UN Building with flags NYC
On March 14, Elizabeth T who travelled from Kenya & I from Paris gave a speech and shared the fruits of our Rafiki project at the UN-NGO forum in NYC. FAWCO, the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas, invited me as a recipient of their Development grant to participate in a panel discussion. Living in the UN building for 4 days during the Commission on the Status of Women, CSW63, was quite an unforgettable experience!
Think 9000 participants - mostly women from all around the world wearing their national dress - 800 conferences over an 11 day period...Imagine hundreds of voices singing We shall overcome today in one of the big auditoriums... In our 15 min speech, we demonstrated how our small NGO project had convincingly addressed this year’s theme of « Social protection, access to public services and gender equality & women empowerment through infrastructure» in our corner of rural Kenya. Our watchwords Leaving no-one behind allowed us to talk about how Rafiki Ya Maisha was dedicated to building the future of the lost youth of rural Kenya through technical and vocational training. Our co-panelists' speeches, a Town Hall meeting with UN SG Antonio Guterres, morning briefings and other informative panels all contributed to the « magical » feeling in the NY city spring air.
Another event on the ground was the arrival of this year's great volunteer, Nikos T, a biology student from Thessaloniki, Greece. Passionate about the environment and football, Nikos spend 2 months teaching and helping the youth. He had a hard time leaving and is already sorely missed in Chepkanga.
Our new updated website is online, refreshed and looking more stylish and contemporary. Check out https://www.rafikiyamaisha.com/
Thank you all for your continued support and interest in Rafiki. Our little village empowerment movement that has had planetary exposure and global networking opportunities, along with all of you!
Claire & Elizabeth
FAWCO group in Assembly Hall
Nikos in Sergoek automotive workshop
Nikos with host family