The Proven Platter—Afghanistan, March 2024
16
Feb, 2024

The Proven Platter—Afghanistan, March 2024

Afghan cuisine is as rich and varied as the history of Afghanistan. Its place as the “heart of Asia” has meant that many Asian culinary traditions are found enmeshed in Afghan culinary traditions. Some of these traditions were born in the Afghan soil and spread through the region, others assimilated from elsewhere. Imagine my surprise at finding “Sooji Halwa” featured as a popular Afghan dessert. After all, I had grown up eating this dessert, by that very same name, in South India. It was ubiquitous in India, made at every special occasion and an absolute must at every wedding feast. Halwa (or halva), I soon learned, is derived from the Arabic word “Hulw” meaning “sweet” and that the the first codified recipe for Halwa appeared in an Arabic book “Kitab al-Tabikh” (The Book of Dishes) authored by Muhammad bin Hasan al-Baghdadi in 1226. Colleen Taylor Sen, a food historian writes in her book “Feasts and Fasts” that the Halwa made its way to India through Persia between the 13th – 16th century. So there it was, the Halwa, the very many manifestations of it, beloved in India was a contribution of Afghan cuisine. Details

17
Jan, 2024

The Proven Platter – February 2024 Lebanon

This month, Together Women Rise features a Transformation Partnership Grant to support Equality Now’s work to achieve legal gender equality, end harmful practices, end sexual violence, and end sexual exploitation. This work is global, so while we don’t feature a specific country, we invite you to peruse our full recipe archive with recipes from all over the world, and try these light and delicious new recipes from co-curator Vinola Munyon, which are inspired by the cuisine of Lebanon. Details


Meeting the Moment While Holding Space for Peace: An Update on Tomorrow’s Women

In July 2023, Together Women Rise awarded a Featured Grant to Tomorrow’s Women, an organization that trains young Palestinian and Israeli women to partner as leaders to promote equality, peace, and justice for all. Since the Israel/Gaza conflict began in October, we have all been concerned and anxious for an update on our partner, Tomorrow’s Women. In late December, we were able to connect with Tomorrow’s Women staff, and here is what they would like to share with the Rise community.

On behalf of Tomorrow’s Women, they would first like to sincerely thank the entire Rise community for your outpouring of support and concern during these beyond trying and horrific times in Israel and Palestine. They would also like to thank members who have made additional donations to them and to the chapters that have invited them to their chapter meetings. The overwhelming thoughts and support have truly touched their hearts, especially after learning that one their 2023 Gaza Girls, named Asmaa, and her mother were killed on November 18 during an Israeli airstrike while going to check on their family home.

Their hearts are heavy and even in the face of unsurmountable odds, Tomorrow’s Women remains steadfast and unmoved in their continued commitment towards social justice and peace making. Their focus is on restoring resilience by offering trauma-informed healing and preparing for their upcoming Speaking Tour in March of 2024.

Though their programs in the region are on hold, and they had to pivot many aspects of their offerings and programs, the funding provided by Together Women Rise for Gaza Girls was near completion when the conflict began. We invite you to hear Gaza Girls stories at Where I Live – Medium, but please keep in mind that the Gaza they describe no longer exists.

Here are some other highlights that Tomorrow’s Women would like to share:

  • They launched a groundbreaking Community of Practice for Young Palestinian women peacemakers in the form of two weekend retreats in the West Bank. These retreats were successful and groundbreaking as they included trauma healing and emotional resilience training, workshops, listening circles, and bonding time. Their final retreat was scheduled for October 12, which has been put on hold given the circumstances. Their plan is to pivot to a trauma healing weekend instead at some point in the new year when it is safe to do so, working within their “do no harm” policy.
  • They are holding uni-national meetings with trained dialogue facilitators for 2023 campers, creating safe spaces to talk and grieve, with the goal of soon coming together as a bi-national group.
  • Emotional support sessions, with trained trauma therapists, are being offered free-of-charge for all alumnae and staff.
  • Gaza Girls Humanitarian Aid Fund is providing alumnae and their families with basic needs such as food, clean water, housing, feminine and baby products.

We thank Tarrie Burnett and Ghida Sinno from Tomorrow’s Women for sharing these remarkable accomplishments and for sharing their strength with us. Please know that our Rise community stands with you. Amal, a Gaza Girl said it best, “It’s my responsibility and my privilege to do what I can to brighten this dark world…” She closed by saying, “Will you join me?”

13
Dec, 2023

THE PROVEN PLATTER – MALAWI, JANUARY 2024

Ease and flexibility are the hallmarks of this simple recipe that packs a ton of flavor. Akin to a salsa, try this chopped salad with flatbread, chips, or tortillas, or add it to almost any bowl or “make your own” night – perfect for baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, burrito bowls, rice and beans, or just topping a green salad. Recipe co-curator Georgia Reader says it comes together quickly and tastes delicious. “Soaking the raw onions mellows the flavor so they blend better with the other vegetables.” Try some of her suggested variations to make this work any time of year. Details


Profile on Our Transformation Partner: Equality Now

By Ellen Weiss, Transformation Partnership Writer

 

Together Women Rise recognizes that in order to truly achieve global gender equality, we must address the social and cultural norms, beliefs, practices, and laws that prevent women from having equal access to resources, decision-making power, and opportunity. Rise’s Transformation Partnerships are specifically designed to address the root causes of global gender inequality.

Together Women Rise has awarded a Transformation Partnership Grant in the amount of $100,000 per year for two years (2023 and 2024) to support the work of Equality Now.

Equality Now campaigns for legal and systemic change to address violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world. Since its founding in 1992, Equality Now has been a global leader in using a unique combination of legal advocacy, regional partnership-building, and community mobilization to create campaigns focused on realizing a more just and equal world for women and girls.

 

Click HERE to watch a short video about

Equality Now’s Theory of Change.

 

Details

30
Nov, 2023

It Takes a Pioneer

By Ken Patterson, Co-Chair of the Together Women Rise Advocacy Group with RESULTS and Director, Grassroots Impact with RESULTS

Five years ago, Together Women Rise started exploring a partnership with RESULTS, a constituent advocacy organization working on US federal policy affecting women and girls around the world. The idea was to complement the great work Together Women Rise is doing supporting women’s organizations on the ground with systemic policy change that would create change at scale.  

Dr. Leslye Heilig (MA, Great Barrington-3 chapter) took part in the original exploration of the Together Women Rise and RESULTS partnership and has been leading the Together Women Rise Advocacy Group since the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding four years ago. Leslye was somewhat new to advocacy as the partnership was getting started, but she saw the potential. She decided to be a role model of the power of change through advocacy and learned how to build a relationship with her members of Congress, use her voice in the media, and inspire skeptics who may have lost faith in our government.  

According to Rise CEO Beverley Francis-Gibson, “Leslye has been a committed volunteer leader and ambassador for the impact that advocacy can have when members are given the tools. We are so grateful for her many years of dedicated service to ensuring that Together Women Rise and RESULTS work together to champion many causes.”

Details

16
Nov, 2023

A Rising Tide: Susan Wright

A Rising Tide: Susan Wright

This month, we’re featuring Susan Wright from our CA, Berkeley-2 chapter.  Susan has spent 30 years overseas. It’s where she served in the Peace Corps, it’s where she met her husband, and it’s where she discovered her deep interest in low-income countries.  Now back in the United States, Susan has found a good match for her interests and expertise with Together Women Rise, and is happy to be reconnecting with friends and family. 

Why did you get involved with Together Women Rise?

Partly, I think, because I’ve been involved on larger scale interventions. In the Peace Corps, we weren’t set up to foster small, local groups and it’s something I’ve always been interested in. Rise’s focus spoke to me. When I returned to the US, I joined FAB (Free Agents of Berkeley), and I suggested we form an interest group within Rise. There were about a dozen interested and we started it right as COVID hit. The first couple of months we met only virtually, which was sad, but still important enough to persevere. Now we are meeting comfortably in each other’s homes. Many of the women in my group had varying degrees of international experience, either working or traveling. We really get into the meat of what different groups achieve and the metrics. I have also enjoyed getting to know these other women. It’s been my social reintegration.

How do you recruit people to help run the chapter?

Certain things are done by term. We take the presentation very seriously, but it’s up to the person on what they say. We started with geography, but now we go in depth about what interests the presenter the most. That really livened it up. We have some really excellent presentations. For example, we had a member who worked in Palestinian refugee camps, and that was very personal when we talked about the July grantee. It helps when people speak from their experiences. Also, where we meet rotates every month. Some people have bigger homes who host more frequently, but everyone has done their best in hosting. It’s not very onerous to send a couple emails every month, so I’ve normally taken on that role. My co-lead, Robin, is in between two locations (one in Asheville), so I’ve recruited other people to help when she is not in town. The succession question is real and I haven’t quite solved that. I want to be active for a while but am trying to get as many people engaged as possible in different aspects. The strengths of our commonality are nice, but we want exposure to other groups as well.

What is your elevator pitch when someone asks you about Together Women Rise?

I normally talk about the ability to help organizations with the grassroots perspective. We have the privilege of being able to help others and these local communities know what they need to do. It’s fun, and we have great food and conversation when we meet. It has been helpful to have the leadership perspectives, to see that bigger picture too.

Why do your chapter members attend?

I think the social aspect is big. We like each other and like interacting. And everyone in the group has a true interest and engagement with women worldwide and have often had struggles themselves. They understand the importance of girls’ education and support. I’m also working with the Rise Advocacy Group with RESULTS; I am the mentor for the CA advocates. Mainly because I think it takes both – the foreign assistance and the grassroots. One cannot accomplish the needed results without the other. It is important to advocate before Congress to make sure those funds continue. I really like that Rise is recognizing the bigger picture with Transformation Partnerships. It speaks to me personally a lot because of my background.

You started your chapter during COVID. How did that work? What was it like?  

Many of us had used Zoom before, but some hadn’t. Because we hadn’t been meeting in person for a long time, we had an imperative to form connections virtually. We were so isolated, so we greatly appreciated that time to connect. It was over a year, maybe closer to two, that we were meeting this way. Then we met outdoors, even with masks on. We then did a few blended meetings but those were tough. We meet monthly, and meet for lunch now – sometimes in people’s gardens which is lovely.

What advice do you have to chapters just starting out?

I would suggest that they lean into the particularities of their membership. Each group has slightly different interests, different backgrounds. There is no one set way of doing this. Do what works for your chapter. Recite the Dinner Affirmation if you want, but you don’t have to. And when the presentations come, have the members really dive into what interests them. They learn more when they present. I think our members appreciate the evolving nature of the organization. It speaks to our own sense of what is important to do.

If you are interested in being featured on “A Rising Tide” or have a recommendation for a chapter or chapter leader who should be featured, please email Kia Hunter, our Volunteer Manager, at kia@togetherwomenrise.org.

13
Nov, 2023

The Proven Platter – Bangladesh, December 2023

Influened by its history and its geography, Bangladeshi cuisine is a rich and varied amalgam of Mughlai, Central Asian, Armenian, Persian, and Indian culinary traditions. Like many countries in Asia, rice is the staple grain. The protein of choice is fish. The dish featured this month, Masoor Dal Chorchori, is a vegan, gluten-free dish found in the kitchens of Bangladesh and its neighbor, India. In the Bangaldeshi avatar, the oil that is traditionally used is mustard oil. A distinguishing feature of the Bangladeshi dish is the addition of the mix of spices known as “Panch Phoran” (also called panch phoron or paanch phoron). Panch Phoran literally translates to “five spices” and is a spice blend commonly used in Bangladeshi cuisine. It consists of the following whole spices: cumin, brown mustard, fenugreek, nigella, and fennel. To keep the dish traditional, we will be using mustard oil. If you do not have access to mustard oil, you could substitute with avocado oil which has a high smoke point, an essential quality for “tempering.” Tempering is a technique used in South East Asian cooking that involves “blooming” whole spices in oil so the spices perfume the oil and deepen the flavor. The tempered oil and spices are typically added to the cooked dish while both are still hot to infuse the flavors into the dish. Watch for splatters when tempering and adding to the cooked lentils/dal! Details


Take Action Today on the READ Act Reauthorization

Authored by: Meg Gardiner, Global Education Policy Manager, RESULTS

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently said, “Peace is needed today more than ever. War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty, and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes.” We know that conflict and displacement are a major cause of 250 million children globally being out of school. We must call upon Congress to reauthorize the READ Act so that the U.S. does its part to ensure children everywhere get the education they deserve. Details


Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice

Together Women Rise (Rise) and Equimundo share a core belief: that men and boys are essential partners and allies in achieving global gender equality. That is why Rise selected Equimundo to receive a Transformation Partnership Grant in the amount of $200,000, over two years, in order to further Equimundo’s critical work around the globe. Details

20
Sep, 2023

A Rising Tide: Sally Bookman

Sally is an expert networker and she meets people through her many assorted activities. Whether it’s through directing and acting at Rita’s Theater, playing tennis, selling real estate, singing in a choir, or as a professional painter, Sally loves to make connections with people – and invites many of them to Together Women Rise meetings!

Kia: Sally, your chapter is celebrating its 14th anniversary this year. Congratulations! Have you been with the group since the beginning, or when did you join?

Sally: I started this chapter 14 years ago. I was originally with another chapter, with Cari Class, but Rise was growing so quickly with up to 30 people per month, I offered to start a second chapter. I had been with the organization for about two years prior to that. It’s a great way for new people in town to meet others in the community, and a couple of our members have been with us for a really long time. The closeness has developed over time as well. Details

13
Sep, 2023

The Proven Platter – Pakistan, October 2023

Pakistan, young country that it is, having been cleaved from British-occupied India when the latter gained independence in 1947, often gets lumped with India when its culture or cuisine is discussed. This is neither entirely accurate nor very respectful of the tension that continues to exist between the two nations. What is accurate is that Pakistani cuisine is reflective of the regions that comprise it. The food borrows from Mughal, Middle Eastern, South Asian, British, and Indian traditions. Pakistani food tends to be meat-forward, fragrant with spices and layered in flavor profile. Details


We Are Growing Our Volunteer Program!

As Together Women Rise commemorates our 20th anniversary and looks ahead to the next 20 years, we want to ensure a top-rate Volunteer Program that meets the needs of Rise now and into the future, particularly as we expand our chapter and member numbers. We also want to ensure that every volunteer has a rewarding, empowering, and fun experience! Details

7
Aug, 2023

The Proven Platter – Kenya, September 2023

Uji is a spiced millet breakfast porridge usually served with a side of mandazi or other sweetened fried dough (similar to a light, fried doughnut). Originally, it was made with millet that had been mixed with water and fermented for added depth of flavor. More often now it is made with a millet flour blend which adds flavor and texture without the three-day fermenting time. Because it is economical to prepare, it has become a common street food. Details

15
Jun, 2023

The Proven Platter – India, August 2023

India is not a monolith. Each state has its own language, its own forms of art and music, and variations in cuisine. While the states within a region of India (North, South, East and West) may share some similarities in their cuisine, the flavor profile of the same dish within a region could be markedly different depending on which combinations of colonial powers laid claim to that particular state and on the ingredients that are readily available in the state. Details

Advocacy
30
May, 2023

Advocacy Update: Help Pass the READ Act

For the past two months our Advocacy Group with RESULTS has been taking a deep dive on The READ Act Reauthorization (H.R.681, S.41), which supports basic education around the world with a focus on girls. This legislation focuses on enhanced strategies for the improvement of foundational literacy and numeracy, which are essential elements of a quality basic education. And we know that educating girls is one of the most important things we can do to advance gender equality!  

In low- and middle-income countries, up to 70% of 10-year-olds are unable to read a simple text. The longer children remain out of school, the less likely they are to return, and the World Bank estimates that this generation of students will lose $17 trillion in lifetime earnings due to a lack of basic education. And quality primary education isn’t the only challenge. Around 200 million youth ages 12-17 are currently out of secondary school, and 80 percent of children in low-income countries lack access to preschool. But within these numbers, the harsh reality is that girls are the most severely impacted and the most likely to be left out of school or fail to return due to child marriage or pregnancy. 

Details

26
May, 2023

Landesa: Empowering Women Through Land Rights

By Ellen Weiss, Transformation Partnerships Writer 

 

Imagine a world where women have equal footing. A world where the power offered by secure rights to land is shared by women and men. A world where that power is used to strengthen the livelihoods of women, their families, and their communities.  

 

This vision propels Landesa’s work with local, grassroots organizations in more than 50 countries.  

 

Founded in 1981, Landesa is a non-governmental organization that partners with governments and civil society to extend and strengthen land rights for women experiencing poverty. Stronger rights to land have the power to reduce poverty and conflict, increase economic activity, empower women, strengthen food security, and improve environmental stewardship. 

Landesa is one of Together Women Rise’s Transformation Partners. Our support of $200,000 over two years is furthering Landesa’s critical work, including Stand for Her Land — a global advocacy campaign spearheaded by Landesa to secure women’s rights to the homes they live in and the resources they care for and to engage men on the journey to equality.    

 

“Together Women Rise is proud to be partnering with Landesa, a trailblazing organization that is fighting to change the systems that hold women back from achieving land rights and gender justice,” says Beverley Francis-Gibson, Rise’s CEO. “Landesa has a proven track record in securing property rights for women – having worked in over 50 countries where women still encounter persistent barriers to their land rights. Land rights are part of women’s human rights and a key component of gender equality.”   

 

Details

16
May, 2023

A Rising Tide: Debbie Monaco & Ruth Bates

Although their paths to central New York were a bit different, both Debbie and Ruth now enjoy having family nearby as they enter retirement – or almost retirement. Debbie works in HR/Accounting, and her hobbies include reading and birdwatching. Ruth passed along her passion for engineering to her daughter, and now loves to help other women in need.

Details

9
May, 2023

The Proven Platter – Honduras, June 2023

The cuisine of Honduras is a delightful fusion of Central American, Mesoamerican (Lenca), Spanish, Caribbean, African, and Garifuna cuisines; a product of its own roots and a marriage of cuisines that it came in historic or geographic proximity with. The dishes, whether savory or sweet, are rich in flavor and use ingredients that are locally grown or sourced. This month’s dish, Honduran Yucca cake, features some quintessential Honduran ingredients, including yucca (cassava) and coconut milk. Somewhat reminiscent of a tres leches cake in that this recipe also uses three kinds of “milk,” coconut, evaporated and condensed, the yucca cake is vastly different in texture and taste as it uses grated yucca as the “flour.” It is almost less cake and more like a bread (zucchini bread comes to mind), if you will. Extremely flavorful, due to the mix of spices used, and somewhat decadent, a slice of this cake would be perfect with coffee as an evening snack or as dessert. Details

25
Apr, 2023

Meet Our New Volunteer Transformation Partnerships Writer

Meet Ellen Weiss – our new volunteer who will be writing articles and providing additional learning materials focused on our Transformation Partnerships. She has more than 30 years of international experience in research, programming, and communications, with a particular emphasis on gender equality.  This includes working with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), one of Rise’s Transformation Partners. Ellen is a member of Rise’s DC, Washington-4 chapter. Details

13
Apr, 2023

The Proven Platter – Ethiopia, May 2023

This month, two recipes combine for a delicious Ethiopian treat: a spiced butter (Niter Kibbeh) and a lightly sweetened and spiced bread (Himbasha). Note that spices commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine are featured here, including cardamom and fenugreek. Though you can certainly enjoy this Ethiopian sweet bread with spiced butter spread any time of day, it is generally eaten for breakfast or as a side to a meal, as desserts are not common in Ethiopian cuisine. Details


Advocate for US funds!

By Susan Wright, leader of the Together Women Rise CA, Oakland chapter and member of the Together Women Rise Advocacy Group with RESULTS. Susan is also a former Peace Corps volunteer and staff member with USAID. 

 

International assistance accounts for less than 1% of the US federal budget, but it still represents an important proportion of all foreign aid. Over 20% of all US foreign aid supports health and education programs vital for women and girls, whether through global, multi-donor programs or through funding for country-specific activities. US funds provide critical inputs such as medications; training of doctors, educators, and nurses; and development of country-specific educational materials. Without US government support for these broader efforts, the work of grantees funded by Together Women Rise and the ability of women and girls to take advantage of their activities would be severely hampered.  Details

7
Mar, 2023

The Proven Platter—Malawi, April 2023

Malwaian cuisine has remained relatively unchanged from influences of other cuisines. It is thus very traditional, utilizing the produce, grains, and meat that are found in the region and that can be locally sourced. Most dishes are uncomplicated and composed of a few ingredients and involve fairly straightforward preparation. Zitumbuwa are a perfect example of this. Zitumbuwa are deep fried banana fritters that are made of just three ingredients: banana, fine cornmeal (more traditionally, maizemeal), and baking soda. Some more contemporary interpretations add milk and egg, but we are keeping to basics here. The Zitumbuwa come together in less than 15 minutes and are best eaten hot. Crunchy, sweet, and delicious, they would make for a perfect evening snack with tea on a warm April evening. Details

15
Feb, 2023

A Rising Tide: Jill Sobieszyk

One of our goals for this Chapter Leader newsletter is to create a forum for chapter leaders to learn from each other and about each other. We’re calling this feature “A Rising Tide” because when one of our chapters succeeds, we all succeed – and we should share those strategies and successes with each other to lift all our boats, metaphorically speaking. This month, we are featuring one of the AZ, Tucson – 3 chapter’s four leaders, Jill Sobieszyk.

A “retired” teacher of 40 years, Jill now lives in Arizona and tutors students in many subjects, from math to reading. As an educator she finds the value of teaching so important, which is also why she remains a student herself, taking art lessons and researching our many grantees and their countries’ cultures. Details

9
Feb, 2023

The Proven Platter – Kenya, March 2023

Irio is another simple but delicious Kenyan week night dinner. There are many variations – from a simple mash of sweet potatoes, peas and corn seasoned with salt and pepper, to a spicier dish using a blend of sweet onions, smokey paprika and hot sauce. I preferred the spicier blend with white and red sweet potatoes roasted to maximize their sweetness. Details

12
Jan, 2023

The Proven Platter – Guatemala, February 2023

Guatemalan cuisine is a mix of culinary traditions of the aborginal population that inhabited the land and of those of her later colonizers. This mix of Mayan and Spanish culinary traditions is reflective of cuisince of another country: Mexico. There are thus dishes with similar sounding names but different interpretations (like the enchilidas) as well as dishes with different names in the two cultures but that have a similar culinary composition. The Atolillo Guatemalteco or Guatemalan Atolillo is very similar to the Mexican Atole, a sweet drink that is consumed warm. While Mexican Atole is made with masa harina, the Atolillo Guatemalteco is made with rice milk. Requiring just a handful of ingredients that most would have in the pantry, the drink comes together very quickly (does require overnight soaking of the rice). A comforting drink with the warmth of cinnamon and vanilla and the taste of arroz con leche, the Atolillo Guatemalteco is perfect for a cold evening in Feburary. Details


Our $600,000 Investment in New Transformation Partnerships

Together Women Rise is making a historic investment to create systemic change for women and girls around the world. In December, our board of directors approved three new Transformation Partnerships. Each partner will be given an Implementation Grant in the amount of $100,000 per year for two years (2022 and 2023). Thanks to your generosity, this amounts to a total investment of $600,000 in changing the world for women and girls! This is in addition to our Transformation Partnership with Shared Interest, which we announced earlier this year, and our Featured Grant Program.

Our three new Transformation Partnerships are:

 

Details


Advocacy Accomplishments in 2022

2022 was a very successful year for Together Women Rise’s Advocacy Group with RESULTS. There were many accomplishments to celebrate: the successful replenishment of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; the passage of the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act; progress toward passage of both the End TB Now Act and the READ Act Reauthorization. It has truly been an exceptional year. Details


Your Next Chapter Meeting – Reflecting on the Past Year 

As we wrap up 2022, we invite you to share a few major Together Women Rise moments with your chapter members at your meeting in January. Here is a list of select 2022 accomplishments (by the numbers) as well as a few questions for you to research and discuss with your members. These questions are meant to jog your memory on the many things we have done this year and how we have connected. This is an excellent opportunity to recognize what we have accomplished as an organization and in your individual chapters. Just like the eight days of Chanukah, or the 12 days of Christmas, here are our ten Reasons to Rise!   Details


Advocacy Update

While many might think there is nothing to do in this post-election period, our Together Women Rise advocates are stepping up their advocacy in order to get legislation onto the President’s desk for signature before the end of the year. In particular, we are still reaching out to Senate and House offices for their co-sponsorship of the End TB Now Act and the READ Act Reauthorization. We cannot afford to let another year pass without ensuring that money allocated during the appropriations process is spent in the most effective manner. It is essential that we reverse course on TB and girls education to make up for horrible losses in progress due to COVID-19. Details


Setting up a Together Women Rise Fundraiser

This year, we have a new tool to help our members create their own fundraisers for the Together Women Rise annual appeal. Several chapter leaders and members have already set up their fundraisers, including Debra Berman, our Central Regional Leader. We recently spoke with Debra about the individual fundraiser she set up using this new tool.  Details

14
Nov, 2022

The Proven Platter—India, December 2022

It’s “gathering” season meant for “together-ing.” It is what our family declares, every year right around the time Diwali rolls around. Depending on the lunar calendar that usually falls some time in late October or early November. It usually heralds the start of the season of holidays and celebrations spanning different cultues and religions that involve, essentially, the gathering of friends and family over food. Gathering season lasts till the start of the New Year. Details


Board Happenings: Our Recent Fall Retreat

By Jo DeBolt, Together Women Rise Board Chair

During the first weekend of October, the Together Women Rise Board of Directors met in Charlotte to reflect on our past and plan for the future, especially as we approach our 20th anniversary next year. We came armed with data on our grant making, chapter development, participation in programs and events, and responses from the recent member survey. We started, though, with stories. Over dinner on our first night, Co-Founder Barb Collins shared stories of several early grantees. Some of these grantees went on to gain significant recognition and extended their work far beyond what they originally imagined might be possible.  It reminded us that we don’t spend enough time learning from the relationships we’ve built and celebrating their successes. It’s fuel for the soul.  Details


Announcing Our First Transformation Partnership!

