Happy International Women's Day 2016!

Today is International Women's Day and every year on this day is an opportunity to rally together and invite everyone to celebrate the women in our lives and across the world. On this day, we recognize the passion, intelligence, strength, compassion, resilience and inner beauty that make women a formidable force - one that brings incalculable value, nuance, balance, structure, and cohesion to our companies, organizations, homes, schools and small businesses. 

Taking a day to celebrate and recognize women for their achievements in moving the needle forward economically, culturally and politically is one step in the right direction. Our goal is to bring about a more equitable and bright future where boys and girls & men and women enjoy access to the same positions of education, employment, and roles of decision-making power, and respect. #pledgeforparity

Here at Kicheko, we want to provide hope and a brighter future to both boys and girls. Mango Tree School is our first partner school and an educational institution that educates over 200 students in eastern DR Congo. Through a grant administered and managed by Mango Tree School's leadership, Kicheko supports the costs of tuition and attending primary school to over 71 students in Mango Tree School, who have varying levels of financial and circumstantial need.

While progress is happening, approximately 7 million Congolese children are out of school - with an estimated 53% of this number being girls. The disparity gap in literacy rates remains substantial with approximately 79% of boys ages 15-24 able to read whereas girls in the same age range remain at an estimated 53%. That is why we are privileged to partner with Mango Tree School in their goals of bridging the gaps to provide safe, quality and consistent education to this future generation. Mango Tree School also engages with families in the community and employs both male and female teachers and staff, providing much-needed jobs to a post-conflict area in need of development, governance, and investment.

We can all do something. Start by recognizing and celebrating the women in your life and begin to draw the circle out and around. Who are the women in your workplace and communities that propel all of us forward? Who are the women around the world you admire and inspire? Take moments today offline and online to write encouraging notes, letting them know we're all in this together and that you appreciate them. 

To the women in our lives and around the world, we recognize and celebrate you. #iwd2016