Reach For A Dream is powered by several devoted and inspirational women who strive to make a difference in the lives of children courageously battling life-threatening diseases. To commemorate International Women’s Day, we caught up with Lwanele Mpeta, our East London Branch Manager, to learn about what makes her tick, and to get her views on women in leadership.
What made you decide to join the Foundation?
I lost my sister in 2012 to a very rare brain disease that occurs in 1% of the world’s population. After completing an internship, I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and do something meaningful. When I came across the Foundation’s job ad, it was like an answered prayer! I would make a difference in the lives of sick children and give them hope.
How do you manifest hope in your daily life?
I like to say words of affirmation, and journal. Each week, I choose a word to affirm, then at the end of the week, I reflect on it. Last year in June, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. It changed my whole outlook on life. Every day there is something I am grateful for. Life is short. Make every day
What is your most memorable moment since you’ve joined?
There are far too many. Every day there are special and unforgettable moments – from doing an assessment where the dreamer says something funny or heartwarming to packing their dreams and imagining their reactions when they unwrap them. It’s priceless to see the child receiving their dream! A few years ago, one of our dreamers started dancing as soon as she saw her new laptop. It was unexpected, but it was her way of expressing joy. Joy – that’s what I get to see in the dreams we fulfil, and I get to be a catalyst in making joy happen!
Why do we need more women in leadership positions?
We need more women in leadership positions because diverse perspectives and experiences lead to better decision-making and more effective problem-solving. Women bring unique skills and insights to the table, and it’s important that their voices are heard and valued in all areas of society. Additionally,
promoting gender equality in leadership is not only a matter of fairness, but also has positive impacts on the economy and society.
What advice do you have for women this International Women’s Day?
Firstly, always celebrate your achievements: no matter how small or big your accomplishments may seem, take time to recognise them and be proud of what you have achieved. Secondly, empower other women around you: supporting other women won’t take anything away from you. Lift each other up and create a community of strong, supportive female leaders. Thirdly, redefine leadership: embrace your nurturing qualities and lead in a way that makes people feel valued and included. Lastly, speak up about issues that are important to you, advocate for change, and remember, your voice does matter.