After eight years of serving Lensational as its CEO, our dear Bonnie Chiu has decided to step down this year. We are excited to announce that Lydia Wanjiku, Lensational’s Global Programmes Manager, will succeed Bonnie as Lensational’s next CEO.
International Women’s Day is a special day for Lensational, as it is also our birthday. Eight years ago, our co-founder Bonnie Chiu created a Facebook page, and launched our first pilot programmes training underrepresented women with photography storytelling. Bonnie’s innovative idea soon grew into a global movement, with volunteers across the globe, and over 1000 women reached, in over 20 countries.
The idea of Lensational was unique, and at times, difficult to pitch, eight years ago. We were talking about empowering women to grow a voice, and share their stoires, years before gender equality, let alone topics of diversity, and representation in the media, became a conversation. Nevertheless, Lensational grew steadily, and counted many achievements, including United Nation Awards, exhibitions, and features in global media outlets, including BBC, and ABC News.
In the past year, diversity has been a key topic, and forced many to think harder about representation, and shifting the power. At Lensational, diversity has always been always the conversation – it was the very idea behind what we do. And for us, this year, as we say goodbye to Bonnie, diversity translates into a desire to move away from a founder-centric movement, towards a collective model, anchored in the field, and closer to the women we serve. It is with this in mind, that we welcome Lydia as Lensational’s new CEO, who will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Join us in wishing Lydia a warm welcome, and read Bonnie’s piece, reflecting on the past eight years, on meeting Lydia, and on her decision to step down.