Here at ONE we believe there are a lot of amazing girls and women all over the globe who are doing incredible things to make our world a better place. These girls and women push boundaries and challenge stereotypes. Whether it’s empowering women in their local communities, or influencing change on an international level, these powerful females deserve some recognition. That’s what motivated us to create a new section on our Girls and Women page.
Over the past few months, we have featured a new #ONEderWoman each week. These #ONEderWomen range from ages as young as 12 and come from all over the world, from America to Zambia. We’ve featured musicians, farmers, film makers, and girls who haven’t even finished high school yet. While each story is different, these girls and women all share one thing in common: they are making an amazing impact on the world. Take a look into the #ONEderWoman archives and discover some of the incredible girls and women you may have missed!
Check out these FIVE incredible #ONEderWomen: the women behind the band, The Mrs., an all-female rock band in their 30’s and 40’s from Austin, TX who travel around the country spreading their message of #ImEnough. The Mrs. aim to inspire a “female empowerment movement to change the often negative way women see themselves—and to convince women everywhere that they are, indeed, ENOUGH!” Through their music, the band seeks to connect women with songs about motherhood, careers, marriages, and various other life experiences. The women of The Mrs. are true #ONEderWomen because of their strength and their determination to inspire, motivate, and empower women around the world.
You can see the impact The Mrs. are having on women around the country with their video, ENOUGH.
Film producer Erin Bernhardt is a totally inspiring #ONEderWoman! Erin’s recently produced documentary “Imba Means Sing” follows the story of the African Children’s Choir, in which orphaned children aged seven to twelve are selected to sing and tour with the choir for a year. While the choir was initially founded in Uganda to help kids orphaned by the Ugandan civil war finance their educations through song and dance, there are now several branches of the choir throughout Africa, including in Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, Kenya, and Ghana. Today, Erin exemplifies what it means to be a #ONEderWoman as she dedicates her livelihood to ensuring that children all over the world have access to primary and secondary education!
Sima Moyo is a truly special #ONEderWoman. Ms. Moyo founded the Rose of Charity orphanage in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to care for the growing number of orphans due to HIV/AIDS. Every day, Ms. Moyo and her volunteers care for the every need of over 70 orphans in Victoria Falls—and non-orphaned children are always welcome for a meal and a safe place to play. In addition to clothing, feeding, and sheltering orphaned and vulnerable children, Rose of Charity holds “Believe in Girls” workshops that encourage female empowerment in Zimbabwe and teaches girls about education, women’s rights, sexual health, and careers. Ms. Moyo’s selflessness and dedication to improving the lives of children in her community embodies everything that it means to be a #ONEderWoman!
Fungai Machirori founded Her Zimbabwe in 2012 in order to “harness the potential of digital media to share and tell Zimbabwean women’s stories.” Her Zimbabwe focuses on three main activities: amplifying women’s voices online, stimulating conversation, and promoting literacy in digital storytelling. Her Zimbabwe creates an online community of women (and men!) who together engage in meaningful discourse to empower women and advocate for increased gender equality within Zimbabwean society—how awesome is that?! Providing women with the tools and space they need to express their opinions and be catalysts for change is why we have selected Ms. Machirori as our #ONEderWoman!
Trudy Banda from Ng’ombe, Zambia is a true #ONEderWoman as she is a real life super hero for many women and children in the slums of Lusaka. Ms. Banda is the co-founder of a nonprofit, Chikumbuso, that aims to bring healing to widowed women through microenterprise and education to AIDS orphans. In addition, Chikumbuso also provides grandmother outreach and safe havens, which are places in which vulnerable children are provided with food, clothing, and shelter. In the 10 years since its founding, Chikumbuso has grown to include 45 widows, 25 youth, 20 grandmothers, and nearly 500 school children. Today, Ms. Banda serves as the principal of the school and knows the name of every single child. The word Chikumbuso means “remembrance”—they “remember those who have died, remember where we have come from, and remember to do for others.” Through Ms. Banda’s organization, she is improving the lives of hundreds of people in her community and giving them an opportunity for a brighter future.
