USIU-Africa Journalism student gets chance to represent Kenya at the Mandela Washington Fellowship

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Nimah Kassim at a past event. PHOTO: Courtesy

By Nashon Owano

Final year Public Relations and Marketing major Nimah N’zani Kassim is the youngest participant from Kenya out of 40 who were selected to represent Kenya in the United States at the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2019, sponsored by IREX, YALI NETWORK and the US State Government. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is an initiative that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

Each year, 700 outstanding leaders are selected after a series of very competitive applications and interviews held in the US embassies in their respective countries. Fellows selected for this program should have established a record of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive impact in their organizations, communities and countries. They represent a diverse group of leaders from 48 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Nima was selected due to her mentorship program called The Hijabi mentorship program– an initiative aimed at creating a transformative social change through the use of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the UN, mainly focusing on SDG1 (no poverty) SDG3 (good health and wellbeing), SDG4 (quality education) SDG5 (gender equality), SGD8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).

Her platform is focused on sex education, gender-based violence, violent extremism and economic empowerment. The Hijabi mentorship program focuses on women, youth and teens, with its activities including mentorship sessions, trainings, workshops, advocacy campaigns and charity events.

Early this year she was one of the youngest contestants who participated in the Ms President Show 2019 on KTN, a reality show aimed at highlighting on female leadership in the country, where she had an opportunity to represent Kwale County. After the reality show, she was selected as one of the 20 young change makers to participate in the 2019 Change Summit on Gender Justice in Ethiopia.

N’zani is currently receiving training at Indiana University (Purdue and Bloomington).

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