Rochester Global Connections visitors

In early October, Harley was proud and honored to host a group of women leaders from African nations and Haiti who were part of the Department of State’s professional exchange program, International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), to learn more about the topic of women political leaders. Rochester Global Connections was the local agency whose task it was to find appropriate organizations and venues for the women to maximize their learning. Originally, they were interested in having the visitors learn about the girl’s STEM Club, but soon decided that the members of the Upper School Feminist Club would also be a good fit. During their morning visit, the guests had the chance to speak with teachers from all divisions about integrated learning, project-based learning, and other programs to support girls. The highlight of the visit was when about a dozen students from the middle and upper school DART and Feminist Club came to speak with the guests. Nearly half of the women spoke French, so they made good use of translators to ask their questions and share their own experiences from their countries. Many of our students were able to converse with the African leaders, much to everyone’s delight and applause.  It was a meaningful time, albeit brief, for everyone to exchange ideas, ask questions, share frustrations and positive energy. Our Harley students were poised and confident as they met with the group of powerful women.

In following up with the visitors after their brief time at Harley, a few shared their thoughts:

“Your email confirms all the good that I think of you and your school. We were very excited to share with our little sisters and I personally the girls inspired me and their teacher. At their age I was not as courageous and persevering and for that I admire them.

You have imputed to them the value of accepting others, of opening up to others what is truly admirable especially in the current context of the world. Congratulations for the formidable work you are doing in making all those children who are eager to discover the world better.”

“Our international visitors truly enjoyed hearing about your many-faceted programs, and the truly holistic way your students learn, and are taught to approach problems. Congratulations on helping form a thoughtful, ethical new generation of questioning young people. There is hope.”

A list of the women who visited and their positions in their countries is below:

African Union                       Ms. Rita BISSOONAUTH

Coordinator, International Center for Girls and Women’s Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA), African Union Commission

Algeria                                    Ms. Massiva MAZARI
Office Manager, SLK Global

Central African Republic     Ms. Gina Michele SANZE
Deputy, Central African Republic National Assembly

Cote d’Ivoire                          Dr. Marie Paule CAPRI EPSE KODJO
President, Coordination of Women of Cote d’Ivoire for Post-Crisis Elections and Reconstruction (COFEMCI‑RPC)

The Gambia                           Ms. Aminata CORREA
Publicity and Information Officer, Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations

Haiti                                        Ms. Natacha DACINE
Communications Adviser, Provisional Electoral Council

Morocco                                 Mrs. Zineb NAIMI
Municipal Councilor, Agadir

Senegal                                   Mrs. Thiamel Dite Diewo NDIADE
Head of Marketing and Communication, VACAP World SA

Swaziland                               Ms. Lungile Nonhlanhla MNISI
Advocacy and Communications Officer, Coordinating Assembly

Zimbabwe      Ms. Tendai Concilia WENYIKA
Policy and Programs Consultant, Zimbabwe Youth Council


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