Betty Makoni is a multi-global award winner, renowned poet, speaker, gender activist, and advocate for girls and women worldwide. She is one of the first African women to be honoured by the United Nations, Women World Summit, Ashoka, Afrikan Goddess Award, Amnesty International and many high profile international organisations for Excellency, Innovation and Creativity in girls empowerment. CNN, the Dalai Lama and World’s Children`s Prize singled her out as a hero. Newsweek named Betty Makoni amongst 150 women who shake the world. She is the first woman to serve as Global Ambassador for UN 19 days of Activism for prevention of Child Abuse by Women World Summit an organisation with UN consultative status
Betty Makoni (41) (BA Gen, Hons) is Founding Executive Director of Girl Child Network Zimbabwe (www.gcnzimbabwe.org) and Chief Executive Officer of Girl Child Network World Wide (www.girlchildnetworkworldwide.org), an organisation that champions the rights of the girl child in Zimbabwe, Uganda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, USA, United Kingdom and world over. She is a holder of two Bachelor of Arts Honours Degrees from the University of Zimbabwe. Betty Makoni has inspired millions around the world to replicate the Girl Child Empowerment Model that she developed. Besides her work with Girl Child Network Worldwide and building many Girl Child Networks in Africa and throughout the world, Betty Makoni is a mentor, coach, and trainer for women and girls who want to do similar work through her social enterprise Muzvare Betty Makoni Empowerment Initiative(www.muzvarebettymakoniei.co.uk).
Betty Makoni was recently selected to be on UK tea of experts on Preventing Sexual Violence.
From 1999 to date, Betty Makoni has mobilised financial resources to build four Girls Empowerment Villages, a unique model that provides safe shelter, healing, and a future to sexually abused girls.
She is CNN Hero 2009 for Protecting the Powerless, where she was honoured by Nicole Kidman. She has 32 global awards for innovation, commitment and passion for her work to protect over 300,000 girls in Zimbabwe. United Nations Red Ribbon award honoured Betty Makoni and Girl Child Network as having the most innovative strategy for gender equality. Betty Makoni is an Ashoka Fellow and singled out as one of the investors in poor and marginalised women and girls deserving of this life honour as a fellow. NewsWeek named Betty as one of the 150 women who shake the world, alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. An Honorary Decade Child Rights Hero award (2011) that Betty Makoni received alongside President Nelson Mandela, who won the award, also shows the impact Betty Makoni has made globally. Realising the great contribution Betty Makoni has made in Zimbabwe to the development of future women and girls she received the coveted United Nations Red Ribbon award, Ginetta Sagan –Amnesty International award, Zimbabwe National contribution award and she has been chosen as one of the ten outstanding young people in the world by Junior Chamber International.
Betty has a lifetime of volunteerism and service to many causes and has served on Oxfam Novib and UNAIDS Round Tables. She sits on many boards of high profile organisations like RESTORED UK
, Zimbabwe Women Network UK and serves as Ambassador and Patron of Africa Achievers Award and Zimbabwe Achievers Awards. Betty Makoni is the first woman to serve as Global Ambassador for UN 19 days of Activism for prevention of Child Abuse by Women World Summit an organisation with UN consultative status. The number of women she gives time and mentors is countless.
Betty Makoni is a published author of a poetry book, A woman, Once a Girl: Breaking Silence, which was recently launched in London. Her Autobiography Never Again, not on any woman or girl http://bettymakoni.authorsxpress.com/ is inspiring women round the globe.
Betty Makoni is a hostess of a women and girls empowerment program on ZimPowerFM (www.zimpowerfm.com)every Sunday. She gives two hours per week to raise awareness on women and girls empowerment issues. Many women follow her Sunday program for inspiration.
Betty is featured in best-selling books including Women Who Light the Dark by Paola Gianturco, On The Up by Nikki and Rob Wilson, as well as main subject in the award winning documentary, Tapestries of Hope, by U.S. Independent Presidential Hopeful for 2012, Michealene Risley. The Girl Child Network Empowerment Model which she started in 1998 has been singled out as Best Practice and included in University of Essex Journal for Human Rights 2010.
Betty is a passionate and prolific speaker with worldwide acclaim and she is believed to be one of the few women in the world to present at all levels of society and reaching out to millions in the world. A mentor, coach and trainer on gender, girls rights, girls empowerment and leadership, Betty is a great inspiration to many young women leaders she has churned out from her training. Thousands of empowered girls who are now in different professions and leadership positions all over the world are a direct product of Betty `s inspired leadership, mentoring and coaching.
Betty has been featured in the first chapter of the best selling book, Women Who Light the Dark by Paola Gianturco which was launched in New York in September 2007. Betty Makoni being a former beneficiary of a scholarship for disadvantaged girls, has over 5000 girls benefiting from a girls scholarship program. Daily sexually abused girls are being rescued from abusive environments and reinstated in school and reunified with child friendly family members.
A survivor of rape at age six as well as orphaned at age nine, Betty fought for her education and to date she has fought for girls in similar circumstances all round the world. She has consistently used her voice to remind policy makers and leaders to change policies, attitudes and laws that are detrimental to the growth and development of the girl child. Girls all over the world see Betty Makoni as a role model and hundreds already walk in her footsteps.
Betty is married to Engineer Irvine Nyamapfene and the couple has two biological sons and one adopted son.