Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Grantee Spotlight- Luhwahwa Youth Development Foundation

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 by Circle of Sisterhood Foundation

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In December 2013, Luhwahwa Youth Development Foundation(LUYODEFO) received a $3,260 grant from Circle of Sisterhood to engage women and girls in menstrual hygiene education to promote retention and academic success in the Kasese districts in the Rwenzori region of western Uganda.

LUYODEFO is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides support to marginalized communities. LUYODEFO was formed by a group of motivated youth to respond to the plight of children, youth, women, and men impacted greatly by political conflict, disease, and extreme poverty in western Uganda.

LUYODEFO fulfills its mission through health, education and community initiatives. Their grant application highlighted a major, yet traditionally silent, issue hindering girls’ development and education – puberty and the onset of menstruation. Millions of girls in Sub-Saharan Africa are disempowered by the simple biological process of menstruation. Many girls and women in Uganda cannot afford expensive store-bought products in order to have better menstrual health and hygiene management (MHM) practices. The lack of sanitary products is one of the factors reinforcing absenteeism during menstruation, which in turn relates to poor performance and low persistence. LUYODEFO is working to bring locally-made, reusable sanitary kits to schools while educating girls and their families about the importance of MHM. Removing barriers to education is at the core of Circle of Sisterhood’s mission and granting to LUYODEFO for work in this area was a strong fit.

We recently received LUYODEFO’s interim report and are pleased to report that they are actively conducting menstrual hygiene education alongside kit distribution, while also providing counseling to girls. Staff and volunteers are conducting community-wide menstrual hygiene education through churches targeting parents (men and women), with the hope that involving parents will help break the stigma around menstruation and that girls/women will get family support in managing their periods.

As their report states: “Introduction of such a project in schools and the community has not been easy; many people still look at the topic of menstruation as the ‘untalked’, but our team is working tirelessly to break these cultural taboos and have menstruation looked at as an issue related to sexual and reproductive health, human rights, personal hygiene, education, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities, and women’s health.”

We are proud to support LUYODEFO and its important barrier-removing work in Uganda. May it serve as a reminder of the many privileges we enjoy as girls and women living in the United States.

 

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Give4Girls – An Opportunity to Pay It Forward

Posted on: June 20th, 2014 by Circle of Sisterhood Foundation

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I was the first girl in my family to graduate from college. I didn’t really think too much about it. It was always an expectation that my sister and I would go to college. My parents wanted me to have the opportunity to do anything I wanted and a college education was essential.

I could have gone anywhere in the country and I chose Arizona State University. I was blessed to receive a Regents Scholarship and as long as I kept my GPA above a 3.75, I was guaranteed full tuition. I worked hard. I loved my major. My professors were the best of the best. I joined Sigma Sigma Sigma and was welcomed by a group of women that celebrated my academic achievements. I graduated suma cum laude.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized how truly fortunate I was in my pursuit of education. I had the support of family and friends. I had access to an outstanding university. I received scholarship money to pay for my education. I had the intense drive to do well academically.

I did not have to fight to go to school. I did not face the pressure of a culture that fears education for girls and puts up roadblocks to keep girls from education. I did not live in abject poverty. Millions of girls have to live this way and that frightens me.

Giving girls an education or teaching them a trade is the very first step to lift them from poverty and oppression. Girls who can read, write, and do arithmetic are much more able to raise their own family in better circumstances. They are less likely to contract HIV or fall victim to sex trafficking. Removing barriers to education is the key to solving so many global problems.

My own view on this became very clear after reading Half the Sky. Education, which we too often take for granted here in the United States, is a profound and transformational gift to girls in many parts of the world.

The Circle of Sisterhood is a global effort by sorority women committed to combatting poverty and oppression by helping girls and women receive an education. Today we launch Give4Girls. This special fundraising initiative is our way to take a stand and help girls around the world. Through a tribute donation, we can honor our sisters, teachers, mothers and friends who have helped us achieve our own goals and pay it forward to help someone else. I invite you to join me today my making a donation to Give4Girls in recognition of your own education and those who helped you achieve it, but more importantly to give some little girl a chance for a much better life.

Let’s not take this opportunity for granted. We can make a difference. We NEED to make a difference.

Please follow the link below to join the Give4Girls movement.

www.circleofsisterhood.org/donate

 

 Bethany Deines is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and serves on the Circle of Sisterhood Board of Trustees. Professionally, she works as the director of annual gifts at Dayton Children’s Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

Spring 2014 Grants Announced

Posted on: June 3rd, 2014 by Circle of Sisterhood Foundation

The Foundation is pleased to announce the awarding of $34,650 in grants as a result of our spring 2014 grants process. The grants review team evaluated 15 applications for requests totaling over $74,500. Their diligence led to the identification of seven organizations to receive grant awards this grant cycle.

 

While we will be highlighting each organization via individual blog posts throughout the year, here is a brief summary of the spring 2014 grants to whet your appetite:

 

  • Anchal Project has been awarded $5,000 to fund 12 monthly educational workshops and a 7-day intense training workshop for 100 women in India.
  • GirlForward, a 2013 grant recipient, will receive $5,000 to once again support Camp GirlForward, which provides summer enrichment to 20 refugee girls in Chicago, Ill.
  • Girls For A Change was awarded $5,000 to support expansion of their Girls Action Team program, which empowers girls for social change in Richmond, Va.
  • Heshima Kenya will receive $5,000 to support the Girls’ Empowerment Project, which provides access to education and livelihood support for 80 girls and women in Kenya.
  • Lift Up Africa has been granted $5,000 to support the education of ten Kenyan girls living at the HELGA rescue center for one year.
  • Many Hopes will receive $4,650 to support the salary of an academic tutor for over 40 girls living at Many Hopes homes in Kenya.
  • Transitions Global has been awarded $5,000 to support Shine Career School, which provides Cambodian girls vocational and life skills training and enrichment classes.

 

The generosity of individual, organization and campus donors has made it possible for Circle of Sisterhood to advance our mission of removing barriers to education for girls and women through these grants. We are ever grateful to our donors for their continued support and confidence. Together we are changing the world – thank you!

 

 

Grantee Spotlight- Help for the Massai

Posted on: May 29th, 2014 by Circle of Sisterhood Foundation

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Help for the Massai (HftM) provides holistic support to Northern Tanzania’s Massai of the Malambo community to help ensure their survival responding to the challenges they are facing in the modern world.

One of the primary ways HftM achieves its mission is through education. HftM built an English primary school at Malambo that serves approximately 300 pupils. In addition, HftM sponsors 260 pupils in other primary and secondary schools in various districts in Tanzania, plus nine students who attend universities and colleges. The support is given primarily to Massai girls, who are underprivileged in all respects of life in the Massai culture. The pupils are also provided food, medical assistance and counseling as a prerequisite for successful school attendance.

At the beginning of its education work, the Massai did not see value in sending their children to the HftM Naserian school in Malambo. However, this situation has changed and HftM is now faced with a large demand of Massai parents wishing to enroll their children in the HftM school. The demand far exceeds HftM’s capacity to admit 30 new pupils each year or find new foster parents adopting Massai children and paying for their school fees.

Circle of Sisterhood’s $5,000 grant to HftM will fund four Massai girls’ attendance at HtfM’s Primary School in Malambo and four Massai girls who have passed their final Primary School exam successfully and have the capability to continue formal education at a Secondary School in 2014.

We’re proud to support HftM in its effort to educate girls in Tanzania and look forward to sharing updates on the eight girls as information becomes available.

 

Grantee Spotlight: Forum For Community Change and Development

Posted on: May 8th, 2014 by Circle of Sisterhood Foundation

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A first-time grantee, Forum for Community Change and Development (FOFCOD) is an organization that caters to society’s needs and advances women’s rights in South Sudan. Formed in 2009 by a group of innovative young girls and youth, the organization has grown into a broader movement committed to South Sudan’s development through programs in the areas of human rights, democracy, conflict resolution, health, education, entrepreneurship, food security, peace and justice.

 
FOFCOD believes ensuring women’s full equality and full participation in society is one of the most effective ways to build a just, peaceful and sustainable country. FOFCOD’s mission is to open eyes, inform minds, touch hearts and join hands to create a country where all economic structures, systems and policies guarantee the dignity and basic rights of every member of the human family. The organization addresses the current high levels of unemployment among girls and women by identifying existing opportunities in communities through skills training, appropriate technologies and creation of income generating activities. FOFCOD is managed and run by young women and envisions a new generation of productive and self-reliant young South Sudanese girls and women who can ably participate in community development programs to meet their needs and those of other disadvantaged groups.

 

Circle of Sisterhood’s $2,500 grant will support a multi-faceted program to improve the life skills, health and economic status of poor women. With these funds, FOFCOD will implement a combination of entrepreneurial offerings and education and training initiatives for over 40 women. We’re pleased to support FOFCOD in its effort to improve the lives of women and their families and communities.