Foundation

‘Tis the Season to Do Good

Now that we are well into the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to pause and focus on what we’re grateful for. Gratitude has been proven to be completely safe and effective for making you feel better about life in general, especially during the holiday season. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the rest of the season, it’s the best time to share our gratitude with the many organizations, or “social-profits” that “do good” and make the world a better place.

Currently there are approximately 1.5 million 501(c)3 organizations based in the United States, many of which Dr. Nancy describes as social-profits, for the value they provide to their communities goes far beyond the limitations of financial measurements. The many ways they do good – by providing resources, guidance, or a hand up to the people they serve – are innumerable.

This week #GivingTuesday – a global generosity movement – will unleash the power of radical generosity as millions of people will donate millions of dollars to “social-profits” worldwide. Created in 2012, Giving Tuesday, which is held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, sets aside a special day to encourage people to “do good.” And it’s turned into a pretty big deal. In fact, in 10 short years Giving Tuesday has “grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.”

Many social-profits embrace the Giving Tuesday concept and “do good” by making a difference in our communities each day. From cultural centers to food banks to disaster relief organizations, they deliver important services, strengthen communities, and facilitate civic engagement. Whether we’re aware of it or not, these organizations play a vital role in our lives, and we all “profit” from their activities in countless ways.

“Social-profits benefit when we all come together to help those who need us, whatever the circumstances may be,” Dr. Nancy says. “All of us can help. All of us can serve. All of us benefit when we support our social-profit organizations.”

While Giving Tuesday is a rallying cry for donations worldwide, we should not limit our giving to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but instead should follow the organizers’ lead and “do good” as often as we can. At Women Connect4Good, we are pleased to support several organizations that do good year round. Each one of them work towards the greater good, creates immeasurable benefits to those they serve, and aligns with our values.

As Dr. Nancy says, these vital groups are our path to changing the world, and they, like so many others in the social profit space, are often understaffed and underfunded. These organizations need our help, and we invite you to check them out as you plan your ways to do good this season.

National Women’s History MuseumYour support can help them inspire generations by sharing the stories of women who have broken barriers, shattered glass ceilings, and made contributions to our nation’s history.

Someone You Know – Your support will enable Asha Dahya and her team to complete Someone You Know, a film that shares three women’s abortion stories and the barriers they faced with Roe v Wade gone, to foster empathy and dismantle stigma.

Take The Lead – Your support will allow them to continue to provide leadership training programs and events that offer women the tools and skills needed to advance into leadership positions.

I Am a LeaderYour support makes a positive impact and supports their mission to increase the prevalence and success of women in the workplace, marketplace, and public service sector.

World Pulse Your donation helps more women make a bigger impact and powers their online community where women from 227 countries and territories are logging on and leading change for 21.6 million people and counting.

Convoy of Hope – When you shop this year’s Gift Catalog, you give the gift of hope and can support the Convoy initiative of your choice. For example, the Women’s Empowerment initiative means you are helping create opportunities for women and girls that will last for generations.

Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara – You can fulfill a wish for Girls Inc. girls and staff by selecting from their beautiful Wish Book, which shares programs (selected by the girls!) that will help them learn to value themselves, move past limitations and discover and develop their strengths to become the next generation of women leaders.

Women Like Us Foundation – Your support can make a difference in the lives of women and families in Kenya that transforms lives and livelihood for generations.

African American Women in Cinema – Your support will create global opportunities for minority women filmmakers and content creators and help connect their talents to resources, relationships and industry training.

Whether you choose to share with these programs and organizations or others, remember that we all “profit” when we donate our time, treasure, or talent to social-profit organizations. As Giving Tuesday organizers point out, “giving” isn’t just about the money. “Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to contribute toward building the better world we all want to live in.” We couldn’t agree with them more.

Tiffany Shlain’s Dendrofemonology

Dr. Nancy joined a packed house of 450 attendees and acclaimed interdisciplinary artist Tiffany Shlain in San Francisco for the debut of Tiffany’s new art installation, Human Nature, presented by the National Women’s History Museum and Women Connect4Good. The show opened on November 2, 2022 and features twenty-four works: six tree rings exploring different histories, twelve mixed-media lightboxes, five photographs and a time-based media film. Each piece is available in four limited editions. The highlight of the installation, “Dendrofemonology” (feminist tree ring), uses the historical tree ring to illustrate a timeline of the story of women and power in society. The tree ring—a 55-by-61-inch slice of deodar cedar—highlights key moments in women’s history from 50,000 BCE (Goddesses are worshiped) to 2022 (overturning of Roe V. Wade).

“I have always been fascinated by the tree ring timelines at the entrance of Muir Woods or any National Park. They illuminate how the trees are a witness to human history. However, I also felt like those timelines tell a colonialist and patriarchal story,” Tiffany said. “Like I was being mansplained history. The tree rings in Human Nature imagine what alternate histories could be told…”

Human Nature shares Tiffany’s journey, and touches on what Dr. Nancy feels is our shared humanity. “There was such a powerful response to the exhibit. We were all looking at history through a feminist lens, This exhibit really touches on our humanity and our shared, lived experience.”

Jennifer Herrera with NWHM agreed. “Through her inspiring, compelling, and thought-provoking work, Tiffany has long embraced her role as a creator to affect change through art and storytelling. Human Nature is yet another powerful extension of her commitment to exploring issues of gender equity, equality, and women’s representation. This important exhibition guides visitors to the future through an exploration of the past, allowing viewers to reflect on history and inspiring them to act to create a more representative, inclusive world.”

NWHM has taken Dendrofemonology’s powerful milestones – the text burned into the feminist history tree ring – and made it interactive, going deeper into some of the lines here.

The Human Nature exhibit will be on display through January 2023 at the San Francisco Ferry Building’s SHACK15. There are a number of ways to experience the exhibit in person in San Francisco or online, for details go here.

Human Nature – Tiffany Shlain’s First Solo Exhibition

Tiffany Shlain is an acclaimed multi-media artist working across film, text and performance. For her first solo exhibition in San Francisco, Tiffany introduces new perspectives evoked by the compelling relationship between time and nature through her current exploration in time-based media, photography and sculpture. The exhibition is presented by the National Women’s History Museum based in Washington, D.C. in partnership with Women Connect4Good, Inc.

Tiffany is known for bringing forth complex ideas in new ways with humor and provocative insights. “In Human Nature, I use a feminist, philosophical, and ecological lens to explore the humility and realignment we feel when we view ourselves in the context of deep time and nature. I want to conjure up the sublime: our sense of perspective, smallness and awe created by expansive vistas and towering trees that have stood as witnesses for thousands of years.” Tiffany says.

“Everything Tiffany does is so timely and important for us to understand and know.  Much of her work has long focused on gender and women’s rights and leadership. Human Nature is adding to her impressive body of work,” Dr. Nancy said. “This exhibit reveals a new perspective about women and power throughout history. Women Connect4Good and the National Women’s History Museum are pleased to help Tiffany tell this story in such an awe-inspiring way. It has been exciting to watch it come together, and I urge everyone to come see it and share it with your daughters, your sons and all the generations to come.”

Honored by Newsweek as one of their “Women Shaping the 21st Century, Tiffany is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, founder of the Webby Awards, and author of the national bestselling book 24/6: Giving up Screens One Day a Week to Get More Time, Creativity, and Connection, winner of the Marshall McLuhan Outstanding Book Award. Her work has received over 80 awards and distinctions, including selection for the Albert Einstein Foundation’s 100 Visionaries continuing Einstein’s legacy. The US State Department has selected Tiffany and her films to represent North America at embassies around the world.

Human Nature, opens November 2, 2022 at SHACK15 in the San Francisco Ferry Building, where Tiffany is the current artist-in-residence. To learn more about the exhibition go to TiffanyShlain.com/art.

Convoy of Hope Women’s Empowerment Program Is Changing Lives

Convoy of HopeEvery woman deserves to be empowered. To have strength and dignity. To know she is valuable. – Doree Donaldson, Vice President – Convoy:Women

Every morning, Matilda opens her shop in Tanzania, and confidently looks forward to a successful day of business. But things haven’t always been easy for Matilda and her son, Junior. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that the two of them were going to sleep hungry. That all changed when Convoy of Hope started a feeding program at Junior’s school and enrolled Matilda into the Women’s Empowerment program.

