Friday, April 27, 2012

Global Give Back Circle: Part 2

Read Irene Odiero's story in her own words:

My name is Irene Odiero. I am a first-year student at Egerton University in Nakuru, Kenya and an intern at Standard Chartered, Kenya. I am from the Manyatta slum in Kisumu, the second largest city in Kenya. I grew up in a house without electricity or running water. Manyatta is my home and I am most happy when I return to visit my family.

I am the first born of four. While still in primary school I became responsible for my three siblings. My parents died when I was 12. Anne, the youngest was four. We have since been in the custody of my paternal uncle. When my uncle was away working, I missed school to do house chores, cook and look after the little kids. It is my little siblings, George and Ann, who inspire me to succeed. Being their role model, guiding them through primary school and teaching them to believe in their abilities are the achievements which I am most proud.

I wanted to make a difference in my village and worked extremely hard to pass my exams and uplift my community. Starehe Girls’ Centre had been my dream school because of the academic excellence it offers disadvantaged adolescent girls. It was my only chance of getting a secondary education and I guarded the dream like a treasure. Starehe is very competitive. Having very little time for my academics while at home, I had to study till very late in the nights. I applied, scored high on the national exams and was selected to join girls from all over the country.

While in Form 4 I was selected to join the Global Give Back Circle. The Global Give Back Circle was founded in 2006 by Linda Lockhart to transition disadvantaged girls into empowered women. All girls in the program have mentors. Margie French is my mentor. She is from the USA. She has helped make me a more confident and informed young woman reinforcing what not to give up on and what is really important. She represents a ‘mother figure ‘in my life for which I’ll forever be grateful.

To utilise the long 20-month gap period between secondary and tertiary schools in Kenya, girls in the Global Give Back Circle attend a 9-month ICT workshop in Microsoft and Cisco Networking solutions. It was at this time that the Global Give Back Circle asked Standard Chartered to invest in girls. In line with private sector value of human capital as ‘good investment’, Standard Chartered decided to sponsor five girls in the Global Give Back Circle through a unique work/study programme. They interviewed 17 girls in the ICT class. I was selected! I interned at the Bank for 16 months before university and return during breaks rotating to new departments.

The Bank is a great place to work with a remarkable brand belief: “To be here for People, for Progress, Here for the long run and Here for Good”. The staff works to high standards and shares best practises. I feel I am a part of a successful team. I have met inspiring individuals and learnt to be creative and assertive. I have been trained to work quickly, thoughtfully and effectively to deliver the best solutions for our customers. I’m privileged to have worked in six departments and have gained valuable experience. I now make informed and effective financial decisions in a bid to respond competently to life events. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of dreams.

While first interning, I lived with an aunt in Kibera. I personally took this as a challenge and strived to liberate myself. I am delighted that I have managed to move a step towards success. Today I am living in a more secure and comfortable environ.

Through the sponsorship of Standard Chartered Kenya, I have been enabled to complete my tertiary education. I am on an empowerment journey to fully realise my political, economic and social strengths. I look forward to pursuing a career in Corporate and Investment Banking.

The Global Give Back Circle drives long term sustainability by embedding a give- back ethos among the beneficiaries. I have a give-back commitment at St. Martins High in the Kigbare slum where I mentor and tutor Forms 1 and 2 girls. This is aimed at improving their academic performances and creating social awareness of hygiene and diseases.

The Global Give Back Circle has grown to 535 girls. Linda envisions that the girls in the program will complete the circle and run the programme. In February 2012, the first election was held to select a Scholars Governing Council. It was a competitive contest and required a smart campaign strategy. I am delighted to have been elected by the other beneficiaries to serve on the council. It is a blessing and I am humbled to be a member of the Global Give Back Circle. It has been a life-transforming experience.

My siblings continue to inspire me. Evelyne, my immediate junior, also attended Starehe and studies at Kenyatta University. Anne and George are still in primary school with brilliant academic performances. I feel delighted to be an agent of transformation in their lives. God bless!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Global Give Back Circle: Part 1

Inspired by the Global Give Back Circle, a network of successful women working to transition disadvantaged girls out of poverty – Standard Chartered sponsored 10 girls to attend the Starehe Girls’ Centre in Nairobi. Five of these girls were offered internships at the Bank- one being Irene Odiero.

Stay tuned to read her story in her own words...

Thursday, April 19, 2012 available now!

Our Goal curriculum is now available to you through

Launched today by our partners, Women Win, this interactive web platform will allow organisations globally to use the Goal curriculum, empowering more girls through sport and life skills education.   gives organisations the opportunity to adapt the curriculum activities to their local community needs and share these changes. There's also a strong monitoring and evaluation so we can see the impact we're creating together.

Have a look at the site and let us know what you think by commenting below this post. We want our curriculum to try and reach as many girls as possible.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Netball News

We are very proud to announce that our very own Goal Delhi participant, Savita, from the Aali Gaon site, was selected to represent the Delhi team in the Netball Senior National tournament!

Savita took part in the week long selection camp which was held in Haridwar (Uttarakhand) in March. Her team did fantastically well and came second out of 32 teams!

After the match Savita said; “I have fulfilled a dream by playing at the National Games.”

Savita graduated from the Goal programme in January 2012 and is currently pursuing a Post graduate degree through correspondence in Arts. She said her goal for the future is "to play on the National Team at the International Level. It's competitive, but I will work hard. I will go!”

Congratulations Savita, we wish you all the best!