The HALI Access Network Podcast

Helen Leale-Green

The HALI Access Network Podcast series tells the stories of founders and key players within HALI Access Network organisations, their students and friends. The HALI Access Network aims to level the playing field for high achieving, low income African youth to access higher education opportunities around the globe. The views in this podcast series are the views of the guests and not necessarily those of the HALI Access Network.

All Episodes

This episode is a conversation between Helen, Habiiba and Geofrey Njovu. Geofrey is a Pestalozzi alumnus and Mastercard Foundation Scholar at the University of Edinburgh where he studies Chemistry. On top of his studies he is running the Mastercard Foundation Scholars podcast, the Ekasi Podcast. He is also constantly reading and learning and is infamous for his involvement in so many things.The multi-cultural and multi-faith community that Pestalozzi created has shaped both Geofrey and Habiiba’s views and experiences, allowing both a breaking down of barriers, and the building of respect and tolerance for a diverse range of views. This episode does just that. It touches on an array of topics from the caste system in India, to the significance of the hijab, Afro-Optimism, Black Lives Matter, and opportunities created by COVID-19. We hope you enjoy listening.

Apr 16

43 min 56 sec

In this episode, Helen and Janet talk to Corey Johnson, the founder of a groundbreaking education programme called Imagine Scholar in South Africa. Imagine Scholar is an after school programme aiming to create impactful people through joyful learning. It is built on the idea of sustainable change. After ten years of running, the board of directors is comprised mostly of alums, and it is hoped that after another ten years of operating, the programme will be able to be run completely by alums.   Corey discusses how he started Imagine Scholar and why it is so unique. Helen and Janet ask him about the impact of COVID-19 on teaching and learning, whether the programme gets any resistance from parents, and the benefits of HALI Access Network to Imagine Scholar. The episode concludes with the usual quick-fire round.  We hope you enjoy this episode. Feel free to leave a comment or review and check out the HALI Access Network social media for updates on the next episode.

Apr 2

39 min 45 sec

In this episode, Helen Leale-Green talks to ESSA (Education Sub Saharan Africa) CEO, Lucy Heady, and Head of Research and Insight, Pauline Essah. ESSA is a non-profit organisation located in the UK. ESSA's mission starts with universities and colleges, using data and evidence to drive the change needed for a dramatic improvement in education for young people in Africa. Pauline and Lucy discuss the organisation, scholarships, their personal career journeys, and the future of the job market in Africa. 

Mar 18

47 min 48 sec

Welcome back to the podcast. In this week’s episode, Helen and Janet are joined by Leila and Christine, two alumnae from the Zawadi Africa Education Fund. Zawadi is a leadership programme that helps young Kenyan women access university to turn them into future leaders. It is also a member organisation of the HALI Access Network. Zawadi’s unique programme not only gives girls the tools that they need to succeed, but also creates a sisterhood through mentorship. This community network connects girls between year group cohorts and universities, helping them to support each other in and out of academics. Christine and Leila talk about growing up in Kenya, their experience at Zawadi, the importance of leadership, and their goals for their studies and careers. The podcast ends with an inspiring message to any girls listening who have big dreams and want to succeed.Thank you for listening to this episode. If you found this episode interesting, please leave a comment or review. We look forward to seeing you soon for the next one. 

Mar 4

43 min 16 sec

In this episode of the podcast, Helen and Habiiba are joined by Benson Wereje, co-founder of CIYOTA. CIYOTA is a youth-led movement that supports the refugee population living in camps in Uganda. Most of the refugees come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as South Sudan. Benson talks about his life as a refugee fleeing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the age of sixteen to arrive at a refugee camp in Uganda. In this camp, he was one of only three students out of thousands to attend secondary school. He struggled with extreme hunger and exhaustion but his faith spurred him to return back to the camp to help others in the same position. In 2005, he co-founded CIYOTA.  This episode touches on many of the challenges that arise in the refugee camp and how these are being dealt with. This includes the variety of languages spoken by the refugees, the high dropout rates between primary and secondary school, early teenage pregnancy, and the desire of refugees to resettle instead of returning back home. These issues are matched with innovative programmes including women’s education, microfinance, and agrobusiness.  THIS EPISODE BEGINS WITH SOME HARROWING DETAILS OF BENSON’S EARLY LIFE. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO LISTEN, PLEASE SKIP THE FIRST 4 MINUTES 32 SECONDS. 


Feb 18

42 min 6 sec

This episode of the podcast introduces you to our final co-host: Habiiba. A recent graduate of UC Berkeley, she talks about how her role there in chairing the Model United Nations provided an opportunity to bring the voice of African into discussions on campus and further afield. 

Jan 30

21 min 13 sec

This episode of the HALI Access Network podcast briefly introduces our host, Helen Leale-Green, and co-presenters Janet, Quincy and Habiiba. We then hear from Janet and Quincy about some of the work they have been involved in recently, as well as their experiences of studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh under a MasterCard Foundation scholarship.

Jan 30

26 min 50 sec

Welcome to the launch of the HALI Access Network podcast. In this episode, Helen and Janet will be talking to the founders of HALI, Rebecca Zeigler Mano, the Founder/Director of the United States Achievers Program (USAP), and Rebekah Westphal, the Director of International Admissions at Yale University.

Jan 13

34 min 16 sec