BORN AS WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE FOR HUMANITY, AND ON BECOMING A WOMAN LEADER.
Betty Adhiambo Adera, a leader, humanitarian, soon to be Doctorate in Global Public Health, founder of Betty Adera Foundation in Kenya.
Betty Adera from childhood was from a large family with a modest income, she always had a heart of helping other kids who didn’t have what she had. This character in her was further instilled by her late parents who affirmed the value of giving, sharing, and service to family and community. These are values that she passes on daily not only to her two sons and niece but to all young people under her wings. She
founded the Betty Adera Foundation in 2016 in Kenya and just recently (October 2019) in Tanzania in order to reach a broader audience with humanitarian efforts as and when such needs arise.
Betty has gone out of her way to heed to the cries especially of women and children during post-election violence in Kenya. The last one being in August 2017, she reached over 200 women from vast ages in the informal urban settlements of Nairobi (especially in Dandora) who had experienced sexual, physical and emotional violence and trauma directly or witnessed their family members or neighbors go through such. They needed a caring shoulder to cry and were offered trauma counseling and referral services. Prior to this, Betty organized a Peace Procession and Concert in Partnership with Nairobi City County Government on 29th July 2017 for civic education and to raise awareness for citizens to maintain peace before, during and after the elections. This was in an effort to augment Nairobi County and National
Governments’efforts towards peace and justice.
Betty Adera being a survivor of domestic violence herself, knows and appreciates that violence is real and many other women, girls and even children go through the same or worse. Through her Foundation, she has reached over 2000 women and girls who have undergone or are vulnerable to all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination across Kenya. She has also reached and rescued approximately 50 young boys and men who
have undergone domestic and sexual violence. She has reached them with
trauma counseling services, referral to post violence care and support and also with legal prosecution support for those who choose to take that path. Even more importantly, Betty spends a lot of her time engaging communities in meaningful dialogue to shun violence at household and community levels and embrace peace. Every Christmas Betty chooses a project to spend the season with and time and again, she has spent her time and resources at the ‘New Scent’ rescue shelter/ home for children/girls who have undergone sexual abuse in Tala, Machakos County and also supported ‘fun and edutainment’ days with young people in Mukuru informal urban settlement in Nairobi County.
She has also held numerous events in primary and secondary schools for the donation of school books
and sanitary towels within Nairobi, Migori and Kiambu Counties.
Miss Adera brings a diverse professional background to her Foundation and the world. As an accomplished Public Health Specialist with 22 years’ work experience at Senior Management levels
with various reputable local and international Non- Governmental Organizations in Kenya, she has contributed greatly to shaping Sexual Reproductive Health Policies for young people not only
in Kenya but Globally. She has made countless appearances on Local and International Radio and
TV stations advocating for better laws and policies for young people, especially young women. Being
passionate about Women and Leadership and as an upcoming national level leader in her own right, Betty started her own leadership series targeting Young Women Leaders called “On Becoming a Woman Leader” aimed at demystifying stereotypes and gender norms against women leaders in an African context and building soft skills required for top leadership roles. She has made these series public and they are available for viewing on her YouTube Channel.
Betty Adera participated in the Women’s Leadership Reality Show in Kenya dubbed ‘Ms. President’
that concluded in July 2019 whereby she emerged 4th country-wide and 1st in Nairobi City County.
Following her graceful and spectacular performance in this show, she has recently been recognized and
nominated by the Africa Youth Trust (AYT) to be the ‘Patron of Young Women’s Forum in Africa’. This is the largest platform for young women for meaningful engagement and mentorship of young women with a view addressing issues and challenges affecting them and also provides a unique opportunity to generate new ideas, forge networks and engage decision-makers, in the spirit of robust debate and interaction.
She won the ‘Exceptional Field Staff Member 2015’ Award by Global Communities and in July 2018 won the prestigious ‘CEO of the Year’ Award for her exceptional excellence in leadership and passion for young women. She has facilitated skill-building training and made numerous speeches and presentations at national, regional and international conferences.
Betty Adera has received numerous awards on her exceptional leadership. She is a winner of the 2019 Global Books for Peace Award. Winner of the Golden Hands Award and also Global Good Will Ambassador Peace.
Ms. Adera holds a Master of Science Degree in Public Health from the University of Western Cape, South Africa, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Children, Youth, and Development from the Institute of Social Studies, University of Erasmus, the Hague, Netherlands. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree – Social Work from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently pursuing Ph.D. studies in Global Public Health at EUCLID University where she has been appointed a faculty member. She is also undertaking a Post Graduate Diploma in Diplomacy and International Law at the same University. Ms. Adera is a great public speaker and enjoys spending time with her two sons who are now young men. We
urge our readers to follow her inspiration and her foundation for contributing to the welfare of society.
In an exclusive interview with us, here are few excerpts for our readers, into the life of this amazing, strong and inspiring lady Ms. Betty:
PV: How do you pitch yourself among a multitude of foundations, your major competitors? What would
you say is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
Ms. Betty: While Betty Adera Foundation International is non-profit making, our core business is in unlocking potentials and securing futures of children, youth and women and that is what sets us apart.
Our unique selling point is that all our strategies and activities are grounded within families and communities; we place ‘people’ first; and endeavor to meaningfully engage all state and non state stakeholders. We do all these with a view to enabling individuals, families, and communities to take charge of their lives and livelihoods and subsequently live an improved quality of life.
PV: Ms. Betty, are there any Government Policies in Kenya that affect your Service? Are they in favor of or need change?
Ms. Betty: The policy environment in Kenya is one of the most progressive in the African Continent. It
is rigorous and on-going investments in human social capital and infrastructure development for long term sustainable development, improved quality of life of the people and also for achievement of local
and world peace. Kenya’s Constitution, Vision 2030, The President’s Big 4 Agenda and the numerous policies at County and National levels that respond to all Sustainable Development Goals can only make our work at the Foundation better. However, much still needs to be done on implementation and
enforcement so that no one is left behind.
PV: What was the turning point for growth for your foundation?
Ms. Betty: When I When I let out my own story of domestic violence, hundreds of women, young and old; rich and poor; educated and uneducated; influential and lowly; Christian and Muslim all reached out to me with a resounding ‘Me Also’ script with most of their stories being more horrifying than
my own. This immediately increased our visibility and reach, strengthened our trust and impact with many institutions wanting to work collaboratively with us. With time, we have crafted a brand as one of the ‘go-to’ organizations for all forms of gender-based violence and have created safe spaces for dialogue on pressures and triggers of violence with a view to preventing and mitigating potential flare-ups.
PV: What has been your greatest failure? And what did you learn from it?
Ms. Betty: Earlier on in my career, I was asked to represent my supervisor, who had been suddenly taken
ill, in making a technical presentation at a national conference in Kenya. As this would be my first time to make such a presentation I froze at the sight of many people looking at me and fumbled through the
presentation. This poor performance created the opportunity for me to build my pitch and confidence in
public speaking and today am among the greatest public speakers in Kenya and Internationally. I am inspired to start free lessons for upcoming young leaders on ‘the art of public speaking’.s
Betty Adera’s Mission 2030: Improve the quality of life and promote sustainable social justice by investing in human social capital, seeking meaningful stakeholder engagement, and empowering vulnerable individuals and communities to take charge of their lives and livelihoods.