Last year, we announced our plans to launch new Transformation Partnerships that will allow us to better address the root causes of gender inequality. We must take a systems change approach in order to reach our goal of global gender equality. This includes addressing the social and cultural norms, beliefs, practices, and laws that prevent women from having equal access to resources, decision-making power, and opportunity. We are now thrilled to announce our first-ever Transformation Partnership! Details


Advocacy: Moving the Needle Toward Gender Equality

The main goal of the Together Women Rise Advocacy Group with RESULTS is to guide us in building deep relationships with our members of Congress (MoCs) and their staff. These relationships then become the way we influence policies and funding affecting women and girls around the world. As we approach election day, there is no better time to begin this relationship-building than by joining campaign events, town halls, and the many other forms of voter engagement that are now occurring pre-election. During these events we connect with candidates and educate the public about the issues we work on. It’s the interview process before, we the people, hire representatives to work for us in government. Details


Sharing Best Practices: Planning for the Future of Your Chapter

Achieving global gender equality cannot be accomplished alone – and neither can running this organization or sustaining your chapter. Planning for the future of your chapter and sharing chapter responsibilities are key factors in maintaining successful Together Women Rise chapters. At our National Chapter Leader Event on Oct 16, we discussed best practices for continuity planning and inviting members into leadership roles.    Details

18
Oct, 2022

The Proven Platter – Cameroon, November 2022

It seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago that gathering together freely with friends and family hardly required a second thought. Whether your chapter is meeting virtually or in-person, we want to revive an old Rise tradition this month. In years past, former recipe curator Linda McElroy created an eclectic menu near the end of each year, offering suggestions for a party to celebrate winter holidays at a November or December meeting. As many of us gather with family and friends this month, we can share food that honors the rich cultures of our sisters around the globe. It might even be an opportunity to tell others about Together Women Rise and invite them to join in our collaborative efforts to increase gender equality. Details

7
Sep, 2022

The Proven Platter – Honduras, October 2022

Nacatamales are flavorful masa dumplings, stuffed with a variety of fillings, which are then wrapped in banana leaf and steamed. The filling is made up of spiced meat, beans, and vegetables and there are as many recipes as there are families eating this delicious dish. Chicken, beef, and pork are the most common meats, and potatoes, peppers, and beans are staples, but you will see recipes including everything from squash to raisins. These are the traditional Christmas breakfast in many Honduran homes. Details


Advocating for Global Education

As summer comes to an end and we ready our kids to return to school, there are many children missing out on education. In many low-income countries, children — especially girls — will not be returning to school due to inadequate education systems, discrimination, early and forced marriage, or pregnancy as a result of transactional sex or gender-based violence. And when this happens, most girls are unable to return to school. Their education comes to an abrupt end, and their futures are forever changed. Details


Transformation Partnerships Coming Up!

By Scott Osborne and Sue Malick, Co-Chairs of the Transformation Partnerships Committee

You have probably heard about Transformation Partnerships at your local chapter meeting, at one of our national webinars, or here in The Dish. (See below for links to previous blogs.) Transformation Partnerships are our newest grants, dedicated to funding the root causes of gender inequality. Details

24
Aug, 2022

Introducing Kia Hunter

Hello, Chapter Leaders!

My name is Kia (yes, it is pronounced like the car), and I am so excited to have joined Together Women Rise this summer as Volunteer Manager. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you today and also make myself a resource for you moving forward. Details

8
Aug, 2022

The Proven Platter – Uganda, September 2022

Uganda is known as the “fruit basket” of East Africa and is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in Sub-Saharan Africa. Leaning into this abundance, Ugandan desserts rely heavily on fruits. During the hotter months of the year, fruit flavored ice lollies or popsicles, known locally as “barafu,” are sold in the markets. Avocados, known as “ova,” are plentiful in Uganda. A happy confluence of factors – consistent rainfall, tropical temperatures, and fertile soil – have led to avocados being cultivated in Uganda since the 1550s. This recipe derives inspiration from both the barafu and the fruits most commonly available and consumed in Uganda (ova and lemon). Details

21
Jun, 2022

The Proven Platter – Democratic Republic of the Congo, August 2022

Caakiri is a simple but delicious couscous pudding that comes together quickly. It was originally made with native grains such as millet or maize and occasionally beans but now is most commonly made with couscous. It is best served fresh with your favorite fruit. Details

7
Jun, 2022

The Proven Platter – Nicaragua, July 2022

Indio Viejo, or old Indian, is a flavorful and hearty stew with a curious name. Folklore claims that the dish got its name from an indigenous chief who did not wish to share his dinner with two Europeans passing through his area. As the story goes, the chief was enjoying some of this stew and when the visitors asked what he was eating he said an old Indian to discourage from wanting him to share. Details


The Impact of COVID & the Ukraine War on Global Malnutrition

It was a pleasure speaking about why and what we are advocating for at Together Women Rise’s May national webinar. For those of who missed it, the recording can be found here. Our past two grantees—Yamba Malawi and Second Mile Haiti—are excellent examples of why and how we can address malnutrition. It is important to both support our grantees and their direct services as well as to advocate for Congress to fund nutrition, maternal and child health on a macro level. Each of these approaches — and even better, both together — will go a long way toward eliminating the tragedy of malnutrition. Details


How We Advocate for Funding—The Appropriations Process

As Together Women Rise advocates, we mostly work on two kinds of legislation –authorizing legislation and appropriations legislation. Authorizing legislation creates and/or expands programs that have authority for multiple years and need to be reauthorized. An example would be the global nutrition bills that we’ve been working on recently, HR4693 and S2956. Details


Sharing Best Practices: A Philadelphia Chapter’s Study Group

Learning is one of Together Women Rise’s key focus areas: we learn together to increase our understanding of global gender equality issues and to fuel our collective action. Our PA, Philadelphia-8 chapter has taken this one step further! About four years ago, the chapter – led by Maryanne Schiller, Cheryl Boyd, and Harriet Williams – created a study group for those members interested in learning more and having deeper discussions about global gender equality, outside of their regular chapter meetings. As one person describes it, this study group has led to more connection and community amongst members. The following blog has been written by Chapter Leader Maryanne Schiller. Details

6
Apr, 2022

The Proven Platter—Malawi, May 2022

Located in Southeastern Africa, Malawi is known for the warmth and friendliness of her people. Hence, the nickname, the “Warm Heart of Africa.” The cuisine of this country skews traditional African and is dominated by ingredients that are products of two of its major industries: agriculture and fishing. Groundnuts (peanuts) are the most important legume crop in Malawi in volume produced and in the amount of area devoted to their cultivation. The crop also brings in significant revenue. Our dish for the month, in honor of Malawi, is Mtedza, a delightful, easy to make groundnut (peanut) cookie that utilizes ingredients found in most pantries. Mtedza will melt in your mouth, and if one doesn’t pay attention, this recipe that makes 14 cookies might end up serving just two! Details

9
Mar, 2022

The Proven Platter— Haiti, April 2022

It’s comfort food around the world: pasta and cheese. This Haitian version has a unique taste because the pasta is cooked well done (not al dente) and spiced up with epis, a sauce commonly used in Haitian cooking, which we highlighted in 2020. For this dish, I did add some jalapeno pepper to the epis to bring a little heat. Details

23
Feb, 2022

Advocacy Update: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria

This month I want to talk about The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (Global Fund), for which the US is hosting its Seventh Replenishment Conference later this year. Together Women Rise advocates learned about the Global Fund on our Feb 15th webinar. Click HERE to see the webinar recording and slides. Details

7
Feb, 2022

The Proven Platter—Uganda, March 2022

Ugandan cuisine has a lot in common with the cuisine of West African nations, with glimpses of British, Indian, and Arabic influences. The dish for this month, the Ugandan Potato and Egg Roll, could in fact be mistaken for the Scotch Egg, a boiled egg encased in sausage and fried. The Scotch egg is a dish that is on the face of it, quintessentially English. Details


The Importance of Focusing on Women’s Critical Mental Health Needs

Though the start of 2022 has brought with it continued global upheaval due to the pandemic and a devastating conflux of crises in Afghanistan, the first quarter of this new year is an important one for Together Women Rise, its grantee partners, and its members. For the first time, there is a deliberate focus on mental health and trauma recovery in this quarter. Details


Transformation Partnerships and Participatory Grant-Making

This is the third in a series of blogs by Scott Osborne, long-time member of Together Women Rise’s Grant Selection Committe

In my last blog, I talked about systems change and why this focus is so important for Together Women Rise’s Transformation Partnerships. You may recall that a systems change approach means taking a fresh look at what we fund; it means channeling more resources toward the root causes of gender inequality.

There is another way we can have a greater impact on gender equality, however, and this focuses not on what we fund, but on how. We will fund our Transformation Partnerships through “participatory grant-making”. Details

11
Jan, 2022

The Proven Platter— Nepal, February 2022

This is a family recipe from Sabita Rakshit, a friend of recipe co-curator Georgia Reader. Sabita’s family is from Bangladesh, but family members now live around the world and share food photos to stay connected. This is a common breakfast dish, but it is hearty and warming any time of day. It is a “to taste” creation, and served in some form across South Asia and around the world. Details


Impact Partnership Grants Fund Collaborative Approach to Gender Equality

Thanks to your generous support of Together Women Rise in 2021, our Board has approved two, $50,000 Impact Partnership Grants to AMPLIFY Girls and The Colectivo.

In the past, we awarded Impact Partnership Grants to UNICEF USA and the Peace Corps. Our new Impact Partnership Grants are taking us in a new direction, funding “collectives” — networks of organizations working together to increase their impact on a shared goal. “By funding this collective approach, we can have a deeper impact and more sustainable outcomes for women and girls,” said Betsy Smulyan, Interim President and CEO. “We are particularly excited to invest in AMPLIFY and The Colectivo because these networks include several of Rise’s past grantees.”

Details

13
Dec, 2021

The Proven Platter—Afghanistan, January 2022

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


New Transformation Partnerships:

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


A Systems Change Approach in Action

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


Take Action to Address Global Malnutrition

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

17
Nov, 2021

The Proven Platter – Rwanda, December 2021

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

28
Oct, 2021

Systems change? To help women? What’s up with that?

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


Where is the Outrage?

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

4
Oct, 2021

The Proven Platter—Nepal, November 2021

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


Advocacy Group Addresses Global COVID Vaccine Access

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


Sharing Best Practices: Chapter Leaders Share Ideas at “Together Again Celebration”

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

25
Aug, 2021

Chapter Milestones for September 2021

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


Recent Events in Haiti and Afghanistan

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


“How Can I Qualify as a Together Women Rise Advocate?”

By Jim Hennigan, Global Advocacy Group

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

9
Aug, 2021

The Proven Platter—Sierra Leone, September 2021

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

29
Jun, 2021

Journey with Us to Malawi: One of Africa’s Best Kept Secrets June 8-17, 2022

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


Advocacy Update

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

10
Jun, 2021

The Proven Platter – Dominican Republic, August 2021

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

3
Jun, 2021

The Proven Platter – Cameroon, July 2021

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

2
Jun, 2021

Nepal Hit by Second Wave of COVID-19: Updates from Our Grantees

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


Advocating for Global Education

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

27
Apr, 2021

We Miss You!

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

23
Apr, 2021

Ways to Jump-Start your Chapter!

