You may have noticed recently that I have been posting and tweeting a lot about Team Honk and the Blogger Relay to raise funds for Sport Relief. It's a fantastic cause and so when offered the chance to receive a Digital Postcard from Tanzania to find out how the funds are being used I jumped at the chance.
Penny sent me my Digital Postcard last night and I couldn't have been more thrilled. And now it's my turn to share that with you...
Here's what Penny had to tell me about Lucy:
"Through mentoring and training the Gatsby Trust gave Lucy the confidence to develop her business and to network after moving from the countryside to the city, She is an inspirational creative who brought out so many beautiful, imaginative handcrafted items to show us. More than that she is a teacher and looks forward expanding her business by training other women who want to start up craft and textile businesses."
Lucy has received training and support from the Tanzanian Gatsby Trust (TGT), a project funded by Comic Relief, and is one of the many inspirational women the Team Honk girls (Penny, Tanya and Annie) have met on their visit to Tanzania to find out where the funding goes and see the real difference it makes to people's lives.
If you've been following their journey you'll know that their trip to Tanzania is to find out how even the smallest amount of funding can make a real #lastingchange through empowering women to help themselves and pass on their knowledge and skills to others.
Take Lucy, for example. She is an extremely talented crafter (something I am sure you all know I appreciate very much!) and the training and mentoring she received from TGT has given her the skills and confidence she needs to build her business and realise her dream of helping other women. Lucy is now able to run a sustainable business whilst putting her teaching and crafting skills to use by sharing them with other women.
This is the 'ripple effect' that Penny so aptly describes in her post yesterday which you can read here.
"In order to create #lastingchange, this TGT project selects women who have been in business for two years already, then mentors and trains them so they can take their business to the next level. These women then take other women with them, as employees, or by training and mentoring women keen to start their own business." (Penny - A Residence)
Isn't that fantastic? The money we raise helps so many people, not just those who receive the initial support that funding provides. And that #lastingchange is so worth supporting!
But even more than this, there is a real emphasis here on empowering women to overcome challenges we can only begin to imagine. As a female blogger in the UK I come across many women who are paving their own paths, finding ways to balance work and family life, and doing so with relative ease...
Here we have the same education as men. We have the same rights to accessing bank accounts and applying for loans. And business women are more the norm over here than elsewhere in the world, and that makes it easier for us to network and support each other in building up key skills we need to survive and thrive.
But that doesn't mean change cannot and does not happen!
As Team Honk explain:
"The Gatbsy Trust helps 1000 female entrepreneurs by educating both women and their partners about women's rights and providing support and training. It has been around since 1992...
"Comic Relief has awarded Tanzania Gatsby Trust a grant of £264,959 over three years so they can continue helping women in Tanzania."
Thanks to funding from Comic Relief (of which Sport Relief is a part), women in Tanzania are accessing training in key skills and networking with each other to pass on those skills further. And the achievements of these women are to be celebrated.
Tomorrow (8th March) is International Women's Day and it is a day to look at the challenges and discrimination facing women and what we can do to change that. But also it's a day to look at how much change has already happened and is happening right now.
70% of the world's poorest people are women, and they own only 1% of the world's property... and yet initiatives like TGT are changing that right now.
Domestic violence is the largest cause of women's injury and death leading to more deaths and disability among women aged 15-44 than malaria, war, traffic accidents and cancer... and yet the millions of pounds raised by Comic Relief will contribute to addressing violence against women.
There is so much change already happening, and we can support that change in as many ways as we possibly can. So do you want to get involved? Yes? Well here's how you can...
- Only got 5 mins to spare? No problem - simply RT, share or support any updates you see using the #lastingchange hashtag!
- Free at 1pm today for 30 mins (Friday 7th March)? Great - why not join in with the @BritMums #lastingchange Twitter Party
- Want to donate? Fantastic! You can sponsor the #TeamHonkRelay here.
- Want to get involved? You star! Sign up for your local Sport Relief event here.
This blog post is a Digital Postcard sent by Team Honk all the way from Tanzania.
"Team Honk is about bloggers raising money and awareness for Comic Relief. To celebrate International women's Day #iwd2014, Tanya, Annie and Penny are in Tanzania finding out how donations to Sport Relief last year have created female entrepreneurs and #lasting change for women, their families and communities and beyond - rippling out #lasting change in Africa."
You can follow all the updates on Twitter using the #lastingchange hashtag.