Student spotlight: GEM celebrates International Women’s Day with Student Reflections

Working toward her degree in Communications, Rita helps support her community through mindfulness, literacy, and health education. 

As we celebrate International Women’s Day this week, GEM is committed to fostering gender equity in higher education. Although women traditionally face significant barriers in accessing education, across each of our five counties and 10 sites, we’re proud that 50% of our enrolled students are women.

When women have access to higher education, they gain greater economic mobility and resiliency — and they are able to lift their communities up around them as they do it.

Today, to celebrate the holiday, we wanted to share the powerful reflections of one of our SNHU GEM Kenya students, Rita, who’s currently working toward her Associate of Arts in Communications.

“Anyone can do yoga. Yoga is about flexibility, stability, and positivity. Before COVID, I was teaching [yoga] at the community level, at the youth center and at school. After COVID, I reach out to people through social media… and teach through Zoom.

“During COVID, I also started KAKUMA READ, a non-profit community-based organization with the mission to create spaces that support community-led advocacy and literacy. Most of the leadership positions in our organization are filled by women to better communicate and mitigate the challenges that girls face. In this way, we want to actively involve women in the peace building initiatives, for a cohesive effort to create the environment we all want to live in.

“After my graduation with my degree, I would like to help the community by serving them with all the humanity I have in me.”

For more reflections from Rita as well as her KAKUMA READ cofounders Daud and Zamzam, read our Annual Impact Report: