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  • Writer's pictureGrace Rector

Democracy Academy for Young Women (June 2019)

These past two days have been incredible because we had the chance to work directly with the beneficiaries of Zene za Zene through our Democracy Academy for Young Women. Zene za Zene created the Democracy Academy for Young Women (DAYW) in order to provide young women with the tools and skills necessary to become more civically engaged individuals in their local communities. The ultimate goal of the 6 month program is for each woman to identify a pressing issue in their community, develop a project to address that issue, then implement their project with the help of another participant through a NGO in their community.

The first training was exciting because the women had the opportunity to meet one another, and because they started learning about what the process will look like in the coming months. While I could not understand most of the modules and workshops, I had the opportunity to speak with the participants during lunch and during coffee breaks. One participant, Esma, is only 19 years old but she has contributed so much and shared with me that she is so happy to be a part of such an incredible group of women.

For the first training, the women learned about leadership by taking a leadership test to see what type of leader they are, teamwork through fun activities, and self branding through a presentation that I gave. In May, the Beeck Center sent me to the WILD Network's Forum for Women in the Global Development Sector, and I learned so much. One of the sessions that I attended focused on personal branding for millennials and I found the workshop so interesting and inspiring that I wanted to share a similar presentation with the group of women. I invited them to think about one's personal brand as the book of their life. I had them all choose three aspects about themselves that they want to be known for and then think of concrete actions that they've done in their lives that support the three aspects of themselves that they want to be known.

I enjoyed reading the personal brands that the women wrote and I hope they learned something from my presentation. I look forward to the next module of the Academy!!

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