This past Friday, Franceine and I had the immense privilege of meeting nine members of the cohort of women from the 2018 Women Leading Change program. The women met for an evening of dinner and conversation - an opportunity to connect with one another, catch up, and to continue to uphold and strengthen the powerful network created by the Women Leading Change program. Franceine and I conducted video interviews at the event, asking each woman how WLC has impacted her life and work since the end of the course. They each talked about the individual impact of the program, and almost all touched on how the network of women they have met has not only provided them with a source of professional support, but also one of friendship. It was amazing and inspiring to hear participants talk about the skills they have applied in their careers: how to be a leader, not a boss; how to handle stress; how to take care of self. One participant shared that it has been because of the Women Leading Change program that she decided to quit her job and pursue her own business. She had been working a full time job whilst simultaneously pursuing her own business on the side, and she explained that because of the conference and the support of her coach, she finally felt the bravery to take the leap and pursue her own business full-time!
Beyond planning the WLC event on Friday, our past week was spent researching and reaching out to embassies, education-based organizations, community centers, and women’s empowerment organizations to ask for meetings and begin compiling a list of potential partnership organizations and grants opportunities for Sasamani moving forward. We also started to work on a marketing/PR plan to spread the word about WLC to a wider audience of women leaders in East Africa.
In other news, this week has introduced me to two of my new favorite foods: Chipsi Mayai (an omelet of fries cooked with egg, covered in tomato sauce) and fried cassava. The foodie in me is thoroughly enjoying Tanzania thus far!