Vital Voices Global Partnership is thrilled to have been able to help coordinate the 2009 Global Women’s Mentoring Walk on Saturday, November 21, 2009, where women leaders across the globe walked to support the next generation of aspiring women professionals.
The 2009 walks built upon the success of the 2008 Inaugural Mentoring Walks held in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, and Serbia. This year,åŹmentoring walks were held inåŹ6 different countries across the globe including Argentina, Egypt, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia. Vital Voices had a staff presence at the walks in Argentina, Malawi and Uganda.
At the walk in Kampala, Uganda, Vital Voices Global Programs Manager Alyson Wise was accompanied by Geraldine Laybourne, Founder and former CEO of Oxygen Media. Ms. Laybourne’s yearly discussions with participants of the FORTUNE/US State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership largely focus on her own efforts to empower young women professionals through mentoring walks in New York City and across the United States.
At one of these discussions in 2007, Ms. Laybourne highlighted the value of mentoring relationships within the context of the strides made by women in the Entertainment industry within the US, saying: “Why is it that so many of us those women did well? Because we had a mentoring outlook. We helped each other along….” Ms. Laybourne’s firsthand experiences with the power of mentoring relationships, in turn, inspired a mentoring walk in Nepal in 2006 as well as the Inaugural Global Mentoring Walk in 5 countries in 2008. For more information on this year’s walk in Uganda, be sure to check outåŹGeraldine Laybourne’s blog.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the rain did not prevent Vital Voices President & CEO Alyse Nelson, as well as Senior Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, Eugenia Podesta, and many dedicated Argentines – including politicians, entrepreneurs, corporate and social leaders, among others – from sharing with one another as a large group, and individually, in order to learn from one another’s vast and diverse experiences.
Furthermore, in Cairo, Egypt 120 participants from business, NGO, media, advertising, medicine, and education sectors gathered for the walk at Al Azhar Park, which was held in partnership with the Ministry of Family and Population, and sponsored by Exxon Mobil. Also in attendance were the US Ambassador and several members of the US Embassy in Egypt.
In Lusaka, Zambia, the 2009 Mentoring Walk, Workshop and Braii spearheaded by Sandra Kasonso was officiated by Zambia’s First Lady,åŹThandiwe Banda. Other mentors in attendance included the American Ambassador’s wife and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director.
In sum, the walks in the aforementioned countries, as well as those in Bolivia, El Salvador, Malawi and Nigeria, were a huge success, with women from all walks of life coming together in order to share their valuable experiences and to spread the word about mentoring. In doing so, these established women took significant steps forward in supporting the next generation of aspiring women professionals on a global scale.
Stay tuned: More information on the success of the 2009 Global Women’s Mentoring Walk, and the other walks planned for early 2010 in Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania, will be available on the Vital Voices blog and on theåŹMentoring Walk Website.