Ashraf Ahmed is our alumnus of the week. He is the current Kilifi County lead for ELF’s Tunaweza program and an alumnus of the Leadership and Development program. Ahmed has been involved in advocacy issues on good governance and is vocal in pushing for public participation in his county.
As a county lead, Ahmed leads a group of young men and women in his county to advocate for goof governance and fight for youth representation in decision making processes as well as policy making.
Besides, Ahmed runs a sports club that he started in his area to bring youth together and create a platform where young people can showcase and nurture their talents. Currently, the club has football teams for both men and women, and volleyball teams for both genders. The club aims to address social issues in the area and keep young people engaged. “We want to engage the youth and fill gaps that exist in the area on social issues ranging from early marriages to drug abuse. So far, we have tried our best but there is more that needs to be done.”
Ahmed is not only involved in advocacy work and sports; he has also started an income generating initiative that has created employment for people and he’s trying to venture into more of the same. “I recently started an agricultural project that is currently in its initial stages and I am hopefully that it will provide income to the youth. I also have a business that has created employment for a few youth, majority of whom are part of Kakokeni All stars.”
In his line of work, he has come across challenges and notes that the youth need to be more engaged and commited to leadership & advocacy, and have patience as they seek to address matters around the same.
“Young people lack exposure and are not ready to learn and adapt to new works. The fear to knock on doors and fight for increased participation and representation is worrying as we are always shouting that we have the key to a better tomorrow. We need to be more engaged and step out, we have the ability to be change makers if we face everything head-on,” notes Ahmed.
His favourite phrase: ‘ Attitude is everything. Change your attitude.. change your life’