Update to 9/27 post.Microsoft’s Margo Day selected as Geek Wire’s Geek of the Week
If you could take a year off of work how would you change the world?
Margo Day just spent the last year of her life answering that question. The Microsoft VP used a year-long sabbatical that just ended to empower 17,000 girls in rural Kenya to stay in school and avoid the all-too-common cultural practice of early marriage.
Early and or forced marriage and female genital mutilation are still widely practiced in rural Kenya. However, Day is helping to turn the tide. The World Vision Kenya Child Protection and Education Program is focused on accelerating that change.
Access to education is fundamental.
Day took a whole year off work as a high-powered tech VP in order to slow down and help girls living in extreme poverty in a remote region of rural Kenya. She’s just returned from another trip to Africa, her fourth.
Margo Day’s Tips: How to Make a Difference
1. Work with an experienced organization with sustainability at its core.
2. Concentrate your efforts on just one thing.
3. Show others what you’re doing. They want to have that same kind of impact that you have.
4. Listen to God because he’ll tell you when what you have is enough.
The total project budget for the Kenya Child Protection Program is $4.8 million. To date, Day has contributed $150,000 towards the first project, St. Elizabeth Girls Secondary School, which had a total budget of half a million dollars. In addition, she’s now made a commitment to give another $500,000 over the next 3 years towards the Kenya Child Protection and Education Program, for a total of $650,000.
Margo is partnering with World Vision to address issues related to girls’ education and child protection, recently completing construction of the St. Elizabeth’s Secondary School for Girls in West Pokot, Kenya.
Sook Integrated Program Area: Education improvements from 2009 to today: Margo Day says a lot has been accomplished to form a good foundation for the work now of the Kenya Child Protection and Education Program. Here are some education statistics from 2009 to today:
- 17.6% increase in child enrollment in school.
- Number of Early Childhood Development centers: from 39 to 53
- Number of Primary Schools: from 34 to 49
- Academic performance increase in primary schools: 9% increase
She’s been honored for her work on behalf of women at Microsoft, earning its 2006 Most Inspirational Woman award. She lives in the Seattle, area and loves being outdoors. She enjoys backpacking, boating, cycling, scuba diving, skiing, golf, adventure travel and, when it’s rainy outside, attending concerts and theater in addition to enjoying a great glass of wine.
Important Dates: October 11th – International Day of the Girl