“The Women’s Empowerment program taught me how to run a business,” Matilda said. “When I think about the hardships I’ve been through, I don’t want to see anyone else cry about their life. Because of the way Convoy empowered me, I was able to help another woman in need.”

Matilda’s story is one of many. Offering hope for every woman, in just 10 years Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program has reached and empowered 19,400 women and girls in 10 countries, with 9,043 impacted in 2019 alone! Through each participant’s success stories, supporters of the program are witnessing firsthand how together, we can change the world.

Empowering Women and Girls

A report by UN Women shows how drastically this help is needed:

The majority of the 1.5 billion people living on 1 dollar a day or less are women. In addition, the gap between women and men caught in the cycle of poverty has continued to widen in the past decade, a phenomenon commonly referred to as ’the feminization of poverty’. Women living in poverty are often denied access to critical resources such as credit, land and inheritance. Their labour goes unrewarded and unrecognized. Their health care and nutritional needs are not given priority, they lack sufficient access to education and support services, and their participation in decision-making at home and in the community are minimal. Caught in the cycle of poverty, women lack access to resources and services to change their situation.

Convoy:WomenThe Women’s Empowerment program realizes that when we help a woman, we help  their families, and that communities of women reinvest up to 90% of their earnings back into their households and apply it toward nutrition, food, healthcare, school, and income-generating activities. This helps break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Their Approach

To empower women and girls, the Women’s Empowerment program takes a three-pronged approach. Convoy’s Economic Empowerment program equips women with financial education, vocational training, cooperative saving groups, and even start-up capital. After receiving training and the distribution of capital for small business start-ups, women participate in income-generating activities as they launch their own small business. Those activities are coupled with self-esteem building activities and education in basic literacy and numeracy, family health and nutrition, family planning, and the prevention of communicable disease.

The Family Health Empowerment program provides women with educational sessions where they are trained in nutrition, health and hygiene, literacy, small-scale community agriculture, and craftsmanship/cooking. Participants who display consistent attendance receive a month’s worth of food to help supplement their diet at home. This provides additional incentive for women to come and learn, and helps Convoy address the nutritional deficiencies of children who are not enrolled in school. Caretakers, especially those who are pregnant, are provided with vitamins for both themselves and their children.

Convoy’s Girls’ Empowerment program rounds out their offerings for women and girls and brings educational programs to schools and communities. Sessions include contextually appropriate topics such as self-esteem, gender-based violence, and harmful cultural beliefs and practices.

“Convoy of Hope equips women with financial education, vocational training, cooperative saving groups and even start-up capital. Women can then participate in income generating activities as they launch their own small businesses,” Dr. Nancy said. “With these tools, and with micro-loans, these women can start their own businesses and give better lives to their children.”

Convoy of Hope is changing the lives of women and children, lifting women up out of poverty and providing them the tools they need to support their families, their communities and the world. To learn more about Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program, and how you can join Convoy:Women and help them #LiftWomenUp, go to www.convoyofhope.org/we.

 

Girl Up Initiative Uganda is Changing Lives

Black Woman SmilingMany young girls living in the urban slums of Kampala, Uganda, struggle with a lack of educational and economic opportunities. In a culture where a male’s education is prioritized, a disproportionate number of girls do not complete school, are often forced marry early, feel like they don’t matter, and lack the skills needed to contribute to their families, which lowers their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Monica Nyiraguhabwa was one of those young women struggling to complete her education until a chance encounter with Kimberly Wolf, a young American woman passionate about girls’ rights and leadership, changed everything. While their backgrounds and circumstances were different, they both related to the challenges that come with growing up as a girl in today’s world and the power of having someone believe in them.

Together, they dreamed up the idea of Girl Up Initiative Uganda (GUIU) after visiting Monica’s community and identifying the need to advance educational and economic opportunities for young women and adolescent girls in these slum areas. They named it “Girl Up” because they wanted the name of the organization to reflect their commitment to lifting girls out of a life of poverty and gender inequality. Just as boys are taught to “man up,” the two wanted girls to be taught to “girl up” and realize their power and strength as girls.

