Inspiring Women

Trip Start Jun 30, 2012
Trip End Aug 03, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Piemonte,
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zonta Conference - Wednesday

Today at conference was great . the last bit of procedural debate was out of the way early in the morning. Then we got into the nitty gritty. Guest speaker Dr Shirley Morgan - an Australian - an educator and reformer - what a life. More recent years she has been in Rwanda working with them on Gender equality - what tremendous things are happening there in Rwanda - it was so heartening to hear about it. She finished by reading a poem called "I painted peace" and I just wept - it brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.
Shirley was made an honourary Zontian for all her work for the status of women.

Next speaker was a the winner of the Amelia Earhart award - an amazing young engineer designing microlight plane wings - inspired by the bat wing.

Next was the winner of the young woman in public affairs from 5 years ago. She was from Luxembourg and is now 25 - she has done an enormous amount in her young life - has even formed her own NGO. She spoke of the effect on her life of winning that award 5 years ago and how it helped her confidence and belief in herself - the money she was awarded she used to go and volunteer in Peru with an organisation that rescued children who had been sold into prostitution.

Next was the winner of the JMK women in business award - a young woman from Germany. She has studied Climate change, travelled extensively and is now completing a degree in Law and business, in her spare time she volunteered teaching both gifted and deprived children. Exhausting just to think about these women.

We heard about the projects Zonta has been involved in - in Liberia and El Salvador and other places. They sound to be highly effective well chosen projects with good partners.

Also found we had raised far more money than our target - almost 5 million dollars.

Generally feeling really inspired - we are doing some good stuff and I have met lovely women from all over the world.

After our late night last night Anne and I decided to forgo going into town to have dinner with kiwis in central torino and to just go to one of the little restaurants in our piazza and have an earlier night.

Had a very nice gnocchi and gorgonzole and lots of salad.

Sounds like a couple of Swedish women will share a taxi with me to the airport on Friday which is great.

Tomorrow is last day of conference and finishes with the closing banquet at night. A kiwi is being installed as the new international president of Zonta for the next two years.

We have some free time in the afternoon. The congress where we meet is a converted Fiat factory and apparently there is a racing track on the roof where they used to try out their cars - Anne is keen to see it. There is also an art gallery above the mall somewhere so hope to check that out too.

The photo I've attached with is the harbour master at Kokkola, Finland. We're standing at the entry to the congress.
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