If you empower a women, you don't only empower the individual. You Empower her family,her community, her industry, her country, and ultimately the world. My name is Bukky George, the retail queen of Lagos Nigeria. The group was made up of 22 women from 18 countries and everybody had something to put on the table. I am going back empowered, more confident to achieve my goal. I am Sherrie Westin, I am with Sesame Workshop. I've been a mentor with the program for the last 6 years. It's a wonderful program that was initiated by the U.S. State Department working with Fortune, but it's basically a wonderful opportunity for women around the world. My mentee is named Thinn Thinn Sett and she is from Myanmar and she is very accomplished women. Having her perspective as she, watches, observes, and sometimes even participates, helps you put it all back in perspective and look at the world not just your immediate list of things to do. Yea, my name is Thinn Thinn, I am a business women and I am from Myanmar. Personally, I feel that this program inspire me a lot and I feel I am now one step further ahead to carry on my path, and it is brilliant. My name is Kathi Lutton , and I am Principal at the law firm of Fish & Richardson. And this year I am mentoring May Alba from Mexico city. I started back in 2009, so I've been mentoring every year since. The women who come into this program I feel like they are not just trying to help themselves. They are trying to help other people, that is part of how they were chosen for the program. My first menthe is Susan Remakwa from South Africa. You know she came and at that time she had given up her own pension fund to start an orphanage for children who were impacted by HIV/AIDS. She needed to make her program sustainable, so what she did, was when she came into the program we connected her with a number of people who helped her think about a model to make her orphanage sustainable. She went back to her country, I've actually visited her in South Africa since. She has bought sewing machines and actually now makes the clothes not only for her orphanage, but she sells them to help support the orphanage. So she has really taken the learnings here and she was already giving back to the world but she is now able to do it in a more effective way where she doesn't have to rely on fundraising. When the mentees come into the program they are thinking about their own goals and what they are trying to achieve, but when they leave the program they are not only thinking about how they use what they learned here to achieve their goals, they are also thinking about how they can give back. So I feel like anything I am able to give back to them is really multiplied within their country where there is a lot of need.
May 23, 2014