Empowering Ordinary Women to be Change Makers

by in News

Partner Feature – Vincente Foundation USA

When you hear the word “empowerment,” what does it mean to you? Many of us associate empowerment with independence, strength and unity.

Yet, many of us take empowerment for granted everyday. How? Our daily lives enable us to enjoy independent lives by:

  • Receiving an education
  • Choosing our career paths
  • And most importantly, making our own life decisions

In India, more than half the population live in rural areas – that’s more than half a billion people. People living in these communities lack things that we deem as necessities like running water, electricity, education, food and healthcare. Women especially face even more challenges due to stigmas and social hierarchical boundaries.

“Gender discrimination deprives them of taking control of their own lives, health, and means of income,” says Angelina Klouthis, Executive Director of Vincente Ferrer Foundation USA, “In the most impoverished rural communities, women suffer extreme discrimination on account of their gender and low caste.”

Investing in women is an opportunity. Not charity.

So, what can be done to overcome these obstacles that these women face? The answer- train women into becoming micro-entrepreneurs. And that’s exactly what the Vincente Ferrer Foundation (VFF) is doing.

An international nonprofit organization founded by Vicente Ferrer more than 40 years ago, VFF is dedicated to eliminating poverty and building sustainable communities in rural India by empowering women through education, trainings and community involvment.

“Women’s empowerment is catalytic and central to achieving economic, social, and environmental goals,” Klouthis says. “One cow can change a life with the milk and other products for a family to sell; a chicken farm can create its own economic ecosystem; several mango trees can mature into a small orchard that supports a family for generations — all of this benefiting entire communities.”

So while many of us may consider a “change maker” as someone who is making a global impact –this is not the case at all. Whether it’s managing their family’s farm or working as a rickshaw driver, ordinary women are change makers in their own light, and as a result, they are not only supporting their families, but also their communities.

“Empowering women and girls is crucial to achieving a better future for all,” says Klouthis.

Hear Stories of Women Change Makers – March 9

In honor of the ordinary women change makers, MET Community will host an amazing evening with VFF USA to share their stories.

To RSVP or to learn more about the event, please visit http://womenchangemakers.eventbrite.com