Thursday brought glorious sun to Belfast and a chance for Global Ambassadors and mentees to get outside and connect with local women professionals and business owners for a networking walk near the Stormont Parliament Buildings. They met with Eileen Bell CBE, Commander of the Order of the British Empire and former Member of Parliament, before heading back to Culloden for media interviews and group mentoring discussions.
Here are two reflections from the day – with more to come tomorrow.
Major General Sharon Dunbar and Omnia Eteyari
This week in Belfast has been humbling. I have met an incredibly impressive group of eight women business leaders from post-conflict communities, each of whom faces challenges and obstacles on a daily basis (with only steel as their resolve) as they develop successful business ventures and rebuild their communities.
Shrinking violets they are not: these great women are each a force of nature – a constructive force further unleashed through the power of the Global Ambassadors Program.
Beyond the privilege of working with these women leaders who are transforming their communities around the globe, I have had the honor of being paired as a mentor to the youngest of them, Omnia from Libya. Though young in age she is wise in spirit; I confess that I’ve learned more from her this week than she’s learned from me.
She is a vital voice unleashing the power of peace, goodness and shared prosperity within her community. She has certainly steeled my resolve to help her succeed. And the Global Ambassadors Program has certainly steeled my resolve to support the vitally important work that all these women leaders do.
Dr. Deqo Aden Mohamed and Susan Thrasher
Inspired is the best way to describe how I felt following our Global Ambassadors Program today. I am in awe of these incredible business women leaders who are bringing art, education, healthcare, landscaping and tourism expertise to their post conflict countries, despite the daily obstacles and challenges they face.
My mentee Deqo was one of several women who had built a life in another country but chose to return home to Somalia to make a difference so that the children in her country would not lose their childhood as she had.
Personally, the dialogue between mentors and mentees regarding knowing your passion and remembering who you are inside resonated with me; it is an opportunity to remind myself, as I find myself often engrossed in my day to day tasks, to spend more time with the activities that I find most rewarding and the people I most cherish.
Watch the program’s YouTube playlist.
Photography: David Hume Kennerly