Friday, March 29, 2024

Feel Good Friday - The Muslim Women's Organization

Inspired by the fact that it’s both Women’s History Month and Ramadan, we’re highlighting The Muslim Women’s Organization, a very aptly named organization that works with Muslim women.


Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the mission of The Muslim Women’s Organization (The MWO) is “ to empower communities by harnessing the leadership of Muslim Women and ensuring that they have the resources they need to affect change in their areas of passion.”

The programs that The MWO runs are dynamic and change to meet both the needs of the community and the interests of the volunteers. Currently there are 19 programs focused on four areas:  Aid, Awareness Building, Leadership Training, and Sisterhood.

Examples of Aid programs include food donation to families with children in Title 1 schools and financial assistance such as schools supplies or gift cards to purchase clothing. Awareness Building programs educate women on issues such as mental and physical health, domestic violence and voting rights. 

Programs in the Leadership Training area include financial and business training for women as well as a program directed at boys and girls from 7th to 12th grade. Called Leaders In Training, it help develop leadership skills for the young people through opportunities to engage in community service initiatives.

Sisterhood can be found in the Cafe MWO programs which offer women a chance to connect, get to know each other and discuss current events in the world, society, community, and their own lives.

You can visit the website to read details about the programs, access a list of resources across central Florida or to get connected to spiritual support or financial aid. In the last year, The MWO volunteers have donated over 4,200 hours to various programs as well as distributed more than $65,000 in aid.

If you’d like to help The Muslim Women’s Organization expand opportunities for women’s leadership in their communities, personal lives, and professional spheres, there are many ways to get involved.

People in the Orlando area can view this calendar and join an upcoming event. All of us can make a donation and help amplify the work of The MWO on social media. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram @themwo and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Feel Good Friday - Oasis for Girls

Today’s Feel Good Friday post highlights a local organization, well local if you live in the Bay Area, Oasis for Girls

Founded in 1999, Oasis for Girls began as a Friday night Girls Group a at a Teen Center in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. While the programs have evolved, the mission remains the same - to “partner with young women of color, aged 14-18, from under-resourced communities in San Francisco to cultivate the skills, knowledge, and confidence to discover their dreams and build strong futures.”   

Oasis for Girls offers three after school programs that are both culturally relevant and gender-specific. These programs are designed to empower the girls and equip them with life skills while they build a sisterhood through shared experiences.

RISE focuses on developing life skills. Girls can explore personal identity, mental health, and social justice issues. Examples of classes in this program include cooking, self defense and yoga. It culminates with the participants planning a direct action project to make a positive change in their community.

CREATE is focused on arts and activism. Workshops include learning about visual, performance and digital art and how they can be used to address social justice issues. Field trips can include different art venues and events.

ENVISION is focused on career exploration. Workshops help girls develop skills such as interviewing and networking, while also introducing topics like workplace discrimination and code switching. Visits to job sites, networking events and internships at the UCSF Department of Neurosurgery expand the girls’ career awareness.

All of the programs are taught by Program Coordinators who mirror the girls’ backgrounds and serve as allies and mentors throughout their high-school years. If you know a girl who would be a good match for the programs, applications for the summer sessions open in mid-May. Fill out this application form to get started.

If you’d like to support Oasis for Girls and help girls in San Francisco discover their dreams and build strong futures, there are many ways to do so. Volunteer your time, donate your money, and amplify their message on social media. Like the Oasis for Girls Facebook page and follow them on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Feel Good Friday - Women's Collective Ireland

With Saint Patrick’s Day on Sunday, it’s a great time to highlight an organization supporting women in Ireland, namely Women’s Collective Ireland.

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, the mission of Women’s Collective Ireland (WCI) is “to support grassroots women through collective and practical actions to achieve their full human rights and true equality.”

WCI targets actions and strategies to advance women’s equality using both a community development and a feminist approach in their work. They manage 17 grassroots, community development projects around the country supporting “women living in poverty and disadvantage, older women, lone parents, women from the Traveller community, minority ethnic and migrant women, disabled women, lesbian and bisexual women, women living in rural areas and women experiencing domestic violence.”

