We are thrilled to introduce you to Gloria Omuya. She is the Senior Communication and Operations Officer at Dignitas. We have been working with Gloria throughout our six year partnership with Dignitas! We still remember when she was in school and taking exams! Meeting Gloria in March in Nairobi was one of the things we were looking forward to the most. For many years Gloria has been our link the children in Nairobi. On many mornings, photos, stories and project updates from Gloria were waiting in our inboxes. It is those updates that kept us and Tailored for Education going. Gloria’s love of children and belief in education is not only inspiring to us, but also young girls in Nairobi! Gloria, thank you for being such a big part of Tailored for Education!
1. Tell us about yourself!
My name is Gloria, I am the Senior Communication and Operations Officer at Dignitas.
My role involves supporting day to day office operations, communications and special
projects that target students and young girls from marginalized communities. I believe
that all children deserve access to quality education, so they can achieve their dreams. I
see education as one of the path ways to solve inequality in the society. One of my life
mantras is – Seek to serve and grow. In both my professional and personal life, I always
value the opportunity to give and to learn how to be better. I have four wonderful
siblings who are a great support system, and they always remind me to be grateful in
life. For fun, I enjoy reading, working on art projects and exploring nature and wildlife
2. How has education impacted your life? Is there a specific memory and/or
person that influenced you?
I have mostly enjoyed my journey through school, learning new skills and gaining the
knowledge I needed to improve my life. I have appreciated how education connected
me to many opportunities and possibilities. Growing up, my parents were very active in
my education journey. They shaped the education experience for me and my siblings.
Education for them was not just about being first in class, but about learning
understanding and sharpening our skills. I often had my struggles with different subjects
here and there, but they did not scold me. They instead offered encouragement and I
was able to see that education was about progress and not perfection. I remember
spending time in the evenings doing homework together and reading stories during the
weekend. Through this support, I was able to improve my reading and comprehension
skills, and I also increased my sense of imagination. I did not appreciate the importance
of this great foundation my parents had created until I was an adult. When I look back
now, I can’t thank them enough for walking the journey with me and giving me the
autonomy to decide what I wanted to pursue in life. They sacrificed a lot and worked
through tough economic times to ensure that we all went to school. So, to Mr. & Mrs.
Akuru, thank you for putting education first and for showing us the way.
3. What is your hope for girls around the world?
I have been privileged to meet and work with some of the most brilliant and hardworking
girls I know. These girls are a great motivation to me and I know they represent many
girls around the world. It’s evident that girls face significant barriers in life and we must
work to change this if we want to transform our communities. My hope is that girls will
have equal opportunities to access education, so they can lead prosperous lives. That
they will use their voices to change the narrative and shape conversations. That they
will be allowed to make mistakes as they figure out their path without unfair criticism and
judgment. I hope that girls will continue to know their worth and step into their power as
they seek to solve pressing issues in their communities. I also hope that girls will
conquer their fears and change the world in every way they can!
4. What inspires you about Tailored for Education?
I have a very long list of the things I love about TFE. I’m greatly inspired by the founders
Megan and Jessica. For their commitment to improve the lives of thousands of children,
restore their dignity and enable them to thrive. For our first project with TFE in 2012, we
supported 521 students, today, we have supported up to 11, 247 students! That is
remarkable progress. The Tailored for Educations projects are transforming the lives of
many children and families. It’s important to note that for some children, it will be their
first time to wear a new school shoe during a TFE project, it will also be the first time for
several other students to have the official, full school uniform since they started their
education. These are things that we might take for granted, but they have tremendous
impact in a child’s life, their confidence and their education. I also appreciate TFE’s
model of implementation. Through the uniform distribution projects, they seek to
empower talented women from the community who sew the uniforms and earn an
income to sustain their families.
5. What advice that you would give your 12 year old self?
I would tell my twelve-year-old self to trust herself more! I remember this teenage
season as an uncertain time. When I did not always believe in myself and my abilities. I
would often wonder…am I smart enough? Can I achieve this?
My message to my twelve-year-old self and other teenagers out there is – You are
powerful, intelligent, creative, gorgeous, fun and unique. (You can pretend to be twelve
just for this message!)