Global Sorority: Education and Community Fund

by Passion Foundation
Vetted

 

I want to tell you a story about a little girl one Christmas long ago. 

 Imagine if you will that it’s snowing outside! This little girl is ten, soon to be eleven, her family has no money this Christmas.  And to be clear about “no money” all seven of them have survived on $8,000 dollars this whole year with no other assistance.

Usually by this time they would be gone from the cabin in the woods, but this year they’ve decided to stay until after Christmas. These winter days are short in the woods, the sun seems to set even sooner behind the tall pine trees.

The anticipation and secretism in the house is building as everyone tries to work on each other’s handmade surprise gifts, and trying not to be seen. They all have to say things like “I’m coming into the living room now” only to receive synchronized shouts of No!" 

It's time to go and harvest a Christmas tree! The little girl walks through the woods with her family and their dogs and the cat, (the cat goes for family walks too) They select a beautiful crooked tree from a thicket that needs thinning and drag it home, leaving a wide sweeping track in the snow along with their footprints.

Their cheeks and hands are burning from the cold but the fireplace is roaring inside as they put up the tree and hang their handmade decorations.

This year they have near to nothing! And by nothing I mean nothing but love and creativity, family, music, home-grown food, nature, and Christmas magic. So really they have everything they need! Despite how one could perceive a lack of abundance through another lens.

Yes that little girl was me, I still remember the gifts my parents made for me that year. And it stands out as one of my most special family memories. 

The life of that little girl living off the grid in the woods is so far removed from where I am today, but those years growing up shaped my perception of what true abundance really means. 

This year has been an amazing blessing for our little organization, with so many little girls lives that have been altered by your contributions. 

Our cofounder Loretta and our filmographer Andrea just returned from a trip to the frozen North West territories to work with native youth in a remote village called Fort Liard. Look it up on a map! They didn’t even have a road to access it by until the 1980’s!

This community is also desperately poor but to listen to what the kids chose to do for their community contribution projects will melt your heart.

Studies show that the key to happiness and a long life are deeply tied to our sense of purpose in life, and we have seen that children are also drastically effected by having or not having a sense of value and purpose. That is why our EOS progrm always includes a project that alllows the children to experiance that in their give back to their communiy. 

 

I interview Loretta about this trip, and the transformations that he kids experienced. We also get to see the cute puppy that she pulled out of a frozen dirt hole and brought home with her from that trip. Check out the video interview here. https://youtu.be/xoINSvb-_nk 

Seasons greetings to you! and may you be blessed with an abundance of love and holiday magic.

 

Warmly 

 

The Global Sorority Team 

Links:

Ancient abbey crumbling in the fields
Ancient abbey crumbling in the fields

Hello, Or should I say Dia dhaoibh!

pronounced (JEE-uh DEE-iv) That's gaelic, meaning “God to you.”

I’m just flying back from Ireland today, which happens to be my home country and one of the first places that Global Sorority officially started working with young women and shared their unique experience with the world through the documentary series.

During that first year we decided to set out on a quest to find out what girls around the world really needed from- themselves, their communities and us the world, to truly succeed. If we were going to pour our lives and donate every minute of our free time to this idea of empowering girls through leadership and self-development education, then we needed to find out if this indeed was what the world needed.

That first year and first documentary segment captured the lives and voices of girls from Ireland, Italy, Uganda, and India.

Having taught and filmed in many more countries to date. This fall our lead facilitator and our filmographer will be facing sub zero temperatures as they work with indigenous youth in the Northwest Territories of Canada. We’re coming to the end of our research and filming but the EOS leadership education component will continue with your help.

We’ve found that nothing works to shift a young woman’s future development and outcome as much as gaining internal leadership skills and the self-realization of her innate value to her community and the world.

So even if some of our girls in the developing world don’t go on to higher education (which many have!) They still have a much better chance of managing and creating a life that’s in alignment with who they are and which respects their value.

Touching base with the communities and young women we have worked with in the past is important to us because long-term progress and continued support is the direction that we are moving towards.

Checking in with my Irish girls was very rewarding and amazing to see how they have grown. They are rippling out and effecting the world in positive ways. They are now going into law, engineering, speech and language therapy, and the list goes on.

