11Start Feminism Young

Spotlight: Purity Kagwiria and Girls Education

Issue: Climate and Youth

One morning in the dry season of fall 2017, Deepa rushed into my office at the Planned Parenthood Global headquarters in the Kilimani neighborhood of Nairobi. Sweating from climbing the two flights of stairs from the regional office, she was clearly extremely upset.

After 5 years leading Planned Parenthood Global from New York, I had gotten approval to move the headquarters of the international subsidiary to Kenya. It was important to me that the work we did be grounded in the voices of those affected, and, to me, that meant being closer to the organizations we partnered with and the staff members who managed the on‐the‐ground programs. And so, just after Trump won the election and 15 years after first falling in love with the country as a law student, I found myself living in Nairobi again. This time around I wasn't living in a hostel with a roommate and no expectation of privacy; I moved my family into an exquisite house in a compound called Kihingo, where we lived the sometimes exceptional life of expatriates.

As the executive director of Planned Parenthood Federations of America's international division, I was responsible for supporting service delivery and advocacy programs for more than 12 countries in Africa and Latin America. I loved partnering with local organizations and their leadership to make a significant impact for families seeking reproductive care in some of the ...

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