Hi, everyone!

Welcome to my blog page!  Starting tomorrow, I am taking a personal leave from Microsoft for the next year to make a difference in the lives of girls in Kenya and in the lives of vulnerable children in key countries around the world.   How?  In Kenya, by partnering with World Vision to raise the funds necessary to build secondary schools for girls in highly marginalized areas.  These girls in poverty face early marriage (think 10-14 years old) in exchange for a dowry often to men 3-4x their ages.  In many communities, they also face the brutal culture practice of Female Genital Mutilation.  We can make a difference.  By transforming the community through clean water projects combined with providing a secondary school for their girls, we bring hope for a better life to thousands of girls and to the broader community.  I’ve seen this done firsthand in the Pokot District in Kenya – it is truly AMAZING!

What about child protection in ‘key’ countries?  Children in Cambodia, Mozambique and Bangladesh need to be protected from child trafficking, for the sex trade and for child labor.  Street children, who are on the streets not because they want to be but because they have no other alternative, need to have a safe place to learn and grow up.  Partnering once again with World Vision, I am going to spend my time raising funds and advocating for their child protection efforts for these three countries to start.   World Vision’s goal is to sharply reduce the number of children drawn into situations of abuse and exploitation.  We can and will make a difference!

So, buckle your seatbelts and come along with me on this journey – I am so honored to be able to share my experiences with you – thank you for taking your precious time to follow me.   My next trip back to Kenya will be the second week of October where I’ll meet two of the new communities that are prioritized for clean water and a secondary school project.   If you’re more passionate about the broader Child Protection initiative, I will share my experiences I had in Mozambique in June of this year on this blog site, as well as my upcoming trip to Cambodia and Bangladesh in February 2012.

I’m hoping you will be able to, in some small way, live vicariously through my experiences, and experience for yourself the amazing fulfillment and joy when you give to make a difference in someone else’s life.  Giving takes so many forms, all of which are equally necessary and wonderful.  You can give of your time, whether in prayer or encouraging thoughts for this work.  If this is what you would like to do, please post a comment to this or any of the other posts on this blog – I will read them all and share them with those in World Vision and the communities as appropriate.   You can choose to become involved, and raise awareness with others of this work  Perhaps you would like to host a fundraising event (e.g. dinner, auction, athletic event participation, webcast to your friends…).    If that is what you would like to do, please send me a note at margoday1@hotmail.com and I will be more than happy to make myself available to help you anyway I can, as well as share with you and your group live the mission of the work, the outcomes, pictures, videos and stories.   And, if you are moved to give financially, you can do that easily at the following URL:    http://seeyourimpact.org/members/margo/  Please know that 100% of your money will go directly to World Vision (the NGO we’re working with) and specifically to the Kenya girls school project.  If you work at Microsoft, and would like to give via the Giving Campaign in October, or through the year with a matching gift,  I will post instructions on how your funds can be directed directly to this project.

This is the most humbling and honor-filled thing I’ve ever done in my life.  Thank you so much for your interest and desire to partner with us to make a difference in the live of girls in Kenya and in the lives of vulnerable children around the world.

About margoday

Making a difference in people’s lives at home and internationally is central to who I am. I have been deeply involved in funding the building secondary schools for vulnerable girls in Kenya and took a one-year personal leave of absence from Microsoft to focus my energies on raising funds and awareness for the Kenya Child Protection and Education Project, partnering with World Vision. This project is positively affecting 17,000 children in four areas in the North Rift Valley of Kenya by providing access to quality education, building schools, deepening community advocacy for the education of the girl child, and transforming community attitudes toward early marriage and harmful cultural practices. I've held posts as the former national co-chair for the World Vision National Leadership Council for Child Protection, Board of Advisors President for the Renton/Skyway Boys & Girls Club and past founding board member of SeeYourImpact.org. Professionally, I am vice president of U.S. Education for Microsoft Corp. I lead a team responsible for the U.S. Education strategy and sales to K–12 and higher education customers across the U.S. Through partnerships, programs and technology, Microsoft plays a significant role in helping institutions and educators transform learning that makes a real impact on educational outcomes and helps students realize their full potential. I have more than 31 years of experience in high-technology software sales, marketing, business development, and partner and channel management, and at Microsoft for the past 14 years holding previous roles of Vice President, West Region SMS&P and Vice President, US Partners. I was honored with the 2014 Circle of Excellence, Platinum Club Founders award , 2006 Microsoft Most Inspirational Woman award, and in 2012 was nominated for the Anita Borg Women of Vision Social Impact Award. I live in the Seattle area and enjoy backpacking, boating, cycling, scuba diving, skiing, golf, adventure travel and, when it’s rainy outside, attending concerts and theater as well as enjoying a great glass of wine.
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3 Responses to Hi, everyone!

  1. Tauna Carroll says:

    Truly inspiring and humbling…cannot wait to get involved and make whatever contributions I am able to. Look forward to spreading the word. Thank you for what you are doing!

  2. Hello Margo,
    You are an inspiration to the many girls in St. Elizabeth and WVK staff working with you on this project. Nothing is ever easy. It requires determination and you have it. I will support the initiative as much as I can. God bless you abundantly

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