Dedicated, passionate and wise beyond their years, Neema Karoli and India Msee are among the small minority of women in Tanzania who have the opportunity to continue their education after secondary school. In addition to taking demanding course loads and earning top marks inside the classroom, these two eagerly participate in countless extracurriculars, always looking to do and learn more.
So it was no surprise when Neema and India embraced the opportunity to join KISA, an organization that works with young women in secondary school to help build the next generation of confident leaders and agents for social change. Since the two began attending KISA’s weekly meetings, they have explored topics such as public speaking, leadership skills and advocacy.
“We speak a lot about empowering women and overcoming stigma,”says Neema, when discussing some of the lessons she has learned since joining the project. In Tanzania, many girls are taught to believe that they are not equal to men, making it all the more important to increase opportunities for girls and reinforce the message that they are capable of anything. Such topics reminded Neema and India how lucky they were to grow up in a home where their ideas were encouraged and nobody dismissed their dreams based on gender.
Dedicated to ensuring that other young girls develop the same sense of confidence, as part of their final project with KISA, Neema and India presented at a primary school in Arusha. They taught Standard 6 and 7 students about health and their changing bodies, all while reinforcing that being a girl is something to be proud of.
Neema and India made a lasting impression on the organization, and when they crossed the stage at their A-Level graduation this month, the women of the KISA project sat beside their Rift Valley Children’s Village brothers and sisters and cheered them on.
Both girls are now headed to University, where India plans to study Medicine and Neema will pursue a degree in Social Work. We couldn’t be prouder of these two scholars, who are leading Tanzania’s next generation of women towards a brighter future.