Sarah Marambo is a Kisa Alumna who organized something truly spectacular – an inspiring all-day event attended by almost 300 (wow!) young girls. It was a day they will always remember – and Sarah will never forget either. How did this come about? First, you need to know a bit more about Sarah when she was a Kisa Scholar. You will soon learn that she was observant and a self-starter!
Sarah grew up in Kibaha, a section of Dar-es-Salaam, the large coastal city of Tanzania. However, for high school, she attended Ashira Girls Secondary School in Moshi, a 500+ kilometer distance, or 9-hour bus ride from home.
At Ashira, Sarah joined AfricAid’s leadership program, the Kisa Project. It was through Kisa that she met her Mentor and role model, Magdalena. Sarah observed Magdalena as she coached her Kisa Scholar classmates at Ashira to manage their lives and become future leaders.
Sarah also had the opportunity to attend Career Day, which is an event that AfricAid organizes to provide an opportunity for Scholars to interact with professionals from a wide range of careers. She observed what it took to put together such a large gathering.
Sarah graduated from Ashira and the Kisa Project in 2018 and is now pursuing a bachelor of science in biology at University of Dodoma.
Tabasamu La Binti (A Girl’s Smile)
While still a Kisa Scholar, Sarah continually thought about the needs of her community back home in Kibaha. She decided during a school holiday to conduct a community assessment, which included evaluations of the young girls from two primary schools, two secondary schools, and an orphanage in Kibaha. Her objective: she wanted to find out if young girls there were able to speak their mind to someone they could trust.
Armed with information she gathered at the schools and orphanage, Sarah knew that the girls in Kibaha needed training and support. She created a proposal and, with Magdalena’s input, Tabasamu La Binti (A Girl’s Smile) was born!
At the request of the administrations of these schools, Sarah visited the girls about four times per month whenever she was home during school holidays. Using lessons directly from the Kisa Curriculum and her own notes, she presented on topics relating to sustainable income (entrepreneurship skills and budgeting/saving) and health (HIV/AIDS).
Event: Education for Young Ladies to Rise and Shine
During her second year as a Kisa Scholar, Sarah was among just 60 girls from 7 countries selected to attend the East Africa Girls Leadership Summit (EAGLS) in Nairobi. At the Summit, Sarah came up with a very big idea to serve the Kibaha community. She wrote a proposal to host one big event for Tabasamu La Binti, to bring together the girls from all four schools plus the orphanage. Once again, she sought the advice of her Mentor, Magdalena, who said “I was so excited to see Sarah growing into such a passionate and committed leader!”
To assist Sarah in achieving her vision of the big event, Magdalena applied for a mini grant from the Creative Action Institute, which is the organizer of EAGLS. When Magdalena shared the wonderful news that she was awarded the grant, Sarah could not contain her excitement. “Ooooh, dear Madam, it will be a great day in my life!”
March 30, 2019 was a bright day for Sarah, but it started out not quite so bright. She woke up very early to get ready, through she was very tired due to staying up late with last-minute details. She departed for the location of the event, Bertil Mellin Hall in Kibaha, which had been decorated with drawings by the girls and colorful fabrics. On her way it started raining and she felt a bit panicked: “What if the rain stops the girls from arriving at the venue, or if the parents will not allow them to come due to the rain?!” She quickly sprung into action and contacted her friends who are also passionate about improving their communities. She asked them to go through the list and call all the parents to make sure their girls were able to attend the big event. NEARLY 300 GIRLS SHOWED UP. (Our biggest congratulations to you, Sarah! Your hard work paid off!)
The event ran from 9am-3pm and included two special and dynamic motivational guest speakers: Lady Fey Mollonga (a well-known consultant with a church-based NGO serving young people) and Stumai Simba (a Kisa Alumna from Arusha Secondary School in 2013, entrepreneur and owner of several businesses, including Porridge Point.) Sarah is shown (at right) with Stumai in the photo at the top of this article.
The students were very happy and engaged hearing the personal stories the speakers shared of resilience and success. Lady Fey spoke about gender-based violence and early pregnancy and one of the schools also performed a skit telling a story of early pregnancy. Stumai Simba, naturally, spoke about entrepreneurial skills, just as she did on Career Day in 2017. Sarah had had the opportunity to hear her then and knew she would be an inspirational role model for the girls at this event.
The day was full of singing, dancing, and eating, along with many girls asking questions. Those questions – and answers – helped everyone in attendance to broaden their knowledge. The event opened with a dance to the “One Billion Rising” song and closed with another song called “Urumuri Dadas,” which means “Sisters who Light up the World.”
Sarah could not be happier after the successful completion of the event she planned and thanks AfricAid for all the support she got along the way. We are so proud of Sarah Marambo for doing her part to “light up the world.” Joining Kisa and connecting with her Mentor, Magdalena, gave her the power (the knowledge and confidence) to turn on that light!