Two buzzwords you should think about this month

Heidi poses for a photo with Rakhi (left) and her sister Lota.

Heidi poses for a photo with Rakhi (left) and her sister Lota.

Empowered women.

These buzzwords have saturated the office and web lately here at Food for the Hungry (FH).

Why’s that?

Well, FH is gearing up for the upcoming International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8. We’re doing so by hosting an International Women’s Day 5k Walk on March 10.

Posters have been printed and emails have been sent about this event and FH’s work with women, but I want to talk about what these two words mean on a more personal level.

At FH, we share a lot about the work we do with women, such as:

  • Working with Bangladeshi women to form savings groups to help them learn how to read, write, understand their legal rights and learn how to develop skills to create small businesses.
  • Train women in communities to become leader mothers. These women are trained in topics such as nutrition and improved health practices, then take these lessons and teach other mothers in the community.
  • Teach vulnerable girls about the importance of education and their value as a member in their community, to prevent early marriages and human trafficking.

But when I see the words – empowered women – I’m not only reminded of the vulnerable and marginalized women we work with around the world, I’m also reminded of the women in my life who inspire me.

Women who have overcome challenges of every kind. Women who seem to have an endless supply of generosity, love and compassion.

Women like my friend and co-worker at FH, Heidi Hatch.

Heidi and Rakhi

Heidi works with FH as a church representative connecting the U.S. church to our work abroad. Heidi is also a child sponsor. Her sponsored child, Rakhi, is a 12-year-old girl living in Bangladesh. Rakhi lives in a low-caste Hindu community and faces the risk of early marriage. Through the support of Heidi’s child sponsorship, Rakhi and her family are learning the value of education and the importance of delaying marriage.

Heidi is an empowered woman. And through her love and support, Rakhi is becoming an empowered young woman.

Local to globalPhoto of Heidi with IWD walk poster

The IWD 5k walk FH is hosting in Phoenix, Arizona, encourages people to take steps locally to make strides globally.

I love to think about our work in this way. Local to global. I’m reminded of Heidi and Rakhi, and how I’m inspired by women locally and globally.

I encourage you to think about empowered women in your life. How have they inspired or changed you?

If you are in the Phoenix area, come join us on March 10 in honor of women who have inspired you and in support of women around the world making change in their own communities!

To find out more about FH’s IWD 5k walk or how you can support and empower women around the world, click here.

About Esther Martinez

Esther Martinez is a Multimedia writer and photographer at Food for the Hungry. She is an Arizona native who loves to travel. Her background is in photography and journalism. Outside of work she enjoys discovering new foodie restaurants, embarking on creative photography projects and scouting the local music scene. Through her blog, you'll be able to see what comes across her desk each month.

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