Culture Works: Lessons learned from the Emerging Markets Summit
Business minds in the emerging markets world have gotten the message: culture works.
Chicago’s top-ranked Booth School of Business hosted its Emerging Markets Summit on April 12, gathering business leaders from across the globe to discuss opportunities and challenges for economic growth in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. And what they had to say, frankly, played well to strengths and convictions we’ve long held at ZanaAfrica.
The Awakening Giant
Day to day living in Nairobi, Kenya, you come across an incredible level of entrepreneurship. From the man down the street making and selling jewellery from old cutlery, to the dukas (small kiosks) on every corner selling essentials and the mama’s carrying bags of chapatis and samosas to office buildings to sell for breakfast. What is the impact of this small scale local business? While it improves the living standard of one family, what does it do for their neighbour? The Economist recently published an article explaining that for African economies to take off they will have to start a lot of local manufacturing.
The people are resourceful, hardworking, and always looking to make a better life. But walk into the supermarkets and you see everyday purchases being imported from overseas. We wear clothes cast off by Americans, Brits and Australians, use sanitary towels from China, and electronics from anywhere but here. And what of the not-for-profit organisations slated with lifting these nations ‘out of poverty’? Why are we distributing shoes shipped in from China? Why are we riding bicycles shipped from the West (kudos to Buffalo Bicycles for manufacturing locally)?
Small Bite, Big Threat
Building Awareness for Vector-Borne Diseases
Small Bite, Big Threat… that is this year’s slogan for World Health Day celebrated today to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. Each year, WHO chooses a priority public health issue to highlight and encourages communities to get involved to promote better health.
Just what are those small bites the WHO highlights? And who are those small creatures the bites come from?
Blue is the Color of Hope
ZanaAfrica serves Kenyan girls, ages 10-18 living in urban and rural Kenya, with tools they need to thrive. Girls with bold ideas, girls with big dreams, girls with rich inner lives who are overcoming tremendous odds. Their lives are tough but their spirits radiant. We celebrate them and honor them in our work and through our communication about them. Through our images we capture positive moments in their daily lives.
Creative Writing in Kibera
Tariq and I are summer interns at ZanaAfrica and have been visiting the Empowernet Clubs in Kibera for the last month. As we both like writing, we thought it would be fun and innovative to introduce the girls to different ways of being creative with language. This would be beneficial for them to start thinking about alternative ways of expression through poetry and story telling.
Mork Calling Orson
Unfortunately for me, I missed out on the red suit and glowing egg-shaped pod. But as I established in an earlier blog, I am indeed an alien. One from a very strange planet: America. And living in a strange and exciting universe: Kenya in the new millennium.
Has ZanaAfrica Brought Transformation?
I can’t believe that 2 years and seven months have passed since I joined ZanaAfrica as a junior facilitator in training. The training in the field to facilitate was not just an easy task because we had to do a lot of research in order to make our facilitation skills better. One of the requirements in the field was to make sure that we had to find at least Three new schools. This called for good communication skills to the potential schools we hoped to work with. I remember one day when I went to this school and the principal looked at me from head to toe and asked me what such a young man like me would offer to his students. l told him by engaging the students in his school in meaningful talk would give them the tools to make better decisions when faced with life dilemmas. Even after spending 2 hours waiting and 1 hour trying to explain to him how the clubs would empower the students, he turned me away with no club in his the school.
Cry for Change
We cry for food,
We cry for shelter,
We cry for water,
We cry for justice,
We cry for equality,
We cry for change,
I have been privileged to live the two kinds of lifestyles that there is. I have lived a life where I didn’t know where my next meal is coming from and l have lived a comfortable life where my next meal was predictable.
Life is not the best teacher when you are learning the hard way because you have to become harder in order to live on life’s terms. It is in this juncture that you can almost take everything that comes your way without questioning the outcome.
Happy International Women’s Day! We celebrate girls and women every day, but today we’re especially thankful for all the important women in our lives.
ZanaAfrica is dedicated to empowering girls through holistic support and affordable sanitary pads. Right now, we’re partnering with Faulu Kenya and Population Council to run a financial education curriculum in our EmpowerNet Clubs. Each girl is learning how to save with her own bank account at Faulu!
Read on to hear EmpowerNet Club Facilitator, Jayne Mumbanu, explain how financial education has made a difference for girls in Kibera—including her!