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Grantee Spotlight: Daughters of Toleza Scholarship Foundation

Posted on: April 11th, 2014 by Circle of Sisterhood Foundation No Comments

Tolzea

Circle of Sisterhood is proud to support the work of Daughters of Toleza Scholarship Fund. A first-time grantee, Daughters of Toleza Scholarship Fund (DTSF) is committed to the secondary education of girls from rural southern Malawi. A grassroots organization established in 2010, DTSF was founded as a result of six graduate students’ experience on an international study trip. Their time in rural southern Malawi (they stayed on Toleza Farm and studied their sustainable agriculture practices) compelled them to establish DTSF after personally witnessing the poverty that existed and that girls lacked education due to money and cultural pressures to remain uneducated. 

Circle of Sisterhood is proud to fund the education of one girl for one year through a $2,500 grant. The girls supported by DTSF attend Bahikta Secondary School in Balaka, Malawi. The school’s mission is “Empowering youth to be agents of change for a better society” – a mission the Circle of Sisterhood wholeheartedly supports. DTFS’s U.S.-based team is partnered with a three-person team from Toleza Farm (also in Balaka) to provide encouragement and moral support by mentoring the girls the organization supports. Mentoring helps with retention as these girls are working against cultural and financial odds. DTSF ensures that they have the best opportunity possible by providing them a quality education at a private boarding school where they can focus on their studies in a safe place with regular healthy meals. 

DTFS’s hope – and ours, too – is that the girls return to their communities and pay forward the education they have received by improving the lives their families and communities. We look forward to sharing news about our scholarship recipient in future blog posts as it becomes available.

Five Ways to Make the Most of SEPC

Posted on: March 27th, 2014 by Circle of Sisterhood Foundation No Comments

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Calling all southeastern Circle of Sisterhood supporters! We are headed to SEPC this weekend, and we hope to see you there. This is a conference near and dear to our hearts, and it’s a tremendous opportunity for you to grow in your campus leadership positions. Here are some quick tips for connecting with the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, and making the most of your SEPC conference:

 

Meet as many new people as you can. Conferences can be busy and crowded and overwhelming, and your instinct might be to cling to the people from your school- but resist the urge! This is your chance to meet so many new people who can help you be the best Panhellenic officer and sorority woman that you can be. Take a risk, introduce yourself to someone new. Chances are if someone is sitting in the same session as you that they’re facing some of the same challenges you are on campus too!

 

Come find us. Not sure where to start when it comes to meeting new people? You’re in luck, we love new friends!  You can find us in the exhibit hall, hosting an education session Friday at 1:30pm. The title is Global Engagement: Sorority Communities Impacting Girls Education Worldwide, and it will be held in the Waverly Room. Also, you’ll see supporters wearing buttons all over the place. Nervous about making the first introduction? Don’t worry, we’ll be taking every opportunity we can to talk to YOU.

 

Make sure you meet Ginny. If you haven’t met her yet and you really want to hear the story of how we came to be, make sure you take a minute and connect with our founder, Ginny Carroll, who will be at the conference all weekend. You haven’t seen passion until you’ve heard Ginny talk about the Circle of Sisterhood foundation.  She will be speaking at the luncheon, facilitating our ed session, and hanging out at our booth!  Also, we will have 4 women who travel with us to Senegal to break ground on the first Circle of Sisterhood funded school there this week.  They’d love to share their stories!

 

Make the most of social media. While we hope you’ll put the phone down and connect with new people and ideas over the weekend, we also hope you’ll take advantage of social media opportunities. Use the conference hashtag #SEPC14 and follow the Southeastern Panhellenic Association @SEPAtweets to engage in conversation about what you’re learning. Also, connect with us, we’re known to have a few social media contests at these conferences ☺. You can follow us on twitter @CofS_Foundation to learn more about our cause and participate in any giveaways that might be going down.

 

Don’t forget your swag. You’ll notice that everyone at the conference is rocking flair! Forget yours at home? No worries- we have swag for everyone. Drop by the exhibition booth and we’ll hook you up with buttons or pins!.

 

Take it home with you. This conference will give you so many good ideas and good connections, and it can be hard to keep track of everything. Don’t forget to take notes, and it’s never too early to start making some plans. Figure out what will work for you and your campus, and what won’t. We firmly believe that one person can have a tremendously positive impact on their community and those around them. Be that person.

