This year's LBW Trust Annual Dinner, held at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 11, was a truly exceptional evening. Unforgettable contributions by renowned Kenyan educator Dr Kakenya Ntaiya and former Pakistan cricket captain and legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram held spellbound the 500 supporters in attendance.
Kakenya's address was so powerful she received a most moving standing ovation. Her passionate belief in the power of education and the role each of us can play to bring about change, aligns perfectly with the mission of the Trust. I’m delighted to report that with the extraordinary support of donors at the dinner the LBW Trust has raised the funds to send 26 of the first graduates from the Kakenya Centre of Excellence to university for three years. This wonderful development will change the lives of the young women, their families, their communities and help prevent female genital mutilation and the oppression of women. Kakenya has lit a fire which will rage across Africa.
Kakenya’s visit was arranged and managed by our “Women for Change” group. A great effort and huge thanks to Liz Courtney, Lisa McIntyre, Virginia Briggs, Eleanor Hall, Kristin Stubbins with wonderful support from Jane Anne Dempsey and Lizzie Garrett.
Consummate emcee Stephanie Brantz then introduced fellow director Mike Coward, who interviewed the charismatic Wasim Akram, who regaled the crowd with stories of his celebrated career and pondered whether his friend Imran Khan could become Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Furthermore, he talked of the work of the Akram Foundation, which is helping impoverished children and destitute elders in Pakistan and ensuring clean drinking water can be provided to country country’s remote villages. Wasim’s warmth, humour and skill as a raconteur rounded off one of our best dinners.
By the end of the evening, the Trust had raised a record amount. A huge thank you to chief organiser, Ron Holmes, and to all the Board for their assistance.