In October, we announced that the Featured Project for January 2022 would be Afghanistan Libre’s work to support the mental health, wellbeing, and safety of survivors of gender-based violence and contemporary forms of slavery. With a heavy heart, Afghanistan Libre has had to cease operations and is withdrawing all of its activities from Afghanistan due to the ongoing security concerns in Afghanistan. We post this recipe in their honor. Details
Addressing the Root Causes of Global Gender Equality
Over the past two years, Together Women Rise has taken steps to put our commitment to global gender equality front and center – in our new mission and vision statements, gender equality beliefs, and our powerful new name and logo. We have always been about empowering women and girls around the world … our new messaging ensures that our purpose and our impact – global gender equality – are clear to everyone! Details
Part 2 in a series of blogs by Scott Osborne, Member of Together Women Rise’s Grant Selection Committee
Last month, we looked at systems change and why that is such a powerful way to achieve our long-term gender equality goals.
A systems change approach says, in effect, let’s devote more time and resources to change the societies, economies, and laws that perpetuate gender inequality, instead of repeatedly helping each new generation of women struggling under these inequities. It says, let’s directly address the lower wages, the gender-based violence, the lack of land ownership, the unequal political representation, all the root cause inequities that women experience around the world. Details
By Dr. Leslye Heilig, Chair of the Together Women Rise Advocacy Group With RESULTS
Last month I spoke about my outrage over our failure to do more in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As some of my colleagues say, this represents over five million policy failures, as we have surpassed this number of reported global deaths, though the true number is likely far greater. Details
Ibihaza is a bean and pumpkin stew common in Rwanda. It was originally made by soaking dried beans overnight and then stewing them with pumpkin. In recent years, cooked bean stores have emerged to fill the need for precooked beans to save time and the fuel needed for cooking them in the home. These beans are sold precooked and unseasoned. Details
By Scott Osborne, Member of Together Women Rise’s Grant Selection Committee
The systems that make up our world were designed by men. From Tokyo to Tijuana, from Delhi to Denver, the workplaces, banks, bus routes, parliaments, voting requirements, and nearly everything else, were created by men, for men. Details
I keep asking myself this question: where is the outrage? How have people become numb to the struggles of those who do not have access to the COVID-19 vaccines? Ten thousand people die globally every single day on top of the millions who have already died. Yet there still is not a plan to ensure vaccine access to everyone. Where is our empathy, our morality, our conscience? Details
Momos are quintessentially Nepalese. These flavor-packed, bite-sized dumplings are so popular that they are sold by street food vendors and also feature prominently on menus of upscale restaurants in Nepal. Eaten as a snack, an appetizer, or made a complete meal of along with soup, momos are versatile. Traditionally, momos, like their cousin the gyoza, are steamed and consist of a flour-based wrapper with a minced meat filling that is spiced with aromatics. Chicken, goat, and buffalo meat are most commonly used fillings, however, modern takes on this traditional favorite also use vegetables, greens, and occasionally cheese. Details
For the past couple of months, our Together Women Rise Advocacy Group with RESULTS has been working on global COVID vaccine access. We see this as an essential action if we wish to foster global gender equality, and it is the only solution to the COVID-19 pandemic available to use right now. During this pandemic, we have lost enormous ground with respect to global development. According to the United States Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and the Global Fund for AIDS, TB, and Malaria: Details
Thank you to all the chapter leaders who participated in our special Together Again Celebration on Sept 13. It was a great opportunity to connect with chapter leaders across the country! Our thanks to Dr. Veena Khandke, our Director of Grants and Partnerships, for a great presentation and “sneak peek” of our new, 2022 grantees. And thank you to the Regional Leaders and Mentors on our Chapter Health & Retention Subcommittee for planning another great chapter leader event. Details
Mandazi is delicious breakfast food of lightly fried sweet dough flavored with coconut and warm African spices. It is crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft inside, making it a perfect complement for coffee or tea. It is a common street food in Kenya. Details
CAPTION FOR ABOVE PHOTO: Over the past 12 years, our CA, San Jose-2 chapter has donated $139,552 to Together Women Rise. In addition to monthly donations, the chapter also sponsors the education of two girls (and sends birthday and Christmas presents), funded a fistula operation, built a fence around a school, purchased playground equipment for a preschool, and more! In June, the chapter celebrated its 12th anniversary with an outdoor meeting in chapter leader Polly Ferguson’s backyard. The chapter has had the same leadership team for the entire 12 years: Polly Ferguson, chapter leader; Mara Zlotoff, treasurer; Libby Rettner, secretary; and Sylvia Hew, invitations. Thank you to all for your hard work, generosity, and dedication! Details
Although we are not accepting any new international chapters at this time, we have a few dedicated international “giving circles” (our international groups are called giving circles vs chapters) that have supported our mission for many years, including one in Brussels, Belgium! Details
Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti following the August 14 earthquake, and to the people of Afghanistan whose country is in crisis. We have reached out to our grantees in both countries to find out how they are being affected and what members can do to help, and we have put together a summary of what we have learned. Pleases follow our social media for regular updates about our grantees and the situations in Haiti and Afghanistan. Details
Being an advocate seems daunting – and all the more so if we’re speaking up for others because there’s the added pressure of making sure we stick to their message.
