This is why we do what we do

October 29, 2009
Kigali, Rwanda

FAWE Uganda is making things happen. In their study of challenges to girl child education, the Forum of African Women Educationalists (FAWE) researchers found that taboos and silence associated with menstruation in many communities mean some girls are in any case unable to ask their parents for money to buy pads, and forced to find ways of getting money on their own, sometimes through sexual relationships with much older men who can provide the cash The response? Time to talk....about health and hygiene, girls' obstacles, and how to overcome them together.

This article started circulating among Rwandan women this week and talk about how the issues some of their own sisters face and how they can help ensued...wait, not just ensued, but rather took off like Usain Bolt at the 2008 Olympics. Here's an example of one person sharing:

Hello sisters,
Thank you for the discussions but for me this is a problem i have been struggling with for quite some time.
first of all i happen to know of a female headed family(widow) who has 5 children we go to the same church.
she is not educated infact i can say she is poor; i met her daughter coming from school abit far from her home and was walking legs apart so i asked what had went wrong, she first hesistated to respond then i inquired whether she was raped? she told me she is in her monthly periods and because she uses old clothes as her pads stuff had socket and burnt her because it was a hot afternoon; then i created an atmosphere for her to talk to me freely en she said even getting soap to wash it is not easy for her mum who doesnt work.

I also happened to mentor the 200 female students at KIST but every time i met them or meet them they are ever lamenting of very little allowances that can not be enough for them to buy enough pads barked by other needs a student requires.
generally this is an issue that can not wait anymore lets give it time.

YES, this is why we at SHE do what we do.

Africa is Rich!

October 10, 2009
New York, NY

The African Social Enterprise Forum sent me an invitation to speak in late September for their inaugural conference in NYC in late September. None of the words from the title "Africa" or "Social Enterprise" or "Forum" popped out to me. But what did, was in the phrase, "Africa is rich. This is not a charity." You said it!

In the past, I'd say it wasn't a far reach to think of Susan Struthers with young skinny children with extended bellies and flies swirling around them when someone mentioned Africa. Hunger, poverty, war, and despair might have even come to mind. Well think again. Africa is rich. Hear a little bit of why I think Africa is rich as well as some of the reasons why I think being an entrepreneur is the least risky thing I could ever do: