her family apart: her mother was jailed for eight years and her father was forced into exile, leaving Aminata and her older brother in charge of the family. She later moved to the United States to attend high school and college. She is fluent in French and English. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Long Island University (L.I.U). At L.I.U., Aminata was the only African on the Blackbird Squad, a Northeast Conference Division I women’s soccer program. She is currently an Assistant Administrator for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). She was in charge of the volunteer committee for the Mano River Union Youth Peace Games initiative, a UNDP project, with two former 1968 U.S. Olympic Gold medalists. As a part of the project, Aminata today meets with 70-100 youths every week to provide a forum for discussion and concerns about global issues such as HIV/AIDS education, child trafficking, and global warming.
Ms. Haika Harrison was born in Tanzania. She is currently a student at Tumaini University Iringa-Tanzania seeking a Bachelor of Law Degree. She served as the Secretary of the Future Leaders Club. She currently works as an Accountant and Secretary for Don Bosco College of Philosophy and Education. In the future, Haika hopes to be a successful leader and entrepreneur, eventually having a law firm specializing in women’s issues.
Ms. Fatou C. Malang was born in the Gambia. She has a Foundation and Certificate in Computer Literacy and a City & Guilds Diploma in Software Applications from Gambia Telecommunications and Multimedia Institute (GTMI) majoring in Business Communications and Project Development. In 2004, she was awarded the Certificate of merit under the Republic of the Gambia for capturing third position in the National Inter-school Essay competition by the honorable secretary of state for education. Fatou has volunteered as the Assistant Administrative Officer at the National Youth Parliaments Office, also as Deputy Speaker of her region. She was elected as the Gender Participation Chairperson of the Gambia Red Cross Society (National Youth Commission). Through her work in the Novo Scotia Gambia Association(NSGA), Gambia Red Cross Society and the National Youth Parliament, Fatou was involved with community outreach programs, such as voter education, malaria control program, peer health education programs to name a few. She is also a member of the Youth Ambassadors of Peace, Gambia. Fatou is active in social and economic issues concerning women with the aim of fulfilling the purpose of life as a human being by trying to make the world a better place to live. Her lifelong aim involves women empowerment, human rights, peace building and conflict resolution among others. She likes to convince people on her ideas and innovations. She is very good at pursuing ideas she is convinced and comfortable with. If she is impressed with the idea she thinks of ways of taking it to others. She have come to realized overtime that the urge to communicate her ideas and get them implemented keeps her motivated and focused. She always give due recognition to other people's good ideas.
Ms. Daintowon D. Pay-bayee was born in Liberia. She is a graduate of the Lincoln College of Professional Studies with a Certificate in Typing and Microsoft Word and is currently a junior student at the University of Liberia, majoring in Accounting with a minor in Management. She was the Youth Coordinator of the Association of Disabled Females International and the Coordinator of Young Women Leadership Institute Liberia (YOWLI). Daintowon has been certified as a Young Ambassador for Peace by the Youth Federation of World Peace. Through her numerous community service activities, she has worked to raise awareness within the general public about those with disabilities and to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities through participation in national government. She is currently the Coordinator of Young Voices International Liberia. In the future, Daintowon wants to continue her fight against discrimination by ensuring that persons with disabilities are empowered at the national level.
Ms. Sarah Simba Riziki-Neema was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She received an Undergraduate Diploma in Economics Business Administration as well as a License Diploma in Maths Economics from Protestant University, Kinshasa, DRC. She is fluent in French, English, Swahili, Lingala, and Kikongo. Sarah has worked as an Education Officer with the Youth to Youth Project of the Center Christian Church in the Congo to raise awareness and mobilize efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. She currently works as a Loan Officer for HOPE DRC, a Christian microfinance institution that promotes responsible lending in the context of the fight against poverty. Sarah interacts directly with impoverished communities, training customers in managing their own micro businesses and positively impacting the social and spiritual lives of those seeking guidance from her. She also coordinates youth activities at her church. Sarah hopes to use her experience in the future to help establish more stability in the DRC.