Staying connected with all of the young women we’ve worked with who are spread across the world will take building a strong and robust online education platform and set up safe spaces for girls to continue to learn and grow. Our first GS continued education center will be in Bangalore India. This will cost about $700 a month to rent space, hire staff and serve the girls and young women of the Vivek Negar slum. 

This is our mission for 2017 and I hope that you will join us you join us on this journey to change lives from the inside out and change communities with the help of empowered female leaders who know their value to the world?

Thank you for all you do!

Family Farm where we facilitated first group IRE
Family Farm where we facilitated first group IRE
hanging with my buds
hanging with my buds
last night in Bangalore Proud & sad to say goodbye
last night in Bangalore Proud & sad to say goodbye

Links:

Growing
Growing

 

Global Sorority was started by two women on a mission to better understand why more donors in their field of work felt deeply compelled to give to girls in places far away, rather than to girls in their own local communities. When it was obvious to these two that young women right here in North America were suffering greatly around issues and realities that people seemed blinded to. Perhaps because these issues fell within our own cultural norms? The issues that girls in North America deal with are often behind the facade of everything seeming perfect on the outside, 

But when you really do the work and you ask the right questions and you build a safe space and community for girls to share what’s really going on, you soon see that everything is far from perfect!

They noticed when speaking to people that the idea of a girl being forced to haul water all day and miss out on an education was much more affronting and compelling to contribute to, than the need for services that addressed the rampant issues that plague our own low income, middle-class and affluent communities. Such as eating disorders, self-harm, sexual objectification, negative media effects, violence, trafficking, safety on campus, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and a wide list of others issues.

So they set out on a global mission to gather the voices of girls and young women from countries and communities far and wide to see what it was like to be a girl from all of these perspectives… What did they feel they needed most? What did they need to live to their full potential? What were they dealing with on a daily basis? And they found that although young women in every country and community had their own challenges, that actually there is so much more that connects us together as women than separates us.

They created a documentary film series with these young women’s stories and voices. What do our girls need from us? The ones far away in developing nations and the girls right here in our own back yard. What do they need from themselves and from their communities to be able to lead lives of equality and self defined purpose? To become leaders in their own lives and in society.

Our self-development and EOS leadership development programs and the documentary series all touch upon and positively effect extremely important issues that belong to all of us, not just to girls.

With your donation to Global Sorority you will help us to continue our work here at home and abroad, and to finish our documentary series so that it can be shared with girls and women, educators and nonprofits. We are a 100% volunteer operated and with your help we have been able to work and film and deliver resources to help girls succeed in India, South Africa, Uganda, Mexico, Lebanon, Vietnam, Ireland, Italy, and Canada.  And as we expand, more young women in the US will have access to our services and to be able to share their voices in our documentary series. We can’t do it without your help.

Thank you for everything that you do!

Learning their value & their voice. Bangalore
Learning their value & their voice. Bangalore
Expanding our outreach to more of North America
Expanding our outreach to more of North America
It
It's more fun when we come together. Vietnam

Links:

 

Staying in touch is harder to do than I ever imagined it would be.

Writing to you and keeping you in the loop is easy! It’s the young women in the communities we serve that are harder  to keep up track of.

We work with girls around the globe in remote places where they deal with limited resources and access to things that we take for granted, such as electricity, internet, safe spaces to gather, and local organizational support .

We’ve done a very good job at partnering with organizations in the communities we work in, so that we have a life-line to the young women who’ve taken our programs so we can check in with them and see what they still need, how they are meeting their goals and expanding their lives. even after we have gone. 

People ask "do you keep in touch with all the girls that you deliver leadership courses to?" And my answer is that we try our very best and sometimes we lose track of  a young women along the way. This is always hard for me because I remember each one of them, her story, her struggles and her dreams.  I often lay awake at night wondering where they are and what they are doing. But I’m comforted by knowing that no matter what, they are in a better place from experiencing and being a part of our community, for learning about themselves, how to communicate, shifting their internal dialog and self perceived value.

In this newsletter I’m going to share with you one special young woman who has done an amazing job of keeping us in her life even though we are thousands of miles apart. 

