My name is Sharon Jesscah Odhiambo, 24years old and a Kenyan by nationality, a Christian student at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Development studies. Sharon also graduated from Kisumu national polytechnic with Diploma in social work and community development, she is a client counselor from the Kenya Association of Professional Counselors. She loves singing, watching movies and visiting new places (touring)
Jesscah is also the founder of Ultra Wings initiative that empowers and support girls stay in school by educating them on menstrual hygiene and also provide sanitary towels for the girls and Jesscah sickle cell foundation that advocates for sickle cell awareness and she is also a determined hardworking and God fearing lady.
WHAT FUELS ME?
This is the act of being helpful towards someone or people in need, not in return for anything. I realized the girls in my community had a need and because of my concern for girls and women, I decided to start the ultra wings initiative to be able to advocate for the girls and women in the community because I hated to see them struggle and suffer if there was something I could do to help. Through the initiative, I have been able to interact with different people in the society and have given me the knowledge on how to handle each and every individual. Have also been able to learn more about the girls and women thus I got adequate experience to handle and help them.
In everything we do, there are always challenges and the challenge on this is that sometimes others take you for granted despite the efforts you put to support and sometimes the lack of resources to support them.
With this, I have also gotten different opportunities to be part of youth empowerment and the campaigns on drugs and peace in the society
This is to keep a firm hold of something and never letting go easily, and it is the reason I have held firm to this initiative despite the challenges and downfalls I face every day and I believe it’s for the benefit of the upcoming generation and our future leaders and am not ready to give up for them, because for me it doesn’t matter where I have come from but what matters is the change am making in people’s lives. Meeting different people and working with different organizations have helped me improve my steps in this initiative and gained more experiences from them e.g. knowing better how to interact with the girls and advising and empowering the women and that’s what content me.
To be zealous is to support something one strongly believes in, this is why I support the girl child because I believe they are our future leaders and they are going to do better in improving our communities, society and the nation as a whole.
MY GREATEST INFLUENCE:
I was most influenced by Sheryl Sandberg, her words explain much more on what we ought to do. In her speech, she says “I believe that if more women lean in, we can change the power structure of our world and expand opportunities for all’ thus I believe it only takes more efforts and teamwork to make it happen because more female empowerment and leadership will lead to fairer treatment for all women. She made me know that power is when you have the power, the ability to make a change when you have the tools, the capacity and the opportunity to do so.
MY TOP THREE ROLE MODELS:
Janet Mbugua, a Kenyan media personality and founder of Inua Dada foundation I look up to her because she got the courage and vigor in the reinforcement and empowerment of young females, thus I would really love to reach her level and even move higher in female advocacy
-Stella Ajwang, a teacher, and a principal. It not the nature that she is my mother that makes me look up to her but her personality, what she has done and continues to do influences me.Through her career, she has made an impact in so many lives…this makes me work harder to impact more lives too
Barrack Obama, former US president, and a community organizer is a big role model, the way he is able to talk and encourage his subjects. And the many organizations he has established in the US has really been of help to the citizens e.g. yali network which has advocated for the empowerment of the youth all over East Africa. I really look up to him to be able to influence more women on female advocacy
IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS…..
I envision a country where girls are empowered, live safe, dignified and educated life and are able to get easy access to sanitary pad thus putting smile on their faces and keeping them in school to avoid many girls growing up in communities where menstruation is shrouded in shame and stigma, misinformation is rampant and clean menstrual supplies are scarce that’s why we are to create awareness and educate the girls on menstrual hygiene education.
I have a friend (Brian Magwaro) who I always discuss with and he has always been more than willing to help through his motivations and encouragements. He has always given me more suggestions and ideas which has brought me this far. He has always supported this initiative even when I got some little problems and hiccups and almost gave up he’s been a shoulder to lean on and am grateful for him
THE AFRICAN WOMAN’S CHALLENGE:
Challenges the women have to contend with are; gender inequality, violence against women and water and sanitation. To remedy these challenges, being able to create time to meet, dialogue, listen and then act. I act by providing the little recourses I have to help the women
Gender inequality, am able to educate the young adolescent boys and girls on equalizing tasks without discrimination or superiority, thus with this, they are able to learn that they are both equal beings.
WHAT I DO TO RELAX:
To get off the tension I always go out with my friends and family to have fun, go for drinks or dinners’. I also love tourism, so sometimes I do local tourism in my city. But sometimes I stay indoors to watch movies and to listen to music
MY – I.C.E. [INSPIRE|CELEBRATE|EMPOWER] VISION
African women should be inspired because through this we are able to discover more beneficial activities from them. They only need a hand to lift them from where they are and they will be able to rise again.
It is definitely true that the female experience has been riddled with injustice, inequality and enormous abuse. It makes sense that this must be rooted-out and discussed with great urgency and this can only be done by recognizing the efforts that women make in our communities from the family level to the national level thus by celebrating them we give them more effort and courage to be better and to do more
Empowering African women is a way of making Africa stronger thus women must be the center of all our efforts .A significant fertility decline can be achieved only if women are empowered educationally, economically, socially and politically. Women should also be empowered to expose them to better opportunities both now and in the future
MY AFRICAN UNION PLANS:
I would seek to occupy the responsibility of advocating for gender equality gender-based violence and water, sanitation and hygiene.This is because these are the major areas where Africa faces a persistent gap. By doing this I would love to support female rights and make people know that empowered women and girls contribute to the productivity of their families, communities, and countries, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone
FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE:
African woman should never give up on fighting for what is right which is empowering and influencing the coming generation and the little ideas they got can improve and better their lives and the lives of others. Let them see the world with open eyes because they are the pillars of Africa from the family level to the nation level.