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

13
Apr, 2021

The Proven Platter—Uganda, May 2021

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


Advocacy Chapter Harnesses the Power Of Women

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


Update on Modifications to Grants Program Due to COVID

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

11
Mar, 2021

The Proven Platter – April 2021, India

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


A Snapshot of Our Heart: Our Co-Founder Discusses the Upcoming Name Change

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

9
Feb, 2021

The Proven Platter – March 2021, Zimbabwe

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


President’s Perspectives: Looking Ahead to 2021 and An Exciting New Name

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

13
Jan, 2021

The Proven Platter – February 2021, Bangladesh

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


Advocacy Update: First 100 Days Campaign

With elections behind us and a new Administration taking office this month, there is change in the air. What a perfect opportunity to join us as we build relationships with the new Congress to influence policies affecting women and girls! Dining for Women’s partnership with RESULTS has helped us build new relationships and new skill sets which are changing the world for women and girls. Now is a great time to come on board and raise your voice. Details


A Bouquet of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Culture

By:Barbara Chatzkel, Chair of DFW’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) National Committee and
Shaniece Criss, member of DFW’s Board of Directors and Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Culture (DEIC) Board Committee

 

Since 2017, an extraordinary group of Dining for Women members has been championing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for our organization. They came from different chapters nationwide, all focused on learning and growing DFW’s understanding and knowledge of how to create a more inclusive community of members, grantees, staff, and volunteers.  Details

10
Nov, 2020

The Proven Platter – December 2020, Haiti

This month’s featured dish is Lambi, a spicy conch stew that was once considered the national dish of Haiti. It is made with a pepper and herb blend known as epis, which is a common addition to many Haitian dishes. On the side is pikliz, a spicy, cabbage-based vegetable blend fermented in vinegar. Overfishing has threatened conch fisheries and made it a less suitable choice for consumption, so I tried a few vegetarian alternatives. I made a batch with plant-based faux scallops in place of the conch and one with button mushroom tops in place on the conch. Both were delicious options with sustainable products. Details

29
Oct, 2020

Announcing the 2020 DFW Art Allure

Deb Grove, artist and generous member of Dining for Women’s CA, Orinda-1 chapter, has donated many pieces of art, each valued at $1,000, for DFW donors who give $5,000 or more in 2020!  Donors will be contacted to select their piece of art after their gift is received. The 2020 Art Allure will run until art is unavailable.  The full collection will be announced in an email to members soon. Details


Dining for Women Advocacy Update

Advocacy, as I heard recently in a webinar on human migration and child health, is no longer an elective pursuit. It is the positive actions we take to make change. Right now, public health is our priority as the world is facing a once-in-a-generation pandemic. COVID has and will continue to change the world as we know it, and the most marginalized— women and girls—are suffering the most. As the Gates Foundation said recently in its 2020 Goalkeepers Report: “We’ve been set back about 25 years in 25 weeks.” It further states that “What the world does in the next few months matters a great deal.” Details

5
Oct, 2020

The Proven Platter – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

The National dish of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Poulet à la Moambé (variously spelled as mwambe or nyembwe) is a rich, hearty chicken stew that seems like the perfect dish for a cold winter night.  While the dish has influences of French cooking techniques in the manner in which it is prepared, it is entirely Central African in the ingredients and flavors used. Details


End of Summer Celebration Brings Connections and Creative Ideas

Following the success of our Chapter Leader Town Hall in the spring, our Chapter Health and Retention Committee held a special, virtual End of Summer Celebration for Chapter Leaders, Mentors, and Regional Leaders on August 25.  It was a fun event that gave Chapter Leaders across the country the opportunity to meet each other and share stories of their chapters.  We had nearly 150 members in attendance. It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces, and there were lots of great ideas generated for managing your chapter. We have compiled them all to share with you! Details

9
Sep, 2020

The Proven Platter – Kenya, October 2020

This month we are visiting the cuisine of Kenya, an African country whose border touches both Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean. While researching foods common to the area, I came across pepper soup, which is served across Africa in many forms. It can be as basic as a broth or stock flavored with ground black pepper and served over stewed fish or chicken, or it can be a more flavorful soup made with a variety of peppers, both dried and fresh, with a combination of meat and fish. Details

27
Aug, 2020

Congress Left DC: Time to Make Noise in the Media!

By Ken Patterson, Director, Grassroots Impact for RESULTS, DFW’s Advocacy Partner

Congress left DC for the long August recess with no agreement on a Covid-19 supplemental spending bill. This has left millions of people in the U.S. and around the world in dangerous predicaments. Governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in low- and middle-income countries are struggling to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on regular efforts to combat diseases, vaccinate children, provide basic maternal care, combat malnutrition, and provide basic education. (See graphic on COVID-19 impact on global health.) Some are projecting that progress on global health could be set back 10-20 years. And women and girls are impacted the most! Details


None of Us Will See Gender Equality in Our Lifetimes

This is a sobering statement. It was also one of the headlines in late 2019 when the World Economic Forum released its latest Global Gender Gap Report.  According to the report, it will take 99.5 years — more than a lifetime — for women and men to reach parity across health, education, work, and politics.

That is why Dining for Women is more committed
than ever to achieving global gender equality. Details


The Proven Platter – Cambodia, September 2020

Cambodian cuisine, also known as Khmer cuisine, often gets conflated with Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. While it does share similarities with the cuisine of its neighbors, the flavors are different. If one had to choose two ingredients that were definitive of Cambodian cuisine, they would be rice and fish. Rice is so integral to the concept of a meal that the phrase “Niam Bay” which means “eating” actually literally translates to “eating rice” and Cambodians are known to greet one another with “Nyam bai howie nov?”  which translates to “Have you eaten rice yet?” Our Cambodian recipe today is Chha Trob (grilled eggplant with stir fried pork) to be served with rice. Details

31
Jul, 2020

A DFW Member’s Advocacy Experience

By Tonnie Cummings, member of WA, Vancouver-1

 

I have been a member of the Vancouver, WA chapter of Dining for Women (DFW) for 10 years. A couple of months ago, I decided I wanted to take a more active role in helping marginalized women and girls. I looked at the DFW Advocacy Chapter webpage, where I learned about DFW’s partnership with RESULTS. RESULTS is a grassroots organization that promotes policies to end global poverty. Their goals dovetail nicely with DFW’s. I participated in the June DFW Advocacy Chapter meeting and a RESULTS orientation call, and then I joined my local RESULTS chapter. My timing was perfect! Details


A New Normal?

It’s now the second half of 2020 … a year that will surely go down in infamy. Around the world, people are grieving the loss of loved ones, experiencing illness and ongoing health issues, as well as unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us started this year with plans that have since been derailed, postponed, or outright canceled. In my own family, both of my brothers’ weddings in North Carolina and Colorado were postponed. This was disappointing, but I’m fortunate to have my family healthy so far. I know that we all have stories about how our lives have been impacted.  Details

10
Jul, 2020

The Proven Platter – Lebanon, August 2020

This month’s featured recipe is a delicious filled pastry from Lebanon called Maamoul. These molded cookies feature a rose and orange blossom water flavored dough filled with date and nut blends. Each cookie is formed by hand and pressed into a mold which is then wacked on a table or counter to release the cookie which now has a beautiful design imprinted from the mold. A Maamoul mold has indentations of various shapes, size, and design. Each design signifies a different filling. Details


Raise Your Voices for a Global Response to the Global Pandemic

June has been a very busy month for our DFW Advocacy Chapter with RESULTS. On June 17, we had our chapter’s monthly webinar and learned about giving an “EPIC Laser Talk” when talking with our members of Congress. The EPIC format is used effectively by our partner, RESULTS, and stands for:  Engage, Problem, Illustrate or Inform, and Call to Action. Details

3
Jun, 2020

The Proven Platter—Liberia, July 2020

The cuisine of Liberia is an interesting mix of West African Coastal cuisine and Creole, a combination that is a reflection of its location and its history. Peppers are aplenty and the food, like the air, is filled with heat. Liberian cuisine is unique among other West African cuisine in the preponderance of baked goods. Baking as a technique is traced back to the freed slaves and freeborn Blacks who moved from the Southern States of the USA. A lot of these baked goods have similarities to baked goods we are familiar with in the USA but with some interesting twists. Pineapple Walnut Bread is one such. A lot like banana bread but less sweet and eaten more as a breakfast bread, with a pat of butter. It uses ingredients that are easy to come by in any kitchen which is essential in these times when we are relying on pantry supplies for cooking. In my research about Liberia, its customs and cuisines I came across Anthony Bourdain’s travels to the country and would highly recommend watching the episode (No Reservations: Liberia, Season 6, Episode 14) with a slice of pineapple walnut bread. Details


Black Lives Matter Everywhere

At Dining for Women, we come together as a community dedicated to equality and justice for women and girls around the world. While gender equality is our organization’s guiding star, we, as a community, know that this fight does not exist in a vacuum. We cannot separate gender inequality from other injustices we see in the world, no matter where they occur.  As Martin Luther King Jr. stated,

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”  Details


We Have Never Been More Inspired! Hear How DFW Grantees are Adapting to this New Environment

 

DFW’s grantees are on the frontlines of attempting to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic in the countries where they operate. Many are supporting critical community response efforts such as providing soap and increasing access to water needed for simple handwashing, or creating safety awareness campaigns. Others are finding new and innovative ways to continue their important work. Details


Update: DFW Advocacy Chapter with RESULTS

By Leslye Heilig, DFW Advocacy Committee Chair

 

We have now held our third monthly advocacy meeting since we launched our partnership with RESULTS. I am so encouraged by the interest and the active participation. We can change the world, now with one letter to the editor at a time. Advocacy is a positive and rewarding activity, one that holds more value with each additional day of this pandemic and new world we are navigating.  Details


President’s Update

Dining for Women is a little different than it was three months ago, isn’t it? We have had live conversations with over a dozen grantee representatives and hundreds of members on our weekly virtual meetings. We have grantees who have modified their projects or budgets when we made our funds flexible so they could meet their most urgent needs.  Our Advocacy Chapter, which started just a month before the shutdown, has been growing its impact every month. We impacted a congressperson’s decision to sign onto important legislation and have had letters to editors published all over the country! We have more than 100 chapters meeting virtually now – a transition that took only TWO MONTHS! Details

13
May, 2020

The Proven Platter – Kenya, June 2020

Rice cooked with meat and vegetables is eaten all around the world. Pilaf, or rice cooked in broth, is believed to have originated in Persia around 500 BC. By the time it reached Africa, it had become a blend of rice, warm African spices with various meats mixed in. In Kenya it became Pilau, a rice and meat dish with a familiar spice blend. Details


Grants Management in Unpredictable Times

Dear DFW Friend:

Recently, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged governments around the world to put women and girls at the center of their efforts to recover from COVID-19. He stated that COVID-19 could “reverse the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights globally”. While we know that women and girls are disproportionately impacted in every crisis, these words were particularly sobering for me. Details


I am Dining for Women, Hear Me ROAR

I am Dining for Women, Hear me ROAR

I am a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, wife, husband, partner, spouse, aunt, uncle, daughter, son, BFF

I am a she, he, and they

I am from the global north, I am from the global south, I am straight, I am queer, with skin colors in every hue

I am employed, unemployed, underemployed, retired, volunteer, student, scholar

I am a farmer and livestock owner, an educator, a professional, a small business entrepreneur

I am a landowner, landless, I am a nomad

I am a community health worker, a doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist

I am on the frontlines, a firefighter, an EMT, the law, and a service provider

I need water, food security, and a roof over my head

I need family and community

I want equal opportunity, I want fairness, I want equal access

I want an education, I want healthcare, I want a future

I want music, dance, and opportunities to create

I want mother earth to sing with joy, with her abundant flora and fauna

I want justice, I want equality, I want peace

I want good governance, responsibility, and accountability

I will give of my time, my compassion, and my resources

I will give of my talent and hard work

I will speak, I will speak up

I will communicate, discuss, and share

I will join the other chorus of voices

I will never stop trying

I am willing to go where others have not gone before

I am Dining for Women, Hear me ROAR

28
Apr, 2020

Advocacy Chapter with RESULTS Update

When Rep. William Timmons (SC-4) signed a letter supporting an additional $1 billion in funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, it sent minor shock waves among groups that advocate for Global Fund support. Rep. Timmons’ participation was important because he is a newcomer to these types of letters and could help influence other SC representatives. People were asking around DC, “Who got Timmons to sign on?” and the answer came back to them: “It happened because of DFW members working with RESULTS!” Thank you to Rep. Timmons, and a huge THANK YOU to the DFW members who contacted and encouraged their local representatives to urge them to take action. Details