Her name is Thuli, she’s from South Africa and we met her when we went there to work with survivors of sexual violence in 2014

She has shared some amazing ups and some devastating downs over the past couple of years. Her spirit is so resilient and her will to overcome despite everything stacked against her gives me hope, that no matter what a young woman may face, if she has the internal tools to meet challenges, think critically and trust in her abilities to lead her own life, then she can change the world! And it starts with one girl at a time believeing that she can. 

Thuli  stood out in our group as a natural leader,  she showed up every day on time, and was always willing to do the hard internal work. She couragiously told her story for our documentary project, and she also took what she learned from our workshop and shared it with young girls in her community. She teaches dance to children at a community center, and she organizes camping trips for them and experiences that they would never get to have without her in their lives. She spends her own very limited money to make this happen.

She records and shares written stories of women in her community and because of Global Sorority and the EOS workshop she decided that she was worthy of going back to school.  She also took a small grant and turned it into a money making business venture printing garments.

This all sounds like it was rainbows and smooth sailing but what I didn’t mention was that Thuli lost her adoptive mother and mentor,  a valuable amazing woman in the local township that i was privaleged to meet. it was a huge loss for many but it was devistating for Thuli. She had to temporarily drop out of school to help her blind brother who lost his sight from being beaten by a gang, And she suffered a world of other road blocks that I often wonder what I would ever do to keep going if I were in her possition.

Through it all, her proud moments and moments of deep shame and sadness, she writes and tells me how grateful she is that we came into her life. And changed everything for the better. 

And that was only possible because of you. 

Our big ask this year is to help us build our online platform so that we can more easily stay connected to the girls that we work with all over the world, and to continued to provide community, support, education  and  mentorship even when we can't be there in person.  Please consider being a sponsor of this next big project so that the Thulis of the world  don’t slip through the cracks. 

 

Thank you!

 

A poem By Thuli

 

It takes those kinds of wounds to be that kind of a woman.

 

Those kinds of wounds making you feel like it’s the end of the world.

Those kinds of wounds that make you feel worthless, useless and human less.

 

Those kinds of wounds that take you to a world of loneliness, confusion and destruction.

 

Wounds that make you hate yourself so much that you don’t want to be a woman anymore.

 

It takes these kinds of wounds to be that kind of a women.

 

Wounds of a broken heart, abuse, violation, humiliation. Were everything that you once were. Is no more.

 

These kinds of wounds to be this kind of a women.

 

A woman of courage

A woman of integrity

A woman of self love and respect

The kind of a woman who doesn't take a yes for a no and a no for a yes

The kind of a woman who is not put down by negative talk

A women who has taken all her power to all those that have wronged her, by forgiving them, and letting go.

A woman who's confidence is heard in her speech, and felt by speaking all positive things to herself.

 

It takes those kinds of wounds to be this kind of a women.

Sending Blessing for the New Year

As we head into the new year we want to say thank you for all that you have made possible!

So far with your help and commitment, we have reached 700 girls world-wide, in communities as far away as India, Lebanon, Vietnam, South Africa Uganda Mexico and beyond!

The girls and young women you support, will become the future leaders of these communities around the world. Their unique gifts, their spirit, their voices and their ability to create positive change is supported and made possible by you!

As we leave 2015 behind, we want you to know how much of an impact you have made. Please watch this video to get a short sneak peak at what you’ve already done!

https://vimeo.com/149932463

Please consider supporting a girl in 2016 to understand her value, gain leadership and self development education, and to join a community of peers and mentors so she can share her unique gifts and voice to change the world!  

 

Thank you! 

a giant handmade card from the girls in Vietnam
a giant handmade card from the girls in Vietnam
Posted on our workshop wall so we all remembered.
Posted on our workshop wall so we all remembered.
Future leaders! Our young women from Blue dragon
Future leaders! Our young women from Blue dragon

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Passion Foundation

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia - Canada
Website: http:/​/​www.passionfoundation.org
Project Leader:
Tia Kelly
Vancouver, BC Canada
$6,857 raised of $25,000 goal
 
130 donations
$18,143 to go
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