• Winnie Akara

    . Social Innovator . Change-maker . Mentor .

  • Hello, I'm Winnie,

    A B.Sc. graduate of the University of Botswana with knowledge and experience in the concepts behind Social Innovation, Insect farming, Aquaponics, Biology and a Storyteller at heart. A hard-working, versatile, self-motivated individual with excellent communication and administrative skills. Research oriented with an eagerness to learn more and share what I have learnt. Extremely passionate about environmental conservation and making a positive impact in society.

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    What's not to love about a combination of ten tiny two-letter words that carry such a heavy burden if not followed to the letter?

     

    "If it is to be, it is up to me."

     

    Right about sums life up for me. You see it, you want it? Make it happen!

     

    MY MOTTO

  • CURRENT POSITION

    In-house Tutor, Volunteer and Mentor

    Reaching Out with Compassion in Kibera (R.O.C.K)

    Apr 2015 – Present

    I am particularly passionate about working with teenagers and seeing them grow and materialise their talents. Especially those from marginalised communities. Helping them visualise, set and achieve their goals has so far given me immense pleasure and so it continues, as we organise activities and build relationships with other organisations through partnerships to help keep the kids of R.O.C.K involved and active in their community.

     

    Through my study with the Amani Institute, I ventured into the world of Aquaponics and set up a miniature prototype at R.O.C.K. This was aimed at teaching my students how to be innovative as well as learn the sciences in a physical manner as we step away from conventional teaching and give them the experiences of skill-based learning. We are located within Olympic Estate in Kibera. The youth we work with are aged between 8 and 20-year-old boys and girls who are truly bright and charming. Volunteers are always welcome. If interested, just reach out below.

  • Education

    Social Innovation Management

    Amani Institute

    Post-Graduate Certificate (Feb - Dec 2017)

    A project-based study program, aimed at developing 21st-century skills and leadership desperately needed in the workplace. Globalisation and technological innovation are bringing about long-term changes in the world economy that are altering the structure of the labour market. To tackle and become a part of this new and emerging world, this course introduced me to the concepts of Innovation. It allowed me to dwell deep within myself through the inner journey of discovering one’s purpose, passions, values and how all these could be intertwined for social good. The course enables you to visualise your need for societal equality and finally become the change you want to see in the world. There is great importance to make an impact, however small, in the community you serve. It's inhumane not to.

    University of Botswana

    Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences (Aug 2010 - Oct 2014)

    A Biology Major who's grad theory studied the effects of ‘Insecticide resistance in the German cockroach (Blatella germanica)'. Very strange topic, but surprisingly informative. The findings of this study were quite interesting and this was my official introduction to the Insect world. since then, I have found working with critters to be interesting and quite therapeutic, especially if they can offer viable solutions to the Animal Feed and farming sectors.

     

     

  • Experiences

    Projects

     

    Research & Development Fellow, Sanergy Ltd.

    June - Dec 2016

     

    Joined the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) production team where my main duties included research, testing and implementing of new processes with the aim of increasing larval production from 8% to 10% yield.

     

    Responsibilities included setting up and carrying out all BSF feed-stock trials on a lab scale basis so as to eliminate any potentially harmful feeds before implementing the feed-stocks at field scale level. Learnt vital insight on insect rearing processes and how to maintain a year-round fly colony to assist with the constant production of Black Soldier Fly larvae and the resulting insect protein. Data collected was analysed using Microsoft office packages Word and Excel, greatly improving my proficiency in data analysis and report writing.

     

    Aquaponics in Kibera

    June 2017 - Present

    This was the presentation I gave for my Social Innovation Management project prototype submitted in June. In it, I explain my passion for the project, the students and the different opportunities such a method of farming offers to urban centres and growing cities in the World.

     

    ZanaAfrica Pad Distributor & Program Facilitator

    August 2017 - Present

    Through a project partnership that exists between R.O.C.K and ZanaAfrica, I have been appointed as project lead of a pad distribution partnership that has existed between the two, aimed at giving adolescent girls all the materials necessary to always keep them in school. The ZanaAfrica foundation has also provided a training manual for people like me, to help organise and facilitate Reproductive Health Education programs with both our female and male students from R.O.C.K as well as our partner schools.

    The journey of Overcoming Anxiety & Doubt

    August 2017 - Present

    This is a personal look into my life and my daily struggles with anxiety, doubt and the overall role of fitting in.

     

    Having grown up with extremely low self-esteem, it has taken me years to finally understand how the reservations I had about myself growing up, still affects my daily living as an adult.

    Since my passion seems to lie in the youth empowerment sector, and having worked with youth between the ages of 13 and 20 in the past two years, I have been awakened to the importance of cultivating the spirit of confidence in them as they grow and evolve into young adults.

     

    My main motivation lies in the fact that in the African setting, openly speaking of depression and mental health issues is largely unheard of, and as a result, a lot of us tend to suffer in silence.

     

    Mine is not a certified mental health issue, but rather a symptom and if left unchallenged, could lead to the manifestation of the disease itself.

    It is therefore clear to me that this conversation needs to start to enable me to heal whatever hurt that still resides in me and if my vulnerability is what it takes to help start this conversation and get the message across to my students, then so be it.

     

  • Skills

    Things I've picked up over the years

    Volunteer

    Innovator

    Educator

    Community Activist

    Blogger

    Toastmaster

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

    2017年12月20日
    2017年10月31日 · 5
    2017年3月25日
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