Change Agents

Extraordinary people helping women worldwide

They represent every spectrum of society from North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa; a former prostitute, a child sex slave, a Microsoft executive, doctors, wives and mothers. Read the stories of these change agents who are working to improve the lives of women and girls in their own countries and across the world.

Edna Adan

Edna Adan was raised in Somaliland in an educated and wealthy family, and went on to a distinguished international career with the World Health Organization. But after retiring, Adan returned to her roots and opened Somaliland’s first maternal health facility.

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Urmi Basu

Urmi Basu is the founder of New Light, a secular nonprofit charitable trust that has set up a shelter to protect and educate young girls, children and women at high risk of commercial sexual exploitation.

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Amie Kandeh

Amie Kandeh is the Women's Protection and Empowerment Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee in Sierra Leone. After fleeing Sierra Leone with her family during the country’s civil war, Kandeh returned in 2002 to put her skills as an educator and counselor to use in rebuilding the country.

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Rebecca Lolosoli

Rebecca Lolosoli is the matriarch of the Umoja Women's Village and an advocate for women's rights. Growing up as a member of the Samburu tribe, Lolosoli attended primary school and then nursing school but dropped out early on due to lack of money to pay the fees.

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Ingrid Munro

Ingrid Munro is a Swedish national who worked for eight years for the Swedish government in the Bureau of Housing Research. Following this, she began her career as an advocate for the poor in Kenya, pressing for their right to housing as a staff member of Habitat and the head of African Housing Fund, an advocacy group for the homeless.

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Jane Ngoiri

Jane Ngoiri grew up in the slums of Nairobi and dropped out of school after the eighth grade. She married at age 18, but when she was pregnant with her second child, her husband took a second wife and she soon found herself with three younger children, pushed out of her home and with no money.

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John Wood

John Wood is the founder and board chair of Room to Read. He started Room to Read after a career with Microsoft from 1991 to 1999, where he was in charge of marketing and business development teams throughout Asia, including serving as director of business development for the Greater China region and as director of marketing for the Asia-Pacific region.

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Presented by ITVS, funded by Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional program funding provided by the Ikea Foundation, US Agency for International Development (USAID) (in partnership with FHI-360 and C-Change), Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Seedling Foundation, the Nike Foundation, the United Nations Foundation. 

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is not in any way affiliated with or in partnership with the Half the Sky Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in 1998 to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects for orphaned children in China. For more information about the Half the Sky Foundation, visit halfthesky.org.