Introducing, Alice Saisha – UNGEI Youth Representative
The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative would like to take the opportunity to celebrate International Youth Day by welcoming our new Youth Representative Alice Saisha to the UNGEI team. As a highly accomplished leader, Alice brings with her an intimate understanding of the barriers to education faced by girls and their families, and the power of supportive networks to break the cycle of poverty.
Alice’s passion for education and youth advocacy was sparked at a young age. Raised by a hard-working widowed mother of 10 in rural Zambia, Alice supplemented the family income by selling cassava leaves, but had to drop out of school at the age of 14 because the family could no longer afford her school going costs. This is when girls in rural communities are at great risk of child marriage, often seen as the only way to secure their future. But with the assistance of international NGO Camfed, Alice was provided a scholarship to support the completion of her secondary education. After completing high school, Alice joined Camfed’s Alumni network (CAMA), a 55,358-strong pan-African network of young women leaders.
Determined to attend university Alice funded her tertiary education through her poultry business and was successful in completing a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Women’s University in Africa and a diploma in Human Resources Management from the National Institute of Public Administration in Zambia. Alice now works with Camfed Zambia in their District Operations Secretariat where she liaises with teacher mentors, district ministry officials, traditional leaders, and civil society organisations as a financial literacy and entrepreneurship trainer. On a volunteer basis, Alice serves as a mentor and role model for marginalized girls by sharing her own story and speaking frequently on the multidimensional benefits education can have for a girl and her community.
In commemoration of International Youth Day 2016 and youth leadership in girls’ education, Alice will be our concluding contributor to UNGEI’s #YouthLeads blog series.
To learn more about Alice’s story, check out her video