Posts Tagged ‘AIRFound’

International Women’s Day-Saturday March 8th

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

International Women’s Day is Saturday, March 8th. So far, I have not seen any media coverage, so I am doing my own “celebration” by giving you the names of women and organizations that I feel are worthy of further investigation. Before that, though, I think you need to know what International Women’s Day is. From Wikipedia, here is a synopsis:

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political, and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In some regions, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.

1.– This non-profit organization was started by Wanjiru Kamau of Kenya. However, whenI met her in State College in the late 90s, where she earned her Ph.D., she was called Mama Kamau by the young Africans she was helping. Now I know why. AIRFound, stands for African Immagration and Refugee Foundation and this is Wanjiru’s mission:

The mission of the African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation (AIRF) is to facilitate the effective transition of African immigrants to American society and to support their productive, sustainable integration into their new homeland.”

If you go to the Home Page, you can read more about Mama Kamau and her passion to help other African immigrants, because when she came to the US, she had no such organization to help her.

What I found most interesting is that Wanjiru started another organization to help with the funding of AIRFound. That website is: and the Home Page notes this:

We believe at Mavuuno Greenhouses inc. that greenhouse farming is an effective way of fighting hunger and extreme poverty in Africa. With a Mavuuno Greenhouse you can have a bumper harvest all year round. ”

If you click on their PRODUCTS link, you will find different greenhouse materials that you can purchase for your own greenhouse where you live in several sizes. (My friend Hope Woodring used to have a similar greenhouse when I lived on her “farmette” with her near State College. The greenhouse allowed her to start her summer crops much earlier and even grew food in the winter.)

This ingenious idea of using the income from the greenhouses in Africa to help African immigrants come to America and adapt to life in these United States is one that helps both the African farmers and the African immigrants is a wonderful concept.

So I salute my friend Wanjiru Kamau inInternational Women’s Day, because she has demonstrated that one person can make a difference in the lives of many.

Women for Women International

2. Women for Women International – Last fall I decided to sponsor a woman from this worthwhile organization, because the sponsored woman is trained in a field that will help her back on her feet.  I share my sponsorship with female members of my family and some of my dear friends. The organization links us as “sisters.”

The woman I am sponsoring is a victim of war and lives in Rwanda. Her name is Flavia and she has one child to support. The cost for one year of sponsorship/ training is $360, plus $30 to set up the sponsorship. I chose this organization, because I wanted to have a one-to-one relationship with our money.  When I send in a check, I write a note, which is translated for her.

Here is an excerpt from one of the sheets in my packet entitled: What Your Sister Will Learn: (Direct Quote)

As a result of war and conflict, women often lose everything that ever mattered to them, including their sense of self. Their voices are silenced. And even if they were to speak, there is no safe place where they can voice their pain.

Women for Women International provides your sister with a safe haven where she can express herself, share her feelings with other women, and actively participate in rebuilding her life and her community.”

To learn more about Women for Women International, click on this link: If you wish to help me sponsor Flavia, because I have not collected enough for the whole year as yet, feel free to email me at: for more information.

3. Footprints– The third organization was started by Lorna Owens. We met on the cruise ship last month from Florida to the Bahamas. (Lorna is originally from Jamaica,but lives in Miami) and I was impressed with her calm sense of purpose and gentle “aura.” I asked her for more information and she sent me a brochure about her organization as well as her book, Everyday Grace, Everyday Miracle: Living the Life You Were Born to Live. It is autobiographical and very spiritual, because she was drawn to do this instead of remaining at her career as a lawyer.

The brochure she sent me has a letter from Lorna on the back. Here is an excerpt:

Footprints Foundation is dedicated to reducing the mortality rates of infants and mothers through medical treatment and midwifery.  The Foundation will operate in 58 countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa, Liberia, Jamaica, and Turkey.

Lorna’s book is published by Blessings Press in Miami, FL. The cost is $14.95 and you can reach Lorna to order a copy at:

4. FINCA– The acronym stands for Foundation for International Community Assistance. The website is: Founded in 1984, it is based “on a novel idea—that credit, not charity, offered those millions of women the surest way out of poverty.”

Thus, what FINCA does is make microloans to otherwise destitute women to enable them to start or expand their tiny businesses. This will help them to become financially independent because they will be earning a steady source of income. The powerful gift of a small loan, as low as $25, can change everything for a poor working mother.

Fell free to contact them via the FINCA website for more information.                        

P.S. Some people celebrate this day by wearing a purple ribbon. No ribbon? Just wear a purple blouse or T-shirt or purple scarf.

P.P.S. Women’s Voice for Change has an excellent posting for this day. Here’s the link: