Embassy of Canada staff in Colombia in pink to celebrate International Day of the Girl Child

Left to right: Alejandro Gamboa Castilla, CEO of Fundación PLAN Colombia; Diana, CEO of Fundación PLAN Colombia for a Day; Marcel Lebleu, Ambassador of Canada; Leonela, Ambassador of Canada for a Day; Yaneth Giha, Minister of Education of Colombia; Yadis, Minister of Education for a Day (photo: Colombia’s Ministry of Education)

Left to right: Alejandro Gamboa Castilla, CEO of Fundación PLAN Colombia; Diana, CEO of Fundación PLAN Colombia for a Day; Marcel Lebleu, Ambassador of Canada; Leonela, Ambassador of Canada for a Day; Yaneth Giha, Minister of Education of Colombia; Yadis, Minister of Education for a Day (photo: Colombia’s Ministry of Education)

To mark International Day of the Girl Child, Ambassador Marcel Lebleu welcomed Leonela, a young Colombian leader from Tumaco, as Canada’s “Ambassador to Colombia for a Day.”

Front row: Leonela, Ambassador for a Day, and Ambassador Lebleu; back row, left to right: Embassy staff members María Paula Calvo, Brenda Wills, Ryan Clark, Candice Dandurand, Marc-André Lorrain, Nick Firlotte (photo: Daniela Papa Quimbayo)

Front row: Leonela, Ambassador for a Day, and Ambassador Lebleu; back row, left to right: Embassy staff members María Paula Calvo, Brenda Wills, Ryan Clark, Candice Dandurand, Marc-André Lorrain, Nick Firlotte (photo: Daniela Papa Quimbayo)

Ambassador Leonela had a busy agenda: she accompanied Ambassador Lebleu as he presented his credentials to President Juan Manuel Santos, and she led a meeting with embassy program managers to learn about the work of the programs, including the projects they are carrying out in Colombia. She also accompanied Ambassador Lebleu to a meeting with Yaneth Giha, Colombia’s Minister of Education.

Leonela is a clear example of how girls can be agents of change. Embassy staff had the privilege of listening to her talk about her dreams and ideas to solve the challenges of her community; as well as hearing about the work she carries out in Tumaco—a region still afflicted with conflict—with other young people to promote gender equality and build a peaceful society.

Canada believes strongly that investment in girls is the ideal way to advance development, peace and prosperity. Canada has reaffirmed its commitment to the rights of girls in Colombia, working to empower and strengthen their leadership, promoting their full autonomy in making decisions that affect their lives and working to reduce gender inequality.