My treasured Liberian staff person Calvin called at noon today and asked, "Are you sitting down?" My response, "What’s wrong Calvin?" with a deep sense of dread. "Your dear friend Evelyn died today." "NO!" was all I could say…Evelyn and I have been friends for years. She lives alone in a small dirt-floor shack house around the corner from my home in Liberia. She would walk passed my front door daily with her plastic bucket filled with small things she tried to sell to anyone she encountered along the beach, her only source of "small-small" money. I often bought all the small bags of nuts and candies she had in her bucket, carefully counting out the total in Liberian dollars; always the equivalent of just a few US dollars. I would bring the treats to our FFW office and share them with the team, all of whom know of my dear friendship with Evelyn.
Celebrating International Women's Day with the launch of the Deborah & Florence Education Fund for Girls
On this special day we want to officially announce the formation of the "Deborah & Florence Education Fund for Girls" which was birthed at the end of 2017 by a generous gift from long-time supporter and board member Janie Davis. Janie has two grandsons for whom she is arranging funding for their education. When we were together a few months ago, Janie expressed the desire to do something for girls as well as boys. She provided the initial gift which the Foundation for Women matched - so we now have $2000 in the account which we hope will grow to fund not just post-high school education for Deborah and Florence, but for many, many girls.
On this special day, I am inviting you to help us continue to offer microfinance and education support to women and girls by:
Globally the world celebrates International Women's Day today. The Foundation for Women acknowledges today as it has for the last two decades. From India to Africa to San Diego to now Liberia, we have been blessed and honored to celebrate and support more than a million women and their families all over the globe. And there is so much more to come!
It has been an amazing and blessed journey so far. As we embark on our third decade of service, we are committed more than ever to the knowing that we are indeed one human family, that we need to be present for and support each other. The Foundation for Women has been a bridge between those of us in the 20% of the population that share more than 90% of the wealth and the 20% of the population that shares less than 1% of the wealth. Please join with us today in standing with our global sisters.
Foundation for Women Executive Director Deborah Lindholm was on hand at Elwa Skateboard Academy in Monrovia, Liberia on International Go Skate Day to celebrate the amazing progress of program participants. Check out their amazing progress over the past few months going from their flat, basketball court learning area to the open road. Skateboarding in Liberia is providing a fun new focus for kids, building camaraderie between students and introducing a much needed additional mode of transport. From the confident slaloms to the skateboard handstand, some of them look like they've been skating for years already!
–For 60 Helmets Donation
By Omari Jackson for The Daily Observer, Monrovia, Liberia. Read the full article online.
The ELWA Academy Skateboard Club yesterday expressed appreciation to the Tony Hawk Foundation for the donation of 60 helmets to help build interest in the sport. The helmets were presented to the club by the founder and chief executive officer of Foundation for Women, Deborah Lindholm, yesterday during skateboard training at the school’s campus in Monrovia.
A donation of $60 brings another child into the Elwa Academy Skateboarding Club. Help us spread the word about bringing joy to kids who have grown up in the context of poverty, war and even Ebola. This program is incentivizing education for nearly 100 kids now. Help us reach our goal of 500!
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Tony Hawk Foundation, MissionLine, Harnish Foundation and More Supporting Skateboard Liberia Project
To learn more click any highlighted MISSIONLINE link below.
Collective Impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem, using a structured form of collaboration.
STANFORD SOCIAL INNOVATIONAL REVIEW - Committed Collective Impact
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The Foundation for Women is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit and registered non-government organization working to end poverty through microcredit programs and education.
FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN - Making Education Fun
Thanks to Sector 9 Skateboards, The Tony Hawk Foundation, Awesome Without Borders, Missionlines and individual donors like you, skateboarding has come to Liberia for the first time! Join us in a quick visit to Elwa Academy Skateboard Club to see the kids in their first few days.
Excerpted from The Daily Observer Read the full article online
The ELWA Academy in Paynesville, outside Monrovia yesterday launched the ELWA Academy Skateboard Club with 72 students from the lower and upper classes. According to the club’s director, Pastor Arthur T. Williams, the launch is meant to offer the students a different form of recreation as “all work without play makes Jack a dull boy.”
“We selected students from the lower and upper classes,” Director Williams said, “to become members of the club. In fact we were interested in students who showed interest in the sport.”
Helping the students with materials for the sport is the non-for-profit organization, Foundation for Women, whose founder and chief executive officer, Madam Deborah Lindholm, donated 18 helmets and 18 skateboards to the club.
We are thrilled to announce that we are the winners of a grant from Awesome Without Borders. The funds are bringing much needed joy to Liberian children - many of whom have known nothing but warfare and Ebola.
From Awesome Without Borders:
With not much more than a board and four wheels, this nonprofit is skating into Liberia.
On a recent trip to Liberia, Foundation for Women Founder and CEO Deborah Lindholm happened to bring a couple of skateboards along. Lindholm’s foundation is dedicated to supporting women in poverty, and she’s always on the lookout for unexpected, entrepreneurial ideas — and soon enough, she was on a roll with skateboards. Lindholm’s skateboards brought smiles to everyone she encountered. And in a nation devastated by a recent Ebola outbreak and brutal civil war, smiles are sometimes in short supply. Thrilled at the unexpected popularity of the skateboards, Lindholm made it her mission to bring some new fun to Liberia with the simplicity of a board and four wheels.
About the Author
Deborah Lindhom is the Founder and CEO of the Foundation for Women. For over 20 years she has lived and worked in Africa, India and the United States on issues of poverty, education and microcredit.
"Just a quick note to say how we appreciate all that you are doing in Liberia and wish we could do more to help. We enjoy reading your newsletters which are always so well written.
All the best!" ~ Ian and Julie Allen, Africa and Beyond Art Gallery