I will attend the National Assn. of Realtors Mid-Year meetings ... and I am setting aside two days to attend another event in Washington, DC May 11 - 12, the CARE National Conference and Celebration. Consider joining me and others for training and visits to Capitol Hill to our states' lawmakers' offices. I will be attending with a contingent from More Magazine. More editor Lesley Jane Seymour told me yesterday there is still room to join the More group, but you have to act soon! Register here.
CARE hosted a chat last week on Twitter to celebrate International Women's Day. A gender issues expert was online to answer questions about ending violence against women. Keep the conversation going. Twitter hashtag is #stopgbv
It's time to launch another fundraiser for CARE. All of the profits from this effort will be donated to CARE!
Homemade Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly
Prickly pear cactus fruit grows wild in Arizona's Southwest Sonoran Desert. Each pear is hand picked and processed naturally to collect the precious juice of this exotic, delicious fruit. Each jar of cactus jelly is handmade with loving care. Only 1,000 jars of this precious jelly will be made ... and purchasers will receive their jelly in time for Father's Day 2009. The price includes shipping and handling.
MORE CREDIT CARD OPTIONS:
2 Pack 8 oz. Jars Price $22.00
4 Pack 8 oz. Jars Price $35.00
8 Pack 8 oz. Jars Price $55.00
Calculating profits: The following are the costs associated with the sale of this gift package. Existing prickly pear cactus juice, all labor associated with production, and all cooking gas and other resources are donated and not part of the basic cost calculation.
8 oz. canning jars
The costs associated with producing each jar of jelly amounts to approximately $2.50, not including shipping and handling ($10-16 per gift package). Projected profits from this fundraising event is $3,000 - $5,000. There are ways to increase our profits and perhaps you can help!
Donations of jars, pectin, sugar, and lemon juice in amounts sufficient to product 1,000 jars of jelly will add $2,500 to the donation.
Local Arizona delivery will add over $10 per order and increase the donation to CARE considerably!
The Web Women Giving Circle has raised almost $40,000 for CARE. We are regrouping and getting ready to launch fundraising efforts that will collect the balance of $100,000 that we pledged two years ago. We invite all existing WWGC members and new members to join us on Dec.10, 2008 for a meeting online where we will talk about CARE and design a strategy to raise awareness and dollars for humanitarian relief.
If you are interested in joining us on Dec. 10, 2008 9 PM EST, 6 PM PST, e-mail Frances Flynn Thorsen or Joeann Fossland and we will contact you with details about the teleconference. The following video tells something about the "Why" of our commitment.
When Cyclone Nargis pounded the southeastern coast of Myanmar on May 2-3, CARE was there to help. The U.N. estimates that the storm, which devastated the capital city of Yangon and important rice-growing areas of the Irrawaddy Delta, has claimed more than 100,000 lives and left 2.4 million people severely affected.
We were well-positioned to respond to this emergency, with more than 550 staff who have worked on projects in Myanmar for more than 14 years. To date, we have provided clean water, food and emergency supplies to more than 125,000 people around Yangon and throughout the Irrawaddy Delta. But many survivors remain in hard-to-reach areas in desperate need of help. We are using a system of small trucks, motorcycles and traditional wooden longboats to transfer supplies from Yangon into the delta across wooden bridges, mud-clogged roads and narrow waterways.
"The destruction in these areas is shocking, but you can see that people do have coping strategies," said Chris Northey, CARE's emergency team leader. "These local communities and the survivors are actually a part of the relief response. But we still need to reach more of them."
To support our efforts, CARE created the Myanmar Cyclone Response Fund with the goal of raising $10 million to carry out a four-year comprehensive response to the disaster. Contributions to the fund will help support CARE's lifesaving work with cyclone survivors in the coming weeks and months as well as longer-term efforts to rebuild lives and livelihoods in cyclone-affected communities.
