Here at J Marshall Events, we often have the privilege of sharing a cup of tea with exceptionally interesting people. We were particularly dazzled by 17 year old Hannah Godefa who has dedicated much of her childhood to raising awareness and funds for several noble causes. We first met Hannah when she delivered a beautifully written speech at the International Day of the Girl Child. Our second encounter was when she moderated a discussion between UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and global pop superstar Katy Perry, at Perry’s induction as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Ethiopian-born Godefa was deeply inspired by a journey to Africa to visit family and soon after founded the Pencil Mountain Project. This organization is a resource mobilization project that delivers supplies to Ethiopian children. The first shipment to Ethiopian students included 25,000 pencils and since then nearly half a million school supplies, including wheelchairs for handicapped children have been distributed. Hannah continues to travel the world speaking out about the need for equal access to education for all children and was appointed UNICEF National Ambassador to Ethiopia in January of 2013.
Recently, Hannah Godefa and Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg co-authored and submitted to CNN World an article titled Teach a girl, enrich the world. These two voices while powerful on their own are quite a force to be reckoned with when combined. One of the most memorable assertions from this article is “…you can teach a man to fish to feed himself for a lifetime. But if you invest in a girl, she feeds herself, educates future children, lifts up her community and propels her nation forward – charting a path that offers dignity for all in the process.” Without a doubt Hannah will continue to be an important voice in the movement to provide equal education to women and young girls worldwide, and we can’t wait to see what she will do next!