Wendo Aszed, Kenya

Wendo Aszed

iLEAP International Fellow, 2016

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Wendo’s Story

Wendo Aszed, a mother of four from Kenya, has walked the talk when it comes to understanding the challenges of rural women. Growing up in a small community, she had a passion for learning and saw how access to basic services and information could change a person’s life. She co-founded Dandelion Africa to provide health and entrepreneurial support for women and youth in marginalized areas. The experience has taught her the importance of cultivating others’ strengths. As a mentor, she lets young people know she values them, which helps them believe in their own potential. “Today when I see women who are in our programs, (I) am humbled to see them with businesses, good health, planned families and well informed of their choices in life. I look at them and know, I am at the right place,” she says.

Yet her vision continues to grow. She wants to empower not just individuals but community-based organizations. “A lot of good ideas lie with young people starting CBOs, but they lack the necessary mentors . . . (to help build) on their strengths so that they can better serve their communities,” she says. Her iLEAP Fellowship will expose her to new ways to increase her organization’s reach. “The world has so much to teach me, but it will not find me in my village,” she explains. “I have to come out and find it.”

Britt Yamamoto

Britt Yamamoto

Some years ago Britt came upon the Raymond Williams quote that, "to be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing." Along these lines, iLEAP was created as a radical ideal, a welcome home amidst all the social and ecological ill that surrounds us, firm in the belief that what the world needs now are more inspired and renewed social leaders who have the capacity to change the world. Oh, and to laugh a little....no, a lot, along the way.

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