Hillary’s Journey with Ashinaga
Hillary’s Journey with Ashinaga
Hillary was part of the first cohort of the Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI). He graduated in September 2019 from Doshisha University and underwent a liberal arts degree with a focus on Japanese society and global culture. During his time at Doshisha, Hillary learned skills in diverse fields such as Business and the Global Economy, Politics, and Global Studies. While pursuing his degree, he examined ideas from various points of view, solved problems, learned to adapt, and collaborated with a diverse group of individuals.
While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Hillary completed an impressive array of internships ranging from consulting to energy manufacturing to education training. He put his skills into practice and learned more about the professional landscape in Japan and Kenya. Hillary was volunteering with a local organization in Kenya when he first heard about Ashinaga. Ashinaga’s vision spoke to him directly, and he decided to take a leap of faith and apply. A few weeks later, he was invited to have an interview at the Japanese embassy in Kenya.
A few weeks after his admission to the AAI program, Hillary joined the Uganda study and preparation camps, which included SAT and IELTS preparation. He also had classes in different subjects, including Presentation Skills, Computer Skills, Career Development, Global Awareness, and other diverse academic activities. Hillary took entry exams, academic preparation courses and applied to schools in different countries. The highlight for Hillary was meeting other AAI Candidates from all over the Sub-Saharan African region and making friendships he is grateful for to this day. Hillary gained entry to Doshisha University, and with support from Ashinaga, he was able to process his visa, plan smoothly, and move to Japan. The biggest challenge Hillary faced was the language barrier. Fortunately for him, he lived in the Kobe Kokorujuku, where he interacted with Japanese students and practiced the language with them.
According to Hillary, Ashinaga is more than just an organization that grants scholarships. Ashinaga is a leadership program that gave him access to a robust network, professional and emotional support, and the space to explore his interests and ideas. In Hillary’s own words, “Ashinaga helps build your character and does not just give you money to go to school.” Leadership is not about the position but about taking responsibility as an individual to make something better. He aspires to be outstanding in his field and is constantly working towards improving the lives of those around him.
Hillary works as an International Sales and Marketing Specialist at ARCA, a Japanese corporation working in the Solar energy generation system and selling Japanese smart toilets and bidets to African and Middle Eastern markets. Hillary is currently leading two solar projects in Kenya.
Looking into the future, Hillary would like to lead community projects in Kenya and help people make the most of the resources available to them. His experience has inspired him to do his fair share to make this world a better place.