Hosted by:One World Children's Fund
Goal: $100,000
$487,622 4 488% Complete

Campaign Details

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What Your Gift Will Do

Your gift is an investment in the next generation of African women leaders.

Our Story

Akili Dada is an international, award-winning leadership incubator cultivating transformative leadership in a generation of young African women. Our leadership development model builds a foundation for girls and young women ages 13-35 to acquire the essential skills needed to access key decision-making roles and leadership positions. By selecting from and building the capacity of some of Africa’s most innovative young women, we are meeting the urgent need for both more African women in leadership as well as the overarching need for creative and empathetic leadership that holds justice at its core.

2016 marks Akili Dada's 10th year! In the past decade, Akili Dada has:

  • Awarded 103 brilliant adolescent girls comprehensive scholarships to Kenya's top national schools. 100% of our Dadas have graduated high school and successfully transitioned to university on full scholarships.
  • Provided relevant 21st Century skills training and leadership development to 860 adolescent girls through Dada Clubs.
  • Mentored 34,495 adolescent girls through an extensive women's mentorship network.
  • Seed funded 42 young women social entrepreneurs since 2013 that have impacted 202,583 community members through their innovations.
  • Trained 143 community leaders and political aspirants with 40 young women vying for the general election in 2017.
  • Engaged 478 young women from remote areas in critical discussions about rights and health through the Dada Dialogues initiative, launched in 2015.


Our Leadership





Akili Dada was founded in 2006 by Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg to address the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in Africa.  During her dissertation research on women’s rights in Kenya, Wanjiru realized the extent to which women’s voices – particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds – were missing in the policy and decision-making processes affecting women’s lives in Kenya and across the continent.  As her own experience had taught her that access to such positions typically required university education, strong mentors, and leadership experience – all beyond the reach of most underprivileged young women – she set out to bridge that gap. Having earned scholarships for her own degrees in higher education, Wanjiru knew the power of scholarships to open doors for underprivileged young African women.

Today, Akili Dada is led by Purity Kagwiria, A journalist by profession, Purity is an active member of the feminist/women's rights movement and she is committed to analyzing the private and personal spaces and developing strategies that lead to the emancipation of women. On April 1st 2015, Purity Kagwiria was recognized as one of the 18 phenomenal feminists to know and celebrate.Purity holds a degree in Gender and Development from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Journalism from Kenya Institute of Mass Communication. She is currently an advisory committee member of the FRIDA|The Young Feminist Fund and a HOW Fund Fellow


Our Champion

For over a decade Donna Sinar has committed her heart and energy to amplifying women and girls’ voices. She is passionate about enabling pathways for women and girls to determine their own trajectory. At The SAGE Project, a trauma recovery center for exploited individuals, she worked to build a robust network of resources for survivors. In 2014, she joined Resonate, a Rwandan startup that uses the storytelling framework to unleash leadership and confidence in women and girls. Based in San Francisco, Donna is mobilizing a community of supporters for Akili Dada in the U.S. Donna holds a Bachelor's in Sociology from the University of Maryland and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.


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