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When opportunity knocks: A young girl’s rise to Vice Mayor

2013 May 21
Aichata Maman Dahabaye

Aichata Dahabaye

In every nook and cranny of the globe there are individuals who are full of untapped potential. They are intelligent and inspired, longing to make a difference, but needing assistance to truly make their presence known.  Aichata Maman Dahabaye was one of those individuals.

We first met Aichata in late 2012 when she participated in Search’s Youth Leadership Program in Niger.  Aichata’s involvement in youth activities and engagement in her community, as a member of the municipal council, made her an ideal candidate for the workshop.

During the training, Aichata and the other participants learned about the principles of positive leadership, conflict management, youth mobilization, and community engagement. Following the program, Aichata employed her new skills to improve her activism and further develop her community initiatives.

Aichata’s hard work and dedication paid off during the most recent elections when she was chosen by her peers to be N’Guimi’s first female Vice Mayor! She earned this distinction despite being the youngest member on the municipal council.

Aichata was made for this leadership position and clearly her accomplishments are a testament to her talent and determination. However, Aichata recognizes her participation in our Youth Leadership Program as a turning point in her career. In her own words:

The training I received in Leadership helped me to strengthen my skills as an actor in the community… The skills I learned in active listening and conflict management helped me greatly in this role. Although I am the youngest member of the local government, I find that the people respect me a lot.” 

Aichata is no longer filled with untapped potential; instead, she has realized her power and is utilizing it to improve her community. She had possessed the qualities of a great leader, but needed to learn how to refine those skills and use them effectively. Search simply gave Aichata the tools she needed to achieve greatness.

There are others like Aichata out there, youths who have powerful ideas and just need a bit of support to make their voices heard. So, we’re gearing up for the next program and the search continues….


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