Empowering Young Women in the Supply Chain Sector
We were privileged to hear Joanna Ochieng and Margaret Achieng speak at the recent Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition Executive Committee Meeting at the Fairview Hotel in Nairobi this April. These inspiring young women shared their experiences with the Girls on the Move (GOTM) internship program and how it helped them find employment.
In its inaugural round, the Girls on the Move program placed 36 young female supply chain management graduates in various host companies and organizations, including hospitals, pharmacies, and hotels. GOTM was designed to play a crucial role in empowering young women in the supply chain sector, reducing youth unemployment, and professionalizing supply chains in Africa.
Thanks to the eight-month internship scheme, Joanna and Margaret have secured employment. They can now support their basic financial needs, including helping to support their parents, paying their siblings' school fees, and purchasing necessities such as hygiene products for themselves.
Martyn Smith, Director of Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition with Margaret Achieng and Joanna Ochieng, Beneficiaries of the Girls on the Move program
For Johana, being part of the Girls on the Move program was a valued opportunity. “The growth that has come with being part of GOTM is massive, I can already feel its impact in my workplace today, because GOTM prepared me adequately. My knowledge of supply chain has broadened and the skills development throughout the program has enabled me to navigate workplace relationships. Having been attached to a mentor who is intentional about seeing me grow as a supply chain professional, I feel more confident and especially being plugged into an industry that strives towards a healthy population, I can say that I have found my purpose. I cannot express how excited I am for other girls who will get a chance to be part of the program hoping this is the opportunity they have been waiting for,” Joanna shared. it.
"My knowledge of supply chain has broadened and the skills development throughout the program has enabled me to navigate workplace relationships. Having been attached to a mentor who is intentional about seeing me grow as a supply chain professional, I feel more confident and especially being plugged into an industry that strives towards a healthy population, I can say that I have found my purpose." Joanna Ochieng
Joanna joined a panel discussion on the future of reproductive health (RH) supplies in Kenya. The panel addressed the RH supply needs of vulnerable populations, and how to ensure uninterrupted product flows from manufacturer to the last mile. Most of the reproductive health-age population in Africa is made up of youth under 30 years of age. So, it is critical to hear the voices of young people, particularly young women like Joanna, in discussions around RH education and supplies.
Other panel members, including Kenya Health Ministry’s Dr. Edward Serem, who is the head of the Reproductive and Maternal Health division; Dennis Ndwiga, Head of Business Development at KEMSA; and Yasmin Chandani who is the CEO of InSupply Health, discussed the ambitious commitment of the Kenyan government to increase domestic financing for family planning commodities to cover 100% of the requirements by 2026.
Executive Committee members during the listening to the panel discussions
The panel, from left: Pamela Steele, Project Director of Girls on the Move program, Yasmin Chandani, CEO of InSupply Health, Dr. Edward Serem, Head of the Reproductive and Maternal Health Division at the Kenya Ministry of Health, Joanna Ochieng, Girls on the Move Beneficiary and Dennis Ndwiga, Head of Business Development at KEMSA
Later that evening, the RHSC and UNFPA hosted a joint reception, which brought together government counterparts, donors, philanthropic organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, NGOs, and other key partners working on reproductive health commodity security in Kenya. Here, Margaret and Joanna were given the opportunity to share their stories with the assembled guests and Joanna urged the donor community to continue to fund the Girls on the Move program.
Margaret Achieng speaking at the evening reception
The success stories of Joanna and Margaret are just the beginning. Countless other young women could benefit from the Girls on the Move internship scheme. It's crucial that we enable them to gain experience and become confident supply chain professionals.
Let’s continue to ask how we can empower these incredible young women seeking work in the supply chain sector.
If you're interested in supporting the Girls on the Move initiative, please write to email@example.com.