The International Center for Democratic Governance at UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government has received a grant from the U.S. Department of State to develop and carry out a program of exchange visits between women leaders from Kenya and their counterparts in the U.S.
Njeri Marekia-Cleaveland, ICDG faculty member and African program specialist, will direct the grant project being done in partnership with the Kenyan nongovernmental organization Family Mediation and Conciliation as well as Voices of Women and RETO, two Maasai women’s organizations located in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province.
The Kenya partners and U.S. embassy officials in Nairobi will select the participants.
Twenty-eight Maasai women from the Rift Valley Province will travel to Georgia in two groups starting next spring to develop skills, network with political and community counterparts and see first hand what knowledge and organizational capacity are necessary to participate effectively in local government politics and policymaking. Their three-week stay will include a range of civic experiences, according to Marekia-Cleaveland.
Two groups of 16 Georgia women will travel to Kenya next fall to study, make site visits and reconnect with the Maasai women, whom they previously met.
A final symposium for all participants will include presenters from other African countries like Uganda and Tanzania where affirmative action programs in women’s representation have been implemented.