Nelly had a dream to be a champion for women’s empowerment and leadership, to give girls the ability to exercise their full potential in life
A partnership was created with Grammy and Juno Award-winning musician Nelly Furtado in 2011, when, despite all her career successes, she felt something was missing to complete her legacy, not just as a performer, but as a human being.
“I felt like there was something missing from my career in general. I was like, ‘This is all great, but I feel like I haven’t really made a difference."
Her dream was to empower young women and girls to help them reach their full potential in life through education, mentorship and leadership training.
She began realizing that dream when she made the first of five trips to the Kisaruni group of schools in the Maasai Mara region of Kenya. There she met girls who were getting their first-ever chance at an education. Her journey was captured through a documentary, Road to Kisaruni produced by Canada’s leading news channel, CTV.
The initial trip led to a 1 million dollar donation to the organization to implement girls' education and empowerment programs in the Middle East and Africa.
In partnership with local NGOs in Gaza and Tunisia, the program provided young girls between the ages of 15 and 18 with skills in leadership, girls' empowerment, civil society engagement and technological literacy to promote gender equality as a key driver for community development.
Nelly returned to Kenya again in 2015 to attend the graduation ceremony at Kisaruni. She serenaded the new graduates with an acoustic version of her hit song “Powerless” as the girls danced and cheered.