We are sending you a special annual appeal based on the inspiring 93rd Annual Meeting of our World Service Council. We heard some exciting speeches about World YWCA work and YWCA USA changes from our leaders and guests, and only wish that all of our members could have been with us. As you read the following brief report, please consider a generous gift to the World Service Council for the coming year since you will see that we have increased our goal to meet some urgent needs.
One of the first speakers was the new head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuko from South Africa, who told of youthful days at the YW and of starting her impressive career at the World YW office in Geneva, where she was the first Youth Coordinator at the World YWCA and the architect of their programs to increase the work and involvement of Young Women leaders. As she said, she owes her start in life to the YWCA! Then Abigail Disney told us of her ongoing work with films on women’s issues but also of her new film endeavor – a picture of the “Gun Culture” in our country. She also told of how our World YW leadership conferences and women have inspired her so greatly! You would have been truly proud!
We were delighted to have Dara Richardson-Heron, YWCA USA CEO, give a stirring report of the progress made in reinvigorating our national organization and the challenges that still lie ahead. We also heard from a remarkable young, new WSC member, Jenna Foster, who helped lead the recent YWCA Barbados Conference for Young Women that was such a success. And we had our World General Secretary, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, give us her moving words about the long path that so many have to take out of poverty and how the World YWCA works steadily to help women gain their rightful place in the world. You would have joined with us in applause but also in wanting to do so much more for our World YWCA to help this work along!
In the afternoon, we also had our first “Seminar,” showcasing the work of some of our outstanding members, and it was a great success with Debra Stock, past YWCA USA President, as Chair and four exciting speakers: Mercedes Marquez, current Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles; Rima Salah, our UNICEF and UN Mission leader; Anna Weyher, speaking of her PhD work with chimpanzees and young women in Zambia; and Mary Lou Judd Carpenter, telling us of the book she has written on her mother’s remarkable letters, called “Miriam’s Words.” For all the many members who attended, it was an inspiring session on issues vital to women along with the lively discussion that followed.
So now it is our turn as WSC members to help. We are ever so grateful for the contributions so generously given by many of you, and are making this first appeal before the end of the calendar year for those who give at this time. For this year of 2013-2014 we are increasing our overall goal to $175,000 to $200,000 to answer the following requests:
- World YWCA work in three areas: young women’s leadership training; strengthening fragile young associations and establishing YWCAs in countries without one; plus providing for emergency work such as that currently going to the Philippines. Goal of $175,000 or more.
- Help for the YWCA USA with $25,000 needed for two major technical systems: to strengthen fundraising efforts, and to evaluate and support local associations in capacity building with the goal of building a stronger national movement and global collaboration.
- Lastly, for those who like helping needy countries with building loans, there is the International Building Fund where this past year, the World Service Council sent $75,000 in gifts for facility projects in Italy, Belize and Benin.
Because of the extra need for funding in 2014, we are also asking members who give a specific amount each year to consider increasing their contribution by at least 10% so that we can adequately meet the requests that have been made. You can send your gift to: YWCA USA, 2025 M Street NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20036, or you can go to the YWCA USA website, www.ywca.org , or click here to donate, and find the WSC designation for your gift. Your donations to the World Service Council go directly to strengthen women where they live and address issues like HIV/AIDS, violence against women, racial and economic justice, education, health and wellness. The World Service Council makes a difference for women across the globe because we can count on our loyal and giving members who are all ambassadors for the YWCA movement!
With all best wishes to you and yours this holiday season from your World Service Council Executive Committee,
Connie Anderson Tate, Chair, World Service Council