Ambassador Godec’s Remarks for the
Global Give Back Circle Reception
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thank you for joining me and Lori for this special evening to celebrate you–
To celebrate the women and men who have been dedicating your time and energy to help the next generation of young women make a positive start through mentoring them or giving them meaningful and transformational jobs.
To celebrate the young, energetic women who are embracing these opportunities and envisioning your role in the future of Kenya.
To celebrate those of you who are already actively employed and are now reaching out to younger girls to become mentees, and in short, completing the circle.
Welcome to all of you.
Most of the years that I have been in Kenya, I have hosted this reception for two reasons.
One reason is that I had the opportunity to see firsthand the impact of the program. My wife, Lori, is a mentor and I got a chance to see how her steady, kind, nurturing words help to guide two young women from shy secondary school girls into professional powerhouses. Lori will have a chance to tell her story in a few minutes.
The second reason that I enjoy this reception is that this program represents all that the U.S. government aims to achieve in partnership with Kenyans. The U.S. government’s development goals in Kenya are to give a hand to the most vulnerable, to link people to new economic opportunities, and to enjoy a thriving, mutually beneficial partnership.
The Global Give Back Circle integrates mentoring, private sector engagement and local community support in a circle of empowerment that guides vulnerable and marginalized girls to complete their educational journeys, gain employable skills, and become powerful leaders.
There is an additional component this year that I am excited about. There are a growing number of mentors from the U.S. and around the world. Women who might never have met are engaging and learning more about one another.
We are honored to have with us tonight women from Microsoft East Africa, Microsoft USA, and Microsoft Singapore. Over 80% of the mentors are from private sector organizations and many of these private sector organizations now have their own Global Give Back Circle Mentors Chapters. Microsoft has over 150 women mentoring girls in Kenya; KPMG has over 80; and PWC has over 50.
Currently, more than 30 partners from the public and private sectors support this program. I understand that there was even an event a couple weeks ago in Dallas, Texas. Today we honor these many high level professional women who have dedicated their time to mentor the girls in this program.
Through your encouragement, the girls have gained a new found confidence that is enabling them to succeed.
For instance, I just learned that Alice Wanjiru was voted Employee of the Year at Mabati Rolling Mills, and Joyce Wangari received the honor of being among the top 2 percent performers at KPMG East Africa. Congratulations to both of you.
You are definitely raising the bar for girls who see you as role models. You are showing your younger sisters what is possible.
So, thank you to all of you who have been a part of this transformational program. By using a small seed of funding from the U.S. government, Lori and I have watched the program become sustainable in Kenya by harnessing the momentum of those who have benefited. And we have watched the model be replicated across the globe in China, India, South Africa, and Rwanda.
You are making an impact in society and creating a movement of dedicated and effective young women.
Now it is my honor to welcome the Founder and CEO of the Global Give Back Circle. Please join me in welcoming Linda Lockhart.