At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting this week, Khalida Brohi spoke on a plenary panel literally filled with rock stars including President Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Mo Ibrahim, Sheryl Sandberg and Bono, but Khalida shone brightest of all. Bono, at one point, interrupted her with a gasp and said “Khalida, you are awesome.” He is right. Khalida spoke about her work fighting to end honor killings in Pakistan, and of the many times she cried growing up as she witnessed tragedies unfolding around her. She spoke of her father, who dried her tears and said, “My dear, do not cry. Strategize.”
This summer has been a busy but exciting one for the girls in IIE’s Higher Education Readiness (HER) program. After IIE "trained the trainers," which I detailed in my previous blog, this summer we have focused on working with the girls on leadership and life skills development and English language training.
In my senior year of college, I watched as most of my friends frantically faxed their CVs off and checked their answering machines for messages about interviews. People asked me, ‘Why are you so calm?’ I was not rushing about, because I already knew: I was going to Africa. We all have a place where we feel ourselves, a place to which we are drawn, and most of the time there is just no explaining it. My mom believes she was Native American in another life and feels most at home in New Mexico. My dad—an Irish-American through and through—cycles, speaks and drinks cappuccino like a native Italian. I first came to truly know myself sitting under a thorn tree in Namibia.
The HER scholarship recipients have been busy this past month with a summer full of English language and leadership development trainings. IIE was excited to get so much interest from local professionals to be trainers in the leadership development skill building sessions. In order to make sure that all the professionals were leading similar sessions and addressing all topics required, IIE held several “train the trainer” this past June at our Addis Ababa office.
The IIE Higher Education Readiness (HER) scholarship recipients have been busy these past two months studying for the National Exam, which was held a few weeks ago. The grades for the Exam will not be released until late summer, but we are hopeful that all of the HER students will do well and will enter the 11th grade as a university track student.
IIE is pleased to announce that we have notified 100 girls who have been selected for the HER scholarship! Recently, we gathered 50 students from both Addis Ketema and Fitawrari Abayneh at their schools and gave them the good news.
IIE is excited to have selected the first group of one hundred HER scholarship recipients! The Institute held selection panels for our new Higher Education Readiness (HER) program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 25th. Discussion was robust, objective and transparent. Nineteen Ethiopian professionals from secondary schools, universities, NGO's and businesses gathered to discuss the HER applicants and, based on the scholarship criteria (academic performance, demonstrated leadership and future skills and financial need) determined which girls will be awarded the HER scholarship.
In September 2011, I had the good fortune to participate in the first-ever Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women in the Economy Summit. This historic event was driven by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and like so many initiatives launched during her time in office, it was designed not only to inspire, but to spur action for change. As I listened to Secretary Clinton and other dynamic speakers—women who had achieved the highest levels of success and impact in business, government, and civil society—the idea for a book was born.
32.4% of girls in Ethiopia enroll in 9th grade, but only 3.5% continue to 11th grade, which is their path to advance to university. Imagine what the impact would be on the girls, their families and their communities if we could significantly increase that number?