Four young Kenyans emerged winners in the British Council’s prestigious Future Leaders Connect programme 2019.
The four are; Sharon Adhiambo – a Public Sector Economist, Alphaxrd Gitau Ndungu – a Young Farmer and a master’s student at the University of Nairobi , Faith Nafula Wafula- an advocate for gender equality and human rights and Dr. Phyllis Maina- a Medical Officer of Health in semi-arid parts of Laikipia North in Kenya.
The four were among eight shortlisted candidates who used six minutes to persuade a panel of judges how their ideas could make their country and the world a better place through policy.
Sharon’s policy idea on adolescent pregnancies. She is calling for a critical look at the 1996 school re-entry policy that aimed to ensure a return to school for all pregnant girls soon after weaning their babies.
“Let us legislate our school re-entry policy, through a legal provision that they can go to school. A framework that provides structures and budgetary allocation that builds social acceptability and tolerance among key actors,” said Sharon.
Alphaxrd’s policy idea advocates for a policy idea that will achieve food security through organised farmer movements. “Farmers have not been involved in policymaking. These farmers need better support,” he says.
Dr. Phyliss’ idea is to have a policy in place that advances community-based primary health care providing comprehensive training and allocates adequate budget to community health workers. “The implementation of such a policy will create a new cadre of health workforce at the community level.”
Nafula, on the other hand, is pushing for strengthening existing policies on sexual and gender-based violence. “My proposal is not for the creation of new policies, but the implementation of the existing ones by incorporating emerging manifestations of violence like cyberbullying…”
“My mission is to see a reduction in SRGBV cases especially school-related.”
The Judges of the day were Irũngũ Houghton, Executive Director of Amnesty International Kenya, Ms. Nerima Wako, Siasa Place and Christian Madison, Shadow Cabinet, UK.
The winners will now travel to the UK in October to undergo advanced leadership training at the Møller Institute, University of Cambridge.
Now in its third year, the Future Leaders Connect programme is a flagship youth leadership project of the British Council designed to connect, empower and equip exceptional young people between 18 to 35 years from around the world with the policy and leadership expertise.
Members of the network are given the opportunity to develop their policy-making expertise, make valuable connections and gain the skills to have a real impact.
Participating countries include Canada, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia, UK and USA.