What started out as an idea with $100 seed money has grown into a movement in just eight short years. Each year, the number of girls and young women that GUIU helps increases as the organization grows. This year, Girl Up intends to directly help 15,000 girls and young women and equip them with the skills, knowledge, tools, and provide mentorship and support to develop their self-confidence and voice to thrive as leaders in their schools and communities.

“We aim to contribute to systematic change in the community by ensuring that girls are recognized as active agents of change,” Monica said. “By empowering girls, both individually and collectively, to challenge the patriarchal social order, they become spokespersons for girls’ rights and become drivers of systemic gendered change in the community.”

Girl Up Initiative Uganda is changing livesGirl Up has directly helped over 70,000 girls and young women through various programs since 2012 and encourages the girls and young women to share their learnings and acquired knowledge with others who do not benefit from the programs. The girls are also eager to use the leadership skills and confidence they have gained through the program to mentor other girls. Girl Up estimates that each girl will reach an additional five girls, creating positive ripple effects throughout their schools and communities.

Its mission is to create a gender equal world by equipping girls and young women with the confidence, mentorship, skills, and knowledge to reach their full potential. The organization currently has Coaches (facilitators) who not only train girls, but act as positive role models for at-risk girls. Programs include:

The Adolescent Girls ProgramGirl Up Initiative Uganda is changing lives

GUIU has run the Adolescent Girls Program (AGP) as its flagship program to advance the educational opportunities for adolescent girls aged 9-15 living in urban slum areas in Kampala since 2013. An in-school program, AGP focuses on building adolescent girls’ capacities for individual empowerment and social survival, especially in patriarchal environments that do not value and respect the rights of girls and women. It consists of a cluster of synergistic activities to ensure that girls receive the skills, knowledge, tools, mentorship, and support to develop their self-confidence and voice to thrive as leaders in their schools and communities.

The Big Sister Network

In 2016, GUIU launched The Big Sisters Network, as they recognized that graduates of the AGP needed continued support and opportunities to grow their leadership and influencing capacities. It now ensures that AGP alumni continue to access female- focused education and stay involved and engaged with GUIU and their fellow graduates. In 2019, GUIU realized one of its biggest organizational dreams – the Big Sister Camp – where 210 girls converged for a residential camp full of learning, laughing, and playing. It was a magical four days to honor and further develop the leadership potentials of our Big Sisters. In 2020, they plan to have another Big Sister Camp for 260 promising girl leaders.

Mazuri-trainees-in-their-clothesMazuri Designs Hub

Mazuri Designs Hub was first launched in 2015 in recognition of the limited economic opportunities for out-of-school young women in the communities GUIU works with. Uganda’s  70% youth unemployment rate leaves them financially dependent on men and struggling to support themselves and their families. Therefore, Girl Up launched a social enterprise to offer young women skills training that could provide them with a sustainable income. Today, the Mazuri Designs Hub training program offers a one-year vocational training course in fashion, design, and tailoring that is combined with entrepreneurial and personal skills training for young women, ages 16-35 years. The young women are trained by experienced tailors and given the opportunity to showcase their products at the fashion show graduation at the end of the course.  The project advances economic opportunities for the young women and has had a positive impact on their incomes. In GUIU’s 2019 post-project survey, 67% young women reported that their average weekly income had increased after participating in the program, all due to selling products they sewed.

Ni-yetu-drama-performanceNi-Yetu Youth Program

GUIU has partnered with Plan International Uganda since 2015 to implement the Ni-Yetu Youth Project in all five divisions of Kampala. The aim of the project is to empower young people, ages 13-24 years, with correct knowledge, attitude and skills for reducing gender-based violence and improving their sexual and reproductive health and rights outcomes. The Ni-Yetu Youth Project is a gender transformative project that looks at challenging negative social norms and practices that affect SRHR outcomes amongst young people. It uses youth innovative approaches such as street theatre performances, youth-friendly health camps, peer-to-peer education, music campaigns, and sports outreaches. While the project reaches out to both genders, it benefits young women specifically by changing attitudes towards gender inequality in the communities they live in. Even though girls and women constitute GUIU’s focus group, the organization understands that boys and men must also be engaged in the fight for gender equality given that they are the other half of the equation when it comes to advancing girls’ rights and ending gender-based violence.

Girl-sewing-padAs Girl Up’s programs have grown over the years, their staff has too. “We are proud of the growth of our young, female-led, Ugandan team. Girl Up now employs 20 full time Ugandan staff, 76% of which are female and 85% under the age of 30 years. Providing employment and volunteer opportunities to aspiring and dedicated young Ugandans is an essential part of our mission and the way we work,” Monica said. “These vibrant young people make up the GUIU Dream Team – we dream together, create ideas together, and make change happen together! Each team member brings their own unique skills, talents, and ideas to enable the organization to grow and transform more lives.”

“We have achieved many exciting milestones, and I have been blessed to work in a job I am extremely passionate about. My biggest highlight is seeing the growth and development of our girls as they become powerful and confident young women in my community. Many of them are now in university and secondary school, and stay in touch with me. I love to see how GUIU has impacted their lives in positive ways,” Monica said. “Because I work in the same community that has seen me grow up, they are now seeing me in this position as a woman and a leader. I love going into the community to engage with the adolescent girls and tell them my story to inspire them to re-write their stories so they can achieve their dreams.”

Monica and Kimberly have garnered some international attention for their efforts too and have appeared on NBC’s The Today Show with Michelle Obama in 2018 (see here) and were invited to meet Oprah Winfrey at her home last year. Monica has also had the opportunity to speak up for girls through the Obama Africa Fellowship, Cordes Fellowship, iLEAP Fellowship, and African Visionary Fellowship with the Segal Family Foundation.

People can help Girl Up Initiative Uganda by following and sharing updates through social media platforms (@girlupuganda on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and by subscribing to their newsletter at www.girlupuganda.org. You can also support GUIU’s work to change the lives of young women and girls and donate to their cause at www.girlupuganda.org/donate.

To Get More Women in Leadership It’s Time to Take The Lead

The Power Up Conference Cover“When women support one another, we can create massive ripples of change that create better lives for everyone.” – Gloria Feldt

Over the past five years, the number of women in senior leadership has grown. Still, women continue to be underrepresented at every level. Why? For starters, women are less likely to be hired and promoted to manager. In fact, for every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only 72 women are promoted and hired. As a result, men hold 62% of manager-level positions, while women hold just 38%. The number of women decreases at every subsequent level, reducing to a minuscule 5% at the CEO level.

That’s where organizations like Take The Lead Women can create real change. Designed for women ready to take ownership of their careers (and lives), Take The Lead gives women the tools they need to up their game with 9 Leadership Power Tools courses, 50 Women Can Change the World programs, Virtual Happy Hours, leadership coaching and much more.

This week in Scottsdale, Arizona, Take The Lead celebrates progress with the Power Up Conference: 50 Women Can Change the World 2.0, spotlighting their work to teach, mentor, coach, invigorate, and inspire women who are committed to owning their power and using their voice to become influential leaders of change. The conference will offer two full days of learning, and participants will experience extraordinary leadership development including workshops, panel discussions, lightning talks, accelerated roundtable discussions, and networking.

Dr NancyTake the Lead was founded in 2014 by Gloria Feldt and Amy Litzenberger, with the bold mission to reach leadership gender parity by 2025. That’s 70 to 150 years faster than the prevalent projections. Gloria is certain that this is the moment when a quantum leap to parity can occur. She is convinced that through Take the Lead’s uniquely effective programs, based on solid research and measurable results, women will embrace their phenomenal power to lead with purpose, confidence, intention and joy – without fear or apology.

Dr. Nancy currently serves as Take The Lead’s board chair, and Women Connect4Good, Inc., which supports women helping women networks, is proud to support Take The Lead and help them equip women with the tools they need to achieve parity by 2025.  That partnership not only advances women into leadership positions across all sectors, it proves our power   to transform women’s leadership when we work together.

To learn more about Take The Lead and the upcoming Power Up Conference, go to www.taketheleadwomen.com.

