Kabi Catherine DeGeer
Public Relations Director
Kabi Catherine DeGeer is the Director of DeGeer & Co . Public Relations, a strategic public relations agency in New York. In this role, she oversees all client servicing and execution of campaigns, reputation management of brands, and integrated digital marketing.
Prior to her current position, DeGeer worked in Communications and Editorial at CBS Corporation
Halima Garrett has a caring heart for children and enjoys watching them thrive. Volunteering with Pastoralist Child Foundation gives her the opportunity to help girls achieve their goals. Halima holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics/Nutrition from the University of Maryland (College Park). She holds a passion for nutrition and health education, resulting in greater awareness of the advantages of healthy eating. She currently works as the Food & Nutrition Specialist at Weight Watchers International in New York City. Halima enjoys listening to music, sewing, thrift shop bargains and creating recipes for healthy, delicious smoothies.
Barbara Clarke-Ruiz is an honors graduate of Pratt Institute where she received a BFA in Fashion Design. She is CEO of BCSWIRL, Inc., an active wear design firm where she has over 20 years of experience in apparel creative direction and design. As a consultant, her creativity and success rate has positioned her as one of the most sought after apparel designers in the activewear industry. Barbara’s unique talents and capabilities have allowed her to work with top industry leaders in the category.
Lisa La Valle-Finan
Lisa La Valle-Finan is a trusted intercultural expert and expat adviser with over 20 years of international work-life experience. She designs curriculum and delivers workshops for Fortune 500 executives, their families in global transition, expatriates stateside and abroad, and global mobility service providers. Lisa nurtures talent to succeed in the global workplace by increasing value proposition, visibility and cultural dexterity. With a sixth sense for cultural insights to make the foreign feel more familiar, she’s studied, lived, and worked in Europe and has a background in cultural anthropology.
Chris Leadismo is originally from Samburu County – Maralal. He’s a pastoralist from the Samburu tribe and his family lives in North Samburu County, and is fluent in English, Swahili, Samburu and Maasai. Chris worked as a field researcher with Manyani, the Kenya Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Academy, and enrolled in the Wildlife Conservation Security course. He also worked in wilderness first aid in remote areas of Samburu County.
Community Mobilizer & FGM Workshop Facilitator
Elizabeth Lemoyog is a pastoralist, originally from the Samburu tribe and lives in the city of Archers Post in Samburu County.
Elizabeth graduated from high school and is married. She has a passion for helping the pastoralist community.
Elizabeth teaches about harmful cultural practices. While loving and respecting the culture, everyone at Pastoralist Child Foundation is keen to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage.
Elizabeth teaches that FGM is actually not inherently part of the local culture. It is believed to have originated in Egypt, dating back to the time of the Pharoahs and their women slaves.
The Samburu community adopted FGM and the belief that FGM is honourable, cleansing, and forms part of the graduation from childhood to adulthood and is needed in order to be eligible for marriage.
Elizabeth teaches about the different types of FGM: clitoridectomy, excision, infubulation and others. The local community practices excision which is the total removal of the clitoris with the labia majora.
The short-term effects are that the girl will feel a lot of pain when cut, with loss of blood, fainting, and shock. The long-term effect can be fatal, but includes the formation of keloids and cysts from the use of an unsterilized blade, and even HIV/AIDS. There is often difficulty giving birth with prolonged labour – which can lead to the child having cerebral palsy. Fistula is also a common long-term effect of FGM.
Elizabeth emphasises that the girl-child is valued by the community and so FGM is largely performed through ignorance.