8
Apr, 2020

The Proven Platter – Nepal, May 2020

Fun fact: a large number of small Indian restaurants in the United States of America are actually run by Nepali immigrant chefs. Several serve Indian food along with (if one were to look at the fine print on the menu) some dishes that are of Nepali or Himalayan origin. But, repeat after me and loudly: Nepali cuisine is not Indian cuisine (our Nepali friends will appreciate us remembering this). Nepal, through its geographical and historical association with India and Tibet, has influences of both in its cuisine. However, the flavor profile is different. Nepali dishes use fewer spices and aromatics and less heat. Also, Nepali cuisine has a preponderance of vegetarian dishes. Second fun fact: “vegetarian” in Nepal can mean different things. It could mean “not meat and eggs” (dairy products such as milk and cheese are consumed, however) but it could also mean “not beef” (but include poultry and mutton). The latter is tied to the sanctity of cows in the Hindu faith.   Details


DFW Virtual Chapter Meetings Will Begin this Week

Our hearts go out to the people who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic here in the U.S. and all around the world, especially those who have lost loved ones. We appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments who are on the frontlines of caring for people and containing this virus. I want to share with you some steps that Dining for Women is taking as a result of this unprecedented situation.
Details


DFW Statement on Coronavirus Outbreak

Dining for Women has been closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak here in the U.S. and globally, and we are following the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In everything we do, our top priority is the health and safety of you, our members, our staff, family members, and communities. Details

9
Mar, 2020

The Proven Platter – Uganda, April 2020

A recurring theme I find as I research cuisine from different parts of the world is one of interconnectedness and of the different ways in which we are similar. The history of human settlement is a story of migration, a movement not just of people, but also of their food, culture, and customs. It is a story of assimilation and amalgamation and nowhere is this more evident than in the food we eat. Details


Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dear DFW Family,

Dining for Women (DFW) is an organization that is fully committed to gender equality for all, and we carry out our programs understanding this great responsibility. I am happy to announce that DFW is also rising to the challenge of addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in a formal and deliberate fashion.  Details

6
Feb, 2020

Setting Goals for a New Decade

2020 is a leap year, marks the start of a new decade, and promises big things in store for Dining for Women! I am thrilled to announce that we just reached 500 chapters across the US!  To celebrate this achievement, we will plant 500 trees in Malawi in partnership with our grantee, Ripple Africa. This is a momentous milestone that sets us up to deepen our impact in 2020 and beyond. Thanks to your passion and generosity, this year we will be able to: Details

9
Jan, 2020

The Proven Platter – February 2020

This month we are celebrating Malawi which is in southeastern Africa. Although Malawi is landlocked, a third of its territory is covered by Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi National park is a UNESCO World Heritage site for being of “global importance for biodiversity conservation due particularly to its fish diversity.” The cuisine of Malawi is reflective of the abundance of fish in the area as well as the fruit and vegetables grown there. Details

13
Dec, 2019

The Proven Platter – January 2020

While working on the recipe for this month’s Featured Grantee’s country, I took a moment to reflect on how much I have enjoyed being on the recipe team at Dining for Women. It has sparked the return of a world map to the wall of my kitchen, so I know where each country is geographically. It has also deepened my appreciation for the women of the world who manage to prepare delicious, nutritious meals for their loved ones no matter how scarce the resources at hand. Details

19
Nov, 2019

The Proven Platter – December 2019

We travel back to the eastern part of Africa this month – to Kenya, the country of origin of December’s featured grantee. Jacaranda Health offers Kenya’s first nurse mentor training center, which trains top nurses from Kenya’s public hospitals to mentor hundreds of peer nurses and sustainably improve maternal outcomes for mothers and babies. That sounds like a cause to celebrate! So, this month I tried to think of a recipe that could accompany celebrations of all kinds, including the holidays. Guess what it is? Details


Sharing Best Practices: DFW’s Annual Appeal

By Susan Tocher, co-leader of the CO, Boulder-1 chapter

What do you love about Dining for Women?  The women who belong, our connection to the world, and the hope it gives me were responses from my chapter members recently.  As we gather each month, we receive these gifts which touch our hearts.  The connection we feel with each other and with DFW brings each of us back.  The friends we have made here, and those across the globe, enrich our lives.  The smiles and laughter on the videos show us the tangible difference our gifts make to our grantees, and bring hope to us.  Our interconnection becomes obvious as our awareness expands.  It is a reciprocal partnership. We give to them, and they give to us.  We are lifting all our members and all our recipients up. Details

14
Oct, 2019

The Proven Platter – November 2019

In doing research about Swaziland, the country of origin of Young Heroes Foundation, November’s featured grantee, I learned about a dish called sidvudvu. It’s a thick, nutritious porridge made of mashed cornmeal and pumpkin. In other words, corn and winter squash. That particular combination of ingredients seems not unlike something that could be served at a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. So I had those ideas in mind as I tried to come up with a recipe for this month’s Proven Platter. Details


Sharing Best Practices Transitioning Your Chapter’s Leadership

By Ruth Bates and Leslye Heilig, Northeast Mentors

When you were planning your first chapter meeting, you probably gave little or no thought to how you would transition the chapter leadership in the future. However, leadership transition needs to be a consideration right from the start in order to ensure that your chapter stays healthy and vibrant long into the future. Details

9
Sep, 2019

The Proven Platter – October 2019

The craft of preserving foods by pickling them is such an important technique in so many of the world’s food cultures. In Nepal, the country of origin of October’s featured grantee, Street Child US, pickles are called achaar. They’re often served alongside the dal and rice dishes of Nepal, in order to provide flavor and texture contrast to all of those warming, earthy, savory flavors. Details

29
Aug, 2019

Day 1: The Trip Has Begun!

By Linda Levine, Dining for Women Traveler and Member of the CA, Saratoga-1 chapter

Greetings from Thimphu! I’m having an amazingly colorful time on my Dining for Women trip to Bhutan. When Sandy (Baily) and I arrived in Paro along with three other DFW travelers, we received white welcome silk scarves. One of our guides, Rabten, warmly placed them around our necks much like welcome leis in Hawaii.  We then took a minivan through the lovely countryside to Thimphu, the capital. It was our first glimpse at the incredible architecture of Bhutan and the adults and children wearing the national clothing called Kira’s and ghos, for women and men respectively. Details

29
Aug, 2019

TIGER’S NEST aka TAKTSANG MONASTERY

By Ellen Williams, DFW Traveler and Member of the WA, Spokane Valley-1 chapter

Guru Rinpoche, Precious Master,  rode upon a flaming tigress to mediate for four months in a cave now located on the lower floor of the monastery.  At this site, the iconic monastery is nicknamed Tiger’s Nest.  Guru Rinpoche established Buddhism– the everyday fiber that holds Bhutanese national identity.   He is said to have possessed supernatural powers to subdue demons and evil spirits.  His birth was foretold by Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha. This legend has turned the man into a powerful Buddha who can take many forms and possess many powers.   Details

29
Aug, 2019

Bhutan: An Experience on top of the world

50 million years ago the Indian plate collided with the Eurasian plate to give rise to the Himalayan mountain range. A mountain range that continues to grow 1 cm a year. What a vision of beauty with high peaks, and breathtaking glaciers and valleys. Nestled in this mountain range is the beautiful landlocked country of Bhutan. Flying into Paro, Bhutan from Kathmandu in Nepal brings this beauty to the fore. Looking out of the plane window, our pilot gently reminds us to look out at Mount Everest, majestically bursting through the clouds at 29,029 feet. As we approach Paro, our plane banks to the left and then to the right between high ridges for a thrilling picture-perfect landing in Paro.  Details

22
Aug, 2019

Have Fun and Support Dining for Women with Chapter Fundraisers

By Betty Purkey-Huck, Rocky Mountain Regional Leader and Chair of the Chapter Health & Retention Committee

Want a fun way to raise money to support DFW? Have a chapter fundraiser. Fundraisers are not only a good way to raise money, they can also be a great way to build relationships and community within your chapter, spread the word about DFW locally, and possibly encourage new members to join. Details

13
Aug, 2019

The Proven Platter – September 2019

September’s featured grantee, Edu-Girls, Inc., is located in India, a vast country with so many distinct culinary regions. If I spent the rest of my life cooking only the foods of India, I’d still have a lot to learn about the foods of India. One thing I definitely know is that cooking and eating the flavorful vegan and vegetarian dishes of India have a positive impact on my taste buds, my food budget, and my health. Details

27
Jun, 2019

POWER. PROGRESS. CHANGE: 2019 Women Deliver Conference

In early June, Dining for Women co-founder Barb Collins, staff members Wendy Frattolin and Justine Allen, and volunteer Regional Leaders Karen McCune (Northwest Region), Pat Payne (West Region), and Colleen Kill (West Region)  attended Women Deliver in Vancouver, Canada. Women Deliver is the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women; it is held only once every three years.  Our Regional Leaders recently reflected on their experiences at this event. Details

27
Jun, 2019

The Big Give Winners: Which Grantees Did They Choose?

Thank you to all our recurring donors and especially to those who signed up during our 2nd annual Big Give campaign. We added more than 100 new recurring donors during the campaign, which brings our total to 1,627 members who give automatically every month. Their contributions amount to more than $53,000 per month in predictable, sustainable income to support all of DFW’s programs.

Details

27
Jun, 2019

Growth Mindset

By Anna Schoon, Dining for Women Regional Leader Committee Chair

Have you ever wondered why some people encounter a challenge and face it courageously and others give up without really even trying? The answer is their mindset. Some people have a fixed mindset, the belief that their potential for success is limited by qualities they possess, like intelligence or talent. In contrast, individuals who believe they can develop qualities by working diligently are said to have a growth mindset. Details

14
Jun, 2019

The Proven Platter – July 2019

Pakistan is the home to this month’s featured grantee, Irqa Fund. Just imagine the culinary possibilities of a country that’s bordered by China, Iran, Afghanistan, and India. Wow! From a cooking perspective, the recipe options seem so exciting, so full of creative possibilities. Truthfully, it would be entirely possible for me to go totally overboard. Details

© UNICEF/UN0139593/LEMOYNE
25
Apr, 2019

DFW Partners with UNICEF to Address Rohingya Refugee Crisis

More than 16,000 Rohingya babies were born in refugee camps and informal settlements in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh from August 2017 – May 2018 after a spike in violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar forced thousands of families to flee their homes across the border. Details

25
Apr, 2019

The Big Give 2019

This month, we will hold our 2nd annual drawing of recurring donors to see which five members will be able to designate $500 to their favorite DFW grantees!

How does it work? Anyone who is set up as a monthly recurring donor with DFW as of May 20 — either through bank draft or credit card — will be entered into a special drawing. Those who are in DFW’s recurring bank draft system will be entered TWICE because this is our preferred and most cost-effective giving method. Five recurring donors will be selected to designate $500 to their favorite DFW Featured Grantee! Our thanks to a generous and anonymous donor who is providing the $2,500 for this campaign.

Monthly recurring donations provide a predictable source of income we can count on to fund our Grants, Partnerships, Advocacy, and Member Education and Engagement Programs. They also increase our efficiency and reduce costs, allowing us to help more women and girls.

You GIVE, We GIVE, Women and Girls WIN BIG!

Please sign up to become a recurring donor. It’s easy to do – you can print off, complete, and mail in the form below. All forms postmarked by May 20 will eligible for the drawing. Or, you can set it up online with a credit card.

MONTHLY RECURRING DONATIONS BY BANK DRAFT

MONTHLY RECURRING DONATIONS BY CREDIT CARD


Sharing Best Practices: Building Community in Your Chapter – Do Something Outside of Your Chapter Meetings!

One of the greatest impacts of DFW, in addition to supporting women and girls in developing countries, are the communities which our chapters become. Within those communities come movements and relationships that impact our lives and those around us. For some chapters, their communities are enhanced and strengthened through activities outside of their monthly meetings.  Here are two great examples of how we touch more than we ever imagined with the power of DFW: our DC, Washington-4 chapter and our DE, Wilmington-2 chapter. Details

4
Apr, 2019

The Proven Platter – May 2019

It is impossible to think of Afghanistan and not think of war – multiple decades of war. It’s also impossible to think of the shape-shifting role the United States has played during the last 40 years of Afghanistan’s continuous conflict and not consider how impossibly complex the world is. What’s painfully easy to understand? That such protracted political and economic instability has drastically impacted the lives of Afghanistan’s women and girls. Thank goodness for Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation, May’s featured grantee. Details

12
Mar, 2019

The Proven Platter – April 2019

We travel back to the western part of Africa this month: to Mauritania, south of Algeria and Morocco, with miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean.

