Rwanda’s First Lady, Mrs Jeannette Kagame, is in the United States attending and speaking at various events, focusing on the improvement of the lives of women and children, the protection of their rights, and seeking solutions to uplift vulnerable communities out of extreme poverty.
On September 18, she attended Heifer International’s 4th Annual Gala Dinner ‘Beyond Hunger: A Place at the Table’ in Beverly Hills, together with other advocates in the fight against extreme poverty.
She commended Heifer International’s global actions.
“We view the impact of Heifer International as significant because it looks at a model that touches the hearts and minds of the people,” said the First Lady.
Heifer International has been working in Rwanda since 2000, and has helped uplift 45,000 families out of poverty thanks to livestock donations, agricultural inputs and capacity building through its diverse projects.
On 21 and 22 September 2015, Mrs Jeannette Kagame attended the ‘Global Women’s Network’, organized by the Bush Centre, in Dallas (USA). This two-day summit for the ‘investment in women’, brought together First Ladies, private and public sector leaders, and the next generation of innovators to highlight innovations and technology, emphasizing best practice solutions and collaboration in the areas of health, education, and economic opportunity.
The First Lady was among the high-profile guests, known for their dedication to the sustainable empowerment of vulnerable communities. Mrs Jeannette Kagame has been engaging in a variety of projects that support women and girls.
Her organization, Imbuto Foundation has since 2001 supported over 4000 young girls and boys access education. She is the chairperson of ‘New Faces New Voices’ Rwanda chapter- a global women empowerment organisation run by the former first lady of South Africa and Mozambique, Mrs Graca Machel.
While launching Rwanda chapter in June this year, the First Lady set a target to raise $20 million to support women to access finance. This aims at lifting one million women (approximately 300,000 families) out of poverty in the next three years.
On 24 September, Mrs Jeannette Kagame delivered a keynote address at a United Nations High Level Meeting on “Children and Sustainable Development Goals: Giving every child a chance” in New York. This event was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations, the World Childhood Foundation USA, in collaboration with Mentor International.
The aim of this meeting was to mobilize action for children using the SDGs’ framework and make the SDG 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children everybody’s priority.
The High Level Meeting on Children and the Sustainable Development Goals was followed by a Thank You Gala organised by the World Childhood Foundation USA, to award those who contributed to the promotion and protection of children’s rights around the world.