Ms. Julie Biringanine Nzigire was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has a Undergraduate Degree in English and African Culture from Bukavu Teachers Training College. She is also fluent in English and French. Julie worked as an HIV/AIDS Department Officer for the YES DRC campaign, where she conducted investigations regarding sexual violations made against rural women and girls. Through the DRC program, she also organized training and capacity-building seminars and workshops for young people affected by HIV/AIDS. She has also worked as a Trainer for a seminar on child abuse and labor sponsored by Adi Kivu. Julie is currently completing her graduate studies in English and is working as an English Teacher for the Institut de Bukavu. She plans to use leadership skills to fight for women’s rights on a large-scale capacity.
Ms. Oluwaseun Waziri is a celebrated youth journalist and a child’s right activist. Born in Nigeria, Oluwaseun is currently a student at Obafemi Awolowo University majoring in Psychology. Oluwaseun also volunteers as a Programme Assistant for the Media Concern Initiative for Women and Children, helping to educate children and adolescents on prevention and responses to sexual abuse. She was named Journalist of the Year by Towergate College in 2004, and received the award of Press Lady for Konsol College in 2000. Oluwaseun is a child rights activist dedicated to preventing children from all forms of abuse, and helped to mobilize children to sign a petition urging the government of Lagos State to take action to protect children.
Ms. Ruth Namwese was born in Uganda. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education as well as a Certificate in Computer Application from Makerere University. She is fluent in English, Lunyankole, and Luganda. Ruth has actively worked to develop her leadership skills by participating in the Icon Women and Young People’s Leadership Academy and the Girl2leaders movement in Uganda, and she also received a Certificate of Recognition and a Certificate of Achievement from the Children’s AIDS Fund for her efforts as a Peer Facilitator and Coordinator in working to combat HIV/AIDS. Currently, Ruth is the first female Programs Manager for Empower Children and Communities against Abuse (ECCA), where she coordinates the involvement of men, women, and children in grassroots-level programs that emphasize prevention mechanisms against gender-based violence.
Ms. Honorine Umutoni Gasasira was born in Rwanda. She is fluent in French and English. She is persuing her Education in Luxembourg as a Network Engineer . Honorine represented Rwanda for the UNESCO/Ministry of Education-Rwanda at the International Conference on Education in Geneva, Switzerland, where she reported on the challenges girls face in the educational system. She also helped to raise awareness about girls’ issue through TUSEME Club of FAWE Girls School. She is a member of the Rotaract Club, GNG Group and AERG. Honorine also works at SOS Sahel International Luxembourg. Honorine is a committed championing the rights of orphans by educating communities and orphans about the need for youth education and the importance of adoption. She has put her dream into action by taking the step of adopting a five-year-old boy last year, and has the ultimate goal of establishing an orphanage in Africa. Her passions include: women’s empowerment through ICT, Conflict mitigation & management, education and women’s rights.ent through ICT, Conflict mitigation & management, education and women’s rights.
Ms. Martha Mutale is a writer and poet committed to empowering and enlightening young African Diasporans about the great continent of Africa and participates in African Heritage programs in this regard. Martha was born in Zambia. She studied at Dalhousie University where she volunteers for the Dalhousie African Students Association. Martha continues to serve community through her work with children: as a Tutor for the Black Educators Association, a business coordinator for the Black Business Initiative for a summer, and as a Sunday School teacher. She also served as Youth Service Coordinator, and currently as a Youth Group Leader for the Emmanuel Baptist Church. She was an Administrative Assistant for the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia. In the future, Martha hopes to use her unique experience of growing of both worlds to play a positive role in impacting the development of Africa, especially by helping young women become leaders throughout the continent. She plans to launch her first poetry book in 2010 as she continues her community work and project to enrich African women to uphold their culture and heritage.
Ms. Rosa Aku Bani was born in Ghana. She is fluent in English, Ewe, Twi, Ga, and Fante. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Justice Administration from the University of Louisville. During her undergraduate career, Rosa excelled academically, making the Dean’s List for three years and receiving the prestigious Woodford Porter Scholarship. She was a member of the African Students Union and the Sociological Student Association, and was able to study abroad in Trinidad and Tobago through a university program where she studied the social stratification system of the islands. As a child, Rosa co-founded the organization Children and Youth in Broadcasting, which has grown into an internationally recognized entity. Rosa has also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and the Lost Sheep Ministries, a group dedicated to helping the homeless. In the future, Rosa wishes to pursue a Master’s program in Development Studies to further her career plans to be an advocate for equality and social justice. Her areas of interest include women’s human rights, violence against women, poverty reduction and women’s political participation.