I absolutely love the name of April’s featured grantee: Mindleaps! It makes me think of exactly what my mind was doing – all while developing a recipe that was inspired by thieboudienne, the national dish of Mauritania. Here’s what I mean: Lots of sources indicate thieboudienne is a “coastal dish of fish and rice, usually made with tomatoes.” Seems easy enough. But, even a simple-sounding, tomato-based dish of seafood and rice can send my thoughts bouncing around like they’re in a sort of competitive-recipe ping-pong match. Details

6
Feb, 2019

The Proven Platter – March 2019, India and Tanzania

It’s such wonderful serendipity that the countries of origin for March’s featured grantee (Her Future Coalition, in India) and sustained grantee (African People and Wildlife, in Tanzania) are inexorably linked by geography and ancient trade routes—and, by extension, food. Details

9
Jan, 2019

The Proven Platter – February 2019, Tanzania

It just dawned on me: The very first thing I consult when I think about the cuisine of a country other than the one I’m from isn’t a cookbook – it’s a map! The country of origin of this month’s featured grantee is Tanzania. One brief peek at the tattered world atlas that’s taped to the back of a door in my home office is all it took to set my culinary imagination about this East African country on fire. The mouthwatering geographical cues? The mainland of Tanzania has miles of coastline along the Indian Ocean and is home to Zanzibar – the entry point to East Africa used by spice traders and merchants as early as the 8th century. Not surprisingly, the flavors of India and the Arabian Peninsula are especially prominent in the dishes of this part of Africa. Details

2
Jan, 2019

What a Year Ahead!

It is so exciting to welcome in 2019 after such a fabulous 2018.

We ended the year with about 450 chapters (and growing as we close out the year) with a goal to exceed 500 chapters in 2019! These new chapters and funds are allowing us to enhance our Sustained Grants program, provide extended education to our members, design an inspiring 2019 International Women’s Day event with national partners, and so much more. Details

5
Dec, 2018

Dining for Women’s Impact: Mama Helena’s Story

A Voice for Change
Beekeeping Empowers a Rural Woman to Transcend her Traditional Roles

The African People & Wildlife Fund (APW) builds the capacity of rural Africans in northern Tanzania’s Maasai community to engage in conservation and sustainable livelihood strategies that promote the dual objectives of biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. Dining for Women (DFW) awarded APW a Featured Grant of $47,500 in May 2016 to fund the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Initiative. This project empowers women to protect their natural resources for themselves and for future generations through entrepreneurship and environmentally-friendly small business development such as bee-keeping. DFW recently selected APW to receive a Sustained Grant in 2019.   Details

27
Nov, 2018

Guatemala 2018 – Day 1 — Going Back in Time

It was fitting to start our first full day in Guatemala going back in time to the Iximche /ee-sheem-chay/ ruins between Antigua and Panajachel. Iximche was the capital of the Kaqkichel Mayan Kingdom from 1470-1524 prior to Spanish conquest. Over 100 structures have been found at Iximche which is composed of four large plazas strung out along a ridge and protected by a deep moat.  Buildings include palaces, numerous pyramid temples and residences, and a couple of ball courts. Details

27
Nov, 2018

Guatemala 2018 – Day 3 – Weaving and Retail Therapy

By Emmy Holt, Dining for Women member, SC, Greenville-7 chapter

 

After being served breakfast at the hotel, we walked down to the dock in Panajachel where we climbed into motor boats and crossed Lake Atlitlan (translation: “near the volcano”) to San Juan La Laguna. What a beautiful lake, formed from a crater after the 1853 volcanic eruption! The lake connects the villages, is 12 miles long, and over 1000 feet deep. From the lake we could see three cone-shaped volcanos- Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro. Details

26
Nov, 2018

Guatemala 2018 — Day 6 – Women’s Justice Initiative

By Suzanne Spitzer, Dining for Women member, SC, Greenville-7 chapter

 

Background

Guatemala faces some of the highest levels of violence against women and girls in the world, has the third highest femicide rate globally, and ranks third lowest in the region on the Gender Inequality Index. Rural indigenous women and girls are disproportionately impacted due in part to their social isolation and limited access to resources. Details

20
Nov, 2018

Dining for Women’s Impact: Pushpa’s Story

Nepal Youth Foundation was a Dining for Women Featured Grantee in 2012 and a Sustained Grantee from 2016-2018. In total, we have invested more than $100,000 in the organization. These funds have been used to help eradicate the selling of young girls into bonded servitude and to promote gender equality and empower women in Nepal. Our Sustained Grant helped to increase the employability and end poverty of the girls freed from the Kamlari system of indentured servitude.

 

When Pushpa C. was only 10 years old, her desperately poor parents sent her into servitude as a “Kamlari” so the family could pay their debts. This type of domestic slavery was all too common in some regions in rural Nepal. Details

19
Nov, 2018

Dining for Women’s Impact: Hamsatou and Fadimata’s Story

Caravan to Class was Dining for Women’s Featured Grantee in March 2017. Dining for Women’s $42,260 grant was used to train 200 women in 10 villages in classical literacy, teaching them basic reading, writing, and calculating in their local languages to both improve their livelihoods and empower this group of women to be important advocates for education in their villages. The following story was provided by Barry Hoffner of Caravan to Class.

In 2014, Caravan to Class built a French-based school for 120 children ages 6-12 years old. Before we agree to build a school in a village near the fabled Timbuktu in Mali, we do a detailed study on the village to be confident that it has the scale needed to create a successful school environment. We soon realized that the attendance of the Samdiar school was much beyond our expectation because many children from the nearby village of Kakondji were going to the Samdiar school by boat along the Niger river, Africa’s third longest. As a result, Caravan to Class decided to build a school in the village of Kakondji in 2015. Details

8
Nov, 2018

The Proven Platter – December 2018, Around the World Appetizer Party

Hello Diners!

I can’t believe it’s December already! We’re taking on India this month!

Usually, I like to do an “Around the World Appetizer Party” for my last post in December. I think we need to keep things simple in December since we’re all so busy. It feels right for appetizers instead of a full meal. I’ve got some ideas for you, but I also think it’s a great time for you to try out any new appetizer ideas on your friends and get great feedback before the holidays. Details

10
Oct, 2018

Dining for Women’s Impact: Sheba Melody’s Story

Kenya Self-Help Project was Dining for Women’s Featured Grantee in July 2017. Our $44,990 grant provided an integrated, in-school program of Girls Club education, life skills training, and material support to improve health awareness, school retention, and class performance. The project included the distribution of over two thousand Dignity Kits, containing underwear, locally-made, reusable sanitary supplies, and emergency disposable pads.

My name is Sheba Melody.  I am 14 yrs old and I go to Yala Primary School in Kendu Bay, Kenya. I am a total orphan. I lost my parents at a tender age. I live with my maternal grandmother’s sister. The rest of my siblings live with our other maternal aunts and uncles. Details

10
Oct, 2018

The Proven Platter – Kenya, November 2018

Hello Diners!

Kenya calls us to come for a visit this month! And since it’s November, it’s definitely time to think about a warming beef stew, epic comfort food at this time of year. Kenyan Beef Stew is not all that different from our American version. It contains meat, potatoes, and carrots. I find that the difference is in the spices used and the inclusion of tomatoes and plantains. Details

25
Sep, 2018

Our New 10-Year Chapter: Congratulations to NC, Charlotte-2

Looking to the past and encouraging growth for the future has helped the NC, Charlotte-2 chapter thrive for a decade.

Founded by Sheri Calandra, the chapter is now led by Julia Edelson and Tricia Malinowski. Sheri gathered neighborhood friends and founded the NC, Charlotte-1 chapter in 2003.

“Those were the days when there was no video and we only had information downloaded from the website to discuss the grantees,” Julia and Tricia said. “We met on a fairly regular basis for about five years. Sheri moved out of the neighborhood and continued the chapter with some of us for a while in the nearby South Park area of Charlotte.”

Soon, the neighborhood group decided to meet closer to home and split into NC, Charlotte-2, with Julia as chapter leader. Tricia joined as co-leader about two years ago.

“We decided a number of years back that we would meet every month even if we only had a handful of women able to attend,” Julia and Tricia said. “We have occasionally missed a month – July or August when everyone is on vacation, or a crazy busy month like May or November.”

Each December, the group invites husbands and partners to join in as well.

With more than 40 people on the roster, the typical meeting includes about a dozen members. They take turns hosting, with the hostess typically cooking a main dish and members bringing sides and desserts to share. The co-leaders also take turns handling the administrative duties needed to make the chapter work so well. Recently, the chapter had a high school student participate for several months. Her senior exit project about girls and education in developing countries required volunteer service that she accomplished by presenting at one of the meetings and leading the discussion.

“I think all of our chapter members would agree that we appreciate being a part of Dining for Women because it takes us out of our ‘typical American lives’ and helps us center and focus on more important issues in our larger world,” Julia and Tricia said. “We have had great discussions and look forward each month to broadening our horizons. About a year ago we began inviting a few younger women, one of whom is the adult daughter of one of our members. This addition has enhanced our discussions with the perspective of these millennials. We highly value their contributions.”

25
Sep, 2018

An Extra Helping of Service from Retiring Recipe Curator Linda McElroy

Dining for Women started with a meal. Even as the organization has grown, food has retained a special place at the center of the giving circle. Sharing a meal means sharing time, conversation, and a bit of ourselves. Linda McElroy has helped spur that connection by encouraging creativity in the kitchen and a fresh look at international cuisine during her time as DFW’s Recipe Curator.

McElroy is stepping down after five years of service in that position, but she remains committed to DFW and its programs. She first learned of DFW after a segment about it aired on NBC News.

“My husband and I were watching and he said, ‘You have to do that,’ and I said, ‘I know,’” McElroy said. “I applied for a chapter right after that.”

McElroy is now a Seattle-area Mentor, and she enjoys visiting a variety of chapters. She said the specificity of the help provided by DFW to its grantees has been meaningful to her.

“When you look at the materials and read about the people you’re helping, I find it fascinating that this money will help 250 girls,” she said. “It’s not vague. I am actually helping girls in a village in Kenya. It feels more personal.”

McElroy saw a DFW call for a Recipe Curator and knew it was a good fit. “I immediately got excited about it,” she said. “I was recently retired. My husband and I owned a restaurant for 25 years.”

The role has been an opportunity for McElroy to experiment and learn about new foods, while providing an enormous benefit to DFW.

“I love researching recipes,” she said. “There was this whole world of different foods that I was ready to explore. I had never done anything like this before. This group trusted me to go for it. That first year, I was finding my way. I’ve just loved doing it.”

19
Sep, 2018

Sharing Best Practices: Building Community in Your Chapters

By Betty Purkey Huck, Rocky Mountain Regional Leader and Chair of the Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

Each month in this newsletter, we’ve been giving you ideas on how to make your chapter more active, vibrant, and sustainable — things like trying a new location for your meetings, changing the food, or making the meeting time more convenient for your members. Now we’re going to look at another aspect of making your chapter more sustainable: building community in your chapters. Details

4
Sep, 2018

The Proven Platter – Afghanistan, October 2018

Hello Diners!

This month we are traveling to Afghanistan. Naan, a type of flatbread, is the most widely consumed bread in Afghanistan. But for something more interesting I discovered the Afghan “bolani,” or filled turnover. The most common filling includes mashed potatoes and lots and lots of green onions. For a very earthy flavor, try a Swiss chard filling. Fried or baked, cut into wedges, they make a delicious appetizer. Details


Engaging Stakeholders in DFW Planning

Although it is almost September, I am still elated about our Knowledge is Power National Conference in May and from all the energy that our grantees and members created for our mission and our future.  At the closing of the conference, I told our audience that the conference felt like a launchpad.  I think we all witnessed the transformative power of our organization and saw a vision for what our organization can be in the future.  What a powerful way to propel us forward into setting the vision for the coming years. Details


DFW Recipe Curator Plans to Retire

Dining for Women started with a meal.

Even as the organization has grown, food has retained a special place at the center of our chapters. Sharing a meal means sharing time, conversation, and a bit of ourselves. DFW member Linda McElroy has helped spur that connection by encouraging creativity in the kitchen and a fresh look at international cuisine during her time as DFW’s Recipe Curator. Details

2
Aug, 2018

The Proven Platter – September 2018, Malawi

Hello Diners!

This month our good works take us to Malawi. I think we’ve been there a few times before! I picked up one of my go-to African cookbooks, “Zainabu’s African Cookbook,” for inspiration this month. I found a recipe for Beef with Butternut Squash that sounded promising. When I read the recipe, I realized it is very similar to something I’ve made in the past that I’ve really enjoyed. Details

28
Jun, 2018

Celebrating 10 Years in Vienna/Fairfax

Food takes center stage at DFW’s Vienna/Fairfax chapter, led by Shelley Brosnan and Colleen McLain. The group is celebrating 10 years of wonderful dishes, passion for service, and dedication to each other.

