CNN Hero Betty Makoni speaking in four US states – 16 September to 2 October 2011

For immediate Release

CNN Hero Betty Makoni is scheduled to tour the United States in what is expected to be one of the biggest speaking engagements following CNN heroes award in 2009. Following the CNN Heroes award Betty Makoni has been invited to many forums to speak and inspire people who want to support girls whose lives are at risk. Betty Makoni is one of the few African women to speak to millions of people in the world  and share her story of hope, survival, empowerment and what she wants the world to do about the situation of girls.

In Pittsburgh Betty Makoni is one of the key speakers at  international conference on human rights violations at University of Pittsburgh whose theme is  “Silent No More:  Rape as a Weapon of Political Violence.”

Betty Makoni is guest speaker at International Baccalaureate students school as well as at   Ford Institute. A dinner will be hosted at Christ United Methodist Church where Betty will speak at the church to Nyadire Connection group (which runs medical clinic in Zimbabwe)

On Thursday, September 22, Betty Makoni will speak at the the Hollywood Theater in Dormontin  Pittsburgh which is a fundraiser. The community is hosting CNN Hero for Protecting the Powerless ,Betty Makoni in conjunction with a special screening of the documentary, Tapestries of Hope. This film exposes the myth, widely held in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa, that raping a virgin cures a man of HIV.  Betty Makoni, who is featured in this award-winning film, has been recognized by not only CNN but Amnesty International and other human rights organizations for her work to educate and empower girls who are survivors of child rape.  The filmmaker and her assistant were jailed in Zimbabwe, but managed to flee with  their footage.

Before leaving the Island Betty Makoni is expected to meet a Girls Coalition to forge future partnerships.

Betty Makoni is expected to attend a number of events from 24 to 27 September in Seattle. She will be hosted by Founder and Director of Project Empowerment Kathleen Kathleen M Milliken Schmidt. Long time supporter and fundraiser of Girl Child Network Worldwide, Jillian Hopkins  who has played an ambassadorial role for the organisation has organised a Girls Empowerment and Leadership conference on 24 September for girls in San Juan Island. The girls become the first to be trained on the Girl Child Empowerment Model by Betty Makoni and Jillian Hopkins and be certified to do similar work in the US. There will be a dinner to honour the girls. Jillian Hopkins will host Betty Makoni for the duration of her stay in San Juan Island. Another conference is scheduled to take place at Center for Domestic services in Seattle on 25 September where Kathleen and Betty will co facilitate and share the empowerment model.

Betty Makoni`s speech will wind up with speaking at Utah University and an event to build a network of supporters in Southern California organised by Jessica Burnham, an intern who recently worked with Betty Makoni in Essex and inspired so much by her work that she wants to mobilize young women to take up internship with Girl Child Network Worldwide. In a message to Betty Makoni, Jessica announced that,` The Yorba Linda Community Center is venue for our event with you Betty. Thanks so much for coming to speak to us Betty. I really appreciate it and I am excited to get girls from my hometown involved in your organization.`

In an interview with Betty Makoni to find out if this trip will leave her exhausted,her quick response was, `I love speaking and inspiring women and girls. I get very exhausted if I don`t speak. As long as calling is to speak I will stay on the road. The calling comes from those who want to donate to the charity and so I will be there as such women and girls supporting me in this way keep my energy levels very high`.

If you are in Pittsburgh, Seattle, Utah and Southern California make a date with Betty Makoni and the team supporting her. Come meet and be greeted and hugged by CNN hero 2009 for protecting the powerless

Muzvare Betty Makoni Team