On January 20, 2018, women across the United States marched to show their determination to be heard. But what about those women who are fighting for justice continents away? In solidarity with the global struggle for gender equality, we devoted this week to spotlighting some of our partners that embody this same determination in their unique local contexts.
2017 IN NUMBERS
Between the first Women’s March in 2017 and today, Give2Asia has facilitated 12 different grants for projects that directly contribute to gender equality. The nearly half-million US dollars contributed to these projects collectively reach 23,775 people in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, Give2Asia last year made over US$25 million in grants to support entire communities seeking to improve health, education, and livelihood opportunities for all.
These 12 projects do not only serve to empower women and girls. The accomplishments of these bold women who have taken charge and established their own initiatives are addressing unmet needs for whole communities. These programs are related to microfinance, education, childcare, and more. For this reason, we devoted this past week to spotlighting four of our partners that are founded by women who have taken empowerment into their own hands.
WOMEN AT WORK
Chenta Gala Sinha: Mann Deshi Foundation
Chenta Gala Sinha experienced firsthand the struggle for women to obtain financial security in India. As a result, in 1996, Sinha established India’s first rural bank for women and started the Mann Deshi Foundation. Ever since, Mann Deshi has continued to grow and empower women through countless skills-building and community programs.
This week, Sinha co-chaired the World Economic Forum 2018 in Switzerland as it featured its first ever all-women panel! Not only has Sinha made a remarkable difference in her own community, but she has spread the voice of women from the Global South to the forefront of global conversations. Learn more about her organization, and keep up with the advice of the female panel at the World Economic Forum to never offer poor solutions to poor people.
Pushpa Basnet: Early Childhood Development Center
During a field trip to a woman’s prison in Kathmandu, social worker Pushpa Basnet met an 8-month-old girl who had never experienced life outside prison. Unable to accept the reality of children growing up behind bars, in 2005 Basnet founded the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) which now provides a nurturing environment and housing to over 140 children of incarcerated parents in Nepal. Her goal is to free all children raised in Nepali prisons and to educate them to become the leaders of tomorrow. Basnet’s determination is an inspiration for women everywhere who refuse to live alongside an injustice. Visit ECDC’s donation page to help support her unique initiative.
Park Sun-Young: North Korea Refugee Aid (Mulmangcho Foundation)
Park Sun-Young began her career in journalism with an investigation of North Korean defectors. When she discovered the harsh repression they face, instead of simply writing about it, Park chose to act upon it. She founded the Mulmangcho Foundation (or “Forget-Me-Not” Foundation in English) to care for both North Korean refugees and South Korean prisoners of war and grant them a second chance at life, by providing them a caring environment to thrive freely. Her foundation provides many services such as a platform for telling refugee stories, oversea studies, therapeutic choir, temporary housing, boarding schools, and more. In addition to enabling POWs and refugees to get back on their feet, Park continues to persistently advocate for North Korean refugees and their freedom, and has established herself as one of the most distinguished woman activists today.
Dr. Sakena Yacoobi: Afghan Institute of Learning
Dr. Sakena Yacoobi’s gender prohibited her from getting an education in Afghanistan, so she acquired degrees in the United States and then returned to her war-torn home country determined to change the future of girls who were still there. From creating education programs in refugee camps to starting schools to providing legal services and teaching the arts, Dr. Yacoobi has been a groundbreaking force in transforming the lives of women in Afghanistan. Her initiative the Afghan Institute of Learning has brought thousands of women and men to become community leaders, in spite of threats by the Taliban that would have deterred a less resilient leader.
Read Dr. Yacoobi’s advice on showing men that women’s education should not be seen as a threat, watch her TED Talk on the transformative power of education.
THERE’S MORE TO SEE
We have far too many exceptional partners to list here. Want to find a program in a country that particularly concerns you? You might not have known that you can search through our partners by region and fields of interest. This means you can look up all of our partners that address education in India, infrastructure in Indonesia, or livelihoods in Laos, to find the partners that match your exact interests and learn how to support them.