Donor Highlight: Emily's Adventure

L to R: Emily, her mother, Joyce, and Global Fund for Women advisor in Turkey, Nurcan Baysal.L to R: Emily, her mother, Joyce, and Global Fund for Women advisor in Turkey, Nurcan Baysal.
“I came on the trip with one overarching question: are things moving forward or backwards for women around the world?”
– Emily, Global Fund for Women Donor

Hours of research could never prepare you for 10 days in Turkey, Global Fund for Women style.

With a schedule packed with visits to some of the most progressive women’s groups, and long nights of philosophical conversations with Global Fund supporters, there was barely time to digest all the dolmas.

“I had a desire to connect with the global women's movement and find my place in it. I loved being on a trip with like- minded women,” said Emily, who along with her mother, Joyce, was one of 27 donors who joined us in Turkey.

Emily is a relatively new philanthropist from the Boston area who grew up believing that girls can do anything. She is a mother, Girl Scout leader, and grants with a “gender-lens” through her foundation, Imago Dei Fund. Emily says that through her work in the anti- trafficking movement, her eyes have been opened to the grim realities of human rights violations that girls and women face.

L to R: Diane Wexler, Maryann Casati, Lisa Bottom, and Stans Kleijnen watch children perform a traditional Kurdish dance with grantee partner, Umut Isigi Women's Cooperative.L to R: Diane Wexler, Maryann Casati, Lisa Bottom, and Stans Kleijnen watch children perform a traditional Kurdish dance with grantee partner, Umut Isigi Women's Cooperative.

"As a mother of a 10-year-old daughter, I am so aware of how incredible girls are, and feel deep empathy and joy seeing them overcome obstacles to develop their full potential,” said Emily.

Of the 15 grantee partners visited, Emily’s favorites were groups working to preserve Kurdish culture and language, despite government condemnation.

“I saw the double burden of being Kurdish and being female. I learned so much that day about how the burden of ethnic conflicts fall disproportionately on women.”

After the trip, Emily decided to give to the Global Fund. She said that after witnessing our due diligence and meeting our local advisors, she knew she could not get resources to women-led groups as effectively, on her own.

“We can’t change the underlying attitudes, they are the ones who, in their cultural contexts, are really going to change mindsets,” said Emily. “I’m convinced that these inspiring women leaders are the ones who are going to change the world.”

Next in the Annual Report: Invited Twice To Dance »

 
 

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