|Zainab Salbi, founder of WOMEN FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL|
So, how should we respond?
In 1993 a remarkable young Iraqui-American woman, Zainab Salbi - then in her 20s - founded a quite unique organisation called WOMEN FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL. Her first-hand experience of the devastation caused by the state-sanctioned violence that is war, and the particular devastation it causes women and their children, inspired her to set up a program which allows women and men in richer, more peaceful countries to support on an individual basis women who've been affected by war.
Zainab's formula is simple, intelligent and effective. Through a monthly modest contribution, sponsors (people like us) make it possible for women in war-affected countries to enrol in a focused, free one-year program of vocational education. Each participant is offered business and skills training, health and emotional support and vital access to micro-financing so that the benefits they gain can continue. This is literally a life-giving, life-saving program and the women can, for the first time, achieve some degree of the independence and security we can too easily take for granted.
|Every child, every person, deserves safety and peace.|
This seems to me to be an exceptionally practical way that we can extend our peace-making efforts - not least because an educated population of women will always have far more power than when women's poverty effectively marginalizes and silences them.
To support this organisation, and to let people like us know that it exists and that we can become sponsors ourselves, a small team have put together a most beautiful cookbook - which is my special book this month. The book is edited by Alison Oakervee and is called SHARE. Its subtitle says it all: "The cookbook that celebrates our common humanity".
|100% of the royalties go direct to WOMEN FOR WOMEN|
Buy multiple copies of this wonderful book and give them liberally to friends. You would be giving far more than a gorgeous cookbook filled with nutritious, delicious and manageable recipes. (You can use our bookshop links, upper right.) I also urge you to consider becoming a sponsor for an individual woman in the WOMEN FOR WOMEN programs. Their mantra is: "Change the world, one woman at a time".
From wherever you are in the world, it is possible to participate. You do NOT need to be a woman to be a sponsor; you just need to care enough. http://www.womenforwomen.org/ is their "home" webpage. Some countries also have specific WOMENFORWOMEN web presence, including Australia where it is http://womenforwomenaus.org/ You are also welcome to contact Jenny Bassett - WOMEN FOR WOMEN's volunteer organiser in Australia - via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You might also want to consider broadening your support through greater engagement with International Women's Development Agency (IWDA). We can act. We can help. We can care effectively. Your comments are very welcome.
|"You can change the world, one woman at a time."|