Newcastle based international children’s charity COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) hosted a special event to mark International Women’s Day, in partnership with Newcastle University Business School.

#EachForEqual took place on Friday 6th March in the Partners Room at Newcastle University Business School and brought together a panel of inspirational women to share their experiences and promote discussion around equality regardless of gender, race, ethnicity and background, both in the North East and across the globe.

Guests heard from Salha Kaitesi, a British-Rwandan gender equality and female empowerment champion and founder of Beauty of Rwanda, a social enterprise set up to economically empower women and girls in Rwanda and Teakisi; Naz Demir, international trade manager for the North East England Chamber of Commerce, a strong advocate for women in business; and menopause educator Sharon MacArthur, who works with  public and private sector companies to encourage men and women to talk about the subject in the workplace.  In addition, 19-year-old Wambui Hardcastle performed a reading of her spoken word poem, Mayonnaise Girl..

COCO’s partnerships and communications manager Jess Whitaker completed the line-up and spoke about some of the strong females that the charity is working with in remote communities in East Africa, and how they are changing perceptions around gender and making a difference in their communities.

During the event COCO, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, launched its new ‘Planting Future’ appeal to fund sustainable agriculture training for women in East Africa.

The campaign aims to raise £5,000 to provide access to training that will use naturally available resources, to improve agricultural efficiency in the community of Bwayi, Western Kenya.  The funds, combined with grant funding of almost £10,000 from the Evan Cornish Foundation, is expected to benefit over 20,000 women in the region.

Lucy Kendall, CEO at COCO, said: “We were thrilled to team up with Newcastle University Business School once again for another special event to mark International Women’s Day.  Each for Equal was a fantastic celebration of women here in the North East and around the globe.”

To make a donation to the Planting Future appeal visit the Virgin Money page: https://bit.ly/39O96bw.

To find out more about the work of COCO visit www.coco.org.uk, find the charity on Facebook or follow @COCO_Charity on Twitter.