Catherine Nyambura’s powerful story may be aptly described as “The Story of What is Possible”. Having been born and bred in Mukuru – one of the biggest slums in Nairobi Kenya, Catherine has since overcome all odds with a determination to rise above poverty and champion societal impact. Raised by her mother and surrounded by 3 sisters, she had always imagined what a life away from the slum was like and the burning thirst to find out has served as the inspiration for all her aspirations. Studying up to university level and bagging a BSc in Biomedical Science and Technology from Egerton University, Ms Nyambura has become one of the outstanding girls in Mukuru to challenge the norm of early unintended pregnancies, crime and drugs.
Catherine currently works as the deputy director at Dandelion Kenya – a grassroots organization based in Nakuru, Kenya with a focus on implementing comprehensive sexuality education programs and working with young advocates to raise young women and girls voices across various parts of rural Kenya. In addition, Catherine Nyambura chairs the Women Global Network for Reproductive Rights Alliance Kenya (WAK) through Dandelion Kenya, a network of organizations based in different parts of Kenya working towards the reduction of maternal deaths from unsafe abortions.
Our super girl Catherine usually describes herself as an “African feminist” – a title she proudly self identifies with and upon which her ideological foundation is anchored. She constantly seeks an in-depth understanding of the needs of young women and girls in her community and works actively to sustain their relevance and amplify their voice in national, regional and global conversations. Through Dandelion Kenya, Catherine works tirelessly to achieve gender equality, guarantee the strong voice of young women/girls across several spaces and ensure that young women & girls have access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. Catherine has a knack for and is well versed in social media, with particular focus on blogging, facilitating twitter chats and hosting occasional Google hangouts. Her involvement in social media advocacy is geared towards ensuring that women/girls and youth issues take the center stage on social media as well as other platforms in society. She is also intent on coming up with innovative ideas on how to ensure that work on sexual and reproductive health has maximum impact on adolescents and youth issues.
Catherine is a contributor to Rural Reporters – an African portal that highlights development issues with a special focus on rural Africa. This gives her an opportunity to bring global discussions closer to young people who would otherwise not be privy to such matters. At the same time this enables her still work at the grassroots while keeping in touch with global policy processes because she believes that such processes must speak to the daily lived realities of women and girls, in order to achieve truly inclusive and just societies.
Ms Nyambura mirrors diversity in her advocacy and community outreach work, transitioning easily from a community based focal group discussion in Nakuru, Kenya to speaking as the voice of youths in the halls of the 2014 United Nations General Assembly in New York. She has been actively engaged in various policy processes, including the ICPD Beyond 2014 review, Beijing+20 review and the post 2015 development agenda. Catherine also sits on the interim steering committee of the African CSOs Coalition on Population and Development (ACCPD).
Catherine is a Women Deliver Young Leader – a 3 year fellowship bestowed on 200 global advocates for the health, rights and well-being of women and girls. She has had the rare privilege of engaging in a short course on Media, Film and Gender in addition to an e-course on Reproductive Health Advocacy organized by the World Bank Institute (WBI). Ms Nyambura was recently showcased as one of the “5 African Women Change Makers You Should Know” by This is Africa. For her work on gender equality and seeking to impact social change, she earned the Social student engagement award 2011 in Egerton University, awarded to students who inspire others to work towards social change.
Catherine Nyambura is proof that impossibility is a mirage. Her philosophy that “Possibilities are Endless” speaks to what women and girls can achieve if they keep at it. Girl Pride Circle is unreservedly supportive of Ms Nyambura’s bold actions to secure a better world for women and girls.