The Women’s Wisdom: Women in Action Service Appreciation Grant

2021 Honorees

Healing Circle

Tecla Namachanja: Healing Circle Meeting, Shalom Centre for Counselling and Development


Tecla Namachanja, Kenya. Through Shalom Centre for Counselling and Development (SCCoDev) a Kenyan NGO, we have been responding to relational, structural and traumatic needs of communities in Kenya affected by violent conflicts. We have been doing so by creating and holding safe spaces for affected people to come together and support each other in their healing process through community social healing circles, and circles for relationship building and for promoting sustainable livelihoods. Our target groups are widows, the youth and the elderly.


Isabelle Kamariza, Rwanda. Isabelle is the Founder and President of Solid’Africa, a non-profit organization, operating in Rwanda since 2011, with the mission to help vulnerable patients in public hospitals. Through five programs, the organization provides food, hygienic products and other services with the goal to accelerate patient recovery process, preserve patient’s dignity and promote equity. She was the recipient of the Young African Women Leaders Forum Award, a CYRWA (Celebrating Young Rwandan Achievers) awardee. In 2018 she was recognized by the Queen Elizabeth II as the 55th Point of Light Awardee. She is the 2019 Segal Family Foundation’s System Innovator Awardee. She is also an Aspen New Voices Fellow and a One Young World Ambassador. Most recently, she has been the recipient of the Forbes Woman Africa Social Impact Award 2021.


Ruth Nalyanya, Kenya. Peace Path Development Initiative is a grassroots-based initiative, operating at the village level, that began as a series of activities and led to the mobilization of 40 women from 2 villages in Kenya, to undertake economic activities. The objectives are to strengthen the role of rural women in peace-building processes and community development through networking and collaboration; and to promote the dignity of women and girls through sustainable economic empowerment activities. These objectives have made the females less vulnerable to male manipulation because poverty in the households has been linked to wide-spread women and gender based violence. Ruth is also a previous honoree.


Past Honorees


Jane Keji Alex, South Sudan. Jane’s passion and strong work ethic moved her to the social work space where she serves rural communities to uplift the women who have been affected by the protracted war in South Sudan. She helps women through adult education, enrolls girls to join schools that have relatively lower school fees costs and that provide vocational training for girls that had gone through trauma and other war effects of rape. Jane founded Wipe My Tears Foundation (WTF) together with a diverse group of other rural women from different ethnicities and religions. These are women who have hope in change and have experienced different hard situations during and after the war.



Solange Aquino, Portugal. Born in Brazil Solange immigrated to and has lived in Portugal since 1990. She has degrees in Science and Psychology, and has been a Technical Director of Casa Seis for 18 years.
 She has worked for a project to fight against poverty for a population, mostly of African origin. She has worked with young girls, creating the “Youth on the Move” group, which developed volunteer activities within the community, encouraging activities with children, and organized a group of volunteers who cared for small children while the mothers attended literacy classes, developing school support and leisure activities for children and young people at times opposed to school.



Itaf Awad, Dabbouriya, Galile. Itaf Awad has helped to established the Dabbouriya Village Forum of Women committee among 15 women within a wider community of 62 active members. These women collaborate to serve as capacitor developers for other women in this small community to work on issues of social justice and equality in order to promote the status of women and realise their social, economic and political identity through educational and social activities.



Dima Samman, Jerusalem
. Dima Samman is a Palestinian-Jerusalemite novelist and human rights activist. Dima was born and raised in occupied Jerusalem. Dima is currently the Director General of the Palestinian Ministry of Education. She believes that through education women can change their lives, and young men must be educated in order to be there to change society toward the better. Dima has inspired many to express their problems, their challenges and feelings through writing.



Fatima Sheriff Alhassan, Nigeria. Fatima promotes and advocates for women and children’s education particularly in social interaction, and challenges domestic violence/maltreatment and matrimonial conflict. She has played a vital role in mobilizing community to learn about and promote good nutrition, hygiene, and awareness on sexual abuse.

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