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Trust Women Conference, 2016

In September 2016, I received the exciting news that I was selected and awarded a scholarship to attend the Trust Women Conference 2016 in London, United Kingdom. I was selected by Intel Corporation, in recognition of my support of the Intel She Will Connect Program in Nigeria as a World Pulse Mentor. And my scholarship was a joint funding support by Intel Corporation and The Thomson Reuters Foundation who are organizers of the Trust Women Conference.

The Conference opened up with a YouTube workshop on 29th November, 2016 and the Conference held from 30th November to 1st December, 2016.

Attending the Trust Women Conference, 2016 exposed me to a great wealth of knowledge about the various subjects discussed, including fighting human trafficking & modern day slavery, cleaning the supply chains from forced labour, migrants crisis, women entrepreneurs making it happen and how to make deradicalisation possible.

Some of the strong charges that stood out for me include the following:

'Less than a billion dollars (largely from America) is spent to fight human trafficking around the world. So, there is need for more funding to fight this global menace. Also very limited data is available on human trafficking around the world. So there is also need for more data'.

'We are fighting in a very dis-organized manner, a crime that is ultimately a well-organized crime against humanity'.

'More than 1/4 of the world's slavery victims today are children. And we must take action to change that'.

'We all have the responsibility to use the power of information to drive change'.

At the Conference, I enjoyed the networking experience. I was able to connect with amazing women from around the world. I was inspired by the creative work from so many women I encountered and shared with and I was also excited about the opportunity to share about my work with the women and men that I engaged. The networking experience started from the YouTube Workshop where I started connecting with a number of scholars. And the next 2 days of the Conference had several short break sessions that allowed for great networking. All my networking experiences were interesting and have a great potential to expand in the course of the following months leading to the next Trust Women Forum in the USA in April. And I am excited about the potential from the connections I made. I am committed to follow through each of those connections to exhaustively explore all the potential that exist.

Also important in my experience at the Trust Women Conference, was my opportunity to share a lot more about my work with representatives from my Sponsors, Intel Corporation. They also participated in the Conference and I had a chance to interact with them and better understand Intel's work, around the world. At the end of the Conference, I had a meeting with my sponsors and I shared some of the projects that my organization had done in the course of the year.

The icing on the cake was the opportunity to meet my Intel She Will Connect colleague and fellow scholar from South Africa. Intel connected us in the course of preparations to attend the Trust Women Conference and we immediately clicked. We met each other for the first time when we both arrived in the UK. And we eagerly shared about our work and our personal lives and were excited about the similarities we shared impacting the lives of girls and young women and empowering them with digital literacy education. We had several chances over the few days we spent together and also benefitted from the opportunity to connect with other amazing scholars across Africa and the world. At the end of the Conference, we came up with a small scale exchange project where we plan to conduct Skype Conference calls between the school girls that we both work with, in our individual countries. We plan to facilitate discussions between the girls to network with each other and learn more about the similarities and the differences that lie between the life experiences of girls from both countries. We believe that it would present an opportunity for our girls to inspire one another as they learn from each other; also they will learn to use digital tools to bridge distances between them. We also believe that there is a potential for the connection to expand further to have the girls making local craft items for one another. And our idea was further expanded to include the girls reached by one of our sponsors who is on the board of an amazing school programme that offers scholarship education to the underprivileged in the USA. This is one fun Conference take away that would make great impact in the lives of the girls we work with.

Primary to my work with girls and women is the need to educate and empower them and teach them to use the computer and digital media to amplify their voices. And the YouTube workshop was very enlightening to provide valuable tools to guide me to better achieve this. In addition to collaborations to tell girls' and women's stories of survival from trafficking and slavery, I am looking to empower the girls and women I will connect to the internet to use technology to empower themselves and empower others from trafficking and slavery. My computer trainings (Intel She Will Connect Programme) with girls and women in 2017 will integrate all these learning and opportunities to empower the girls and women that I engage.

I had an amazing learning experience at the Trust Women Conference, 2016 and I enjoyed a rich networking experience that I believe would transform my work remarkably. I already look forward to another amazing experience at the Trust Women Forum USA 2017. And I hope that Intel is able to influence the programming to incorporate the role of digital empowerment to help put the rule of law behind women's rights. And this may expand the platform to enable us share about our work and our experiences in this regard.

Thanks to Intel's fantastic logistics plan, I had an awesome and stress-free trip to and from London. Intel set up amazing tour visits for us; the London Eye tour was definitely an interesting welcome experience for me. Also, the Big Bus tour experience was enlightening and opened me up to some interesting locations in London. And I got to do a little bit of shopping along the way. Truly grateful to Intel for an amazing visit to London.

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