Happy International Women’s Day! Today we celebrate the amazing women around the world who are working towards a better future for all.
In my role – connecting women in Australia with the women supported by their generosity overseas – I meet so many who are truly AMAZING. But, today on #IWD2019, I’d like to introduce you to just one.
Who knows that some of the best conversations are had over a cup of coffee? So why not grab one now and settle in?
Recently, in rural Nepal, I met a woman named Laxmi who invited me to have a cuppa (as I am inviting you today!) Sitting on the floor of her home, as we sipped our drinks… she told me about the change that’s happened in her family – for four generations! – thanks to your support.
Laxmi is passionate about women’s empowerment. She knows what opportunity can mean for women in her village. And as a mother of four, a leader in her community, and an entrepreneur, she’s working hard to break the cycle of poverty that was part of her life for far too long.
She knows what poverty feels like. She’s experienced vulnerability first-hand. Laxmi told me that it made her feel trapped. Voiceless. Not confident enough to leave her home.
Over the last few years, however, Laxmi’s story has changed. But it’s NOT only her story… it’s her family’s story… and her whole community’s story too!
After receiving poultry and vegetable farming training, Laxmi was able to start growing crops on a small piece of land. That meant nutritious meals, straight from her farm… and an end to the health problems that had plagued her for years. This new income also helped her to keep her children safe in school – now, one of her sons is even off to University in Kathmandu.
Laxmi also received training on health and sanitation, something she says has changed not only the health of her family, but the health of her entire community too. Today, Laxmi is a leader in her community and works to educate those around her. Now, following her example, others have begun to install toilets in their homes.
And when I asked her if there was anything she’d like me to share with you this International Women’s Day, she didn’t hesitate:
“10 to 15 years ago, I was always confined to my home. Now I can go outside and get involved. It’s benefitting the next generation. Communities are learning and being empowered. If you’re finding something difficult, share with your friends and they’ll help you along the way!”
A balanced world is a better world. Let’s continue working to support women – here in Australia and overseas. Let’s remember Laxmi and help one another along the way.