The earthquake last week in Peru has devastated a city and CARE is there. As you know if you've been a reader, I founded the Web Women Giving Circle last year and we won a trip to Peru in May with More Magazine and CARE after raising over $24,000 with your generous support and help. We've posted the amazing trip online for you to get a taste of it. It was an amazing experience to see a country where 52% of the people are living on less than $2 a day. CARE is doing extraordinary work in bringing sustainable projects to women and children whose lives are made healthier and easier. They are there again helping with disaster relief. Our Giving Circle has pledged to raise over $70,000 and even a few dollars of support helps. If you can spare something and want to make a big difference with just a little, this is a place that happens. Thank you. -- Joeann Fossland
Our last day in Huaraz and actually in Peru, seems to have arrived quickly. I am wakened by the sound of suitcases being rolled over the cobblestones. At first, I panicked and jumped from bed, thinking I had overslept and everyone was leaving. As I peeked out the door of my room, I see dozens of teenagers arriving for the weekend and wanting our rooms! So much for sleeping in!
It's a beautiful clear morning and the snow covered mountains and babbling brook are a beautiful way to start the day. Life is sweet this morning at the ECCAME Hotel.
We get scrambled eggs for breakfast along with the rolls, matte tea and cafe con leche. We learn the kids are on a field trip for the weekend-they are giggly and high spirited. Then the bus takes us to the airport. There are 2 flights a day in and out of Huaraz. Crops are planted next to the runways and there are people working in the fields. Very different from the airport "security" we are used to! Our plane is late by about an hour, due probably to the pea soup conditions in the Lima mornings. The plane holds 16 and has one seat on either side. We get a nice boxed lunch and newspaper: What great customer care!
The CCS staff and van are waiting for us on arrival in Lima and we are taken back to Home Base for lunch. This gives us a chance to pack to go home, check our email and eat lunch. There is one very funny moment at lunch when the platter of meat was being brought from the kitchen and you could see signs of panic on many of our faces. It looked a lot like the guinea pig we'd been feted twice with. We had this fleeting thought they were serving us this delicacy on our last lunch! But, we quickly realized, to our delight, it was chicken legs and wings!
Our afternoon visit began at the EDYFICAR Agency in San Juan de Lurigancho (in southeast metropolitan Lima. The Credit Manager, Marco Guzman, is waiting with refreshments for us (Cookies and juice-no cuy!) When we had visited with Milo Stanojevich CARE's country Director, he had explained that the micro-development projects had been so successful, that CARE had problems with the scope of the lending and accounting required, so they had partnered to form an independent bank network to serve this purpose. EDYFICAR is a mircofinance institution regulated by the Peruvian Superindendent of Banking and Insurace. CARE-PERU is the largest stockholder. They operate in 8 cities to serve the entrepreneurs. We asked a lot of questions and discovered how differently things work in Peru. The average loan length is 2-3 years and the interest rate was slightly below the country norm but still surprised us when we heard it was about 3 1/2% per month! Many of the entrepreneurs had taken out loan after loan-some having taken advantage of using the sytem 10 or more times.
We visited 3 families that had benefitted from the loans and had thriving businesses that were supporting them and allowing them to hire others. We saw sophisticated embroidery machines in one house where about a dozen people were working in every nook and cranny to produce baby clothes. At the next home/business there were knitting machines and we watched the sweaters being made for the markets and learned the difference between baby alpaca wool and "maybe" alpaca wool! And our last stop was to see a business making religious, clay handicrafts that were being exported to Germany and to other places. We learned that many of these entrepreneurs began with $500 or less and have paid back and taken ever larger loans to be able to purchase the equipment we saw and to expand. They were proud to show us what they were making. They were living and working in two- and three-story buildings that were filled with people and supplies.
What a week! We saw so much that an average tourist wouldn't have been able to see. I know each of us was appreciative at the work that went into planning our trip so that we could really experience first hand the country of Peru.
We went back to Homebase, packed and headed out for out last dinner together at a nice Lima Restuarant recommended by the CSS Country Director, Kique Bossio. We had taken in a lot this week and certainly were getting tired, but we celebrated and toasted out thanks to MORE and to CARE for creating an extraordinary adventure.
The Giving Circle will be "regrouping" in the coming weeks. We want to complete the pledge we made to raise $100,000. That leaves us about $76,000 to go!!!! After seeing the empowerment that CARE is bringing to their projects, I know each of us has passion to share our experience and to continue to share our resources! Thank you MORE!!!!(And especially Peggy for your vision) and Thank you CARE (and especially Amanada and Carol for you dedication!) -- Joeann Fossland, Founder, Web Women Giving Circle
Day 6 dawned clear and bright at the Eccame Hotel. It was to be our longest day (and that’s saying something), and we prepared with a familiar breakfast of delicious café con leche, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and rolls along with scrambled eggs.