What many people don’t realize is that we’ve all been lifelong advocates — for ourselves, our families, our schools, communities, and more. A lesson that most of us have learned over that long arc of advocacy experience is that we are most effective when we speak for ourselves and share the unique message that comes from our hearts. Details
Jollof rice is to West African cuisine what barbeque is to the Southern states of the United States of America. Much like the never-ending food wars over Texas barbeque versus Carolina or Kansas barbeque there is much spirited debate and light-hearted cooking wars over Ghanaian Jollof versus Nigerian Jollof versus Sierra Leonean. Jollof is quintessentially West African and a dish that is a great one pot meal of sorts: vegetables, grain, and protein all in one dish (“of sorts” as it definitely takes more than one pot to make but comes together as one dish!). Thus, Jollof seemed like the natural choice to feature for Sierra Leone. Details
By Kay Yoder, Florida Regional Leader and Director of US Operations for Ripple Africa
A country not instantly recognizable by its name or geographical location, Malawi is one of Africa’s best kept secrets and a travel destination not to be missed! It is a beautiful, sub-tropical country with a majestic lake lining much of the country’s eastern border and a diverse terrain of mountains, hills, and plateaus from north to south. In spite of Malawi’s lovely landscape, this tiny sliver of a nation is ranked as one of the most impoverished and least developed countries in the world. Details
June has been an exceptionally busy time for our advocacy group. Many of us attended the RESULTS International Conference held on June 12 and 13, followed by Advocacy Week during which we joined other advocates to meet with congressional offices. You can listen to many of the speakers and workshops from this conference here. In particular, I recommend the session on global education, which included Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father, and Maryjacob Okwuosa, a Youth Leader for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), from Nigeria. One of my other favorite sessions discussed nutrition and global health equity. Feel free to wander through the recordings as there were many excellent speakers. Details
The Dominican chimichurri burger has been called one of the best street foods in the world. The burgers are cooked on a hot griddle or skillet so that a crispy crust forms around the juicy inside. I made one batch with ground beef and one with ground Impossible burger, a vegan option. The spicy sauce, tangy tomato, and cabbage complement the burger resulting in a unique take on an old classic. Details
The cuisine of Cameroon has the distinction of being some of the more diverse of the cuisines in the continent. Partly due to the location, at the junction of Western, Northern and Central Africa, and partly due colonial influences from being a German, French, and British colony. July’s featured grantee, Global Pearls, Inc., created recipes for three dishes that showcase the variety in the cuisine. Though the recipes were created by Global Pearls, these are Cameroonian dishes made with locally available ingredients. Details
The news reports out of India over the past few months have been heart-breaking as the country has experienced a disastrous, second COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in over 400,000 new cases daily at its peak. Now, Nepal is suffering a similar fate with a devastating second wave of COVID-19. Latest reports are that Nepal is considering declaring a health emergency as the virus rampages across its country. BlinkNow Foundation, a Together Women Rise grantee, recently posted on its Facebook page that the number of COVID-19 cases in Nepal has increased over 2000% in the past month. BlinkNow also states that nearly 65 per cent of COVID-19 tests in their region have been positive. Details
This month’s recipe is Pupusa from Guatemala. Pupusas are stuffed tortilla snacks often sold by street vendors. Traditionally, Pupusa are stuffed with beans and cheese but you can find many varieties with various vegetables and pulled meat. Details
In April, the Together Women Rise Advocacy Chapter With RESULTS was busy making time-sensitive appropriations requests for FY22. Now we are asking our members of Congress (MOC’s) to sign on to letters in support of global education and nutrition within the foreign affairs budget. This year we are requesting large increases for global nutrition — $300 million, which is twice what was allocated last year; and $150 million for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which is an increase of $25 million over last year. Details
Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting with three of our incredible Together Women Rise volunteers in Florida, shown in the photo (from left: Beth Palmer, Carol Buzilow, and Kay Yoder). Spending time with these women is pleasure enough, but this was extra special because it was one of my first in-person, member visits since COVID. Visiting chapters and getting to know our members has always been a favorite part of my job, and I have missed it! Details
Pictured above: It was a joyous occasion when the CA, Thousand Oaks-1 chapter – fully vaccinated – met in person again after a long absence.
You had an active and thriving chapter … meeting regularly, fully engaged. And then COVID struck and social distancing began. You put your chapter meetings on hold, fully intending to restart when it was safe to do so again. What you thought would be a brief hiatus turned into months and months, and now here we are one year later. How do you get things going again? Details
The food of Uganda melds the food of its forefathers with the food of its colonizers and immigrants to make for an interesting mash-up. Mandazi, the Ugandan doughnut, is an excellent example of this. A popular snack that sometimes stands in for breakfast, this puffy, soft, pillowy, fried dough is nothing like the doughnuts those in the USA are familiar with. They are mildly sweet and never glazed. The flavors of Mandazi have a whiff of Indian and Arabic influences with the addition of cardamom and coconut. Freshly ground cardamom is the key to get that fragrant taste of the spice, but feel free to use the pre-ground variety if that is what is readily available. Some recipes use coconut milk while others use whole milk while still others use a combination of evaporated milk and oil. I’m using whole milk, but I imagine coconut milk will bring the coconut flavor to the forefront. This recipe makes enough for a crowd (about 20 doughnuts) but you might discover that given how tasty and light they feel, it might just be enough for a “crowd” of two! Details
By Jim Hennigan, member of Together Women Rise National Advocacy Committee and the Advocacy Chapter With RESULTS
If there’s one thought that haunts me, it’s the fact that for all of the greatest women we can name, there are hundreds – probably thousands – more of them of equal talent and courage and character who are unknown to the world because they never had an on-ramp to opportunity. Details
I am very excited to share two announcements in regards to Together Women Rise’s grant making!
When the COVID pandemic negatively affected donations last spring, Together Women Rise took some precautionary measures to address the challenging and uncertain times that all nonprofits were facing. We wanted to ensure that we could continue to support our grantees while also keeping our organization sustainable throughout the crisis. Details
The joke goes that an astronaut getting out of the space shuttle and setting foot on the newly discovered planet gets greeted with chai and samosa by the friendly Indian chaiwallah (tea shopkeeper) who wonders what took the rest of humanity so long to get there. As with most jokes, there’s a kernel of truth there. Setting aside fast-food chains of the kind that offer pizzas or burgers, Indian cuisine is one of the few cuisines that are available no matter which part of the globe you travel to (or universe, apparently). Details
What’s so important about our name? Our name is a snapshot of the heart of our community. Our name has the power to inspire.
Over the last two decades, we’ve worked side by side to open doors of equal opportunities for women and girls to determine their futures. Our global community of women, girls, and allies makes life-changing differences for each other and the world. The magic of our model merges our hearts and minds into compassionate action. It’s time for our name and external messaging to mirror the depth of our work. We have become much more than “dining for women”.Details
This month’s dish is samp and beans, which comes from Zimbabwe, a central African country. Zimbabwe is bordered by two rivers which supply fish to eat and water to grow crops in the summer. Most of the crops and fish are dried to last through the dry winters. Common to every culture is a stew started from dried beans and vegetables – what sets them apart are the spices used to flavor them. This dish uses a unique blend of warm African spices that elevate the dried beans and samp into a hearty stew. Details
Most of us welcomed 2021 with high hopes and an eagerness to leave the uncertainty of last year behind us. COVID-19 has certainly changed the way Dining for Women works, at least for now, and we will continue to assess how the pandemic has changed the world around us. In 2020, we asked our grantees to patiently wait until this year to receive their full grants as we experienced uncertain cash flow; we asked our members to transition to meeting virtually; and we asked our staff to work remotely. Every week seemed to bring a new challenge! We heard the drumbeat that one-third of US nonprofits would close in 2020 and carefully made decisions to ensure DFW would still be standing here now. Details
This month’s recipes are from Bangladesh and were supplied by Sabita Rakshit, a friend of mine who grew up in the southern region close to the coast. With fish being readily available, she said most meals would include a fish and rice dish accompanied by various daals (lentil stew) and vegetables. Breakfast was usually Luchi aloo dum. Luchi is deep fried flat bread and aloo is potato – basically, thick gravy made with potatoes and some green peas added. Details
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