Saturday, February 26, 2011

BEWARE! I may try to drag you into this!

This Women for Women thing is getting out of hand. I am SO excited by it. So naturally, I picked up A Thousand Sisters, by Lisa Shannon, who has become a real moving force in the world of Making Life Better for Women in the Congo. Turns out, she's formed a whole organization with all kinds of ways to get involved. 

I just started reading her book, and all I know is, I want to be more involved. And to drag my friends (and students) along with me!

There are so many ways to get involved and make a difference in the lives of people who have been largely ignored by the world. The problems seem huge and insurmountable, but people like Lisa are showing that ordinary folks like you and me CAN make an impact.
Join me?

Sponsor a woman in need:
Read Lisa's book 
Watch for information about this summer's Run for Congo Women
Like Yoga? There's also a Yoga for Congo Women organization!
Learn more about women in Congo. There are links to videos and articles here.
And here.

Did I mention sponsor a woman?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shop here--NOW!!

At the risk of always stealing my posts from Michelle at Blogging From the Boonies, I had to also give a shout out for "Come Together Trading Company." This is a Christ-centered, Fair Trade company that is "seeking to help our brothers and sisters living in underdeveloped countries across the world by providing them with a marketplace for the beautiful products they produce."

After Michelle recommended it, I went to their website. I ordered some birthday gifts for Lilia (shhh!), so you can't see them, but look what else I got: This purse and this shopping bag!

Shopping bag

They are really beautiful, and beautifully made--and they got here so-o-o-o quickly!

So... this company is a winner! They have a huge variety of products, including the category "Men's Clothing and Other Manly Things" (which makes me smile), jewelry, toys, and even musical instruments.

I really want this scarf:
and these earrings:
oh, and this "singing bowl." (Suddenly my music room seems really incomplete without this!)

Check them out!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Introducing... Sifa!

Back in January, I joined up with Women for Women International, after reading about it in Half the Sky, an awesome book by NY Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof. Women for Women was started by Zainab Salbi (Her story can be read in another fascinating book, Between Two Worlds) to be like a child sponsorship program but in which you sponsor an adult woman, a survivor of a war-torn nation.

Women for Women takes a while to match you with your "sister"; I kept checking the website day after day to see "You are currently sponsoring 0 women." Finally, a few nights ago, the "0" had become "1"!

My "sister" is named Sifa. She is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also known as the Rape Capital of the World. Charming, huh? She has three children, and she is 29--that is all I know about her at this point. I'll be so anxious to hear from her!
For my sponsorship fee of $27/month, Sifa will get 1 year of training and education, and hopefully will be ready to start a small business or at least be employed; she'll also get a portion of the money through the year to use as she sees fit. See this video about Women for Women's work in the Congo:

And then go to Women for Women and sign up to make a difference in a woman's life! I will post more about Sifa as I learn more about her, but isn't she beautiful and precious?