Women Connect to Share Powerful Message of Equality for All

HorseAmazing things happen when women support women and connect with one another. The conversations lead to ideas, and the ideas lead to action. As we wrote in the book, In This Together, working together with other women (and our male allies) is the best way for women to claim their power and have loads of fun in the process. By supporting each other we can make our voices heard and claim equality for all – together.

Last week was exciting for the Women Connect4Good team, and for many of our friends and supported organizations. Information Matrix TV, which is known for mining the imaginative and exciting ideas that exist in the minds of participating organizations, flew to California to share Dr. Nancy’s story, her two women standing by a horsework for women’s empowerment and the development and support of women-helping-women networks that raise the status women globally. Gloria Feldt of Take The Lead was on hand, as were representatives of Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, the National Association of Women Business Owners, Association for Women in Communications and a number of colleagues and friends.

Information Matrix is an award-winning program that features new stories and innovative concepts through groundbreaking short-form and long-form documentary presentations. The series, filmed for the Pubic Television audience, is anchored by a veteran production team with decades of industry experience that enable them to effectively communicate important stories to a wide and diverse audience. Hosted by Laurence Fishburne, Information Matrix is a widely-acclaimed program that will help us spread the word and broadcast the importance of the work we’re doing for gender equality.Group of People Dining at a restaurant

Shot in multiple locations, the filming brought together numerous friends and allies from many backgrounds and walks of life to highlight the work we’re all doing to make the world a better place for women and girls. Great connections were made, laughs were shared, and we all were reminded that there’s strength in numbers, and by working together, we will achieve equality for all.

 

ORDER YOUR COPY OF DR. NANCY’S NEW BOOK TODAY!

In This Together Book CoverHow women succeed when they work together is one of the main themes covered in Dr. Nancy’s new book, In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other In Work and Life, along with thoughts, inspiration, and stories from 40 successful women.

Order your copy – and gifts for your friends today! After you’ve read it, please, leave us a 5-star review on Amazon. Your review will help us reach more women with proven techniques for achieving gender equality by working with other women and our male allies.

Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly To Receive Take The Lead’s First Leading Woman Award

Gloria Feldt and Nancy OReillyDr. Nancy D. O’Reilly will be recognized in New York City on Tuesday, November 14, at Take The Lead Day, an event sponsored by Take The Lead, and celebrated around the world in a series of skill-based workshops, interactive panels, livestream watch parties and webinars in an additional 89 cities and 10 countries. In an evening featuring music, poetry, theater and a speech by former US Treasurer Rosie Rios, Dr. Nancy will receive the first Leading Woman Award in recognition of her many contributions to the advancement and empowerment of women.
“Nancy’s generosity is exceeded only by her wisdom as a board member and her indomitable optimism about our ability to achieve our mission of gender parity in leadership,” said Take The Lead’s cofounder and president, and Leading Women co-author Gloria Feldt. “Creating an award that derives from the title of her book seems perfect as a way to honor her on the first Take The Lead Day and by extension each time we give the award in the future.”
“Take The Lead Day is the perfect way for women to come together to discover solutions and employ specific strategies to achieve gender equity in leadership by 2025,” Dr. Nancy added. “If you can’t be in New York, that’s okay.  Sign up for some of the free and virtual events and live streaming.”
Advancing Women to Leadership ParityTake The Lead prepares, develops, inspires and propels women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. It’s today’s women’s movement — a unique catalyst for women to embrace power and reach leadership parity. To sign up for the live, virtual, and streaming events, go to TakeTheLeadDay.com.
Dr. Nancy and the Women Connect4Good foundation share Take The Lead’s mission of advancing women to leadership parity by 2025.

Sex Trafficking Horrific, but Successes Transform Lives

Happy Mother and Daughter
Victims of sex trafficking endure horrible abuse and trauma, but their stories can actually end happily. Dedicated people in organizations around the world are saving victims every day, and they need our support. I’d like to share with you some success stories from Washington State, California, India and Nepal.

