Thirty women business owners from Afghanistan and Rwanda
are currently visiting the United States as part of a program called
Peace Through Business sponsored by
the Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women.
The program has three components: leadership development,
an International Women's Economic Summit and
a mentorship program from women business owners
located across the United States.
According to the Institute's founder, Terry Neese,
once the women have completed their time in the U.S.,
they are equipped with the tools and resources
to pay it forward at home.
"They actually prepare and present a document to
their Ambassador when they return to their countries,
" Neese explained.
Watch my complete interview with Terry Neese.
Afghan student, Khalida Dunya, 34, hopes her U.S. Training
will empower her to not only grow her
ball manufacturing business,
but also to have a stronger voice.
I want to provide facilities to the Afghan women,
because they need a lot of encouragement and education,
" Dunya said.
"A lot of women get married away at 10 or 12 years old
due to poverty, even though the legal age of marriage is 16.
I feel that with the help of my business,
I can one day educate these women about their rights
and help fix some problems that have long affected our country."
Rwandan bookstore owner Lydia Hakiziman, 29, says
"There are still may problems in Rwanda, but I now see them
as opportunities where entrepreneurs like me
can thrive and rebuild the country."
The 2nd Annual International Women's Economic Summit
is being held in Dallas, August 16 and 17.
I have the honor of participating as the emcee
for the two-day event, which hosts an impressive line-up
of keynote speakers,
including: Ambassador Karen Hughes;
Ambassador Steve Steiner; Eleanor Clift, Newsweek;
Phyllis Magrab, Vice Chair of
the U.S. Afghan Women's Council, and of course
many of the students and participants in the program.You can learn more or register for the Summit
on the Institute's web site: www.ieew.org.
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