By 8:00 a.m. we were on the bus, a large-ish vehicle that we were told would hold the mountain roads to the district of Shupluy more reliably than a smaller van. Fran, who had started the trip with a lifelong fear of heights, got over them that day! (Way to go, Fran!)
Our first stop in Shupluy was Primorpampa, where we visited families raising Guinea Pigs. Guinea pigs are native to the Andes, and their meat is considered a delicacy, something I can affirm firsthand. High in protein and low in fat and cholesterol, guinea pigs can be bred, raised, and taken to market in as little three months, making them a very efficient source of both food and income.
CARE's intervention included hygiene, segregation of the animals in pens for better hygiene, and construction of a common sanitary facility for processing the meat. Families now use the composted animal waste to fertilize feed crops such as barley or alfalfa, which are used in turn to feed the animals. Some families have been able to cultivate substantial organic vegetable gardens in addition to the feed crops.
We observed two significant systemic changes related to the changes in guinea pig production. One is the improvement in overall hygiene as sanitary practices related to raising the animals are applied to other aspects of everyday life. We rubbed our shoes in a tray of lime before entering the houses, for example, to control the spread of contamination.
The second systemic change has to do with empowering women, who are the primary providers of care for the guinea pigs. As their ventures prosper, the women enjoy greater standing in the community and command more respect. One woman told us that the men in the village used to sometimes hit their wives, but that this has stopped as the women have attained more economic power.
The highlight of our visit was a feast of guinea pig and spiced potatoes (a plate full of them for each of us) with a bottle of super-sweet Inka Cola, a popular soft drink. Imagine the pride these villagers must have felt at being able to offer such a rich repast for nearly 20 people. (Our group of 11 intrepid woman was augmented by CARE-Peru staff and our beloved translator, Tito, of Langway Language Schools in Huaraz.)
Our next stop was Huaraz, where we spent an hour or so in the wonderful markets admiring handmade sweaters, scarves, hats, and other handicrafts. Then we headed to the Chequio Community, where we visited artichoke production fields.
At Chequio we witnessed similar shifts in the social structure as well as the economic life of the community. Women were the primary movers in developing the artichoke fields, and they enjoyed a larger role in making family and community decisions as a result.
Perhaps, like me, you recall the black and white television and magazine ads for CARE circa 1960 featuring the ubiquitous CARE package. If so, you have some catching up to do. CARE's approach to aid has changed dramatically, shifting from the provision of direct service to providing technical assistance, analysis, and start up funds for systemic interventions that result in long term improvements that are maintained by the community rather than by ongoing outside support.
This kind of systemic intervention is not as sexy as direct relief, and as a result, CARE faces fund raising challenges today that it did not face in the past. It's ironic that now that a dollar donated to CARE has so much more leverage, it is harder to attract support. Not to worry. I know 11 alpha women who came home last week with a bee in their bonnets, a bee that is going to be spreading the CARE buzz for a long time to come. -- Molly Gordon, MCC
The next day in Peru found us at 10,000 foot altitude to survey the work of a local volunteer group who worked with CARE to bring running water to homes. Imagine that! There are still homes and families in the world where running water is a cause for pride and celebration! They showed us the station containing the pipes and plumbing that they installed ... and they painted the cement box because they knew in advance that we would be there to visit them! On a personal level, I confess that this was one of the most humbling moments in my lifetime, and I am proud to share this moment with digital images that share that pride with the world!
Each family in the community is responsible to share volunteer hours ... we were honored to meet with the movers and shakers there who worked with CARE to make it possible ... they showed us the books (left) and they showed us the fruits of their labor.
We met a local resident who is a direct beneficiary of these efforts ... she is proud to show us a sink with running water. We share her joy. We also have increased gratitude for things we take for granted at home.
Later, we take a little drive ... at 12,000 feet we find ourselves at one of the most beautiful lakes in the world ... the air is like perfume ... we are totally awestruck and breathless. We can almost touch heaven!
