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.
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.”
We’re going to Peru this month! I really enjoyed our last excursion there, the lovely Causa Relleno really made an impression on me. You could make that again. And of course, you will want to have some Ceviche to start, basically the national dish of Peru. Details
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
We may not be physically traveling to Mali this month, but we are still able to taste and participate in the local cuisine right here at our own dining tables.
Here is a wonderful recipe that is representative of a typical meal. My husband stood at the stove, eating right out of the pot, and was already telling me that I had to make this again! This dish should please anyone with dietary requirements, as it is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Details
For the past two years, we have been building our infrastructure so that we could launch our commitment to growing Dining for Women with even more chapters across the U.S. You have joined hands with us and answered the call! Details
It is with great pleasure that Dining for Women releases its 2015 Annual Report. I would like to take this opportunity to walk through our financial performance in 2015 so that you will fully understand how our organization was funded and how we expended the funds that you so generously contributed. Details
On March 8th – International Women’s Day – Dining for Women announced its first Strategic Partnership with a $100,000 commitment to the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund in support of girls’ education. On that day, we were honored to participate in a special event with First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington DC to support the Let Girls Learn Initiative. (See White House Fact Sheet) Details
When I received a call from Susan Anderson, a board member with The Grandmother Project (GMP), inviting me to travel with her to Senegal to see their work in action, I jumped at the chance. Patricia Andersson, inveterate traveler and trip leader, was up for the adventure too! CREATE!, another DFW grantee, was headquartered within several hours drive of the GMP office, so we were fortunate to be able to visit both organizations to see the projects we’ve supported with our DFW grants. Details
The first time I talked with Jessica Posner, co-founder of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), was June 2011. Shining Hope for Communities was Dining for Women’s featured grantee, and I had asked her to Skype with my chapter. It was about 2:00 a.m. in Kenya! We were riveted as she described the school and the vision that she and Kennedy, her life partner and SHOFCO co-founder, have for their organization. We were hooked by the vision but also by the story of Jessica and Kennedy, drawn together in life and in work. Jessica is from Denver, Colorado. Kennedy was born and raised in the slums of Kibera, in Nairobi, Kenya. Together they’ve established a thriving nonprofit that is changing the lives of precious girl students and also their community in Kibera. Details
Our culinary travel this month of December finds us in the Himalayas, specifically Nepal.
Originally, I had it in mind to come up with an interesting twist on the “momo”, a Nepalese steamed dumpling with a meat or vegetable filling, wildly popular and sold on the streets. What about a sweet dumpling filling and call it dessert? My first attempt at this idea was a complete failure, but I still liked the idea and decided I’d work on this for the next time we visit Nepal in April 2016. So I’ve got time to get this right!
It is devastating to see and read about the Syrian refugee families, and I find myself searching constantly for more information, more perspective. Dining for Women’s featured program in January was the Collateral Repair Project (CRP), which helps refugees living in Jordan. Our $37,000 grant is being used to provide psychosocial and wellness programs as well as leadership training for refugee women, many of whom have escaped from the conflict in Syria. I wanted to loop back with CRP to dig a little deeper into the perspective of the refugees and the future. Details
Equipping women in rural Mexico to farm a highly nutritious local grain crop; helping marginalized girls in Mumbai, India to complete their schooling; empowering Maasai women in Tanzania to protect their natural resources for themselves and future generations; and helping victims of human trafficking achieve justice and prosecute their traffickers. These are some of the objectives of the six featured programs that you – our DFW members – will support in the first half of 2016 through grants totaling more than $275,000. See the Program Flyer for a complete list of the newly-selected grantees.
We spoke with Tricia Karpfen and Amy Hartenstine from the Muditar Foundation about how Dining For Women’s sponsorship will help provide maternal and infant care for the women in the Pa-O tribal villages in Southern Shan State, Myanmar. Muditar has worked hard to create a Maternal and Infant Health program that empowers women to make healthy reproductive choices reducing maternal and infant mortality and raise healthy children. Details
Cooking should be one of those activities that makes us feel safe and secure. What’s more comforting than home fires? But in much of the developing world, indoor cooking over open flames results in dangerous household air pollution. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.3 million die each year from its complications.
RIPPLE Africa has developed a low-tech, sustainable and efficient stone cookstove that burns significantly less wood and uses bricks that retain heat as the cooking surface. This is safer than open flames, reduces the indoor air pollution and saves women significant time spent gathering wood for cooking fires. That time can now be used on educational or economic activities in the home.
RIPPLE Africa is our featured program for May 2015. Our $45,000 grant — distributed over two years — will directly effect 3,000 families in the Nkhotakota district of Malawi. The Changu Changu Moto project will build a cookstove in each of 3,000 homes, provide instruction for the families on safe use and include follow up visits for more training and education as well as data collection.
When ordinary people are suddenly and inexplicably surrounded by war, life as they know it can cease to exist. They become the collateral damage. They are teachers, cab drivers, lawyers, bakers, mothers, fathers, children – all running away from devastation and toward the unknown. Details