The focus of the work being done by WCI is on facilitating women’s empowerment and capacity building. Across the 17 projects that work can include: community education and community building, pathways to education and training, awareness-raising on gender-based violence and disadvantaged women’s human rights, promoting community leadership and empowerment, supporting women’s health and well-being, facilitating access to local services and supports, and increasing representation of women at local, regional, national and international levels.

According to their latest impact report, Women’s Collective Ireland projects made a total of 150,944 engagements with women in 2022 and on International Women’s Day last week, they organized events ranging from chatting over a cup of tea to hearing from members of the government. All of these activities were geared towards amplifying the voices of grassroots women.

You can help amplify the voices of grassroots women by spreading the word about Women’s Collective Ireland on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram @wci_irl.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Feel Good Friday - Solar Sister

Happy International Women’s Day! Let’s celebrate by highlighting an organization that supports women around the world, Solar Sister

Founded in 2009 by an investment banker, an energy economist and women leaders in Tanzania, Nigeria, and Kenya, the vision of Solar Sister is “a more prosperous world powered by women entrepreneurs.” 

First let’s take a look at the problem. As they explain on their website, “over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without electricity and about 940 million depend on harmful fuels such as firewood and charcoal for cooking. Globally, smoke from cooking over open fires causes 2.6 million premature deaths and a host of harmful health conditions, including respiratory and vision problems.”

Solar Sister tackles these issues by investing in women entrepreneurs who are bringing renewable energy to rural communities in Africa. They provide these women with training, technology and support to distribute a range of clean energy products. The training includes both technical product knowledge and financial management courses. The women choose the products and services that will provide them the most value so they can be in charge of their energy freedom and prosperity. Because Solar Sister team members are part of the communities they serve, it allows them to build deep relationships and helps them have a more meaningful and lasting impact. Watch this short video to learn more.

Since they began, Solar Sister has funded over 10,000 entrepreneurs! This includes a woman in Tanzania who sold enough solar lights to buy a motorbike and build a house. The program helps women gain confidence and serve as role models and change agents in their communities. You can read more impact stories at this link.

If you want to help Solar Sister bring light, hope and opportunity to underserved communities in Africa, there are many ways you can do so. Make a donation and share their story on social media. Like Solar Sister Facebook page, follow them on Instagram @iamsolarsister and subscribe to their YouTube channel to see videos of the Solar Sister entrepreneurs in action.


Friday, March 1, 2024

Feel Good Friday - Every Mother Counts

Today is the start of Women’s History Month and we’re kicking it off by highlighting Every Mother Counts.

Founded in 2010 by Christy Turlington Burns, the mission of Every Mother Counts (EMC) is “making pregnancy and childbirth safe for everyone, everywhere.”

The statistics on the website are alarming. Every year, approximately 287,000 women around the world, or one woman every two minutes, dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. 99% of maternal deaths take place in the developing world and the majority of them can be prevented by ensuring that women have access to quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care. That’s where EMC comes in.

Every Mother Counts partners with local, community-based organizations around the globe to identify and develop effective, appropriate solutions to improve maternal health. They provide grants to support programs that strengthen healthcare workforces, facilitate access to resources, advance proven models of care, place mothers at the center, and promote human rights, equity and birth justice. Currently, work is being done in Guatemala, Haiti, Tanzania, Bangladesh and the United States.

In addition to providing grant funding, EMC advocates for policy and systems change on local, national and international levels to advance improvements in maternal health. They have also created over 40 documentary films to raise awareness of the issues faced by both pregnant woman and healthcare providers. Last, the website has resources for people who want to learn more about the issues and a guide designed to educate people about their pregnancy and birth options called Choices in Childbirth.

Since they began, EMC has provided over $24 million in funding to more than 40 programs in 16 countries. In turn, these programs to advance maternal health have impacted over one million people!

If you want to help Every Mother Counts improve maternal health outcomes around the world, there are many ways you can do so. Download the advocacy toolkit, shop for gifts that give back or make a donation. As always, help spread the word on social media. View and share their films on Vimeo and follow Every Mother Counts on Facebook and on Instagram @everymomcounts.