Irene is a 19-year-old full-time student at African Leadership Academy (ALA), a two-year pre-university program in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a mission to identify, develop, and connect Africa’s future leaders.
Irene was selected as one of 95 ALA students out of a pool of over 3,000 applicants from across the continent for her passion for public service, her commitment to Africa, and her demonstrated leadership potential to lead change in Africa and beyond.
Irene is applying for a loan of $500, which will enable her to purchase a laptop to conduct assignments and research, to run her community service project and/or student-run business which forms part of the ALA curriculum, and to participate fully in the world-class program offered by ALA.
Irene comes from Tukuyu, Tanzania and is one of a family of five.
A tenacious young woman with a keen entrepreneurial spirit, Irene started a tutoring company in a spare room at her home in order to help her family with finances. Trusted by her community, Irene managed to get 15 pupils as clients. Over and above easing the burden her family felt financially, Irene made a positive impact by helping the students to achieve significantly higher grades. By taking on the challenge of establishing a tutoring center, she was able to ease the burden her family faced in terms of a lack of finances.
Irene’s ability to lead other was recognized at her school in Tanzania, where she served as a school discipline prefect for two years. In this role, Irene had to deal with a group of “troublemakers.” By staying cool under pressure and establishing basic relationships with the group, she managed the get them to change their behavior, demonstrating courage, compassion, and a commitment to service.
Irene also served as the UN secretary for her school. A true all-rounder, Irene also excelled academically and was recognized as the second best student in her region among over 40,000 pupils in her grade for her academic achievement.
She writes that she always listens to people to hear their ideas and suggestions “in order to shift to the next level.”
Irene has demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence and sees herself becoming one the prominent women in Africa like Joyce Banda, the President of Malawi, or Asha-Rose Migiro, the Deputy Secretary of the UN. Irene wants to be an activist so that she can empower women and advocate for equal opportunities for women. She believes that she can contribute to the development of Africa by providing equal opportunities for women throughout the continent. She wants to be one of those making a difference.
About African Leadership Academy
African Leadership Academy (ALA) is a pan-African institution established to transform Africa by identifying, developing and connecting the continent’s next generation of leaders. ALA utilizes a vast network of contacts across Africa to identify the most promising 15- to 19-year-old leaders on the continent. These future leaders are then brought together for a two-year pre-university program at a world-class institution in Johannesburg, South Africa. Many of these students attend college in the U.S. with the promise to return to Africa after their studies. ALA’s student body comes from over 44 African countries and includes equal numbers of boys and girls.
In the digital age, the importance of technology in leadership and student life cannot be underestimated. To equip ALA students with the technological tools they need to be transformative leaders, Kiva provides laptop loans totalling about $500 per student ad the start of every academic year.
Loan documentation for this student has been signed by both the student and his or her parent or guardian. Further, this student's parent or guardian has been consulted throughout the process of this student's decision to take on a loan through Kiva.
This partner joined Kiva through our Experimental Partnership Program, and has therefore received a lighter level of due diligence. Accordingly, loans associated with this partner pose a higher level of risk than typical Kiva loans.