Lydia Wilbard, CAMFED Tanzania Co-Director Being in Oxford, the Oxford itself, a name, you know, it resonates education, you know, and it’s known, very known even to my community. Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford Press. I think it reminds me of the dreams that I had. It reminds me of what I wish for my kids and other young people.
I’m here to attend and speak in the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. And I am going to share the experiences and the style of a leader.
Speaker Lydia Wilbard from CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education. Vera Cordeiro, founder of Saude Crianca, Brazil Child Health. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former head of the W.H.O., former prime minister of Norway. And Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. What a panel.
Lydia Wilbard, CAMFED Tanzania Co-Director Education means a lot to me. And I would guess it means a lot to everyone. It takes me to the table where decisions are made. Having an opportunity to speak in this big forum and seeing other areas and other people that Skoll Foundation supports. And I think it’s really great.
I wanted to tell a story of a girl who lost her mother when she was ten years old. And because she understood that the father is not going to be able to provide. Because as you grow up, the cost of education becomes higher. So she opted to go to a fishing camp where she is going to work for an auntie who has business of fishing.
After some time helping, working very hard, with a hope that an auntie is going to provide for education by the time she’s going to school. The aunt comes with an excuse accusing that this girl has stolen the money. So the money is missing. So imagine in a moment that with all the hope that she had, it was relying on this auntie. And now it turns out that she’s being accused of the money. What do you think this girl will do? Stop there?
Lydia Wilbard, CAMFED Tanzania Co-Director And that girl is me. As a leader, serving the same girls with the same background that I went through. It is shaping much of my leadership because I understand what these girls are going through. I have been there.
I have this responsibility of making sure that I act as an example, that people that look at me, that I share the stories they are able to acquire what I aspire, the culture of listening, the culture of sharing with the stories, the culture that I also acquire from the people that I see leading.
So as a director of CAMFED Tanzania and as a visionary, that CAMFED International and other African countries have is to be able to go beyond what we see, ask why? And to be accountable. Accountable to the girls.
The vision for CAMFED Tanzania is a vision which is shared across the countries where CAMFED is working and this is where a world where every girl, every child, actually, every child is educated, protected, valued, listened to and grows to turn the tide of poverty. Its economic independence. Because I think you have seen me, right? Will my children need support from CAMFED? No, I can take my child to school, right?
My greatest pleasure is, you know, seeing the smiles of the girls you see, because it tells me that, you know, the despair that this girl had, it’s getting better. There is hope coming in.
Speaker When I go to Tanzania in five years, in ten years, what will I be able to see because more girls go to school?
Lydia Wilbard, CAMFED Tanzania Co-Director In five years to come, in ten years to come, they are going to be able to support their families and contribute to the development of the nation itself. Being associated with an organization which has a reputation around the world because it touches the lives of people directly.
And so being part of that success, that joy and achieving the leadership at a very high level as a director in CAMFED Tanzania. So I think those are part of the success in general for my life.