Through the words of Lilian

Friday night, April 17, 2015 I was honored to be the opening speaker for the World Vision For Every Child conference.  I shared the story of Kenya, how I was called there and all that I’ve been a witness to over the past five years.  But this talk was different from any I have ever done, because World Vision flew two very special people in from Kenya to join me:  Jackie Rioba, World Vision Kenya national office, and Lilian Mnagei.

Morphus Rescue Center Girls

Morphus Rescue Center Girls

Lilian was one of the original girls I met in 2009 and she made a profound impact on me then (and now).  Lilian was the lead singer for the group of rescue girls and you could tell had amazing leadership qualities at such a young age. She was 13 and had been living at the Morphus rescue center since she was 11.

Lilian shares her story

Lilian sharing her story

At the World Vision conference, Lilian shares her story and speaks about being 11 years old, and the decision she made only 3 days before the ritual of Female Genital Mutilation, where she and 6 others were destined to be circumcised in preparation for marriage to much older men in exchange for a dowry.  You’ll see her now, a graduate of St. Elizabeth Girls Secondary School and a college student, studying medical health records and first aid.  You’ll see her as a confident young lady full of promise, wanting to make a difference, and so grateful for the support of so many.

I speak for the first 18 minutes, sharing how I was called, how others in the US became donors as well, and what has been built.  Jackie Rioba joins me on stage in minutes 18-30

Jackie Rioba, World Vision Kenya

Jackie Rioba, World Vision Kenya

and shares how the community has transformed away from these retrogressive practices, how the boys and men are supporting this change and the community has formed active community groups, and the alternative rites of passage that are now practiced. It’s a profound thing to hear from a Kenyan how this change is taking place in her own country and from someone who’s been part of it firsthand.  Then Lilian comes on stage at minute 30 to share her story.

I hope you will take 43 minutes out of your day, and be moved by what is being shared.

Here is a link to photos taken during and after our talk at the conference:

A friend of mine wrote the following to me just after viewing this video:

Although I’ve been following this story since its inception in 2008, nothing can compare to seeing and hearing the passion in your voice as well as the voices of Jackie and Lilian. God is truly working through you. And you know I don’t say that lightly.

I also hope you will go back to the event link and also listen to Rich Stearns, President World Vision US Closing Remarks where, in 6 minutes he does a phenomenal job wrapping up the evening and the principal that actions have consequences, so does inaction.

Let’s be people of action!

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 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.
This entry was posted in Kenya Girls and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Through the words of Lilian

  1. kathig says:

    Dear Margo,
    Ghis is powerful! Very impactful to see the outcome of the efforts so soon. Everything is possible with God. Be encouraged.

  2. kristihofer says:

    Such an amazing and inspiring story – thanks for sharing1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s