I’ve recently been introduced to an organization called “Dining for Women” which is quite literally changing the world “one dinner at a time.” Basically, chapter members “dine in” together as a chapter once a month. Each member brings a contribution to the meal as well as a monetary donation equal to the amount they would have spent had they dined out at a restaurant. All donations from the 9000 chapters worldwide are then combined to support a “carefully selected international program” each month. In the past, the group has funded grassroots programs in economic development, education, vocational training, and healthcare to name a few. All of the programs that “Dining for Women” supports are aimed at improving the lives of women and girls living in impoverished countries, and providing them with “a hand up, not a handout” (Dining).
Here are a few FAQs answered on their website, which can be accessed at (Dining): www.diningforwomen.org
Since 75 percent of the world’s 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty are women and children who live in developing nations, it makes sense that if we are to change the level of poverty worldwide we do it through the empowerment of these women.
Also, 85 percent of money Americans donate to charitable purposes stays in the United States. Of the 15 percent that is donated internationally, private foundations rather than individuals give the majority of funds donated. Here are some startling statistics:
- 70 percent of the world’s 1.3 billion poor are women living on less than $1 a day.
- Women do 60 percent of the world’s work and earn 10 percent of the world’s income.
- Women spend 50-70 percent of time men do on paid work and still do 200 percent of unpaid work in comparison to men.
- Women produce 70-75 percent of the world’s food crops.
- One year of schooling for the mother reduces child mortality by about 10 percent.
- Women cultivate, plow, and harvest more than half of all the food in the world.
As Nicholas Kristof, NY Times Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide states,
“The oppression of women worldwide is the human rights cause of our time. And their liberation could help solve many of the world’s problems, from poverty to child mortality to terrorism.”
As part of DFW’s program acceptance process, the organizations commit to providing Dining for Women with multiple follow-up reports, detailing how donations were spent, number of women and girls impacted, success stories and challenges faced while implementing the program. Follow-up reports are posted on the Programs/Follow-up Reports webpage and in the monthly newsletters.
The Dining for Women organization does not affiliate or align itself with any religious or political organization, and no programs that are funded by Dining for Women are sponsored by or are a part of a religious or political organization. However, Dining for Women welcomes anyone, from all religious and political beliefs, to join together in our mission of improving the lives of women through the power of collective giving.”
To view a short clip from the creator of this organization, Marsha Wallace, copy and paste link into your Internet browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=THHsXDa3Sc8
To view a short clip about the Dining for Women 2012 Introduction, copy and past this link into your Internet browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=l7xyJkLJjk8
I think that this is an awesome and empowering giving circle… please let me know what you think!
Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,
Dining for Women. n.d. Dining for Women I, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. <www.diningforwomen.org>