On 8 March 2023, International Women’s Day, the Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives of the UK, the US, Costa Rica, Germany, the Netherlands, and UNDP in Kenya launched the ‘Ambassador for a Day’ initiative. Young women from all over Kenya applied to participate in the competition to be selected to shadow an Ambassador for one day. On the 11th of May 2023, Ambassador Maarten Brouwer had the honor of being accompanied by his very own young Ambassador: Hannah Margaret Birenge. Below are Hannah’s reflections on the experience.
“Imagine a day that leaves an indelible mark on your soul, a milestone that sets your heart ablaze with inspiration. 11 May 2023 was such a day for me, as I had the extraordinary privilege of shadowing H.E Mr. Maarten Brouwer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nairobi. Yes, you heard that right! A 20-year-old girl like me rubbing shoulders with an ambassador – a dream turned into reality.
As I stepped into the world of diplomacy, I couldn’t help but marvel at the numerous possibilities that unfolded before my eyes. My horizons broadened, and my attitude towards life’s issues shifted. Ambassador Brouwer’s leadership prowess captivated me. One thing that stood out among the many leadership qualities he exuded was his keen attention to detail, which was a showstopper for me. The best takeaway for me was his profound emphasis on the power of a supportive team… “At the end of the day, it all goes back to the team” he said.
Speaking of strong women in leadership, my day had an extra sprinkle of delight as I had the pleasure of meeting H.E. Deputy Governor Rosemary Kirika of Kiambu County. What humbled me the most was her genuine interest in my thoughts on the importance of education for young girls. The moment was life-changing, showcasing her humility and compassion as a leader.”
The World Waternet’s WaterWorx program, plays an indispensable role in supplying 84% of Nairobi’s water. As I followed the journey of this life-giving elixir, it felt refreshing. The entire process, from the source to our taps, unfolded before my eyes and I couldn’t help but marvel at this kind of genius.
Memories of this day will always bring sparkles to my eyes. This day convinced me that, even though I am still very young, I can hold and accomplish big dreams. It is a day I Iook back to when I feel like my dreams are too big. I am forever grateful for this life changing opportunity.”
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https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/latest-news/news/2023/08/08/ambassador-for-a-day Ambassador for a Day | News item