 

Oh, and you know that swag we mentioned?  Do you like t-shirts? Hoodies? On Thursday only, Circle of Sisterhood merchandise will be for sale next to our booth near the registration area.  35% of proceeds will help us remove barriers to education for girls!

 

We’re so excited to see old friends and meet new ones at SEPC this weekend! Use these tips and take advantage of every opportunity and it’ll be the experience of a lifetime!

2013 Grantee Highlight: EGBOK and EKARI Foundations

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by Circle of Sisterhood Foundation No Comments

The Foundation proudly announced nearly $30,000 in grant awards last month. The eight deserving organizations will be highlighted here in the coming months. Today  we start with two organizations that may sound familiar to some readers, and for good reason. EGBOK Mission and EKARI Foundation are previous recipients of Circle of Sisterhood grants and the board of trustees affirmed our relationship with both groups by awarding them grants once again during the fall 2013 granting cycle.

EGBOK Mission received a $5,000 grant to provide education and training scholarships for three young women. This is our third grant in support of the critical work EGBOK is doing to change the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young women in Cambodia. These scholarships will provide three program participants access to the highest levels of training in the hospitality industry, and upon completion of their studies the opportunity to secure employment with one of EGBOK’s many partners, in turn securing their futures.

Through education and training, EGBOK Mission creates economic opportunity for underprivileged young women in Cambodia to lift themselves out of poverty into a life of independence and self-sustainability. EGBOK was one of our first grant recipients, catching our attention in 2011, and they continue to impress and inspire us through their work. The smiles on the faces of these program participants lead us to believe the feeling is not ours alone.

 COS Photo From EGBOK Mission

EGBOK program participants, November 2013

EKARI Foundation received a $4,500 grant to fund the education of seven girls for one year in Malawi. This is our second grant to EKARI Foundation and we are very pleased that it will support the six girls impacted by our previous grant and one additional deserving young woman who is completing her college studies.

The EKARI Foundation makes an impact by providing tuition, exam fees, boarding, meals, uniforms, transport home during holidays, access to healthcare and all basic necessities to girls pursuing their education. EKARI Foundation believes that breaking the cycle of poverty that exists in Phalombe, Malawi begins by empowering girls and women through education. We are inspired by their work and the girls we are helping. Patuma Makande, one of the secondary school students supported by the CofS grant, shared the following letter of thanks with us recently. It is a touching reminder that we are indeed making a difference.

Circle of Sisterhood Letter Patuma (2)

 

NOTE: You can read earlier blog posts highlighting EGBOK Mission and EKARI Foundation to learn more about these two inspiring organizations.

This blog was written by Sue Kraft Fussell, a former CofS trustee and current grants team lead.

Celebrating 2013: Grant Cycle Review

Posted on: January 31st, 2014 by Circle of Sisterhood Foundation No Comments

While we are looking forward to what we are sure will be an incredible 2014, we want to take some time to look back and reflect on the accomplishments of 2013. Another grant cycle has passed and a total $29,260 has been given!

During the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation’s Fall 2013 grant cycle, eight grants of varying amounts were given to international organizations in countries including Cambodia, Uganda, South Sudan and more. These grants will fund educational programs, give scholarships to girls attending school, and even purchase equipment to help prevent the spread of disease.

The application process included an application for the grant with information about the organization and a requested amount. Circle of Sisterhood team members reviewed these applications, gave recommendations, and had a conference call with the organization itself. Then, a final decision was made. Every organization who applied for a grant received some amount of funding. The Fall 2013 grantees are Daughter of Toleza Scholarship Fund, EGBOK Mission, EKARI Foundation, Forum for Community Change and Development, Help for the Massai, Luwahwa Youth Development Foundation, NETwork Against Malaria, and VoiceFlame.

Without campus and donor support, these grants would not be possible to give. Thank you for your continuing fundraising efforts. Over the next few months follow up with this blog as it highlights information about each organization receiving a grant and the programs, projects, and people these grants are going to help.

 

suzie

 

This blog was written by Suzie Coco. Suzie Coco is an Alpha Xi Delta and the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College Panhellenic President for 2014. Graduating this upcoming December with a degree in Sociology, Suzie is interested in pursuing a career in Human Resources Management. Her passion for helping others and spreading knowledge about women’s issues   has inspired her interest and involvement in the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation.