Christine was Empowered by a Simple Gift
With four children, Christine struggled to make a living that could support her family. In order for her children to stay in school, she needed enough money to pay for things like uniforms and books. Christine also hoped to build a safe and comfortable home that could last her family for many years.
To build her home and keep her children in school though, Christine needed an income, and reliable jobs can be hard to find when you have little education or training, particularly for women.
As a soon-to-be-30-year-old woman with a career as a teacher and writer, not to mention her upcoming engagement, Emily was thankful for many things in her life. She was particularly thankful that she lived in a society that actively worked toward gender equality.
To celebrate turning 30 and her upcoming engagement, Emily decided to start a campaign with ODW to raise awareness and funds for women’s empowerment in parts of the world where women didn’t have the same opportunities that she had. She also donated $30 to her campaign to inspire others to give to this important cause. In her own words…
The rights and privileges I have experienced are ones that women living in extreme poverty do not have. So, rather than giving materially to me, I’m asking my friends, family, and readers to join me in giving materially towards women who need it…[and to] help ensure basic rights and opportunities for women in extreme poverty.
The Power of Simple Generosity
So what does Emily’s story have to do with Christine’s? Everything. Emily’s simple act of generosity helped empower Christine by enabling her to get a job. Emily’s donation went to a job training program in Kampala, Uganda, which hired local women to be Community Health Promoters (CHPs). Christine explains,
“I was so grateful when I passed the interview [to become a Community Health Promoter.] I got a call saying “You passed. You come for training so you can be successful.”
The program trained Christine in basic health and hygiene practices, and taught her how to diagnose everyday illnesses. As a CHP, Christine could help families diagnose many common conditions, such as malnutrition or malaria, and then she could either sell that family basic medical supplies for treatment, or encourage them to see a local doctor if the case was more serious.
Christine’s new job not only provided the sustainable income she needed to keep her children in school and build a home for her family, but it also brought her pride. Christine was really proud of the work she was doing. It made her feel like a leader in her community. She enjoyed going door-to-door, meeting with her neighbors and offering her help. And when someone in the community was sick, they would call on her, even sometimes referring to her as “doctor.”
Christine and Emily’s story is just one of many in ODW’s movement to alleviate extreme global poverty. Our movement is made of hundreds of stories–everyday people just like you–who want to make an impact on the world. Our motto is, you don’t have to be a rockstar or billionaire to make an impact. Simple generosity can truly make a difference in people’s lives, like Christine.
Why does this matter now? Because the holidays are the perfect time for you, me, us, them, to come together and work towards a more beautiful and just world. We mean it when we say “’tis the season for everyday people to change the world.” We don’t just say this to say it–we actually believe it. We hope you will just us.
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