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Salome Mbugua Henry

AkiDwA / Level 2

Awardee 2005

AkiDwA / Level 2
Colman Farrell
Tara Cunningham

AkiDwA is a national network of African women that aims to address the existing and changing needs of African women in Ireland irrespective of their ethnic / national backgrounds, traditions / religious beliefs, socio economic, political or legal status.

The Challenge

Migrant women in Ireland can experience isolation, racism and gender-based violence. Salome wanted to improve the conditions of disadvantaged and marginalised migrant women in Ireland. She saw a lack of specialised intervention for these issues, along with language barriers and a lack of support networks.

The Idea

Salome is a native of Kenya, currently living in Ireland with her husband and two daughters. She holds a qualification in Social Work from Kenya, along with a qualification in Women and Equality Studies from UCD. She has over 15 years experience of working with disadvantaged and marginalised groups, especially with women and young people, in Kenya, Uganda and Ireland.
In 2001 Salome Founded AkiWdA and was its chairperson for 3 years. Akina Dada wa Africa-AkiDwA (Swahili for sisterhood) is a national network of migrant women living in Ireland. Its vision is a just society where there is equal opportunity and equal access to resources in all aspects of society; social, cultural, economic, civic and political.
AkiDwA plays a key role in addressing areas of concern to migrant women, that of gender-based violence, unemployment and gender discrimination. In Addition AkiDwA engages in collaborative work with key NGOs and Government stakeholders.

The Impact

AkiDwA supports migrant women’s greater participation in Irish society. It employs three key strategies to achieve its objectives; networking, policy work and capacity building. AkiDwA develops migrant women’s capacity for participation and representation in their communities and in decision making structures through training, consultation, focus groups, information provision and research.
Salome has volunteered tirelessly for this network and has seen it grow considerably since 2005. It now boasts over 3,000 members in Ireland. In 2003, she was honoured with the RTE /Metro Media award for her positive contribution in promoting multiculturalism in Ireland.
In 2007 Salome was nominated to the Board of the Equality Authority, and she is now vice chair of the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Salome Mbugua Henry, Elevator Award, 2005

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