Crisanta de Guzman
I grew up in the Philippines, a country with extreme poverty, and participated in the popular democratic movement in my university years. Having had the opportunity to attend college, I then went to work for a project funded by the US Agency for International Development, which focused on giving the rural poor the means and training to come up with their own development plans.
In my visits to the projects we funded, I observed that a huge majority of the participants were women. Later as a graduate student, I was struck by the fact that the surest way to improve the welfare of the world's impoverished children was to improve the livelihoods of their mothers.
Today, I find myself working in the financial industry, a male-dominated environment that is very far removed from the issues concerning women in developing countries. To find a way of "giving back," I consciously sought out organizations that provided direct assistance to women in developing countries and discovered the Global Fund for Women while surfing the Internet.
The Global Fund impresses me because most of its projects help women on a practical day-to-day level. It compares very favorably against other institutions in terms of the percentage of funds making their way directly to the beneficiaries.
For those women out there who want to help others but have little free time with a busy career and family life, being a Global Fund donor provides an excellent avenue to directly help women in need. The newsletters and house parties are excellent ways to keep informed on issues affecting women in other parts of the world. I highly recommend the Global Fund to anyone concerned about poverty, women's rights or children's welfare.
Crisanta de Guzman
Vice President, Structured Equity Finance Sales,
Individual donor since 1999