Reflections on Black History Month: Alice Aluoch
February is Black History Month. For the month of February, we are sharing a series of spotlights of some of our staff and volunteers in the Black community. This post features Alice Aluoch.
As someone who grew up in Kenya, I was exposed to poverty from a young age. That became a driving force to elevate voices of girls in my community and provide opportunities for them to complete their education. When I moved here and learned about RESULTS, I was excited to explore an opportunity that would give me a chance to advocate not only for the girls and boys in my village or country, but for millions of children all over the world that deserve an equal opportunity to thrive and become productive members of the society.
I draw my inspiration from those who’ve gone ahead of us and left that door open. Nelson Mandela was the first Black president of South Africa, elected after over 27 years in prison for his anti-apartheid revolutionary work. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. I’m inspired by Angelina Kisolo (Mrs. Kithuka), a local headteacher in Kenya desperate to stop losing her girls. She campaigned for access to menstrual hygiene kits, which led to the birth of a nonprofit that still exists to champion the needs of girls in Kenya. Because of her voice and many others, the Government of Kenya passed legislation to ensure periods don’t stand in the way of girls’ education. I’m inspired by girls all over the world that grow up with limited resources but have defied all odds to sit at tables where they are frequently the odd ones out. Lastly, I’m inspired by our Vice President Kamala Harris, who is a true example that a young Black/Asian woman can rise to be the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in the history of United States. To me, this is a story of hope!
We need more voices from the Black community and African diaspora to share their expertise and help drive our movement forward. The work must be inclusive, and we must make space for others to lead. We have come a long way, and we still have much to do, but I’m hopeful that we are raising a generation that refuses to sit back and do nothing. John F. Kennedy said it well: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” We have a responsibility to continue championing the work that was graciously started by others. As we stand on the shoulders of those who went before us, we need to ask, “If not us then who?” We must all choose to do our part to continue pushing progress forward.