2016 Positive Role Model Award for Gender
Dr Sylvia Forchap-Likambi is the visionary founder and CEO of Award-Winning nonproﬁt CIC Voice of Nations (VON), with a vision to transform the lives and status of less privileged and disadvantaged girls and women. She is also the founder and Global Chair of Global Visionary Women Network, and the Little Angels Foundation charity to support disadvantaged children and families in Cameroon and abroad. Over the years, Dr Sylvia has coached, supported and inspired over 500 entrepreneurs, thousands of women, and relentlessly empowered many to come out of addiction and depression to get into training, employment and leadership roles. This selﬂess individual is a leading transformation expert, motivational thinker, speaker, author and mentor, with a compelling passion to impact and positively transform lives and communities through communication, education, mentoring and enterprising.
We caught up with Sylvia after she won the Positive Role Model Award for Gender at The National Diversity Awards 2016. Here is what she said…
How did you feel about the other shortlisted nominees within your category?
They are such incredible women doing remarkable work to make a difference in our nation/ society. I was honoured to be shortlisted amongst such amazing people! It was very humbling to be in their presence.
After winning the award, what is your next step?
For me it’s a great achievement, yet a huge responsibly to win such an award category! My next steps are to keep doing what I’m doing, it’s what I love, it’s my passion, and I believe my purpose; impacting and transporting lives. However, I will like to do more. I’ve just decided that once a week I want to do something with youth groups, because I want to encourage them and be that role model by giving them messages and words of encouragement.
How is the work you are doing within the strand of Gender, making a difference?
I’m a very humble person, but honestly I feel and know many lives have been transformed! I’ve seen women’s lives completely transformed, even with their mind set and everything about them, and it’s a great satisfaction! I always say I’m not really the one making the change; I am just a channel to bring forth this change. One thing I’m really good at is seeing the best in everyone and being very optimistic, and it feels like its contagious when I work with these women, because I’ve been able to change their way of thinking/lives and make them believe they are worth more, and can achieve any goal they desire. We focus on the strengths and uniqueness of everyone and that is what diversity is about, focusing on our greatest strengths/differences that set us apart from others and uniting to complement one another and make a significant impact and difference in our world.
Why do you think it is important to highlight Diversity, Equality and Inclusion?
It’s not just important, it’s absolutely fundamental! I strongly believe that all humans are equal; no one is inferior or superior when they are born. Every individual is unique, we are all different from each other and that is where our greatest strength lies! Diversity is what is required for people to stand out and unite together. If this is not done, then we will be losing those enormous potentials and gifts they have got to offer and add value to our world.
What has the reaction been from your colleagues and supporters?
Nobody was surprised except myself! It took me some time to actually realise it was my name that was called! Colleagues, friends and supporters have been sending constant messages of congratulations, sharing the news, and celebrating with me. They are all using this as a great platform to share about the work I do and inspire others.
Who or what is your inspiration?
One of the first would be my dad. I’m really privileged and I was very close to my dad. He was so ambitious and he saw so much potential in me, and always encouraged me to thrive beyond excellence! He believed in me and always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. He was such a kind and humble gentleman. He really kept me thriving to do more and become more, yet with humility.
Then, the pursuit of a purposeful life and the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others— in this, Dr Myles Munroe was also a great role model! He really inspired me to continue working with my community! I always want to do more and be better.
What were your thoughts on the awards? Did you enjoy the night?
It was wonderful! I must say huge congratulations to the entire team, you are all inspiring! Just looking at the beauty of the cathedral, the amazing individuals, and highly inspiring speeches, it was indeed a memorable day and experience! Thank you!