Dream Center Helps West Coast Victims

“Hope” is in her early 20’s, and has a one-year-old daughter.  A few years ago, she took the greyhound bus to Los Angeles, but when she got off, her boyfriend wasn’t there to meet her.  Walking to get some food, she was kidnapped and forced to work on the streets for about seven months.   She had to serve 8-10 men per day and bring in a quota of $1500.  There was no room for trying to escape from her pimp because she was constantly watched.
One night, a Vice Cop said he could help her get out. They staged an arrest and safely removed her from the situation. Although she had escaped, she had been brainwashed that he was her only source of protection, and she went back several times before she was finally able to get out and stay out. Life was still hard, she served time on an old warrant and lost custody of her daughter. She heard about the Dream Center, and now is working to complete the program, get her daughter back, and pursue a degree in social work.

“Lover Boys” Groom Girls On Internet

Michelle met her “lover boy” on the Internet while struggling to rebuilt her chaotic life and take care of her two sons. He was “sweet and kind” to her, but introduced her to meth to ease her stress. When she needed surgery, he moved in to help take care of the boys. Despite the drugs, she thought she had found her happy family until he began pressuring her to earn more. She started working the streets and he directed her by phone while home watching the kids. “The more I made, the more he did for me – got my hair done, nails, clothes, stuff for my boys they never had before and more drugs. I felt like a princess.” But he started abusing and cheating on her and she lost custody of her sons. The situation worsened until her mother told her about the Dream Center and she escaped to Los Angeles. She intends to start school in the fall and is working to regain custody of her children.

Nepalese Girls Turn to Shared Hope

Reshma was little more than a child herself when she was lured from her remote village in Nepal to Kathmandu— then enslaved by a bar owner who sold girls for sex along with the drinks.  Soon she found she was pregnant and, friendless and terrified, Reshma surrendered her baby “Angel” at birth. Soon she found her way to Asha Nepal, a partner organization that Shared Hope helped establish and supports. Seeing other children there, she realized she had not needed to give up her child and Asha Nepal’s founder helped get her back. They spent over three years there, and in 2016, gainfully employed, Reshma and Angel moved into their own small apartment in Kathmandu.

Children of Sex Slaves Can Rise Above Circumstances

Manisha is 20 years old and has made her home at Asha Nepal since she was 7.  Her mother fell in love at 16 with a man who betrayed her and sold her into India. She soon got pregnant, but rejected her child, who appeared to have no future other than sex slavery. Aunty Renu, also trafficked to the same brothel, began caring for Manisha until she was rescued by Shared Hope International’s local partner organization. Now a second-year college student pursuing a degree in Social Work, Manisha dreams of restoring trafficking victims back into society and seeing sorrowful lives transformed to joyful ones.

Former Sex Slaves Become Leading Business Women

In a typical tea shop with a small front kitchen and several tables, Shamita and Kala have found strength, success and freedom from Nepals’ brutal sex trafficking industry. They have escaped sex slavery and become two female business leaders in a Nepalese culture that often devalues women as property of men. Shamita and Kala once thought their lives were no more valuable than providing their bodies to man after man in the brothels of Mumbai. When they escaped they encountered a familiar story: their village shunned them and their own father forced them to leave. This lack of options forces many back into the violent arms of the brothel. But they went instead to Asha Nepal, a home that allows women who were trafficked to India to return to their home country.
Shamita’s and Kala’s lives are testament that life beyond the brothel is possible. Success is possible. Freedom is possible. Anything can be possible.

Want to report sex traffficking? Need to call for help? National Hotline is 1-888-373-7888

Resources and Partners

Women Like Us Documentary

In the documentary, Women Like Us.  Three Journeys.  One Mission.  To Change the World, Women Like Us tells the stories of women who are sex trafficked and those women who are leading initiatives to eradicate it.

Women Like Us Books

In the most recent Women Like Us Book, Women Like Us.  Together…Changing the World by Founder and President, Linda Rendleman, we share personal stories of women fighting to end sex trafficking and homelessness and advocating for education both locally and globally.
2017 campaign funding women’s leadership
to eradicate sex trafficking

Women Like Us Foundation has a long history of creating awareness of sex trafficking both locally and globally.  Our support of women’s leadership against sex trafficking is making a difference for lives of women and girls.
Shared Hope International  is a global community dedicated to protecting children on a local level. It trains parents, youth workers, community leaders, and teens how traffickers operate and how they can protect themselves and their friends.
Dream Center is a volunteer-driven organization that finds and fills the needs of over 40,000 individuals and families through approximately 70,000 encounters each month, including victims of human trafficking.
Somaly Mam Foundation We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of slavery and the empowerment of its survivors, based on the vision and life’s work of Cambodian survivor Somaly Mam.
Purchased The mission of Purchased is to educate, equip, & empower the community to end modern day slavery.

