Dr Auma Obama: Sauti Kuu – powerful voices!
Dr Auma Obama was born and raised in Kenya. She studied in Germany, where she earned a master’s degree at the University of Heidelberg. She went on to complete a degree at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin and concurrently obtained a PhD from the University of Bayreuth.
Dr Auma Obama is the sister of US President Barack Obama.
Dr Obama speaks on the following topics:
- The Future of the Youth – poor rich Europe
- Coming out of the niche - how sustainability is gaining attractiveness with consumers. What does sustainability mean from a global perspective?
- The social pillar of sustainabilty - challenge and opportunity for the business communtiy"
- "You are Your Future" - Development policy, the situation in Africa in relation to the work of the Sauti Kuu Foundation
Dr Obama relocated to England after graduating, where she worked for a local branch of the Children’s Services Department. She then moved to Kenya, where she spent almost five years working for the international aid agency CARE International. Her remit included coordinating the Sport for Social Change programme, a sports and education joint initiative aimed at strengthening the self-esteem of children and adolescents. Special emphasis was placed on supporting girls from disadvantaged backgrounds.
"People from different cultural backgrounds can and should talk to one another – and complement and enrich one another."
Dr Obama is a member of the governing council of the Kilimanjaro Initiative, which promotes non-violence and positive change in disadvantaged families and supports sustainable development within their communities. One of the initiative’s key activities is the annual ascent of Africa’s highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro.
Dr Auma Obama is also a writer who delivers worldwide lectures and keynote speeches on the topic of environmental, economic and social sustainability, with a special interest in Kenya. She is the author of the bestseller "And Then Life Happens".
She is the founder and chairwoman of the Sauti Kuu Foundation. Sauti Kuu – "powerful voices" in Kiswahili – aims to give disadvantaged children and youths a voice and awaken and strengthen their potential. Based on the principle of "helping people help themselves", the foundation provides economically sustainable, practically oriented education and training to youths, thus supporting and encouraging them to become the architects of their own destiny.
Dr Auma Obama’s academic background:
University of Bayreuth, Germany: Doctor of Philology (1996). Research focus: intercultural communication, German language studies, comparative studies and education.
German Film and Television Academy, Germany: film producer, diploma (1996). Research focus: film production, directing, camera work, editing and script writing.
University of Heidelberg, Germany: Master of Arts in Philology (1987). Research focus: intercultural communication, German language studies, linguistics, sociology and education.
Sauti Kuu – "powerful voices" in English – is a charitable organisation founded in Kenya by Auma Obama. Its mission is to create opportunities for children and youths in the fields of personal development, education, economic sustainability, in order to enable them to lead self-determined and independent lives. The main focus is on promoting taking personal responsibility for improving ones situation, given that the traditional "development aid" concept, has been proven not to work in the long term.
"Young people need to understand that they should take their destiny into their own hands. They realise that they can achieve so much more through self-participation, are highly motivated and work hard. All they need are the opportunities and our support."
Dr Auma Obama