Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, Global US Embassies Speaker, visits Lyra
It was a great honour to host Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever in Iringa March 2019. Dr. Avis is an award-winning author, international speaker, political commentator, and race and gender empowerment expert. Among many other accolades she was the keynote speaker at President Obama's Inaugural Ceremony.
Dr. Avis gives training on women’s empowerment, political representation and power, and entrepreneurial success on behalf of U.S. Embassies around the world. Tanzania's U.S. Embassy selected Lyra to connect Dr. Avis to the many girls and women in rural secondary schools and communities in Iringa.
Zulfa Chang’a, in Form IV at Mazombe Secondary School said, “It is a dream, that I, a girl from a rural setting, getting the opportunity to meet and hear from a world-known successful woman. She has motivated me to believe in myself, step up, and be who I want to be. Instead of focusing on the barriers, I will now focus on the future – and be a trailblazer in our community.
Thank you Lyra in Africa for continuing to be a great part of our lives and our future and making the visit possible. Thank you to the U.S. Embassy and to Dr. Avis, you have left a lasting impression in our lives."
During her two-day visit, Dr. Avis met over 600 secondary school girls, teachers, youth and women from four rural Iringa communities. Girls talked openly about the challenges they face, and their determination to succeed.
“When I completed secondary education and failed, I was totally devastated," said Fauster Chacha, a young entrepreneur at Lundamatwe Village. "My future was bleak, and I knew that my options were few if not nil. I was desperate not to fall into the vicious cycle of poverty, but I had no options.
“When Lyra in Africa started entrepreneurship training, my journey towards transformation began. I’m glad to be an example of an upcoming youth entrepreneur in our community, and it was a great pleasure to meet and speak with Dr. Avis. She has inspired me to go beyond the borders of our community, our region and even Tanzania. I will work hard to be a leading example of change in our society and an inspiration to girls.”