Polycom Girl’s Founding Executive Director Jane Anyango Named Face of SDG 11 in Kenya.

17 Women, 17 Countries, 17 SDGs

The Polycom Girl’s team applauds its Founding Executive Director Jane Anyango, who is Kenya’s face of SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities. Through an initiative dubbed “17 Faces of Action,” Jane’s outstanding contributions to promoting sustainable urbanization and community development in the grassroots areas where Polycom operates have been applauded.

“I am empowered to bridge the efforts of local women like me with established frameworks, recognizing that true change originates at the grassroots. When those directly impacted acknowledge the transformation, it signifies lasting and sustainable progress,” Stated Jane.

In a groundbreaking collaboration at the University of Nairobi, between The Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, the United Nations in Geneva, SDG Kenya Forum, and the Association of Swiss Women and Empowerment (ASWE), a global monumental initiative was launched to spotlight women driving change across the globe. “17 Faces of Action,” aims to identify and celebrate 17 women from 17 countries who embody the spirit of each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ASWE’s “17 Faces of Action” main supporter, the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Mrs. Tatiana Valovaya, the first woman to hold this position, stated her desire to have women and men granted equal opportunities. “It is self-evident that we will not achieve any of our goals if half of humanity is left aside,” states Mrs. Tatiana, as she acknowledged the importance of the exhibition in Nairobi.

Jane’s journey towards becoming the Kenyan face of SDG 11 began with her involvement in the New Urban Agenda, a global vision for sustainable urbanization. Through her leadership, Polycom Girls has been instrumental in organizing annual events like the Urban Thinkers Campus, gathering diverse national stakeholders to address the challenges of urban development, especially in the informal settlements where Polycom works.

One of the remarkable urban initiatives spearheaded by Jane’s team at Polycom is the Talking Boxes in more than 50 schools, providing a safe space for girls to share their experiences and aspirations anonymously through scribbled notes. This innovative approach has not only empowered young girls but has also contributed to creating inclusive and supportive spaces within grassroots communities.

Polycom’s pioneering efforts in data collection on sexual harassment in public spaces through the Safe City Platform have set a precedent for other countries. By leveraging data-driven insights, Kenya has been able to identify hotspots of harassment and implement targeted interventions to enhance safety and security.

Jane’s selection as the face of SDG 11 in Kenya is a testament to her unwavering commitment to building sustainable cities and communities from the grassroots level. As a local woman, Jane emphasizes the importance of recognizing and amplifying the efforts of women at the grassroots level, where real change takes root and flourishes.

Through initiatives like “17 Faces of Action,” women like Jane are not only being celebrated for their achievements but are also being empowered to leverage existing frameworks like the SDGs, UN Resolution 1325, and the New Urban Agenda to drive sustainable change at the local level.