At the department of community service, Elizabeth was able to establish concrete partnerships with Kenya Millitary Academy and the County Government in Nakuru. She also managed to get the Ministry of Environment to spearhead top level discussions on activities to prevent climate change, such as tree planting, clean ups and children home visits. Her passion for environmental sustainability has turned her into a champion for positive environmental growth and climate change, which contributes greatly to the Sustainable Development Goals.
– Elizabeth Murigi, Kenya
”Not all men accept me as their leader”
”Sometimes it is hard to coordinate and encourage youths and volunteers, especially when they are not gaining any monetary value for their work. It is especially hard when not all men can accept you as their leader. Because of this I have experienced bullying from men who did not like me for their own reasons. Overall, in my country, I would say that female leaders are respected, although there are always people who are going to suggest that they got to leadership through special favours. But once they know the truth, women will be much respected for their hard work and integrity.”
Despite the challenges she is facing as a young woman leader, Elizabeth keeps up her positive spirit and commitment. In 2019, she rose to the position of Nakuru County Youth Chairperson where she demonstrates strong leadership, and both influential and professional skills. She takes active participation in the youth programme to demonstrate that youths can make a difference in the service to humanity. As an example, she has organized trainings through partnerships with the Kenya National Chamber for Commerce and Industry and Equity Bank to train volunteers and youths on digital marketing and how to develop skills for self-employment and self-sustainability.
”The most exciting and rewarding moment was when I won the Community Service Award both at branch level and regional level. The main thing that motivates me and gives me satisfaction to be a volunteer with Kenya Red Cross is the fact that I can make someone I don’t know smile and say “thank you”, that brings tears to my eyes at times.”
Linda Rotich, who works as a volunteer together with Elizabeth, describes her as: A pillar of hope, strength, motivation and elegance. She is a go getter who believes in what she wants, she not only works hard but also diligently and smart to achieve wonderful goals. She is a mentor and by being in a high leadership position she is a natural inspiration for girls and women around her.
”In my position as a female leader I feel proud of myself and of the fact that other women look at me as there source of inspiration. It is an honour to be their mentor, their voice and a person they can easily approach when it comes to sensitive female matters. Feeling the same kind of support from my other fellow women who are a bit older than me, is also very rewarding.
– Elizabeth Murigi, Kenya
”No matter your race, culture, religion or colour you can lead”
I want to use my voice to tell all women and youth volunteers out there in the movement that no matter your race, culture, religion or colour you can lead! There are people out there who believe you can lead them or change their lives in one way or the other. I never knew this until I got into leadership myself, but you should not let anyone discourage you because you are a woman or because you look vulnerable as a woman. Just believe in yourself, there is so much hidden inside you. I am always proud of myself.”
7 young women for every 10 young men complete upper secondary school in low-income countries. If we want more future female leaders, we need to close the gender gap in education.