Skype meets “Philanthropist of the Year” Lilian Ajayi-Ore

“I am a Digital Marketing, Web Analytics, Consumer Insights and Search Engine Optimization Executive with over 13 years of relevant industry experience. I am a goal oriented individual with a passion for results.”

Lilian Ajayi’s LinkedIn profile reads impressively enough—an ambitious, go-getting woman with a career-minded mentality. However, what Lilian is keeping quiet, and what you discover when you type her name into a search engine, is that we’re talking about someone who has been awarded the Ambassador of Goodwill of the State of Arkansas, a woman who has been invited to address the United Nations President of the General Assembly and other international delegates at a two-day meeting on Climate Change. And an individual who has worked at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, representing the Mission of Nigeria to the UN. Lilian was also awarded with the Special U.S. Congressional Award for Outstanding Community Service from Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Philanthropist of the Year” Lilian Ajayi-Ore

Lilian Ajayi, photographed by Fola Lawal

The topic of Human Rights Status of Women and Girls in Africa and the Rest of the World is very close to Lilian’s heart and in April 2016, she was a guest speaker at the World Bank and IMF Annual Spring Meetings. Here Lilian was invited to create the panel and present on the subject of human rights and citizenship and the impact it has on women and girls.

And if that wasn’t enough, she is also a recipient of several accolades, including the more recent “Philanthropist of the Year” at the Young, Gifted and Black Entrepreneurial Awards. If Lilian Ajayi sounds like some sort of superwoman, then it’s also understandable that she was recently named “Power Woman of the Diaspora” by Black Enterprise Magazine.

Lilian’s philanthropic contributions to humanity make for an amazing Skype story. She is the founder of The Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W), an award winning non-profit organization that believes in the rights of women and girls to create new opportunities for themselves and their community. GC4W touches the hearts, lifts the spirits and changes the lives of 3.5 million people globally.

A resident of Manhattan New York, with origins in Africa, Lilian is a University Professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies and a Global Contributor for The Huffington Post. Lilian and her team at GC4W use Skype regularly to help achieve their goals:

“Skype has been an exceptional tool in running the Global Connections for Women Foundation. It enabled us to extend our global partnerships beyond domestic territories to a more global scale. GC4W co-sponsored 30 high school girls from rural parts of South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to participate in a one week “STEM-IT-Forward Expo” in Johannesburg, South Africa—a program created by Taungana.”

Philanthropist of the Year” Lilian Ajayi-Ore on Skype

Lilian uses Skype to connect with women all over the world

Taungana’s goal is to provide high school girls from rural and disadvantaged communities with world class access to education and career options, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (hence the name STEM). It’s a cause that realizes the need that Africa, as a developing continent, has a great need for these skills. For example, did you know that in 2014, UNESCO stated that 2.5 million new engineers and technicians were needed in sub-Saharan Africa to provide clean water and sanitation? Lilian continues:

“I still recall working with our partners at Taungana on a STEM for Girls project in South Africa. All of our interactions took place on Skype and it really helped us collaborate more efficiently. The other thing is that the platform allowed us to build a closer friendship with one another. One that extended beyond just working on a program.”

Such is the success of GC4W, that it was presented the 2015 Best of Manhattan Charity Award for outstanding contributions to both local and international communities. Lilian sings Skype’s praises and the contribution that our technology makes to her team’s cause:

“As an organization, we have been successfully able to reach into several global communities including West Africa, South Africa, parts of Europe and Asia and the United States through this platform. ‘Thank God for Skype’ is an expression my team and I frequently use.”

The Global Connections for Women Foundation touches the lives of 3.5 million individuals globally

GC4W helps women and girls strive for a better future

So what we wanted to know was why focus the organizations efforts purely on girls? The answer is matter of fact—because females still remain hugely under-represented in STEM fields in Arica. In the United States women hold only 25% of STEM jobs, while in the UK this number is 16% (excluding medicine).

It’s not often we get to meet someone of Lilian’s stature, and we’re honored to know that someone with such vision and philanthropic goals uses our technology to make such an enormous difference in the world.

If you’d like to learn more about the Global Connections for Women Foundation, please visit their website or follow them on social media via @GC4Women.

We’re always on the lookout for original uses of Skype like Lilian and GC4W’s.  If you’d like to share your story, just tag us #Skype on social media and we might feature you.

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