Growing up in Nigeria on the same street as a girls’ orphanage made an impression on Amy Oyekunle at a young age. She remembers how the girls struggled, and how she vowed to make life better for them and for all Nigerian girls.
Today, Amy Oyekunle stands at the heart of the women's movement in Nigeria. As executive director of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), an NGO that advances democracy and development in Africa by supporting women’s and girls’ leadership, she has overseen the training of 2,900 young women in economic empowerment and prevention of gender-based violence.
Amy’s first lesson was to prove to young women that they have voices, and that they must stand up to create change in Nigeria. It’s a tall order in Nigeria’s patriarchal society.
“You know what’s ironic about it, most of these girls don’t even think about going into that field…[they say] I’m a girl, I’m a woman, so I really have no business in leadership or politics, or getting involved in decisions that affect me,” Amy shares. The KIND teaches these girls that it is not only their business to get involved in Nigerian society, but it is their responsibility to demand improvements for themselves and other women.
Kudra, “power” in Arabic, is the KIND’s flagship program, offering leadership skills, financial management skills, employment skills and mentorship. A junior program for girls ages 11-15, teaches e