Rehabilitation for victimized girls in Liberia

 
$21,690
$68,310
Raised
Remaining
Apr 25, 2011

Distinguished International Leadership Award

Director of THINK is Keynote Speaker at Humphrey Graduation 2011 - University of Minnesota

Excerpts from speech:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am most honored to have been asked to serve as the Key Note speaker at this most auspicious occasion.

I have a question. Are leaders born or are leaders made? By the end of my address, you can decide what the answer is.

I often wonder what transformed this shy little girl into a proactive voice of change in the Republic of Liberia? Though I am an introvert by nature, I am prompted to speak out when necessary.

Getting involved with the development process in Liberia is an obligation for me. I would say, passion and the need to give back to community has been my driving force.

I have found out that using knowledge and skills you possess helps you to achieve your goal, but developing the knowledge and skills take you to another level in your professional endeavors.

Starting the organization called Touching Humanity In Need of Kindness (THINK) was prompted when I participated in conducting a survey to learn about the war experiences of women and girls in Liberia. Listening to the stories of the women in our team and hearing the stories of many women and girls in the environs of Monrovia and later in the Ivory Coast from Liberian refugee women and girls, I was compelled to do something.

My intentions were good but I lacked skills in being a great leader. Along came the opportunity of being a Humphrey International Fellow.

When I arrived here in Minneapolis, I was the oldest in my group, a grandmother, and I feared that I would be older than my host family.  As it turned out I wasn’t. I have the most wonderful host family! My roommate and I had opposite personalities; she is an extrovert, Muslim, I am introvert, Christian, but we have two things in common. We both came from conflict countries and we both are coffee drinkers. Graduates, I am here to challenge you to take back to your countries what you have acquired this year and make the most of it. Keep in contact and network with those you have had the opportunity to meet and work with. Would you on your own have been able to go inside the State Department or the World Bank, or go to any city of your choice and attend a training seminar from the American Management Association (AMA)? Would you have had the opportunity to meet and mix with so many mid-level professionals from around the world?  Would you have had the opportunity to have a mentor from a sophisticated county government and learn about policy and management in such a setting?...

My country has come out of 14 years of civil war and there is so much to be done to restore normalcy, good governance and infrastructure. My life has not been the same since I returned home. I am sure that you will agree with me that this year has been valuable. Do take these last 6 weeks seriously as you go to your affiliations.  Prepare to shine as true alumni of the HHH International Fellowship Program.  You can make the legacy of the great American from Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey shine in your corner of our global community.  Hubert Humphrey left such a legacy because his focus was directed toward selfless service to citizens of the United States.  We are here because he also had a vision of providing opportunities to develop leaders from other parts of the world.

In conclusion, I want to ask you about the question I pose at the beginning of my speech, what do you think?  Are leaders born or are they made?  How do you answer that question after your year here? The course we took in Leadership for the Common Good is a major building block for the Humphrey International Fellowship Program. My sincere thanks to Professor Garry DeCramer, Ms. Sudha Shetty and their teams for presenting such basic principles of leadership to us that we can use practically in our home countries. Some leaders are born but all true and productive leaders are made.

To view full version of speech... go to link below

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We Are The Leaders of Our World

Ms. Meredith McQuaid, Associate Vice President and Dean, International Programs,

Dean Greg Lindsey, Interim Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs,

Ms. Sudha Shetty, Director Hubert H. Humphrey International Fellowship Program,

Faculty of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs,

Graduates,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am most honored to have been asked to serve as the Key Note speaker at this most auspicious occasion.

 

I have a question. Are leaders born or are leaders made? By the end of my address, you can decide what the answer is.

I often wonder what transformed this shy little girl into a proactive voice of change in the Republic of Liberia? Though I am an introvert by nature, I am prompted to speak out when necessary.

Getting involved with the development process in Liberia is an obligation for me. I would say, passion and the need to give back to community has been my driving force.

I have found out that using knowledge and skills you possess helps you to achieve your goal, but developing the knowledge and skills take you to another level in your professional endeavors.

Starting the organization called Touching Humanity In Need of Kindness (THINK) was prompted when I participated in conducting a survey to learn about the war experiences of women and girls in Liberia. Listening to the stories of the women in our team and hearing the stories of many women and girls in the environs of Monrovia and later in the Ivory Coast from Liberian refugee women and girls, I was compelled to do something.

My intentions were good but I lacked skills in being a great leader. Along came the opportunity of being a Humphrey International Fellow.

When I arrived here in Minneapolis, I was the oldest in my group, a grandmother, and I feared that I would be older than my host family.  As it turned out I wasn’t. I have the most wonderful host family! My roommate and I had opposite personalities; she is an extrovert, Muslim, I am introvert, Christian, but we have two things in common. We both came from conflict countries and we both are coffee drinkers. I did two affiliations that have enhanced my work in Liberia to the highest level. The quiet reserved Rosana is now a proactive Rosana. In child protection, my organization is actively engaging the National Senate to pass the Children’s Act                       along with another local NGO called Helping Our People Excel (HOPE), the Child Protection Network of Liberia, and the Ministry of Gender and Development.  I give thanks to Hennepin County Department of Public Health Human Services, Child Protective Services and my mentor Ms. Deborah Hodgkins and Ms. Lynn Lewis, my Supervisor for helping me develop the skills to do this.

My second affiliation was with “Alternatives to Family Violence” in Denver, Colorado Thanks to the mentoring of my supervisor, Ms. Yolanda Gotier. When I returned to Liberia, rather than being in the back seat, my organization, THINK, became the lead agency in the provision of Clinical Management of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Liberia.  

Graduates, I am here to challenge you to take back to your countries what you have acquired this year and make the most of it. Keep in contact and network with those you have had the opportunity to meet and work with. Would you on your own have been able to go inside the State Department or the World Bank, or go to any city of your choice and attend a training seminar from the American Management Association (AMA)? Would you have had the opportunity to meet and mix with so many mid-level professionals from around the world?  Would you have had the opportunity to have a mentor from a sophisticated county government and learn about policy and management in such a setting?

My country has come out of 14 years of civil war and there is so much to be done to restore normalcy, good governance and infrastructure. My life has not been the same since I returned home. I am sure that you will agree with me that this year has been valuable. Do take these last 6 weeks seriously as you go to your affiliations.  Prepare to shine as true alumni of the HHH International Fellowship Program.  You can make the legacy of the great American from Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey shine in your corner of our global community.  Hubert Humphrey left such a legacy because his focus was directed toward selfless service to citizens of the United States.  We are here because he also had a vision of providing opportunities to develop leaders from other parts of the world.

In conclusion, I want to ask you about the question I pose at the beginning of my speech, what do you think?  Are leaders born or are they made?  How do you answer that question after your year here? The course we took in Leadership for the Common Good is a major building block for the Humphrey International Fellowship Program. My sincere thanks to Professor Garry DeCramer, Ms. Sudha Shetty and their teams for presenting such basic principles of leadership to us that we can use practically in our home countries. Some leaders are born but all true and productive leaders are made.

Thank you to the University of Minnesota and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs for the opportunity to be here, to receive this honorable reward, and speak to you today.

 

 

 


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Project Leader

Rosana Schaack

Monrovia , Liberia

Where is this project located?

Map of Rehabilitation for victimized girls in Liberia