Help Women Feed the World

 
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Celebrating International Women
Celebrating International Women's Day with Lydia

This past week, we’ve had the pleasure of having Lydia Sasu, our local partner from Ghana, in our office sharing more of her stories, life, and work. She also described how Women Thrive has been an instrumental part of her and her organization’s growth.

“We thank Women Thrive for their assistance—it is more [valuable] than a goat.” Lydia explained that before Women Thrive’s partnership with Development Action Association (DAA), the women thought of themselves as illiterate, rural women without any power. Though they were well aware of the challenges that women faced, they did not know how to make their needs known to the right people to achieve change. Women Thrive built DAA’s advocacy capacities through formal on-site trainings, weekly/monthly teleconferences, ongoing consultation, and coaching.

As a result, Lydia and DAA have established themselves as strong gender advocates—representing women at important tables such as the Ghana’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP) process, which is the African-led initiative to reduce hunger and poverty through strategic agricultural investments, as well as Ghana’s Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) steering committee to monitor gender integration in the CAADP process. What this means is that Lydia has direct input into national food security and agriculture policies and programs so that women’s voices are heard and that rural women can benefit.

Your support has helped ensure that women on the ground know their voices and input should be considered and integrated into the big policies and investments that will influence their country and communities. And in doing so, those investments become more effective in empowering women and girls to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.

On March 14, GlobalGiving is having a Bonus Day, where online donations made that day will be matched at 30% until the pool of $50,000 in funds run out (so please give early on the 14th!). Make your donation go farther by giving that day and giving to Women Thrive—an organization that is committed to working with grassroots women and organizations to spur sustainable change from the bottom-up. When you give, please also help spread the word about GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day and your gift to Women Thrive by sharing our project Facebook or Twitter (http://goto.gg/8581). By doing so you could help us win additional prizes.  The organization that raises the most funds on Bonus Day will receive an additional $1,000 from GlobalGiving. Also the organization that has the most unique donors on Bonus Day will receive an additional $1,000 from GlobalGiving. So no matter what the size of your gift, it will make a big difference.

As always, thank you for your support!

March 1, 2012 - Invitation to Breakfast Briefing
March 1, 2012 - Invitation to Breakfast Briefing

Dear Friends,

I wanted to share a case study that shows how hunger and food insecurity can make women and girls and men and boys more vulnerable to violence. This is why Women Thrive works on both issues. Please see the synopsis and link to the full story below. Also, attached please find an invitation to our upcoming International Women's Day Breakfast Briefing entitled "From One in Three to None in Three: Women and Girls Living Free of Violence." I hope that you will join us on March 1 at 8:30am EST live via webcast here.

Farm Schools in Uganda Engage Men and Women in Preventing GBV4

In parts of Northern Uganda, evidence has shown a strong correlation between food insecurity and incidences of violence against women. For example, during recent food shortages and dry seasons, when families are most likely to experience hunger, incidents of violence against women have increased. To tackle this underlying cause of violence, FAO teamed up with UNIFEM and UNFPA to launch a network of Farmer Field and Life Schools (FFLS) in 2009 in Uganda’s Northern districts of Amuru, Katakwi and Abim. Through the FFLS, groups of famers, both women and men, gather to learn traditional and modern agricultural practices, such as field  preparation, processing, storage and conversation of natural resources. Additionally, students are taught in classroom settings about nutrition, HIV prevention, and gender-based violence. Also, FFLS members are able to access economic opportunities such as investment loans, credit for school payments and learn business skills such as record-keeping and budgeting. The FFLS also help survivors of violence connect to GBV services such as medical providers, counselors and police. This multifaceted approach to helping women and men to restore their livelihoods has been extremely effective in the prevention ofviolence.

To view the full study, please visit: 

http://www.fao.org/gender/gender-home/gender-projects/gender-projectsdet/en/?dyna_fef[uid]=48118. FAO. “Farm schools in Uganda engage women and men in gender-based violence prevention.” Published 25/11/2010. Accessed online 11 January, 2011:

Links:

DAA members at their quarterly meeting
DAA members at their quarterly meeting

I wanted to share a special update from the field. Lydia Sasu, Executive Director of Development Action Association (our local partner in Ghana), has called on the government to include women farmers on issues and policies relating to climate change. Attached is the original news article of Lydia attending a conference in Durban, South Africa and a picture of DAA members at their quarterly meeting. This is just another example of how you are amplifying the voices of grassroots women leaders around the world. 

Thanks for your support!


Attachments:

Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

I wanted to send a special thank you to everyone from the GlobalGiving community that supported our work this year. There are a lot of worthy projects on GlobalGiving, and you chose us. That means a lot to us, and we are incredibly grateful. 

We have achieved a lot this year for millions of women and girls worldwide, as described in our year end letter attached. I hope that you will take the time to read it and celebrate the wins.

If you ever have any questions, suggestions for me on how I can keep you better updated on our work, or would like additional information, please feel free to contact me at development@womenthrive.org. 

Thanks again for your support, and best wishes to you and your family this holiday season and the upcoming New Year. 

With warmest regards,

Mei Powers
Manager
Organizational Advancement
Women Thrive Worldwide


Attachments:

Please tune in on Sunday morning (12/18/11) at 9:15 AM EST to watch Ritu Sharma, President and Co-Founder of Women Thrive Worldwide, on CSPAN Washington Journal. The 15 minute interview—covering a range of topics including the international affairs budget, its impact on women, and women's issues in general such as hunger and violence against women—will be followed by a call-in session, where you can call to participate. Please feel free to share via Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks and best wishes this holiday season!
-Mei

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Project Leader

Mina Alemzadeh

Washington, DC United States

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