By: Jennifer Gamboa-Haker
Throughout my career, there have been many women who have encouraged and inspired me to be better. Today, I’m proud to celebrate twenty such women as they graduate from the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program.
PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® – a program within Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) – provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs from Afghanistan and Rwanda to participate in two weeks of mentorship, education, and leadership training in Dallas, TX. Before the women come to the U.S., they spend 10 weeks in their home countries participating in classroom training and business education. AT&T has supported the program since its inception nine years ago because it addresses so many issues we care about, including closing gender gaps and helping people achieve economic stability through education. My colleagues and I, as members of Women of AT&T, have had the privilege of hosting them at our offices and hearing their amazing stories.
The participants have overcome great adversity and political turmoil. They’ve persevered to make their businesses successful and worked to inspire other women in their community. For example, Humira Saqib opened a women’s news agency in Afghanistan and is now working to become a world news leader. And Octa Muhirwa supports her family with a dairy farm in Rwanda that currently employs six other people.
On behalf of my colleagues, and Women of AT&T, I’d personally like to congratulate all of the graduates. I know they will take what they learned over the past two weeks and use it to strengthen both their businesses and their communities. And more personally, I want to thank them for inspiring me to bolster my commitment to helping women achieve their dreams everywhere.
If you’re interested in getting involved you can sign up to become a mentor for future PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® students, or support the program with a personal donation. Find out more by visiting the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, at www.IEEW.org.