The chapter was founded by Shelley, along with Tamara Drozd. The pair had been thinking about starting a cooking club when they learned about DFW. It was a natural fit, helping them to combine their passions of good food and helping women and children. Details

19
Jun, 2018

Making an Intergenerational Chapter Work

By Corinne Blakemore, Central Regional Leader and member of the Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

When I first heard about Dining for Women in 2010, I was planning to join a local chapter and get involved in the organization straight away. Little did I know that there were no chapters in Indiana or even within a two-hour driving distance of South Bend, where I live. This stalled me for a bit, but just for a bit.   Details

1
Jun, 2018

Millions of Women and Girls Are Threatened by Cuts to U.S. Foreign Aid

By Betsy Dunklin, Chair of Dining for Women’s Advocacy Committee

Experts on the well-received advocacy panel at our National Conference (see photo) emphasized that NOW is the perfect time to add your voice to your dollars to help impoverished women and girls in developing countries.

Action on the just-passed FY2018 and proposed FY2019 budgets is taking place in both the House and Senate over the next month or so. The Administration has proposed a more than 30% cut to the International Affairs (IA) budget for FY2019. The IA budget is historically just 1% of the total US budget. Details

31
May, 2018

Celebrating 10 Years of Friendship and Purpose

The PA, Abington-1 chapter, started and still led by Debbie Britt and Mary Liz Jones, is celebrating 10 years of friendship, connection and learning – and it all started with a desire to help others.

Mary Liz saw a magazine story about DFW and kept it for quite a while, ultimately discussing it with Debbie. The pair contacted DFW co-founder Marsha Wallace and decided to start a chapter. They initially met with about a dozen people to tell them about DFW and collaborative giving before holding their first chapter meeting in May 2008. Details

31
May, 2018

Stitching a Brighter Future

Quilters create a different kind of art. It is one that is frugal, often relying on source material of leftover or repurposed fabric. It brings people together to focus time and effort on each delicate stitch. It creates warmth, both the physical kind that comes from a layered blanket and the emotional kind that accompanies a handmade heirloom. And for Margaret Guthrie, that art is a way to contribute to causes that touch her heart. Details

24
May, 2018

Change Up Your Meetings By Taking Them Outside

By Ruth Bates, Northeast Region Mentor and member of the Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

Do you feel like your meetings sometimes get a little monotonous?  Do you have a month when you can’t find someone willing to host your chapter meeting?  My chapter had that happen early last summer.  Historically, certain members have volunteered for specific months for many years running.  Last year in June, we suddenly found ourselves without a host.  Our perennial host and chapter leader found herself in the midst of a family relocation. We had to be creative to solve this change in plans. Details

24
May, 2018

The Proven Platter, Haiti, June 2018

Hello Diners!

We’re going to Haiti this month. Can you say “pork griot” (gree-oh)? It is one of the most popular dishes you will find there. Chunks of pork are marinated, then simmered until tender and succulent, then fried until caramelized and crispy. You’ll always find it accompanied by “pikliz” (pik-lees), a spicy, vinegared cabbage and carrot relish. The spicy relish makes the perfect complement to the rich and fatty pork. Details


Act Now to Impact the 2019 Foreign Aid Budget

By Betsy Dunklin, Advocacy Committee Chair

 

Support is growing internationally to put women and girls at the core of a country’s foreign aid to end extreme poverty.  Will you add your voice to keep the U.S. moving in this direction? Now is a perfect time to tell your representatives in Congress how you feel. It is especially important to counter the administration’s renewed proposal to slash programs aimed at global poverty reduction. Details

18
Apr, 2018

Sharing Best Practices: Get Creative to Increase Your Meeting Attendance

By Betty Purkey-Huck, Rocky Mountain Regional Leader and Chair, Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

Oh my gosh, there were only three members at my chapter meeting last night! What’s going on?

Has that ever happened to you?  You may be used to 12 members attending your meetings and suddenly only three or four are showing up.  You haven’t been paying attention and all at once you notice and realize that attendance at your meetings has been declining over the last six months. Maybe you need to look closer at what is happening. Details

11
Apr, 2018

The Proven Platter – Benin, May 2018

Hello Diners!

This month we are traveling to Benin (Beh-NEEN). It is just a tiny slip of a country in West Africa. It runs the long way south to north, and it is surrounded by Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria. The official language is French; however, many indigenous languages are still spoken.

Peanut- and tomato-based sauces are commonly prepared and served over couscous, rice and beans. Yams are a main staple in the north; meats such as beef and pork are used sparingly. In the south, the most common ingredient used is corn, with fish and chicken being the most commonly consumed meats. Details

29
Mar, 2018

Deepening Impact with Sustained Grants

In 2017, Dining For Women’s Grants and Partnerships Oversight Committee (GPOC) launched a “year of education” in order to ensure that we are informed about the current research and best practices in grantmaking and in promoting equality for women and girls.  In addition to the GPOC, we engaged a “member discussion forum” to share in the readings and discussions.  The research we reviewed highlighted several aspects of effective grantmaking, solutions to poverty and inequality that are critical to understanding how our grants can make the biggest and best impact.  The goal of this undertaking was to reaffirm the effectiveness of DFW’s Featured Grants while exploring new ideas and research for our Sustained Grants program.  The Grants Selection Committee is selecting a new slate of three-year Sustained Grantees for the beginning of 2019.  Details

29
Mar, 2018

Rwanda 2018 – Day 2 – Rwandan Culture, History, and the 1994 Genocide

By Jackie Saber (Raleigh, NC)

Walking from my room along the beautiful Chez Lando’s fragrant paths, lined with neatly trimmed green hedges and what seemed like the aroma of honeysuckle, on my way to our morning gathering.  Air shifting, not quite a breeze but enough to fill my ears with the sound of a certain humming of activity throughout the grounds, all a pleasant and soothing start to what would, in contrast, be one of the most emotionally intense days, for me, of our learning journey to this amazing small country in the middle of East Africa.  We were off first to the deeply inspiring Nyamirambo Women’s Center, in one of the poorest traditional neighborhoods in Kigali, to learn how women have taken matters in their own hands, struggled to earn, to learn.  In the afternoon, the Kigali Genocide Museum.  After a delicious cup of coffee with hot milk and an omelette at our lovely hotel Chez Lando, I boarded our bus with incredible curiosity, excitement, along with a bit of jet lag.  Soon, though,  I was completely immersed in the incredible day that was to follow…..although a long-time advocate for women and children and a donor to women’s giving funds, I am entirely new to Dining for Women (DFW) and can’t wait to get out and see some of the projects that have been funded and learn what’s working, what’s not, and what information we might gather from the women in the community to take back to DFW. Details

29
Mar, 2018

Rwanda 2018 – Day 3 – Talking Gender in Rwanda

By Wendy Wheeler (Newton, MA)

On Day 3 of our amazing Dining for Women Rwanda trip, the major focus was gender equity. Some background: women are remarkably well-represented in the Rwandan government. When Rwanda ratified its constitution in 2003, they outlawed discrimination to prevent the ethnic persecution that resulted in the 1994 genocide. But beyond ethnic equality the constitution also established gender equality, and many new laws were enacted. The constitution requires that 30% of government decision-making positions be held by women. In fact, that target has been exceeded across the government: 64% of the parliament representatives are women – the highest percentage worldwide! Details

29
Mar, 2018

Rwanda 2018 – Day 4 – Visiting Our First DFW Grantee

By Vicki Meitus (Denver, CO)

It was day 4 and after breakfast, we were off to visit one of the DFW grantees, SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises). As we boarded the bus for our venture into the countryside, we were pleasantly surprised to be joined by Connie Lewin, Director of Strategy for SHE (and a DFW Board member) and Danielle Raso, Business Development Associate. Both work in the New York office, and it was an amazing coincidence that their trip to Rwanda overlapped with ours. We were also joined by Flora Ufitinema, Field Operations Associate, and Daria, Business Development Manager, who both reside in Rwanda. Details

29
Mar, 2018

Rwanda 2018 – Day 5 – Gardens for Health Visit

By Marie Vayo-Greenbaum (Wilmington, DE)

Another beautiful African morning dawns as we sip our strong coffee and prepare to visit the facilities of Gardens for Health, just outside of Kigali. We have a full day’s visit planned with lots of interesting interactions along the way. It feels great to get off the bus and have an opportunity to walk around the farm where so many things are happening all at once. We are greeted first by Bailey who offers us an overview of the goals and objectives of this energetic non-profit. Details

19
Mar, 2018

Sharing the Workload of Running Your Chapter

By Judy Bacon, Volunteer Mentor, Chapter Leader of WA, Spokane Valley-1, and member of DFW’s Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

You are a fantastic and devoted Dining for Women chapter leader. In fact, you’re Wonder Woman! You do it all, and you do it well.  You schedule the meeting, you plan the meeting, you invite everyone, you find a hostess and a presenter, you run the meeting, you deposit the checks– you’re amazing. But wait! You are beginning to feel exhausted, and no one else knows how to do what you do. Your chapter would fold without you. For your own sake and for the sake of your chapter, you need help. Details

22
Feb, 2018

Join DFW at CSW62!

New York and Northeast chapters are invited to attend a panel presentation about gender-based violence during CSW62, the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), to be held March 14 in New York.  Dr. Veena Khandke, DFW’s Director of Grants and Partnerships, will represent DFW as the primary sponsor of this session, which is co-sponsored by UNICEF USA. Details

15
Feb, 2018

Do You Have a Plan for Chapter Leader Succession?

By Betty Purkey-Huck, Rocky Mountain Regional Leader and Chair of DFW’s Chapter Health and Retention Committee

You just found out that your spouse/partner is being transferred to another city and you are moving. Your first thought isn’t about your DFW chapter and it shouldn’t be, but what is going to happen to your chapter when you move? Details

7
Feb, 2018

The Proven Platter – Guatemala, March 2018

Hello Diners!

I am pretty excited about what I’ve got planned for you this month. The country of Guatemala is on the docket. We’ll start out with some guacamole and chips, Guatemalan style, just to whet our appetites. Then it’s on to the main course, Fiambre Rojo. Think of an enormous Italian antipasto platter and you’ll get the idea of what fiambre is all about. And for dessert, how about some dark chocolate crepes filled with a dreamy dulce de leche filling? Yes, please! Details

29
Jan, 2018

From A Simple Meal to Changing the World: 15 Years Later

It all started around the dinner table. In 2003, Dining for Women Co-Founder Marsha Wallace celebrated her birthday with a simple fundraising dinner with friends. That meal would lead to DFW and its first chapter – SC, Greenville-1 – which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.

“After  15 years of inviting DFW into our Greenville homes, we celebrate the power of an individual to shape the lives of others,” said Co-Founder Barb Collins. “Our fervent belief that investing in the futures of women and girls transforms the world is proving that collective giving is a powerful force for change.” Details


You Did It Again!

Even during a year in which the United States suffered through 16 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each, you, our members, showed up each month to support Dining for Women.  Thanks to your record-breaking donations, in 2017 we were able to fund grants and partnerships that directly impacted the lives of nearly 40,000 women and girls in 18 countries around the world. Details

22
Jan, 2018

Cloudy with a Chance of Sleet and Snow: Keeping the momentum going in every sort of weather

By Susan Prener, Co-Leader of our Northeast Region and member of our Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

As we shared in last month’s issue, chapter health and retention is very important.  We want all our chapters to stay healthy, active, and engaged long into the future. Our volunteer Chapter Health and Retention Committee is focusing on best practices for chapter longevity and sharing these practices with you through a series of monthly blogs. Our goal is to bolster existing chapters, even as we grow more chapters throughout the country. This month we are talking about the importance of holding regular chapter meetings and the challenge of winter weather! Details

8
Jan, 2018

The Proven Platter – Peru, February 2018

Hello Diners!

Peruvian-style pollo a la brasa, or rotisserie chicken, is perhaps one of the most well-known Peruvian dishes here in the U.S. due to the many take-out joints around the country (depending on where you live!). It is also one of the most consumed dishes in Peru. A whole chicken is marinated overnight in a combination of garlic, herbs, soy and vinegar, and then roasted whole on a spit, often over a charcoal fire. The chicken is always served with creamy, mayonnaise-type sauces, typically bright with aji amarillo chile pepper. Very often it is accompanied by French fries and salad with ranch dressing. My kind of yum! Details

21
Dec, 2017

West RLs Stepping Down

Many thanks to our West Regional Co-Leaders Patty Karabatsos and Linda Dougall for their years of faithful service to DFW. Both are completing their terms and stepping down from their positions at the end of February. We are currently seeking volunteers to serve as our West Regional Leaders. For more information, please contact Wendy at wendy@togetherwomenrise.org. Details

4
Dec, 2017

Why You Should Visit Rwanda: A DFW Member Experience

By Linda Baxter, Dining for Women Member 

As part of Dining for Women’s Travel Program, a group of travelers will visit Rwanda February 18-25, 2018. DFW member Linda Baxter lived and worked in Rwanda and shares her experience in the country.