A special Mother’s Day #ONEderWoman tribute goes to Elizabeth Glaser, founder of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). Ms. Glaser’s story is truly remarkable: in 1981 she contracted HIV through a blood transfusion while giving birth to her daughter, Ariel. Unknowingly, she transmitted the virus to Ariel though breastfeeding and to her son, Jake, in utero. Unfortunately, at that time, the global health community had little idea about how to treat pediatric HIV. After Ariel lost her battle with AIDS in 1988, Ms. Glaser took action to create a foundation that would raise money for pediatric HIV/AIDS research. Out of a mother’s love, EGPAF was founded and has gone on to be one of the world’s leading organizations in pediatric AIDS prevention, treatment, and advocacy. There may be nothing more powerful in this world than a mother’s love, and Ms. Glaser is proof of this. While Ms. Glaser passed away in 1994, her legacy lives on through EGPAF.
The story of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a Ugandan Catholic nun, is truly inspirational and deserves to be told around the world. Sister Rosemary dedicates herself to restoring the lives of thousands of young women who suffered greatly under the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a violent and horrific guerilla group led by Joseph Kony in Uganda. Sister Rosemary founded the Saint Monica Girls School in Gulu, Uganda, and created a safe space in which young women affected by the atrocities of the LRA are taught to sew and make handbags using recyclable materials. Sister Rosemary is the epitome of a #ONEderWoman as she courageously stood up to a warlord and defended thousands of young woman, providing them with a loving and empowering environment in the midst of chaos and evil. A true hero (and one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in 2014), Sister Rosemary gives girls and women hope, strength, and a bright, promising future. You can learn more about Sister Rosemary’s story by watching the documentary Sewing Hope.
Not many teenagers in this world do something quite as remarkable as #ONEderWoman, Gracie Pfaff. Gracie was just 12 years old when she founded Harvest107, a non-profit that creates fresh and sustainable food sources for low-income communities in the US and in Haiti. Gracie started her first micro-farm in Franklin, TN that currently feeds 24 families, and then expanded her projects to Haiti. Gracie and her family now live in Haiti, running Harvest107’s three projects there. Gracie and her team at Harvest107 believe that food is a right, not a privilege, and that every person on this planet deserves access to safe, nutritious food every day. This teenage girl, wise beyond her years, is doing amazing things in her local community and around the world—a true #ONEderWoman! To read more about her story and her organization, read this blog and interview with her!
Our #ONEHeifer team of writers got the chance to meet Rose January, a farmer from Thoylo, Malawi who is the embodiment of a #ONEderWoman. Rose has two cows, both of which she received through Heifer International and has paid them forward by giving 11 of her calves to other farmers in the community. Because of her kind heart and Heifer’s programs, many lives in her village in Malawi have been positively impacted, and she is contributing to the growth and development of her community. The cows provide income for the families and allow their children to attend school. Passing along 11 of her calves to other farmers in need has enabled her community to flourish and reap the benefits of sustainable agriculture. Rose is absolutely lit from within by pride in her accomplishments and in her giving—a true #ONEderWoman.
Blessing Nwafor is a rock-star 14 year old from Johannesburg, South Africa who is featured in ONE’s “Strong Girl” music video. She is currently living at the Makeba Centre for Girls, which provides emotional, physical and financial support to girls who have escaped harmful situations. It was founded in 2003 by the late Miriam Makeba, and was visited by several artists whilst writing and recording “Strong Girl.” After hearing Blessing perform, they invited her to join them on the track. Blessing is a dancer, rapper and singer, and this is her first step towards a career in music and the media. An inspirational role model, Blessing is a true she-roe and #ONEderWoman because she stands #WithStrongGirls everywhere!