EdithFinalist: Edith Parker

Country of Origin: Malawi

Edith Parker is a Strategic Leader, a Teacher, a Listener, a Role Model, a Therapist, a Psychologist, a Counsellor, a Nurse, a Mentor, just to mention many of the hats that the title “mother” fits into. Being a mother has made her successful in her business endeavours; aqualified accountant, entrepreneur, mother, wife and volunteer on UK charity boards. Edith is very passionate about making a difference in the lives of those less privileged than herself. In 2009, she successfully led the negotiations in the establishment of Big Issue Malawi, the 5th Street paper in Africa to empower the homeless and marginalised Malawians.

The birth of her daughter ignited a fire in her to pursue her dreams as an entrepreneur and she quit her job as a Business and Finance Director because of the limitations that her career choice had.  After quitting her job, she set up 3 companies.  Her passion to empower, coach and mould people into becoming the best has led her into launching a Pan-African Business Expo.

The Business Expo will be held on 17th April 2014 at Kings College London. The main objective of the conference is to empower African – Caribbean businesses to engage more effectively in International Trade.

Women4Africa 2014 Finalists_Career Woman of the Year_Fikelephi Jackson.jpgFinalist: Fikelephi Jackson

Country of Origin: South Africa

Fikelephi Jackson is happily married to Colin Jackson and is the mother of seven beautiful children. She is a banker, an author, a mentor and a speaker. ‘Against All Odds I Survived!’ is her groundbreaking book which has touched the lives and hearts of women universally with its message of hope, restoration, and forgiveness.

The book chronicles her personal journey through strife, struggle, suicidal thoughts and survival. From birth, Fikelephi was faced with difficulty and uncertainty. She was born into apartheid South Africa and her father was tortured to death for political reasons before she was born. However at the heart of the book is the domestic abuse she suffered in the hands of her partner. She hopes to raise awareness while empowering other survivors. The book is endorsed by Betty Makoni, a veteran gender activist and gender expert adviser to the U.K. Foreign & First Secretary of State, William Hague MP.

Outside of her role as a Senior Banking Advisor in London, Fikelephi has answered her calling in philanthropy and is the Founder of ‘Against All Odds Still Standing’ (AOS) and the Proprietor of Fikelephi Jackson Ministries (FJM). She recently took her mission to Malawi where she was welcomed by the Hon. President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Banda’s Government. She has worked closely with Domestic Violence organizations in the UK namely, Victim Support UK. She also hopes to go back to Malawi and also take her mission to Sierra Leone this year. On the 26th of April, Against All Odds Still Standing (AOS) will be officially launched. 

Find out more about Fikelephi Jackson HERE.

VictoriaFinalist: Victoria Lawrence

Country of Origin: Nigeria

Victoria Lawrence is the founder and president of Abigail ministry, a ministry dedicated to supporting vulnerable women by lending a hand to bring them out of challenging situations through prayers, counselling and other practical means.

Victoria is an accomplished writer and published author. She is a speaker at international events and has featured in TV and radio programs.

A passionate advocate for children with special needs and their families, Victoria currently provides one-to-one support for the families and siblings. She is also an ambassador for Compassion UK, soliciting for and obtaining financial and pastoral support for needy children worldwide.

A missionary by nature, and a seasoned teacher and pastor at heart, Victoria’s work in the community cuts across race, gender and denomination. She regularly visits prisons to encourage and minister to inmates, whilst also supporting ex-offenders on their release to help ease them back into society as seamlessly as possible.

Victoria has enjoyed successful careers in the fields of computer programming and housing development. She holds a Masters degree in Housing Law and Urban Regeneration, a BSc in Business Information Systems and a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. She is currently studying for a PhD in Divinity/Ministry.

Victoria has over 12 years’ experience of contributing to housing strategies in various Local Authorities and assisting charities and not-for-profit organisations in building their capacity, writing policy and accessing government grants for projects.. Her vast experience in this area helped her to successfully run a drop-in centre for the homeless and drug users.

Victoria is a versatile woman with an unquestionable love for God. She is a mentor to many, a servant leader, a loving mother and devoted wife. She possesses a gift of encouragement that makes a great impact on the people she comes in contact with.

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