Updated: Nov 15, 2021
As our RISE Fellowship draws to a close for our 2020 cohort, we have taken some time to reflect with our fellows on their biggest accomplishments and the lessons that they have learned over the past year. Below, you can read more about our Ghanaian RISE Fellow, Stella Kudah, and her achievements whilst piloting the SHE Project.
"Which part of the SHE Project are you most proud of?"
The SHE Project has given economic autonomy to 39 women in the Adaklu communities, enabling them to financially support their families. This means the world to me because I can see the gratitude and relief in their faces. Additionally, it has also enabled ten entire communities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other life-threatening illnesses.
Akorfa, one of the beneficiaries from Adaklu Kordiabe said that “a lot of people visit Adaklu with the intention of helping but they never come back. Maybe it’s because we are far away, high up in the mountains, but you came back time and time to work with us on the project. You have changed our lives.”
"What does being a RISE Fellow mean to you?"
The RISE Fellowship means empowering women, which is one of my greatest passions. It has further ignited my awareness of positive contribution to the growth and development of women and girls.
RISE provided both the funding and the skills that I needed to pilot my social enterprise. I took part in webinars and could hold myself accountable through our monthly check-in calls, where I could share the project's progress.
Because of the RISE Fellowship, I have the opportunity to improve the lives of other women and girls in my community. I have built robust relationships with both my community members as well as my team who share my passion for empowering women.
"What has the past year taught you?"
The past year has taught me that the adversity we face and the resilience we respond with has the power to shape our lives positively. With each challenge, we are given the opportunity to persevere, learn and grow into stronger and more compassionate individuals. For better or worse, the past year has changed me; looking back, I can confidently say that the lessons I have learnt about health, work, resilience, community, and humanity are lessons I will carry forward into the years to come.
The past year has reinforced the reality that anything can happen at any moment. My new layer of resilience has also encouraged me to be more patient and compassionate - both with myself and others.
"What advice would you have for your younger self?"
Everything happens for a reason, and without mistakes or failures, we would not evolve. Without pain, we would not grow, and we are good enough despite the perception of others, so dream on and work hard because dreams are nothing without actions.
"What does the future of the SHE Project look like?"
I would love to expand the SHE Project so that we can continue to provide sustainable work to more women across Ghana whilst creating healthier communities.
Our work will continue to empower women to break the cycle of poverty, resulting in a new and improved way of life for future generations.