After surviving female genital mutilation, avoiding a child marriage and fighting for her education, Kakenya Ntaiya founded Kakenya's Dream to empower girls and transform her community in Kenya.

Why you should listen

Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya is the founder and president of Kakenya's Dream, an international nonprofit educating girls, ending harmful traditional practices and uplifting communities in rural Kenya. Ntaiya was engaged at age five and raised with the expectation that she would undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) and marry as a teenager. She had a different dream. She negotiated with her father to return to school after surviving FGM. When she was accepted to college in the United States, she promised to use her education to help the village in exchange for their support. She went on to earn her PhD in education at the University of Pittsburgh.

In 2009, the Kakenya Center for Excellence boarding school opened with 30 students. Today, Kakenya's Dream empowers thousands of girls, boys and community members each year. Ntaiya is a CNN Hero and National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She received the Feminist Majority Global Women's Rights Award and the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award. Ntaiya was also named one of Newsweek's "150 Women Who Shake the World."

Kakenya Ntaiya’s TED talk

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Moving forward: Notes from Session 6 of TEDWomen 2018

November 30, 2018

After three days of astonishing speakers and bold ideas, you may be asking yourself: Where do we go now? The answer: forward. The final session of TEDWomen 2018, hosted by TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell, featured a dynamic lineup of forward thinkers: Ariana Curtis, Galit Ariel, Majd Mashharawi, Soraya Chemaly, Katharine Hayhoe, Cecile Richards, Kakenya Ntaiya, […]

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