FFL Mentors Peace Through Business Women Entrepreneurs
A ten-week basic business training program through classroom education is provided to 30 women from each country in Kabul, Afghanistan and Kigali, Rwanda. The top 15 students from each country are then invited to come to the United States for two weeks of additional training and mentoring. The invitation includes all travel costs and other expenses associated with making the trip, which is paid by the sponsors and mentors. AT&T provides the venue at the AT&T University in Las Colinas, Texas, and after the first week, the students travel to their mentor’s homes and offices for hands-on business experience, training, and a little culture shock.
Both women visited us at the Funds for Learning office in Edmond, Oklahoma, while staying as guests of Cathy Cruzan and her family for several days. Nazila and Rachel were escorted to various Oklahoma businesses in their fields of expertise, giving them new ideas for developing their organizations.
Cathy and Rachel
Nazila visited the Wagon Creek Creamery in Helena, Oklahoma, and chatted with the Crain family, who operate the dairy. They provided a very enlightening tour of their production facility, and Nazila learned several different processing methods for dairy products and canning, all of which provide invaluable insight on how she can improve the production system for her customers.
Cathy and Nazila with the Taza Food
Products logo on the computer screen.
Rachel took a tour of the Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma, escorted by Dennis Hogle, CEO, and Kimberly Holloway, the Laboratory Operations Director. She was impressed at size of the laboratory and how much research is being conducted at the multiple sites.
at DLO offices in Oklahoma City.
the office of Dr. Susan Chambers, located at the Lakeside Doctors Gynecology & Obstetrics office in Oklahoma City.
FFL’s Nick Shipley with Jeannette Gakwandi, from Rwanda and Cathy at the Pop-Up Shops, one of the PTB events in Oklahoma City.
The two weeks of activities culminated in a Graduation Gala in Irving, Texas, on Friday, July 26. Speakers were Nicole Anderson, AT&T AVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and President of the AT&T Foundation, Dr. Terry Neese, CEO of the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW), and Medina Qasimi, Minister Counselor and Charge D’Affaire of the Embassy of Afghanistan to the United States. This was the 13th class to graduate from this empowering program.