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Founder and CEO

Brief info

Asenath Asha Lutabingwa had a humble beginning as a child having lost her mother during childbirth as a result of heavy bleeding while on her way to the hospital, which was many miles away. Poor roads and lack of reliable public transportation to the much needed services cut short her mother’s life and thus growing up under the care of her father for much of her young age.

Growing up in the rural parts of Tanzania during primary school, I had the privilege of attending many traditional ceremonies during girls and boys rites of passage into adulthood. This meant that girls and boys had to go through the circumcision ritual conducted by elderly women and men using unsanitary knives.

Right then, I realized the danger of female genital mutilation, having witnessed girls that I knew became very ill from infections resulting from circumcision. I realized early on that the ceremonious act was very dangerous and could kill!

As the girls who survived the act felt they had leapt into another stage in life, and as they reached puberty, continuing with education was no longer a priority. Marriage became the next big thing. I immediately developed interest in girls’ education. After completing y university education and got the opportunity to study in the U.S., with the additional income from my stipend, I begun to provide financial support for the few girls in secondary schools from my village. Upon completion and obtaining a job, I scaled up my support and in 2011, saw the need to form the Hitaji Development Initiative to enable me to formally support the girls in a more organized manner.

Many girls who are unable to continue with school end up in the streets where they become victims of HIV/AIDS, unwed mothers or risk being trafficked. I grew up in Migori therefore l know what it means to go hungry, walk for distances looking for food, water and above all, l know what it means to be discriminated against as a girl. I received education because my father was a big believer in educating girls. Empower a girl through education and you will change the world around her. Education is the key that opens many doors of opportunities!

66 million girls worldwide do not have the chance to go to school. Girls from poor families in Migori County and in Kenya as a country, are faced with many challenges due to the complex social, political, traditional, and economical factors. Everything from marriage practices to disease, poverty, and seasonal labor requirements contribute to this catastrophe, which threatens the well-being of Hitaji sponsored girls.

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Hitaji Development Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered under IRS Code 501.

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