This post is a reflection from VVLead Fellow Mona Tavassoli after the Peer-to-Peer Exchange in Mumbai.
NOVEMBER 2018 – No matter how advanced technology becomes to connect people from far away, there is something magical about meeting in-person. We all felt that magic in the final VVLead Peer-to-Peer Exchange held in Mumbai in October 2018.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this program, since the trainings were to be led by the fellows who all come from different backgrounds with very different projects and initiatives. At the same time, we all have very common goals: making a difference in our own communities and making the world a better place.
Over our five days together, I realized just how much knowledge and expertise is available among the group, and just how much we can all learn from each other. We all felt like a family that needs to support one another and everyone went out of their way to make it possible. Even though we had full days from early morning till evening, I really wanted to capture these women’s beautiful stories by interviewing some fellows for my podcast. They were all so supportive and accepted to give me their time, even if it was 30 minutes before their ride to the airport or as late as 11pm!!
Before I went to India, I had a question in the back of my mind: “How do I make my business reach more women?” I didn’t expect to find the answer during this trip.
My for-profit company has recently gone global and rebranded from “Mompreneurs Middle East” to “Mompreneurs Worldwide.”. After brainstorming sessions with my peers and hearing their stories during the P2P Exchange, I discovered my answer was to add a non-profit division to our company, the Mompreneurs Foundation, to give all women and moms access to our trainings and programs who could otherwise not afford them. I was so inspired to act, I launched the project on our very last day in Mumbai!
We’ve all achieved so much in a short period of one week thanks to Vital Voices and the entire VVLead team. Alyse Nelson, the CEO of Vital Voices, and other key women leaders joined as mentors for our final day, and their participation showed the level of care and passion that Vital Voices offers to their community. Emily and Ellen from VVLead team showed us so much passion and dedication that kept us on track and energized the entire time.
The women of this group are a true example that one person can be a force for good and make positive change happen with their vision and leadership. I left Mumbai with a light in my heart that the future is bright!