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Connecting the dots

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Dear Friends,

Did you know that women and girls are 14 times more likely to die in a climate-related disaster than men? Natural disasters can be seen as great equalizers — indiscriminate forces that can threaten anyone. But in reality, these catastrophes like floods, droughts or hurricanes kill more women, especially those of poor socioeconomic status. In many places, girls and women aren’t offered the chance to learn survival skills like how to swim, reducing their chances of surviving a flood. WEA is working with Vanastree, a women’s collective in Southern India, to coordinate  trainings for women leaders to learn skills not only to survive but to thrive in the face of climate change. Our trainings will reach more than 4,000 people, empowering women leaders to launch and scale indigenous seed businesses and seed banks, build model farms, and improve farming practices. Below is a photo of women learning to swim and navigate in water, a part of our Seeds of Resilience Training happening now! It is time for women to be at the helm. $50 covers the materials for a woman to launch her seed growing business.

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What does it cost you to cook a meal for your family? In some places, it is much more than grocery money. When a woman in Nigeria cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner over a wood fire, she suffers the equivalent of smoking between 3 and 20 packets of cigarettes a day. Over 93,000 Nigerians (mostly women and children) die annually from inhalation of smoke from indoor cooking (not to mention the deforestation that is destroying regions and increasing climate instability). In partnership with WISE, we will reach more than 13,000 people in Kaduna by training and funding 30 women entrepreneurs to build clean cookstove businesses, train their communities to adopt cookstoves, and form networks to advocate for clean energy. $15 covers the cost for a clean cookstove for a woman entrepreneur.Let’s fuel this work!

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Do you ever think about what it takes to make a cup of tea? In some parts of the world it means turning on the tap. In other parts, it can mean a 4-hour walk to fetch water, the threat of violence, missed school or lost employment. With Numi Organic Tea (the leading global tea company in organic and Fair-Trade tea), we are changing this. Numi Foundation and WEA’s partnership is ensuring safe drinking water for the Tonganagaon tea community in Assam, India, where Numi sources its largest supply of organic, Fair-Trade black tea. Together with our Indian partners and the Tonganagaon community, we are equipping all 6,500 residents to create access to safe drinking water that will eliminate water-borne illnesses, improve nutrition, strengthen livelihoods, bolster women’s leadership, and improve school and work attendance. It all boils down to water. And it all boils down to us. $100 covers the cost of a community leader to take a water, sanitation and hygiene training.

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What does fracking have to do with violence against women? A lot. The safety of North American Indigenous women and youth is threatened daily by the violence inflicted on them by oil, gas, mining and fracking industries. The impacts of this environmental violence include sexual and domestic acts, crime, murder and disappearances, trafficking, toxic exposures and illnesses, and harm to culture and Indigenous ways of life. In partnership with NYSHN, we are conducting community trainings and providing 5-10 seed grants to actions on the ground. See our extensive report and toolkit featuring Indigenous-led solutions to environmental violence and join us in #landbodydefense.

Photo: W.C.K.
Photo: W.C.K.

We hope you will continue on this path with us as we grow our commitment, our capacity and our reach. Thank you for who you are. Together WE are WEA!

With gratitude,
Melinda, Amira and the WEA Team

Lighting the Grid

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Dear friends,

After the U.S. election, our international colleagues at WEA did not hesitate to reach out to us with words of support. They reminded us that what is happening in the U.S. mirrors experiences many of their communities have lived through for generations. In the face of oppressive governments, worsening climate change, severe resource shortages, and threatened ecosystems, women are the most acutely affected. From these frontlines women stand strong, raising our hands to protect, nurture and uphold. And we don’t give up. We are writing today to invite you to be a part of strengthening this global alliance as we step up to the next level of our reach.

More than ever before, our future hinges on the creative, strategic and nimble grassroots movements that protect our earth and keep lives safe and strong. Women are at the heart of these movements.

Women are the “backbone of the Standing Rock movement” that recently pushed the federal government to halt the destructive Dakota Access Pipeline. Women are contributing to carbon sequestration by launching massive tree-planting campaigns and grassroots clean cookstoves initiatives. Women are launching seed banks, preserving heirloom seeds, and teaching regenerative farming that will help feed our world in the climate change era.

At WEA, we work every day to light the grid of women’s grassroots movements. Our work equips women leaders with the skills and tools they need to protect our Earth and strengthen communities from the inside out. We work with women who are tapped in to what their communities need. They are masters at listening, building consensus, and mobilizing masses. We support these leaders in designing solutions to the pressing environmental challenges their regions face—and building up more leaders to do the same. One becomes two, two become four, four become eight, and eventually we have millions.

WEA invests in this strategy because it works. In a comprehensive, 30-year, data-driven study of policies in 70 countries, researchers found that mobilization by grassroots women’s movements and networks has a significantly more enduring impact on improving women’s rights and safety than policies or government actions.

And each year, more analyses show that when women are empowered, everyone benefits. Local economies improve, populations stabilize, health and education improve, and ecosystems vital to our survival regenerate. According to the Guardian (Dec, 2015), in order to spark this transformation, “women’s access to training, technology and financial resources is essential to enhance their vital role in contributing to solutions.”

We invite you to weave this vital alliance ever stronger so that we can replicate the sustainable, inclusive community development models that are creating the blueprint for the future.

We can do this. Let’s activate our Earth’s most powerful immune response—brilliant, strategic, connected, committed grassroots women leaders who will never stop resisting and reimagining.

Please join us with a tax-deductible gift today.

In partnership,

Melinda, Amira and the WEA Team

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We are over half way there!
Last month we shared that a very generous donor has offered to match every dollar donated to Women’s Earth Alliance up to $100,000.  And they will every year for the next three years!
As of today you have contributed $65,000 towards this incredible match opportunity.  We are overwhelmed by your support and feel so grateful for all that you’re doing for WEA, for the women we serve and for our planet earth.
If you have not yet donated to WEA, this is the time!