“Change the Impossible to I’m possible!” Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif tells the over hundred young people from 6 schools in Kibera, the largest slum in East Africa.

UN-Habitat welcomed its new Executive Director to the United Nation and Nairobi with a rousing KaribUNi yesterday. The Executive Director dropped by Nairobi Children’s Exchange Programme, an annual event hosted by UN-Habitat to raise awareness about the UN and the opportunities that young people have internationally. She came with a message of hope and inspiration from her life as a young person in Malaysia.

“I came from a village, and at that time when I was your age, there was no electricity, I had to use a kerosene lamp, no water, I took water from the well,” she told the young people, “To me at that time, education was the most important thing. So please whether your are in a slum or a village or in a city, education is very important.”

The young people, aged 10 through to 18, came with their teachers. A strong focus of the schools is the empowerment of girls and young women.

“Executive Director Maimunah we are honored to greet you here at the UN. We are so proud that you have been appointed to this important position; and you being a woman, you have inspired all of us, especially the young women.”  stated Harriet Luvanga, a teacher from Gifted Hands Education centre to cheers from the young people.

The Executive Director ended her talk imploring the young people to think positively and act.

“All of you are young; you are the future leaders. You have to think positive,” stated Executive Director, “If you do this you can change the impossible to I’m possible.”