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MEET KHADIJA OWUSU

Megan Raybould

07 October 2020

This week we’re excited to introduce Khadija. Khadija is a trustee at Rising Futures Kenya after taking part in Beyond Suffrage's 12 week training programme.

As part of our ongoing work in support of Black Lives Matter, we will be sharing spotlight stories throughout October to celebrate Black History Month. We are working with Beyond Suffrage to share stories from some of the inspiring young people they work with.

You can hear an interview with Khadija talking to Precious, who founded Beyond Suffrage, here.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a trustee. How did you find the role and was it easy to apply?

My journey to becoming a trustee for Raising Futures Kenya has been an amazing and supportive one. Although there were some slight challenges along the way, overall, it was great. The journey began when I applied to be a part of the Beyond Suffrage Programme. This was a 12-week trustee training programme for young women of colour which eventually resulted in me being placed on the Board of Trustees at Raising Futures Kenya. As an individual who leads a charity called Melanin Medics (a UK-based charity supporting current and future African and Caribbean medical students and doctors) , I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of not only the charity sector but also about trusteeship.

Lots of young people experience imposter syndrome when they first start out as trustees. What is your advice to them?

Imposter syndrome was definitely something I experienced. As the only young Black person on the board, I did initially question whether or not I belonged here. However, as weeks have progressed, I have been able to overcome this imposter syndrome. I kept telling myself that I do deserve to be here, not only have I been able to complete the fantastic Beyond Suffrage Programme but I’ve also successfully gained this trusteeship for a charity that I wish to continue to aid in making a difference to the Kenyan communities. My advice is to keep going. It does get better especially when you know you have a lot to bring to the table as a young trustee.

Some people may be hesitant to apply for trustee roles and think they don’t have much to offer a trustee board. What is your advice to them?

At first, I was also hesitant because in addition to not knowing much about trusteeships, I also thought I didn’t have much to offer. My advice would be to have a look at many of the amazing organisations supporting young trustees e.g. The Young Trustees Movement and if you’re a young person of colour, apply to join the Beyond Suffrage Training Programme. These initiatives provide great support and help ease the journey to becoming a trustee.

This blog was created in collaboration with Beyond Suffrage. You can find out more about their trustee training programme, here.

Don't forget to listen to this month's episode of Boardroom Bookclub too! 

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