During the past couple of months, the Global Fund has received several gifts generated by students, including a generous lump of pennies in the amount of $609 from students' coin drive at King Phillip Middle School in Connecticut and over $2,000 from the proceeds of a multicultural show put on by the Stanford undergraduate South Asian student group, Sanskriti.
From students organizing conferences on women's rights - such as Stanford students' recent ThinkBig conference - to middle schoolers becoming practicing philanthropists even before their teenage years, students from coast to coast in the US are mobilizing both passion and resources to contribute to advancing international women's rights.Sanskriti, which in Hindi/Sanskrit means "culture," is an undergraduate South Asian cultural student group founded in 1989. Since then, it has grown to include over 600 members.
By exploring South Asian history and tradition and promoting its performances to the rest of the Stanford community, Sanskriti seeks to strengthen campus awareness of South Asian culture. Each winter, Sanskriti organizes an annual multicultural show called Rhythms, the proceeds of which go to a different charity of their choice each year. Check out Sanskriti's trailer video for the show.
This year, in celebration of the concurrent student-led conference on women's rights, Think Big, Sanskriti generously donated the proceeds of its annual show to the Global Fund for Women. ThinkBig, is Stanford's annual conference run entirely by enthusiastic undergraduate students, focused on international women's health and rights issues. ThinkBIG, held this year at Stanford from February 1-3, aimed to inspire students to action by critically looking at the health situation of women and girls in poorer countries.
The conference engaged hundreds of students and community members through speeches, films, student group performances, such as Sanskriti's Rhythms, and information panels featuring guests such as Former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis, Former Minister of Health of Ghana Dr. Eunice Brookman Amissah, and Fiona Muchembere of The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), a Global Fund grantee.
ThinkBig writes, "The ultimate goal is to mobilize our generation-- from the diplomat to the doctor to the 'check-writer of tomorrow'-- to step up to the challenges of the future and work to improve the situation of women throughout the developing world. You can download and view each of the conference panel's stirring opening videos, produced by Potentia Media.
Examples of student-led activism and mobilization such as these abound across the country. The Global Fund is honored to be the recipient of these recent student-led initiatives and delighted to be part of the philanthropic education of our youth. For more information about how your school can get involved, contact Camille Matson, Development Associate, at cmatson [AT] globalfundforwomen [DOT] org.
By Annie Wilkinson, Development Associate for Philanthropic Partnerships