The Dottie Scholarship Program provides young women from marginalized communities the opportunity to attend a high-quality secondary school and develop as leaders and role models in their community. Dignitas works with brilliant young girls offering them a gateway to further their education and life opportunities.

Through this program, we focus on three main areas to develop our scholars. We have academic support that covers tuition and fees support, community service projects which enable scholars to give back and lead change in their communities and leadership development training that support learners to develop as leaders and change agents.

In March this year, you partnered with us to support leadership development opportunities through our campaign on GlobalGiving – Enable Girls to Thrive and Succeed. Leadership development training is a priority in our program. We know that for scholars to succeed, they need to learn concepts beyond the normal classroom instruction. They need to learn and gain skills like communication, collaboration, emotional intelligence, leadership, growth mindset, and personal values. The girls are always eager to learn and make a difference in their communities.

Why do we value training for our scholars?

  • From our years implementing training for girls, we know that when girls are empowered, they will become leaders who will transform their communities. It is important for us to run a program that is wholistic where we support academics and personal development for the girls in our program.
  • By investing in leadership development for girls, we are giving them a chance to a brighter future. They get to learn about the world, challenging social norms, shifting mindsets, interacting with new concepts and they begin to drive change in their schools and communities.
  • We have seen that girls from marginalized communities do not always receive equal opportunities to access education and training they need to thrive in life. These sessions are opportunities for exposure, for scholars to interact with a variety of speakers and mentors and potentially step into spaces they have never been before. We want our scholars to learn more about the world, dream and re-imagine their futures.
  • We are working to develop leaders who will drive real impact in their communities. Over the period of time we work with our scholars, we hope that they develop confidence so they can believe in themselves, and their power to make a difference in the world. Our scholars further develop their character, learn about values and how to connect and influence people in their space. There are several persisting challenges in the communities our scholars come from, we hope they design innovative initiatives in future to tackle some of the problems.

What would you like to change in your community?

If I could find a way to transform my community, I would try as much as possible to eradicate poverty. Poverty increases homelessness with many children living in the streets. Most of them engage in drug abuse because they are idle. Drugs undermine a person’s worth in terms of health and their thinking capacity. These people in other circumstances would have been productive and help in community development but engage themselves in social evils such as stealing to survive. – Sarah Rombo – Dottie Scholar

Who is a role model you admire and what have you learned from them?

I admire the late Wangari Maathai because although she came from a small village, she was able to achieve a lot in her life. For example, she fought to preserve the environment and went ahead to be the first Kenyan to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Coming from a poor background did not prevent her from rising. I would also want to emulate her character by being confident and fighting for what I want. – Mercy Kanini – Dottie Scholar

There is power in a girl who believes in herself, in her dreams and her potential to influence change in the world!

Thank you for partnering with us to make this possible! We look forward to sharing more updates in the coming months.

Contributor: Gloria Omuya – Operations Director