This Sunday is International Women’s Day. Over the years we have been privileged enough to cross paths with some inspiring, courageous and ambitious women during our travels. I am pretty certain we have met some future politicians, scientists and game-changing entrepreneurs! We wrote about some of them for last year’s International Women’s Day.
Tomorrow we head to Tanzania with VSO where we will spend a week at St Francis Hospital in Ifakara working on a new fundraising film. VSO is where it all began so we always love getting out and about to see the amazing work of volunteers around the world.
One of our ambitions for Mile 91 is that while we are helping charities and changemakers tell the story of their impact we also make our own contribution. We have some exciting ideas that we plan to roll out over the next couple of years as we continue to grow, but our first foray into corporate social responsibility is that we have become lenders on Kiva. For every trip we make from now on we will make a small loan to a project in that country.
So, we are delighted to introduce Deodata. A single mother of two, Deodata has already successfully repaid six Kiva loans and the business she has developed through these small loans helps her pay her children’s school fees and households. The loan we are contributing to will help her grow it further. We have seen first-hand on hundreds of occasions the impact women like Deodata have on their families and communities and we are excited to now be part of her story. Her profile says she dreams of being an international business woman. Dream big Deodata, we’re right behind you!
Below are some images of some of the inspiring women we have been lucky enough to meet. We hope the pictures make you smile as much as meeting the women made us smile.
1. Sister Sulphine Twinomuhangi (centre) works in one of the busiest maternity wards in the world. Whilst we were visiting there were 77 babies delivered in 24 hours. Mulago hospital, in Uganda, faces a lot of criticism, but actually what they are doing is remarkable and she does it all with a smile on her face.
2. Rachia Abubakoni is a qualified teacher and is working at Wungu School, in Ghana. The very school she went to as a child. She became a teacher because she wanted to play a part in helping girls and boys in the community where she was born to have the opportunity she almost missed out on.
3. Maisy and her mum Amy are two remarkable women who we were privileged to meet whilst making a film for DEBRA. They have a very special bond and are truly inspirational.
4. Marcia Cavalcanti, is a university lecturer who, in her spare time, set up Cirandar which is a project that runs community libraries in Porte Alegre, Brazil. Their aim is to help encourage people young and old to read.
5. In 2007 Iin Hartini started her own business selling Nasi Goreng (fried rice). She makes it in bulk to sell to the school canteen for children who have their breakfast at school.
6. Yayery has been a part of Send a Cows family friend scheme. The skills she has learnt have helped her enormously, but it doesn’t stop there. Yayery has been teaching her neighbours what she has learnt and is also able to help by selling them milk, fruit and vegetables.
7. Winnie Nakalema, otherwise known by patients at Kitovu Fistula camps as Mother Winnie. “Sitting together in the mornings is important because they have got used to being embarrassed and isolated. This time together helps them to feel part of a community again.”
8. Jula Eha and her daughter counting the day’s takings in their small shop outside the front of their house in a quiet residential area near the town of Bogor, Indonesia. Jula is saving this money to help send her daughter to school.
9. Solar engineers and members of the village energy committee in Chekeleni village, near Mtwara, Tanzania. Left to right; Sofia, Fatuma, Arafa and Fatuma. Not only are they bringing light to their village for the first time, but they are using it to generate income to support their families and help lift their community out of poverty.
10. Sister Mampewo Sarah Senkungi scans a pregnant mother at Kasangati Health Centre in Uganda. We have worked in a lot of maternity wards across Africa and we are full of admiration for both mums and staff.
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