Women Peacebuild leadership Program (WPLP) is a program at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for peace building and justice (CPJ) USA, a post graduate certificate on peace building and development for women around the world known to have been doing peace related work in their respective communities.
I applied for the programme last year and I was lucky to have made to the interview level with 200 other women leaders out of over 700 applicants all over Kenya. During the interview I was surprised the kind of women I was competing with, much known women leaders who have been doing great peace work in different parts of Kenya. Surprisingly I was chosen among the only 8 women needed to represent the country in this year’s program at EMU, Virginia USA from May 2016 to December 2017, I was so happy to have made it to get such a scholarship and I was actually the youngest in the group.
I received the congratulatory email while at JKIA airport heading to India with the sick brother.Immediately I landed in India they started requesting for vital documents to be sent to USA among the documents were certificate of good conduct which I never had!!!!. If were in Kenya I could get the certificate within few weeks but I wasn’t around, my brother just had a surgery and was in ICU so I couldn’t leave him and come back to Kenya just because of the police certificate. Unfortunately or fortunately when I had already changed my flight and was coming back to Kenya to make the certificate I got regret email that my chance has been given out!!!I try again next year because I was very strong candidate for them. I was so disappointed BUT….
Once again God closed a window to open for me the door!!!! Just two weeks after the regret email from WPLP I got another congratulatory email from USA Embassy in Kenya that I have been chosen to represent Kenya in this year’s Mandela Washington Fellows, Young African Leadership Initiative 2016. That was the greatest new ever in my life,waaaah the competition was soo tough that towards the results some of us almost got sick wondering whether to make it to finals or not. We were like 4000 applicants 400 made to the semi-finalists stage and did a tough interview and only 60 leaders were needed to attend the YALI program this year from Kenya. So imagine the butterflies we had knowing that all of us very competitive leaders so who will emerge the best to convince those American to notice his her leadership to be chosen.
Mandela Washington Fellowship for young African Leaders is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative(YALI). As Mandela Washington fellow 2016 we are expected to arrive in United states in June, A total of 1000 Young African leaders from different African countries will be attending the fellowship. We will distributed to different universities in US to be taught leadership skills and networking with other young leaders from Africa and United states as well. Personally I have be posted to Syracuse University,New York, after the academic residency we will all travel to Washington,DC to participate in a three day Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit hosted by President Obama. During the summit we will have opportunities to interact with U.S leaders in the fields of business, government and non-profit sectors. In addition a small number of fellows will remain in the United States for additional professional development experiences at U.S. companies, non-profit organizations or government agencies.