As you may know, I serve as Vice-Chairperson of The Association of Kenyan Professionals in Atlanta, (AKPA).
AKPA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the wellbeing of its members, through the mobilization of resources here in Atlanta.
Prior to my current term, I enjoyed a two-year spell as Chairperson of the Education Committee of AKPA. The committee is charged with sourcing scholarship funds for Kenyan students, facilitating the professional growth of the students and supporting them in their transition after graduation.
I am often asked where I find the time to fulfill my duties as a mother of three, a loving wife, a full-time employee, and an active board member of a non-profit.
I respond by saying that I make the time. I watch very few hours of television; a few select programs here and there, the news, and of course important football/soccer matches. I joined a vanpool, and this provides me with two extra hours per day, during which time I read, write or rest. Simply put, I try to manipulate time to make it my ally. As a result, I have realized great joy from minimal but consistent investment of time in non-profit work.
A special moment presented itself during my tenure as Education Committee Chair. I was nominated by the board to serve as Event Committee Chair for a reception planned here in Atlanta, in honor of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai.
AKPA had anticipated the glorious opportunity to honor the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize and two years after her award, our moment came. We felt energized and inspired by our fellow Kenyan, a woman who has dedicated her life to development, democracy and peace. As you can imagine, we threw ourselves into planning the best event! Fortunately for us, Professor Maathai's moral authority by now, was well appreciated the world over, and most of our corporate sponsors actually vied for the opportunity to participate.
Event Committee members with Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai (5th from left). I am at the end in black and gold.
The event was very well attended. Here we see guests listening to Dr. Maathai's keynote address after enjoying refreshments.
I am excited to share with you that Professor Maathai and the Green Belt Movement she founded are the focus of an award-winning documentary film to be shown on PBS stations on Tuesday (April 14, 2009) in the United States. Click here for more information and channel listings. The feature includes interviews with Dr. Maathai and other Kenyan activists as well as archival footage from the colonial era. Below are a few clips of the film. I hope you can find the time to watch it. I will not miss it.