NETWORK MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

7 Questions with the Founder of Holistic Women

A technological revolution in farming led by advances in robotics and sensing technologies looks set to disrupt modern practice.

Published: 3 November 2022

  1. Tell me about yourself? (i.e., Interests, hobbies, passions)

Brenda Bih Chi (Cameroon) is an activist for women´s right and empowerment. She graduated from EARTH University, Costa Rica where she benefited from the MasterCard Scholars program and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Agronomic Sciences. She is also an Erasmus Mundus Scholar currently pursuing a master’s degree in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Granada in Spain. Her passions sustainable development, natural resource management and Agribusiness. Driven by her passion Brenda has worked with small holder farmers, training them on technical and entrepreneurial skills through organizations such as Women Who Farm Africa and Kucheza. Additionally, Brenda’s zeal to empower women, led her to founding an initiative called “My African Womanhood”, which aims to contribute to the formation African girls and women to potential leaders. Through this initiative, Brenda and her team have implemented projects focused on involving youths in Agriculture, enhancing access to quality education for young girls, and promoting sustainable menstruation for girls in rural communities. Lastly Brenda was a speaker at TEDx Llorente Woman 2020 in Costa Rica and at the AL Network Gathering 2022 in Ghana, and the winner of the Professional Across African Diaspora Summit 2022 in Cameroon.

Something most people don’t know: I grew up in a marginalized area of the Capital City of Cameroon (Yaounde) and I come from a humble family. Fulfilling my educational need was never easy for my parents, reason why I always rely on scholarships to access higher education. I love to exercise, watch movies and dance. I was a Zumba Instructor at my previous University.

 

  1. What are you currently doing?

Pursuing a Master’s degree in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Granada in Spain and developing projects for my organization. Projects inline with Agriculture, Access to quality education and promoting sustainable menstruation for girls in Rural communities. You can read more about my organization via the following link: https://www.mawcm.org/

 

  1. How are you involved with the holistic women group?

I am the founder and one of the main organizers of the group. I often suggest meeting date, possible projects and assign task to each member. In addition, I design flyers, create google meet links for webinars, etc. The other members  are also very active, especially Babra who brought up the idea of the mentorship program.

 

  1. What inspired you to be part of the group?

Being in the network and haven identified women who had the same passion as me to work with girls, I saw the need for us to discuss more on the issues we face as women in the agriculture and how we can mitigate these issues.

 

  1. Tell me more about the group and what it does?

Description: Holistic Women is a group under AL for Ag that initiated in February 2022 with the aim of empowering and guiding young women in Agribusiness thus contributing to their formation as future Agripreneurs. This group is composed of eight women from six nations including Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Zimbabwe, and Zambia

Objectives:

  • To Connect and engage women in the agribusiness Network through formal and informal dialogues
  • To contribute to the holistic formation of women leaders by creating spaces for training and Masterclasses on topics like project funding, business management, how to handle difficult situations at work, etc.
  • To support girls and women in the ALforAg network through mentorship programs and coaching sessions.

Values: Giveback, Solidarity, Empathy, Motivation

Main activities: Hangout sessions, masterclass, a mentorship program, Monthly Meetings

 

  1. What are you hoping to achieve in the next 5 years?

In five years I hope my organization will be autonomous, run longterm projects, have at least two full time employee and have an offices. I also hope to establish a leadership oriented high school where talented youth from low-income background with be able to access quality education without paying dime. Thirdly I will like to have an agricultural project running, where I will be producing a typical crop such as cassava or maise in a sustainable manner and at an affordable price for local consumption

  1. What is your favourite part about the work you do?

Working with young people from less privileged background, women from rural communities and smallholder farmers by empowering gives my life a purpose. This makes me feel like I was not just born to occupy the space of one more human being on earth but also to improve the lives of others and care for the natural resource since most of the project I do have an ecological impact.

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