Happy International Women's Day! Advocating for women — for increased access to education, for job training, for the essentials of daily living they need to break the cycle of poverty in their own homes and in their communities — has been in the DNA of iTeams Canada since our very first days. Although our program structure has changed over time, we have not wavered in our commitment to be a voice for those who are too vulnerable or disenfranchised to speak for themselves.
Research has shown again and again that women, when given access to the tools and training and funding they need, can transform their entire communities, starting right at home. We've seen this in action so many different times and in so many different countries and I have to tell you, I never tire of the sight. Unlike many organizations, we don't seek to do our international development work ourselves, but rather we rely on the wisdom and knowledge of leaders around the globe. In many cases, these leaders are women, and they truly do know the best ways to improve circumstances for the people they live and work with.
Lianti Muller has been one of our most vocal advocates and we thought today would be a good opportunity to share what the Impact Zambia program she volunteers with has accomplished simply by providing access to the skills Zambian women need to earn enough money to support their families:
"Impact Zambia's mission is to help rural churches and communities flourish by providing leadership and skills training. This program was built on the grassroots Share your Knowledge initiative that focused on equipping women in very remote rural communities with income-generating sewing skills. We have time and time again experienced how, with a little bit of training, support, and building confidence in themselves, women are able to generate an income and take care of their families. But what is even more wonderful, is that these women would go on and share their new knowledge with others and help uplift even more people out of poverty.
Twenty years ago, Dorothy Masunda participated in the very first 3-day training session at her remote house, 4 hours off the beaten road. She went on to learn even more in follow-up sessions and used her skills to support her family. Later, she and her husband enrolled in college and she obtained a diploma in counselling. Similarly, many women, including Joy, Mercy, Annie, Beauty, Kizzy and Florence, overcame hurdles in their lives and flourished after receiving the opportunity of learning."
Advocating for women makes sense in every possible way: spiritually, financially, politically, and personally. We're proud to stand for the most vulnerable and are excited to imagine a world where all women can have a voice. Will you make a one-time gift today to help us ensure women around the globe can live lives characterized by dignity, justice, peace, and hope?