Amplify Women’s Voices Around the World

Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson


International Geopolitical Consultant Lauren Anderson is excited about the huge world-wide momentum that’s building of women reaching out to help one another across the boundaries of professions and countries  in the many organizations where she serves. Driven by the need to be of service to others and the benefits of justice and equality in our world, Lauren has journeyed through a 29-year distinguished career as an FBI executive, both in high-risk domestic and foreign service, overseeing anti-terrorism and FBI relations with 24 different countries to present-day global efforts on many fronts to empower and help women and girls become leaders in their chosen professions. Lauren serves on  numerous boards and in many capacities, including service as a public speaker and expert with the Women’s Media Center , as Global Ambassador with Vital Voices, Leadership Ambassador with Take the Lead, and  more.
While in the FBI, she saw an enormous amount of talent not being used. In fact, cultures in many countries actually held women back from contributing their skills and talents. While she saw the limitations, she couldn’t dream of all the possibilities. When she became a fellow with the International Women’s Forum, she says it exploded her world open. For the first time, she was in an environment with women from all sectors and many nations from around the world. She saw expertise, knowledge and sharing that could go beyond what she had considered with her background in law enforcement, intelligence and diplomacy.

Vital Voices Partners with Leading Women to Make Their Vision A Reality.

Founded in 1991 by Hillary Clinton and others, Vital Voices is made up of powerful bi-partisan women. Lauren says that Vital Voices identifies and works with women leaders around the world. They started where women had no capacity, in the Middle East, Africa and south Asia, regardless of their sector. Their programs range from something as basic as how to write a business plan to the global ambassador program that Lauren is part of. They select women who are at a tipping point in their profession and pair them with another successful woman. She says that the beauty of Vital Voices is they cross sectors and match people with their skill sets. For example, she currently is coaching a Somali obstetrician-gynecologist, a Filipino businesswoman and a woman in Beirut who makes cookies, though her own sector is much different.

Red Dot Foundation-Safe City Identifies Hot Spots to Protect Women.

Lauren was just asked to be the board chair for Safe City in India. The program was started by Elsa DeSilva after the horrific rape, torture and ultimate death of the young Indian doctor in 2012. Compelled to do something about the violence and sexual harassment in the streets that women go through, she and a couple of friends created the The Red Dot Foundation–Safe City. Lauren says that when it was formed, it was the only crowd-sourced and crowd-funded platform where women could share their stories. Now, Safe City has collected 50,000 separate stories of women who have experienced everything from sexual harassment to rape. The analytics this collection is providing has helped the police identify hot spots within 4 cities in India where they can increase coverage to protect women.
The Safe City model is so successful that it has expanded into Kenya, Nepal, Trinidad,  Nigeria, Cameroon, and others are set up to come on board in the future.  The United States is also looking at ways this model can be used in work environments and on college campuses.

Taking Take the Lead to Global Ambassadorship

Now Lauren and Gloria Feldt are looking into taking Take the Lead’s Leadership Ambassador program world-wide. The Leadership Ambassador  program  applies Gloria’s “9 Power Tools” to help women transform their relationship with power so they can use it to accomplish their intentional goals. They partnered with the Leadership Foundation Fellows of the International Women’s Forum and delivered a partial version of “The 9 Power Tools” to a group of women from around the world. The Leadership Ambassador program expands  beyond Take the Lead, as each Ambassador teaches entire new groups of women, so the message and the method grow exponentially.
Listen to this interview to learn about more collaborative programs where women are reaching out to help other women around the world. Check out the links of the programs that offer these opportunities for more details about how you can become involved in the movement of women reaching out to help other women around the world, and visit Lauren on Linked-In, Twitter and Facebook.

Scroll to top

© Women Connect4Good, Inc. All Rights Reserved.