Charity Director Inspires Girls on International Women's Day
This International Women’s Day, Penny Appeal’s Senior Director of Growth, Ridwana Wallace-Laher, spent the morning addressing a group of Year Seven girls from Carlton Bolling College about her path to success.
During the speech, the teacher-turned-charity director guided the girls through her own journey, the steps she has taken to reach where she is today, and the important lessons she learned along the way.
Ridwana, who was recently highlighted in the media as someone “breaking down barriers in the Islamic charity sector,” oversees several of Penny Appeal’s key departments, including marketing, communications, fundraising and donor care. As one of the most hardworking and visible veterans of our events and fundraising work, she has become a recognisable face who is well known and liked by many of our donors.
Being a Muslim woman who works at a senior level within the sector, Ridwana was perfectly equipped to motivate and inspire the girls to incorporate the values of resilience and respect into their lives.
“I worked very hard – it was difficult, sometimes you are faced with difficulties – but you just have to push yourself, keep going, and surround yourself with positive people,” Ridwana told the students. “Always surround yourself with positive people.”
And what advice would she give to the girls as Year Seven pupils?
“Enjoy your school life. Soak it all up. You are surrounded by phenomenal people – your teachers, your family, your friends – from who you will learn a lot from throughout life. So, I would say to you, try your very best, because sometimes these opportunities don’t come again. Take advantage of these opportunities, so one day you can look back and think, ‘I gave it my all’ – that’s a wonderful feeling to have.”
As a mother of two daughters, Ridwana is dedicated to being the best role model she can be, so that her girls are open to all the opportunities and chances that life can offer them.
This International Women’s Day, she wishes the same for all the girls in the audience – that each of them will go away inspired to be the best person they can be, to follow their dreams, and to do the things that really matter in life.
This International Women’s Day, we’re thankful to the incredible donors who have helped us to empower thousands of women around the globe to start their own businesses, learn new skills, and take control of their own destiny.
Thanks to you, we have provided thousands of women and girls in disaster zones with safe spaces and protection services, and the chance to rebuild their lives.
With your help, we can build a more gender-equal world, free of violence and discrimination, where our diversity and uniqueness are cherished and celebrated.
Visit our Women’s Welfare page to find out more, and to build a better world for women and girls around the world.
WEDNESDAY 9 MAR 2022