Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Educate a girl, change the world

At last night’s Dining for Women event the table topic printed on narrow slips of green paper read:
“How would your life be different if you hadn’t been allowed to attend school?”

Education is such an ingrained part of our lives it was difficult to have any meaningful exchange on the ‘what if’ premise. What proved more tangible was the $7,000 the eclectic group of Vancouver, WASH. women have donated to various organizations across the globe during the past seven months

Most Dining for Women chapters meet in women’s homes, but this group is a powder keg of female enthusiasm, filling a large meeting hall and taking on the world’s ailments one fundraising dinner at a time.

They’re fun women, working women, retired women, kayaking women, artists, photographers, gardeners, golfers. They play ice hockey, weave baskets and create software for Fortune 500 companies. They're running women and women running for political office.

They love to:
  • Bake
  • Bike
  • Cook
  • Dance
  • Eat
  • Read
  • Swim
  • Travel
  • Walk
  • Write

They believe in giving.

They believe in education.

They believe in accountability and scrutinize finances and management of the organizations asking for support. You’d be surprised how far a Dining for Women dollar goes. There’s no fat, fluff, or golden fleece awards. The $7000 the Vancouver women have donated in the past seven months is part of a $1.15 million kitty that is changing the future of women around the globe.

They believe in standing up. And each month, one woman stands up and shares. She tells us what it would be like if we didn’t have an education, if we didn't have a safe place to live, if we didn't have enough to eat or basic choices that make us human beings.

The Vancouver women cry and laugh and celebrate how lucky they are to have the opportunity to write a check, donate online, or throw cash in the basket that makes it from their corner of the world to another.

Then in that corner, on the other side of the world, women "laugh and dance and sing" because of a handkerchief size fragment of hope that life will be better because someone shares.

Will educating women somewhere else change us?

Prior post on Dining for Women: Can a good dinner change the world?

The August dinner raised money for Nurturing Minds in Africa, as shown in the video above. Nurturing Minds offers access to quality education in Tanzania with a particular emphasis on girls who are poor, marginalized, and at-risk of becoming involved in exploitative forms of child labor.

Dining For Women website.
Dining For Women Facebook