This story of mentorship began months ago, as Laura Holt, CFP (Dallas, TX) eMentored Nadine Kaligirwa (Kigali, Rwanda) during her 10 weeks of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® in-country training and the creation of her business plan. Laura has been a long-time eMentor, becoming involved with PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® in 2014 after moving to Oklahoma City without knowing anyone. She was introduced to Karel Ford at IEEW and became a part of the global effort to build bridges to peace. Being a part of this changed the way that Laura assimilated into Oklahoma City, giving her something meaningful to do and making her feel at home. And when she eventually moved back to Dallas, Laura was able to continue being involved through eMentorship. This year, Laura’s mentee, Nadine, was selected to come to the USA for Leadership Development, giving Laura the opportunity to mentor Nadine in person for 5 days.
Laura is from a finance background, serving in financial services at LEH Consulting, and Nadine Kaligirwa is in pharmaceutical supply. Her business, Kalisimbi Pharmaceutical and Medical Equipment Depot – (KPMED), is a medical supply company that includes the supply of medical oxygen. Nadine realized there was a need for medical oxygen in Rwanda after her own experience with birth complications. Their differences in fields turned out to be an opportunity in their opinion, as they were both able to receive an outside perspective.
Prior to mentorship week, Laura asked Nadine to share the top five things she wanted to get out of their time together. Nadine asked to learn about public speaking, then she followed a day in the life of a CEO (who happened to be from Zimbabwe), and learned about advance technologies such as video conference calling which will help her to work more efficiently back in busy Kigali. She was introduced to professional public speakers who taught her how to represent her business to suppliers and customers in a professional manner. Nadine also says she learned about attitude: starting from the way that she was greeted to how helpful everyone was to her at all times. Nadine says she will take back all these lessons and apply them to her business in Rwanda. Laura exclaimed that she learned a lot herself, that it was “crazy, awesome!” connecting Nadine to these resources.
These two women quickly discovered the many commonalities they shared. Although they grew up in very different backgrounds, and Nadine had to work so hard to get where she is today, they both noticed their similarities and common likenesses. Nadine says, “One of the things that stood out to me was [Laura’s] personality, she was very organized, responsible, humble, caring, and overall my time with her was amazing.” This sense of unity fuels our efforts for creating peace as we empower women around the world. Learn more about the mentorship experience here.