Monday, October 20, 2014

DC bound for the ONE Girls & Women AYA Summit

Young women I met in Uganda on a trip  with Shot@Life.
Seriously, don't they just look like leaders?
I'm off for another poverty-fighting DC adventure! This week I'll be joining a group of 75 girls and women from the US and Africa from October 22-24 for the ONE Girls + Women's AYA Summit. This year, the ONE Girls + Women has been a wonderful addition to the ONE Campaign. I've been fighting poverty with the ONE Campaign for many years, so it's thrilling to be on the ground floor of this new effort. The emotional mother in me yearns to help girls in developing nations who are so much like my own girls in every way that matters. The engineer in me knows that the most logical & effective way to break the cycle of poverty is to nurture and educate girls who are under-served and are the mothers of tomorrow. Empowering girls gets at the heart of so many problems!

I'll get a concentrated few days to focus on issues facing women and girls in the developing world with other go-getting grasstops-types in the audience. Through a series of talks, panels, visuals, and demonstrations, we'll learn what it means to be born female in Africa and what we - along WITH girls and women in Africa - can do to help people meet their full potential. The idea is to stimulate our thoughts and conversations by looking at more controversial topics from different points of view.

I think I have a lot to contribute to the conversation, looking at the list of topics:
Health...Child birth...Trade...Technology...Jobs....Food...Fashion...Water...School...Activism

(...okay, maybe not fashion. 
I have zero to say about that.)

I'm hopeful about this conference providing a unique experience because in the invitation, they told us that we'd have fun and plenty of time to spend with other participants, which will include panelists from both the U.S. and Africa. I'm a globally-minded mom who rarely ever travels, so I relish the opportunity to get to know other allies outside of North America. A few of my fellow World Moms Blog contributers will be there, too, including founder Jennifer Burden who happens to be a favorite BFF of mine. Poverty-fighting with friends. Nothin' better. :)

Another reason I'm excited is because of special guest speaker Nick Kristoff who will be there to share about his new book, "A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity," co-written with his wife Sheryl Wu Dunn. In fact, he's going to hold a book signing as well. I hear he dedicated about 2 1/2 pages in the book to a description of the work of RESULTS. Being a RESULTS board member, I want to personally thank him and encourage him to attend our RESULTS International Conference in July. 

I also anticipate watching Michael Gerson moderate a panel on Ebola and being re-united with Edith Jibunoh of the World Bank so soon after the World Bank's Civil Society Program and Annual Meetings. (she's one busy lady!)

So, to my fellow attendees...can't wait to meet up with you. For those at home, I'll be finding out more ways for all of us to be engaged in ways to help girls and women in Africa raise themselves up with dignity and strength. Stay tuned, true believers!

1 comment:

MichelleTwinMum said...

Isn't it just so exciting that we can be part of this? I look forward to meeting you later and learning how else we can help erradicate global poverty. Mich x