Thank you for attending the conference hosted by GSIS, and we are grateful for the 500 attendees who came to learn, share, and reflect together as an educational community. Below is the video of the Opening Keynote Speakers, Jackson Kaguri and Lina Khalifeh.
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri was born and raised in Uganda in the small village of Nyakagyezi. At a very young age he demonstrated an unquenchable desire to learn, which led him to study at—and later graduate from—Makerere University in Kampala. During this time he co-founded the human rights organization, Human Rights Concerns, to help victims of human rights violations in Uganda and to educate the public about their rights. In the 90s he became a visiting scholar at Columbia University where he studied Human Rights Advocacy. Over the years he has been involved extensively in international community efforts as a human rights advocate, fundraiser, and inspirational speaker.
In 2001, Kaguri founded The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project in response to the devastating effects of AIDS in his hometown. The organization, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, provides free education to children who have lost one or both parents to HIV-AIDS. In addition to two schools, it operates a library, a community agriculture and nutrition program known as Desire Farm, a medical clinic, and a clean water system. It also offers support services to the grandmothers who care for up to fourteen children at a time. Since founding the project, Kaguri has also become an author. In A School for My Village he shares how he came to build the first school and the struggles he faced during the first few years. In 2010, he resigned as Interim Senior Director of Development in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University to focus full-time on The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project. Kaguri has been named a Heifer International Hero, recognized in Time Magazine’s ‘Power of One’ Series, spoken to the UN about his work, and is a 2012 CNN Hero. When not visiting the schools in Uganda or working at his office in Okemos, Michigan, Kaguri travels the country to speak with students and supporters about the organization.
Lina Khalifeh “I didn’t find one real solution for violence against women,” says Lina. "And so, I created #SheFighter."
SheFighter was borne of Lina's mind in January 2010, and through her tireless efforts, SheFighter became a legitimate and legally registered business in April 2010 in Amman, Jordan. After starting to train women in the basement of her parents' house, Lina managed to start her own and first SheFighter studio in 2012.
SheFighter Studio is the 1st Self-Defense Studio designed to empower women both mentally and physiologically through Self-Defense Techniques. By learning SheFighter’s Techniques women will feel more confident, secure and strong to defend themselves from different violent situations. SheFighter is about empowering women, not only physically but mentally and emotionally to believe that they are valuable and worthy.
Lina has more than 17 years of experience with Martial Arts like Taekwondo, Kick-Boxing, Kung Fu and Boxing. She also holds a black belt in Taekwondo 3DAN and has represented Jordan in many competitions and championships, both national and international. Lina is also certified as a trainer in Canada and North America.
Compliments of TEDxPrague: Lina has created a combination of taekwondo, judo and kung fu and has trained more than 12,000 women. Although Lina is an extremely humble person, she is tenacious when it comes to her goals. She believes that women in the Middle East deserve the same respect as anyone anywhere. In 2014, she won the “Woman in Business Global Award” organised by the UN in Geneva, and even former U.S. president Barack Obama praised her as a role-model in his speech for the “Emerging Global Entrepreneurship” event.
In response to the question why she set out to do what she is doing, she simply responded: “Because I´m a fighter.”
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