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It’s a wrap for day 2 of the VVLEAD Peer to Peer Exchange. Check out some snapshots and snippets below. Today’s insights come to us from Natalie Robi Tingo, Cecille Montenegro, Jessica Soto, and Mehwish Niaz.

Cecille Montenegro, the Philippines



How Rebels Make Social Change

“Being a rebellious young woman for more than a decade, it has always been difficult for me to chalk down the do’s and don’ts of creating a new tradition. But today something brought a thought that it’s important to realize that we as women should be able to make it in the “men’s” world with a voice. It’s important to work with them and keep creating your space.”

Mehwish Niaz, Pakistan

“I’m learning to focus on turning hard situations into a catalyst for making change around us.”

Jessica Soto, Peru


On the Power of Connecting

“The most surprising part of today for me was the power of being with all the VV LEAD fellows. I feel like being connected and part of Vital Voices can make a huge change in my community. I feel more strong and confident being with the VV community and VV LEAD fellows.”

Cecille Montenegro, the Philippines

“Today I talked to Keren who works for young people’s integration and Umba who makes a difference with innovation for women in Africa. Together we can initiate civic innovation in three different continents.”

Mehwish Niaz, Pakistan


New Ideas, New Ambitions

“Today I formed the idea of creating the first women’s leadership school in my country.”

Jessica Soto, Peru

“After Samar shared powerful insights on how she has used film with positive messaging to change norms in Pakistan, we discussed the possibility to create short positive stories of change on FGM to use in my community.”

Natalie Robi Tingo, Kenya

“Today I talked with Natalie about using my art on her platform to raise awareness and help stop FGM in her community and country. It’s my goal to use art as a tool, so this is a big thing for me.”


VV LEAD, a partnership between Vital Voices and POND’S, is a new initiative to inspire and strengthen the women of the world who dare to apply innovative and value-driven approaches to tackle social, human rights and environmental challenges at all levels of society. Learn more about the program and our inspiring Ambassadors and Fellows.