As part of the US Africa Leaders Summit in which President Obama hosted 40 Heads of State from Africa, I had the privilege of joining World Vision’s Strong Women, Strong World Director, Kathryn Comption, in attending the Investing in our Future Summit at the Kennedy Center. Hosted by former First Lady Laura Bush and the Bush Institute with First Lady Michelle Obama, the day-long summit focused on the impact of investments in education, health, and public-private partnerships. The overarching message from all of the U.S. and African leaders focused on the importance of giving girls and women the opportunity to live up to their full potential. Importantly, helping men understand that only until girls and women thrive will their communities and countries thrive. Engaging and persuading men to support and empower their daughters and wives is required to realize a long-lasting change in the traditions that have been passed to them from previous generations.
In addition to the First Ladies, the dignitaries, and all of the pomp and circumstance that goes with being among global leaders, a highlight of the day was a presentation given by two young women who were of the Young African Leaders Initiative Fellowship’s first cohort. As they urged the African First Ladies to focus their influence and convening power on efforts that empower women, they asked the powerful questions: “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” I’m thankful that through Strong Women, Strong World, EVERYDAY the World Vision staff, volunteers, and supporters say YES to the girls and women of Africa.
You can say YES today by donating to Strong Women, Strong World now.