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Article: My Transformative Experience with the Global Ambassadors Program

My Transformative Experience with the Global Ambassadors Program

My Transformative Experience with the Global Ambassadors Program

Last week, I had the distinct honor of participating in the Global Ambassadors program, an initiative by Bank of America and Vital Voices. This program has not only empowered me but has also inspired me to become a more effective and compassionate leader. Throughout my career, I have participated in numerous programs, but this one stands out for its profound impact on my personal and professional development.

From the very beginning, I felt seen and understood. There was no need to justify the importance of my work with artisans in Africa. The program provided a safe and nurturing environment where I could openly share my experiences and challenges. This sense of validation was incredibly empowering and reinforced the value of my contributions.

One of the most significant lessons I learned was the importance of advocating for myself. Speaking up and asserting my needs and goals is crucial, not only for my personal growth but also for the success of my work. This newfound confidence has already started to shape the way I approach my leadership roles and interactions.

During the program, a partnership between Vital Voices and Bank of America, I joined 14 other women leaders for a week of mentoring and training to build business acumen, leadership skills, and more. I connected with mentors from across sectors who provided coaching on how to address challenges and build KAHINDO. For the first time, I have mentors who I feel understand me and truly want to support me.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to these extraordinary mentors:
- AJ Barkley, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Bank of America
- Jennifer Silberman, Chief Sustainability and Impact Officer at Dollar Tree
- Karen Walrond, Author, Lawyer, Leadership Coach, and Activist
- Karen Yelick, Emeritus CEO and Indego Africa Board Member
- Kristen Hill, Managing Director at Bank of America
- Roseann Kelly, CEO of the WiB Group

And of course, a huge thank you to the incredible trainers and everyone at Vital Voices and Bank of America. This has been a truly life-changing week, one I will never forget.

The women I met during this program were nothing short of extraordinary. Each of the 14 female leaders brought unique perspectives, stories, and visions that left me in awe. Their dedication to their businesses and communities is a testament to the incredible impact women leaders can have. I am truly honored to be part of this sisterhood and to have formed lasting connections with such inspiring individuals.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank these incredible women:
- Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro, Founder & CEO of MitiMeth
- Bindu Vinodhan, Founder & Executive Director of the Mauna Dhwani Foundation
- Chisom Nwankwo, Founder of The Skilled Women Initiative (TSWINI)
- Hifza Afaq, Co-founder & CTO of Kaarigar Mandi
- Joy Anya Lim, Co-founder & Managing/Creative Director of ANTHILL Fabric Gallery
- Kahindo Mateene, Founder & Creative Director of KAHINDO
- Kanak Hirani, Founder of JULAHAS BV
- Marija Ivanković Jurišić, Owner & Textile Designer of the Artworkshop Marija Handmade
- Mary Onyango, Managing Director of Afrocessories Co, Ltd
- Michelle Yidios, CEO of Yidios Hakim
- Neesha Amrish Mehta, Founder & Creative Director of Aeshaane
- Ola Shami Nasr, Owner of Qasaed Jewelry
- Sindhu Holla, Founder of Fifth Origins
- Uchenna Ibe, CEO of Ivy League Collections
- Zarah Jane Juan, Creative Director & President of Zarah Juan

Their visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to their missions are truly inspiring. Each conversation and interaction deepened my appreciation for the diverse


Kahindo Mateene

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