Wednesday, December 30, 2015

WEA not alone

“As a young child, barefoot women and girls carrying heavy containers of water on their heads, walking long distances under the searing sun were a common sight. The reality of this stayed with me, and I knew I would do something about it someday.”

Through the support and investment of our friends and partners, WEA has unlocked the future for leaders like Olanike Olugboji, a WEA founding mother, who participated in our first Women and Water Training in Kenya, and then returned to Nigeria with a clear vision and a strong network. Equipped with technical skills, entrepreneurship training, and seed funding, Olanike launched her own NGO called WISE, which today has trained over 3,000 women in clean energy, safe water technologies, and entrepreneurship. Her work has created refuge for Nigerian women, who risk rape or assault on the long walks to fetch water and firewood, as well as opportunity for women to create a livelihood and secure a future for their children.

After joining WEA as a regional coordinator, Olanike linked with women around the world. She is not only a regional leader, but she has a global reach as well. Olanike is a correspondent with World Pulse, a recipient of numerous international awards, and a participant in several prestigious leadership trainings. In 2016, WEA will collaborate with Olanike and her team to train women in promoting and selling clean cookstoves, linking up with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves in Nigeria. (If a woman cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner over a wood fire, she suffers the equivalent of smoking between 3 and 20 packets of cigarettes a day. Over 120,000 Nigerian women die annually from inhalation of firewood smoke.) Olanike's impact on the environment and on women’s well-being and livelihood has only just begun.

Our community of supporter such as yourself are a vital part of WEA’s efforts to build alliances. As we embark on our 10th year, please join with the others in this global alliance to ensure WEA’s impact and our solid beginning to the next decade. We are just $2,000 from reaching our Year-End Campaign goal. Please know that a gift of $100, $50 or $20 makes a huge difference. Together, we can build the leadership of women who will create a future of balance, health, and peace for our world.

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