Influencing Policy for Better Change.

International Development & African Diaspora

TuWezeshe Akina Dada

TuWezeshe Akina Dada, Swahili for ‘empowering our sisters’, is a feminist leadership programme seeking to inspire a generation of young African women to engage in the civil and political spheres and galvanise collective action against all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG). It aims to increase their visibility and capacity to shape decisions about their rights and freedoms.

Through the one-year fellowship programme, the young women build core leadership skills, are mentored by established female leaders, and receive funding to initiate their own social action projects. Fellows learn how they can shape the agenda on VAWG, build their networks, and voice themselves on a range of national and international platforms. Uniquely, this programme is also designed to build bridges between East Africa and the UK African Diaspora.

The programme was established in 2016 and funded by Comic Relief’s Common Ground Initiative. SSAP partnered with The Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD) in London, UK; Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) in Uganda and The Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF) in Tanzania

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TuWezeshe comprises five components: 

  • Feminist leadership training: A five-day residential training where fellows learn practical feminist leadership skills, build confidence and gain knowledge of their rights. 
  • Fellowship networks: Also known as the TuWezeshe sisterhoods, these country-specific networks provide fellows with the opportunity to draw encouragement and inspiration from one another throughout their leadership and advocacy journey.
  • Mentorship:
  • Fellows are paired with experienced and established women leaders in various fields to receive support, advice and networking opportunities. 
  • Social action grant: Upon completing the leadership training, fellows are provided with a £500 grant to initiate their own social action project, which are typically completed within a year. 
  • Social media: Through various social media platforms, TuWezeshe engages fellows to meet other advocates, share ideas and articulate themselves against VAWG.

By increasing the leadership capacity of young African women, TuWezeshe aims to achieve the following five outcomes: 

  • Outcome 1: Young women are empowered leaders, able to influence and shape decisions about their rights and entitlements. 
  • Outcome 2: Young women peer networks foster spaces to amplify women’s voices on their rights and entitlements. 
  • Outcome 3: Increased community awareness and engagement concerning VAWG. 
  • Outcome 4: Policymakers and professionals are engaged to protect and respond to girls and young women’s rights. 
  • Outcome 5: Consortium members improved their capacity and effectiveness to deliver programmes on the rights of young women.

SSAP delivered the project in Wales and Somaliland (partnering Hayaat women Trust and Somaliland Nursing and Midwifery Association).

TuWezeshe Alumni - Wales Fellows

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Aisha Kigwalilo

Annabelle Njenga

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Ashashi Attah

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Bassmala Mohamef Elbushary

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Cynthia Sitei

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Fahima Jama Omer

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Lucemo Mlewa

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Maelona Betts

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Umulkhayr mohamed

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Heba, Maab, Reem, Kawsar

TuWezeshe Alumni - Somaliland Fellows

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Asma Omar Ahmed

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Asma Yusuf Salan

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Fadumo Mohamoud Ibrahim

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Farah Mohamed Yusuf

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Fatima Hussein Hassan

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Hamda Ali Abdillahi

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Hamda Hamud Amiin

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Hasna Hassan Dahir

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Khadija Abdirahman Jama

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Khadra Ali Nuur

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Mariam Ibrahim Dahir

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Mariam Omar Adil

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Maryama Ali Mhamud Sa'ed

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Nimco Abdi Isse

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Nimco Mohamed Abdirahman

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Nura Sallad Ali

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Nusayaba Abdirahman Jama

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Rahma

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Samiya Abdi Mohamed