Web Women Giving Circle Founder Joeann Fossland shares a reflective moment with her daughter, Dawn Yellott.
I ordered a cup of coca tea from local concessionaires in the park. The locals drink coca tea to stave off altitude sickness ... it works very well.
Later that day we visit an avocado farm and a local Boomer shows me some of her hats.
On Tuesday we flew from Lima to the Andes town of Huaraz and commenced a trek over dirt roads and mountainous terrain to the small village of Uruspampa. There were "Welcome Arches" constructed by bowed trees and hanging flowers that greeted our bus at points along the road. We took in breathtaking scenery at every turn but nothing prepared us for the moment of our arrival.
The whole town turned out to greet us, schoolchildren met each of us with a glorious, fragrant bouquet and smiles and hugs. Pipers and drummers played a magical melody, an Andean welcome that will play in our hearts forever. Classes in school were cancelled that day. Instead, the children sang to us. They delivered words of welcome in their native Quechua and in Spanish. and then the music started to play again. The children smiled. They walked up to each of us and took our hands, one at a time and then we all danced.
... and danced.
After our dance we spoke with teachers and townspeople. Some teachers walk to work each day ... a three-hour walk each way ... and they arrive smiling and committed ... during the rainy season teachers arrive at work covered in mud .. salary for teachers is just a little more than $200 a month.
"My motivation is my students' face. To see their faces and be able to pull them out of sadness because they do not understand, or think they aren't smart. That is what motivates me to do this job." -- Yolanda Ayala Milla
CARE Peru's New Bilingual Intercultural Education in the Andes Project (EDUBINA) aims to improve access to a quality basic bilingual intercultural education for 1,833 students from eighteen poor rural communities of three districts in the province of Carhuaz and districts adjoining the others in the province of Huaraz, in the department of Ancash. The activities are diversified curriculum development, training for school principals, teachers and experts, promoting gender sensitivity in education management, community workshops and promoting bilingual (Spanish and Quechua) and intercultural education through local government and media.
Bilingual education is important because Quechua is the only language spoken by 80% of the children in these communities. Unless they learn Spanish, these children are often unable to assimilate into other schools as they get older. Without Spanish language skills, they typically fall behind and drop out of school.
In the meantime, the children and the teachers of Uruspampa taught Las Gringas a lesson they will never forget ... a lesson about the power of the human spirit ... the magic of pure love ...
CARE is doing a magnificent job in Peru ... and children and families in the Andes are beneficiaries of educational benefits ... The Web Women Giving Circle and More Magazine had the extraordinary opportunity to meet the children and the teachers face to face ... and we were the beneficiaries of kindness and generosity dispensed in joyful abundance ... in a region where many families subsist on less than $1 a day ... it gives one pause for thought. --Frances Flynn Thorsen
Copyright 2007 Peter Frey/CARE Tuesday morning the CCS van delivered ten gringas to Los Martincitos in Villa el Salvador.
Our schedule: work and play with senior citizens. Most were Indians from the Andes who found their way to "retirement" in Lima. Los Martincitos offers them a good lunch, and a full day of fellowship and recreation under the caring direction of Sister Jacci, a Missionary Sister of Notre Dame.
The day's events started with warm-up exercises. We stretched with them and when we were limber we formed a line and offered the seniors the CARE/More Giving Circle answer to the Rockettes -- we served up a Hokey Pokey Dance .. the senior knew the dance and sang in Spanish as we put in our right hands...
... and our left hands, our right feet, and our left feet, our heads, and our whole bodies.
We put them in and we put them out, we put them back in and we shook them all about. We did the Hokey Pokey and we turned ourselves around. That's what it's all about!
Or so we thought!
Suddenly we saw hundreds of index fingers raised and we heard voices of consternation from the crowd. They pointed at their fannies ... we forgot to shake our fannies! What were the gringas thinking? How could they forget to shake their fannies during the Hokey Pokey?
We met the clamor and the consternation quickly. We put our fannies in, we put our fannies out, we put our fannies in and we shook them all about. We did the Hokey Pokey and we turned ourselves around. Now, THAT'S what it's really all about! -- Frances Flynn Thorsen
When I visited my wonderful financial planner, Pat Raskob, yesterday and was sharing about the trip to Peru, she asked me if the federales with Uzis were on every corner. I realized, unlike our previous trip, I saw no soldiers with machine guns. While there still was one posted in front of each bank, the guns were not evident. Hopefully this says something good. -- Joeann Fossland, Founder, Web Women Giving Circle
Sunday May 27 Lima, Peru
The cafe con leche was a welcome start to the morning. We gathered for a traditional Peruvian Breakfast of fresh rolls, fruit, and hard boiled eggs. Kique was our host and interpreter for the day. We loaded into a van and drove about 40 minutes to Villa El Salvador neighborhood. Lima is very much a desert city that gets little rain and it showed as we drove through the streets. The air quality is filled with smog from the 8.5 million residents. It was cloudy and misty.
Copyright 200 Peter Frey/CARE
We were greeted at a community center called Los Martincitos by Tony Palomino, director, and Sister Jacci. Villa El Salvador was created when 150 Incan families joined to start a well organized structure to serve their needs. The Peruvian government did not allow them to build where they originally took their stand, but peacefully relocated them to where Villa El Salvador is today. Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, this neighborhood is governed democratically and with great pride. It has grown to a community of over 35,000.
From there, we went shopping! The Inca Market was scores of stores with alpaca sweaters, jewelry, leather and cloth items.
I got a great red wool sweater you will see me in! Others bought presents and treasures. Spending some money in the local economy seemed a good thing to do and we had fun!
We went back to the CCS home base for lunch. Lunch is the big meal of the day in Peru. We had a delicious soup and a white meal (hardboiled eggs, potatoes) and fruit.
Then we loaded back in the van for a visit to Casa de Panchita, a center for domestic workers. Sister Blanca told us that the families in the mountains send their daughters into Lima to work for families and hopefully have a better life. In reality, it is a hard life, sometimes even abusive, for these girls that work from morning until night. Casa de Panchita is a refuge they can visit on Sundays for support and services. We had been told that these girls leave their families as young as 6-8, but I don't think that really sunk in until we met a 7 year old who was the nanny for a 2 year old. Made me think how sad it would be to send Lily (my 5-year-old granddaughter) off to live in another city. At the center, they were able to relax and do crafts, visit with each other and do studies. There was also employment services that would help them find good jobs and had blacklisted dangerous ones. We heard how the girls are often not sent to school-only the boys and how difficult it is for them. This visit was sobering and gave us our first real insight into the cultural differences, how the women are treated and what is being done. -- Joeann Fossland
Web Women Giving Circle Founder Joeann Fossland has commenced holiday posting on our "other" blog, Inspiring Woman. Click the photo for Joeann's tribute to her daughter, visit the blog for inspiration, and make a post of your own. The $10 donation fare is donated to CARE, of course! An excerpt from the post:
"You are sharing your magic touch with everyone who is lucky enough to get a massage or facial....
"You awed me when you combined work, school and mothering, because you didn't let the pressure get to you and took care of Lily so she always knew she was surrounded by love!
"I Love you!!!!"
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Web Women Giving Circle.
It's been a busy week for Web Women Giving Circle Founder Joeann Fossland, who has been traveling through the blogosphere to talk about CARE and philanthropy.
Beverly Hills: Philanthropic lifestyles of the rich and the realty professionals who serve them was the theme of the interview at Bernice Ross' Luxury Clues earlier this week.
Maryland: Beltway Artist Tammy Vitale's Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together took Joeann back to her roots and into the artsy neighborhood of the blogosphere for an interview and some creative meanderings. There's a lot of nice color and art on this stop! Surf around this blog for some creative fun.
Las Vegas: Nevada Blog REALTOR Chris Shouse welcomed her bloggy guest with a perfectly chilled bottle of Virtual Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Rose Vintage 1996, served in an Orefors crystal flute, with FRESH Pacific Oysters and Shrimp flown in for the occasion!!! Additionally, she had a bath be drawn for her prior to her arrival, with champagne caress bubbles and bath oil. "How much better can it get????", asked the bloggy diva.