In 2014 and 2015, I was living in Rwanda and working for the Human Resources for Health (HRH) project. Our goal was to assist the staff of the University of Rwanda in their efforts to improve medical and nursing education and practice. I was assigned to a more rural school of nursing and midwifery in the town of Gicumbi (Byumba) where I worked with faculty, and students – in classrooms as well as the hospital and local health center. Details

22
Nov, 2017

Uplifting Women and Girls Is the Key to Solving the World’s Problems

By Mansi Mehta, Manager, Global Cause Partnerships

Prevent gender-based violence in South Sudan:

On February 20, 2017, famine was declared in South Sudan, deepening the already existing humanitarian crisis in the region. Today, more than 2 million people have been displaced by violence in South Sudan. Of those fleeing the conflict, 87 percent are women and children, meaning 1.3 million children need our help to protect their childhood.

Women and children are facing immediate risks of violence, displacement, life-threatening diseases and hunger. In addition to this, Details

20
Nov, 2017

Cincinnati Chapter Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Congratulations to the OH, Cincinnati-2 chapter, led by its founder, Karen Whitney, on 10 years together!

Karen began to recruit friends to start a chapter, but over time, the membership has changed as some women were unable to continue and others joined in their place. Now, Karen says all the members are new friends to her. Persistence was the key to getting the chapter started and having it continue to thrive a decade later. Details

20
Nov, 2017

Solving Problems That Seem Too Big

When the temperatures recently dropped, I enjoyed an evening curling up by the fire to read to my family after filling our bellies with great food (happily, my husband does most of the cooking).  Warmth, shelter, safety, food, family connection. These are simple pleasures in life that I know not to take for granted and I know that other Dining for Women members don’t either. Details


U.S. Foreign Aid, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Dining for Women is collaborating with Oxfam America to elevate the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in U.S. foreign aid. Oxfam, a global social justice organization working to end extreme poverty, offers resources and a depth of experience in this field that is valuable to Dining for Women as we develop our Grassroots Advocacy Program. We, in turn, have an extensive network of members passionate about improving the lives of women and girls in developing nations. By combining forces, we can increase the emphasis on U.S. foreign aid focusing on gender equality.

Details

23
Oct, 2017

For the Ithaca, NY Chapter, the Secret is Flexibility and Warmth

Congratulations to the NY, Ithaca-1 chapter on 10 years of friendship and support for Dining for Women!

The chapter was founded by Miriam Bisk and Gail Sakai. It is currently led by Karin Suskin, Karen Baum, Judith Ashton, and Sue Rakow.  The four co-leaders fill different roles: DFW liaison, bookkeeper, manager of host and presenter schedule, and manager of emails. They believe that having structure and sharing responsibilities are key parts of the group’s longevity, along with warmth – and, of course, great food. Details

9
Oct, 2017

Proven Platter – The Gambia November 2017

Hello Diners!  

This month we are traveling to a place we haven’t visited yet, The Gambia. You might wonder, why I’ve referred to it as The Gambia, instead of just Gambia. Well, the official name is the Republic of The Gambia, and it is referred to as The Gambia for short. It is just a tiny slip of a country, completely surrounded by Senegal, except for the coastline on the Atlantic Ocean at the western end.   Details

28
Sep, 2017

How Do You Say “Love” in Quechua?

Chicuchas Wasi is a place defined by love. Love is the first and last consideration of everything they do, and it is so palpable that even a stranger like me, entering for the first time, could feel it. Upon entering this school for Quechua girls outside of Cusco, Peru, all the girls were in groups around the courtyard ready to perform, and all eyes were on me. This isn’t the usual way shy Peruvian girls might act – they were proud of their costumes and preparation for their performance, and they were confident and eager to show what they knew. Each of them wanted to talk with me, and I wished I could have duplicated myself to connect with every one of them! Details

27
Sep, 2017

Understanding the International Affairs Piece of the Federal Budget Pie

By Nancy Jacobsen, member of DFW’s Advocacy Committee and the CA, Tiburon-1 chapter

Remember the pie chart from the Advocacy Committee blog in the September issue of The Dish? Many of you may have been surprised to learn that only 1% of the U.S. federal budget goes to international affairs. This month, we are going to dive more deeply into how that 1% is broken down and how the federal budget, including the amount designated for international affairs, is determined. It is important to know how this process works if we are to understand how we, as DFW members, can make an impact on behalf of women and girls. Details

13
Sep, 2017

The Proven Platter, Afghanistan, October 2017

Hello Diners!

Afghanistan is the faraway land calling to us to come visit this month!

I’m really excited about the menu I’ve prepared and tested for you. We’ll start with Afghan “Nachos,” for a quick and easy appetizer, followed by the most delicious lamb dish ever, Lamb Kebab with Cinnamon, accompanied by Afghan Flat Bread. Ridiculously easy Afghan Butter Cookies round out the meal. Details

28
Aug, 2017

U.S. Foreign Aid: Dispelling the Myths

In Tajikistan, Mahkfirat Saidrahmonova is showing other women in her community what it takes to successfully run subsistence farms thanks to a program called Feed the Future.

In Afghanistan, a challenging but rewarding internship program is providing Sayeda Korga with job skills that will give her independence and economic security as part of a program called Promote: Women in Government. Details

28
Aug, 2017

Greensboro Chapter Is All about Fun, Food, and Friendship

The NC, Greensboro-5 chapter is focused on three Fs: fun, food, and friendship. The chapter and its founder and leader, Shashi Khanna, are celebrating 10 years of supporting women and girls through Dining for Women.

Shashi started the chapter at a season in life when she was looking for a way to give back. “I was retired, an empty nester, and needed something to fulfill my desire to change the world,” she said. “Not knowing how or where to start, I came across a quote from Saint Theresa, ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.’” Details

25
Aug, 2017

My Site Visit to DB Peru

Once a year, I have the distinct pleasure of doing site visits of some of our grantees. This year Dr. Khandke, our Director of Grants and Partnerships, recommended that I visit DB Peru and Chicuchas Wasi as we want to be visiting recent grantees. Both visits reaffirmed my commitment to Dining for Women, my appreciation of the work we do to select impactful grantees, and my love of our members who are dedicated to global citizenship. Let me tell you first about my visit to DB Peru, our featured grantee in October 2015. Details

25
Aug, 2017

DFW Continues its Support for Girls’ Education with New Grant to the Peace Corps

DFW is pleased to continue its partnership with the Peace Corps in 2017 in order to support girls’ education around the world. We have awarded our second partnership grant in the amount of $70,000 to the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP). The funds will be used by Peace Corps Volunteers and local communities to implement projects that address barriers to girls’ education. Details

28
Jun, 2017

Get to Know Elevate’s Katherine Redington

Members have been telling me for over two years about the importance of our travel program, how it has transformed their lives, and how they feel more connected to the women and girls we support through our grantees.  Announcing our new travel provider in May means that soon you will have that again!

We introduced Elevate Destinations to you in our May announcement, but I want to know who will be planning these trips.  Katherine Redington is Elevate’s Director of Donor Travel and I asked her a few questions so we can all get to know her better. Details


U.S. Foreign Assistance: An Issue for Women and Girls

By Betsy Dunklin, Dining for Women Advocacy Committee Chair

Did you see that ecstatic dance of joy at the end of the video on Mali Health, our May grantee? It epitomizes what Dining for Women members often note, that despite extreme poverty and oppression, these women find happiness from their new-found skills, their support of one another, and, perhaps most of all, a sense of power and control over their own lives. And they use this to change the power dynamics within their families, their communities, and their nations. Details


Chapters Celebrate Their Leaders

In April, DFW celebrated Chapter Leader Appreciation Month for the first time. It was a way to recognize and thank our chapter leaders for all their hard work and dedication to DFW. Chapter members honored their leaders in many different ways … from champagne and cake to cards and kind words. Here are just a few examples of the many tributes that took place across our chapters: Details

26
Apr, 2017

San Francisco Chapter Celebrates 10 Years

The CA, San Francisco-2 chapter, led by Bri Kapellas and Chris King, is both “high tech” and “high touch”. This group of women – mostly in their 20s and 30s – combine busy lives with the desire to meet together for a common cause.

“As San Francisco is a transient city, making good transitions and passing on the leadership has been crucial to our chapter’s longevity,” Chris King said. “Even more so, we hold participation loosely, if people can only come a couple of times a year. It keeps them engaged if they don’t feel like they have to be at every meeting.” Details

26
Apr, 2017

Grant Selection Committee Chair Transition

DFW is grateful for the service of Susan Garrity, who is retiring from our Grant Selection Committee (GSC). Susan has been in service to women and girls through her work with DFW since 2009, when she and three friends started the CA, San Jose-4 chapter, which they still lead.

Susan spent 29 years in Operations and Supply Chain management in the medical device manufacturing world, except for a two-year break during which she attended nursing school and became a Registered Nurse. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters of Business Administration. Details


Four People and a Bottle of Wine

One of the reasons I love living in South Carolina is the friendly people; they are so darn amiable and curious. If you are waiting in line at the grocery store, you’ll learn exactly what the lady in front of you is cooking for her family dinner, which child likes chicken, and which one doesn’t like chocolate. She’ll want to know where you are from and if you live nearby. You can just imagine what the conversation is like when you go to get a mammogram! Details

6
Apr, 2017

The Proven Platter, Mali – May 2017

Hello Diners!

We are traveling to Mali this month. I think we were just there! For this month’s Proven Platter recipe, I decided to see what was already on the site, and choose a recipe to put through my testing process. The result is that I’ve revamped and replaced the recipe for West African Peanut Soup (Tigua Dege Ne). Details

Sue Fernbach
30
Mar, 2017

Sue Fernbach: First Asheville Chapter and So Much More

By Janine Baumgartner, DFW Member, NC, Asheville-1 chapter

Sue Fernbach and her sister loved to cook. Their passion led them to a series of cooking class fundraisers embracing the food of one country at a time. A friend noted a similarity to Dining for Women, and an idea was planted in Sue’s head. She phoned co-founder Marsha Wallace for information and decided to start a chapter. It would take six years to gestate. Family illness, hurricanes, and a move from classroom teaching in Florida to retirement in North Carolina got in the way. Details

29
Mar, 2017

Advocacy: A Best Practice to Change the World

By Betsy Dunklin, DFW Advocacy Committee Chair

When our board of directors adopted advocacy as one of DFW’s four programs, it put into place something that many members have been requesting for years. In fact, at DFW’s national conference in 2013, members called for a plan to add our voices to our dollars. They wanted DFW to have a larger role, through advocacy, in setting U.S. public policy related to poverty and inequality for women and girls in developing nations. Making advocacy part of DFW’s 2020 Vision is exciting because it means we can make an even bigger impact — by combining our collective donations, our collective knowledge, and our collective voices! Details


DFW Delegation Visits New York on Learning Trip

By Beth Ellen Holimon, DFW President

As Dining for Women grows, we see this as an opportunity to enhance the successful methods we have used to empower women and girls around the world. Growth inevitably brings change, and we are ensuring that we have relationships and access to research as we make decisions about the future. And this is not something we do without our members! We are always looking to improve, but 2017 is a more intense year of exploring and learning from other sources. Details


Sacramento TV Station Covers Local Chapter Meeting

KCRA News covered the CA, Rancho Cordova chapter meeting on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2017) and DFW’s Biggest Chapter Meeting Ever. Special guests at the meeting were members of the first Muslim Jr. Girl Scouts troop, who presented the featured grantee and conducted a community fundraiser on behalf of DFW.  

WATCH CLIP 

27
Feb, 2017

A Special Connection to our Featured Grantee

When DFW member Eileen Rogers celebrated a big birthday, she used it to impact the world.

In 2009, Eileen, along with friend and fellow activist Debbie Hill, launched “The Big Wish”, their fundraising initiative to build and outfit a school in Mali. The pair wanted to turn their “big birthdays” into something significant beyond themselves. They had the support of friends and colleagues who spread the word about the goal. The project was a resounding success, raising nearly $80,000, almost twice the original estimate. Details