Last week Lilian, the Pastoral Women’s Council’s Gender Officer, traveled from Tanzania to Singapore to take part in the UN’s Project Inspire Grand Final. Read how Lilian and PWC got on in this week’s guest blog.
“On 25 August I left Loliondo to travel to Arusha and then onto Singapore for the Project Inspire grand finals taking place in Singapore. The Pastoral Women’s Council had been nominated for our ‘Livelihoods through Livestock’ project, empowering Maasai women in Northern Tanzania with goats that they can use to generate an income. You can watch the video about our project below.
I was in Singapore to represent PWC and share our story, plus to meet lots of others organisations from around the world doing inspiring things to improve the situation for women. My journey there took a long time – from Kilimanjaro International Airport it took me 7 hours 50 minutes to fly to Doha, where I waited for 7 hours before my next flight to Singapore which lasted equally as long. By the time I’d arrived in Singapore after my next flight I had been in the air or at airports for nearly 24 hours!
Arriving on Tuesday night, we were greeted by UNWOMEN who welcomed us and hosted a welcoming dinner allowing all the finalists to meet. On Wednesday we had a presentation skills workshop in which we learnt various techniques which really helped me on the day of presentation. The next workshop after lunch was on building an effective and sustainable enterprise, facilitated by Jasjit Singh – Professor at Insead Business School. In his presentation he discussed financial options for microcredit and emphasised that for an enterprise to be sustainable it should focus on its inputs, outputs, outcomes and impact. After the workshop we had a mentor session where I met Ms Sumangali, Director of a business firm in Singapore. We discussed my presentation and she was happy that ‘Livelihoods through Livestock’ focused very much on sustainability.
The third day, on Thursday, was time for finalists to fine-tune their presentations together with rehearsals. In the afternoon I delivered a talk at a local mixed school for 5 -18 year olds. The students were very moved when I explained that in Tanzania girls are typically denied access to education. In the evening I had time to set up a stall on which I had lots of jewellery to sell for PWC women members.
Friday was the grand finals and I was the third to present. We had only five minutes in which to present and show how we would to change the world with a $25,000 grant. The participating countries with different proposals for empowering women came from the Philippines, India, Nepal, the Middle East, Uganda, East Timor and Afghanistan. We presented to a panel of 8 international Judges and an audience of approximately 200.
In the afternoon the winner was announced and awards handed out. Although we were sadly not selected as winners this time, I did receive a certificate of participation for Project Inspire Grand finals and a trophy. The experience was wonderful because I met so many people across the world and networked with them. I was also pleased that so many people commented on my stall and said the jewellery was the best they had ever seen.
Thank you to the UNWOMEN for organising such an excellent event and thank you to all of you who voted for PWC on Facebook.”
You can now catch-up on the highlights from the Final and watch the winning video entry, ‘Creative Street Micro-Entrepreneur’ in Delhi by clicking on the link.
PWC is also in line another award – this time the Guardian’s International Development Achievement Award. Maanda Ngoitiko is also on the longlist but needs your help to win. Please click to vote for Maanda and share this with your friends.
‘Livelihoods through Livestock’ – PWC’s Project Inspire Entry