Amissville, VA: Joeann's whirlwind transcontinental travel brought her back to Northern VA Real Estate Notes with host Julie Emery. They talked about CARE and philanthropy in a discussion about how REALTORS can "give back" to their communities.
West Valley, CA: Joeann is back across the country to Southern Californiatoday for a nice chat with REALTOR Shelly Slovin. They talk about real estate "community" and the role that members play in helping to make the world a better place.
Hansaben, 16, (shown above) is the daughter of a salt-pan worker and a student at Ganatar, a CARE-sponsored boarding school. Her mom works in a salt pan.
Salt is made in salt pans. Each pan is about half the size of an Olympic swimming pool. Bare human feet work in salt water atop sharp, hard salt crystals. Most workers can't afford boots. Women work in the blazing sun for 10 hours a days. They also prepare their family meals, fetch water, and tend the children, who help in the salt pan.
Next time I am tempted to say, "My feet hurt," I'm going to think about the ladies in the salt pans. I am also going to think about the abundant love for their families that drives women to work there.
Next time I season my food I will think about the enormous capacity for love that brought this salt to my table.
Help the salt pan workers buy boots and send more of their kids to school!.Donate here.
Copyright 2006 CARE
The AIDS Woman as told to Myat Lwin Lwin Aung
In late 2002, I was not well and had to go to hospital. There I found out I had HIV. After about three months, I was bedridden. I didn't get well for a long time
AIDS: In my village, people call it simply "A." They say only bad people, immoral people, have it. There is no cure. I was going to die. I didn't dare tell anyone. How could I tell my family?
Finally, the headmistress of the primary school in Inn Ywar New Village had a talk with my mother. She told my mother I had AIDS, and offered to introduce me to some groups that could help. Mother told her to do whatever seemed right. That was how I came into contact with CARE, where I got medicine and treatment.
Now my whole family knew I had HIV. They didn't know anything about it and were frightened. They told me, "Don't touch this!" and "Don't touch that!" After I had taken a drink, they washed the cup at once. I sat somewhere and they washed the place. Eating together was out of the question.
I earned a living for this family. I earned money to send my younger sisters and brothers to school, for them to graduate and live like other young people do. Now I was the one bringing shame on the family, humiliating my younger sisters. Why did I get this? Was it my fault? Whatever it was, they called me "the AIDS woman." And they said it like a new swear word. Read the rest of "The Aids Woman" here.
There is abundant hope in 25 countries on the African continent. According to UNICEF, an estimated one million children and pregnant women in the southern African nation of Malawi are ready to receive the bounty of love that will put food on their tables.
Help us help CARE help find fortune for these children.Donate here.
Last year Web Women Giving Circle Founder and Master Coach Joeann Fossland introduced me to the concept of The Law of Attraction. I read Michael Lozier's Law of Attraction book and started to work with the principle in many areas of my life. I recently saw The Secret movie and had another thought about how to apply LOA to our philanthropic blog. We have added the words Love,Hope, and Abundance to our Categories.
Starting today, we will substitute words of deficit with words of plenty, we will endeavor to use words of hope to replace words of despair. And we will attract abundance for millions of hopeful children on the planet. And, by the way, that little word "we" means you and me 8-) What do you say? "Yes" is the most attractive word I know! -- Frances Flynn Thorsen
Copyright CARE 2006 "Empowering women is not extraneous to the fight against HIV and AIDS — it is central to it. The sooner we rally our actions around that reality, the better our chances of winning this battle." Dr. Helene Gayle, CARE president In a recent article, Empowering Women To Battle HIV/AIDS.
"In our decades of work to alleviate poverty around the world, CARE has consistently deepened our understanding of why entire groups of people live in chronic want and despair. As our understanding grows, our approach to fighting poverty becomes more effective. Today, at the onset of the 21st century, CARE is committed to uncovering and uprooting the underlying causes of poverty, including the human-made social, political and economic power structures that consistently exclude certain groups of people — and none more consistently and persistently than women in every society on the planet. Globally, poverty wears a woman's face."-- CARE in a White Paper titled "Women's Empowerment."
The Web Women Giving Circle offers the public a chance to direct consumer dollars to CARE to aid that group in providing humanitarian relief to all corners of the globe. Consider making yourAmazon gift purchases here.