Meet Stellia Zulu, one of our 2019 CIEE Exchange Ambassador Grants recipients! Coming from Zambia, Stellia applied for the “Changemaker in Action Grant” to help fund her project "From Me To You", a social venture she founded to encourage interpersonal communication among young women living in urban and rural areas of Zambia on issues of empowerment, motivation, and equality.
In order to raise awareness on empowerment and equlity, her goal was to facilitate and host a radio program featuring stories from women in Zambia. Many of them spoke about how From Me To You has made a difference in their lives, but also shared personal anecdotes from their lives and experience as women in the community. Stellia reached out to various organizations and univiersities, recruiting volunteers to speak on the radio program as well as collaborating with her community to make sure these womens' voices were heard!
One of the guests, a jewelry designer, said the program helped her grow her business and get new customers interested in her hand made jewelry. Another, a victim of sexual assault, was able to share her story on radio and offer support to other people who had been faced with a similar situation. Many other guests addressed the topic of how people perceive Feminism in the community and the main reason there is a fight for female empowerment.
Stellia's project was able to run for 13 episodes, working with a group of 12 volunteers who worked together to identify guests and topics for the radio show as well as participate in the community outreach program. Stellia's group was also able to organize a community outreach event, where they interacted with young women who were pursuing careers in hospitality, food production and ICT. They spent the day learning with them, joining their cooking class, and providing them with food items needed for their practical training.
When we asked Stellia what lessons she could take away from this project, she told us she learned valuable lessons about how to engage with different groups of people in her community, but that she was also able to connect with many other women who were all working towards the same goal as hers. "The project made me discover how committed and enthusiastic I can be about things that matter to me. I realized how much I wanted to be part of the majority who want to see women empowered and protected."
To find out more about the CIEE Exchange Ambassador Grants, visit out website here!