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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Jennifer Stephenson

Jennifer Stephenson (third from left) with a WELNepal's women's group
I met Jennifer Stephenson several years ago when she volunteered to work at our annual benefit bash and generously donated items to our silent auction.

I knew Jennifer would help make our benefit a success. I also knew Jennifer was very interested WELNepal’s work, since she insisted on seeing as many of our projects as possible when she visited WELNepal’s target area during her trip to Nepal this past winter.

What I didn't know about Jennifer was that she has many years of experience in the charity world under her belt. She’s sat on boards, written proposals and overseen various projects. Jennifer’s observations and explanations and suggestions were prescient and valuable.

Jennifer Stephenson is a most welcome family member of WELNepal.

Please read what Jennifer had to say about her time with the women in our projects.

---David Daai

Jennifer (second from left) with the women
Fast forward time zones and nothing is new on the other side of the world. The surety of the rising and setting sun and the measured pace of the seasons are unchanged, no matter what continent you find yourself.

But, if you look and listen, there are subtle undercurrents of activity.

In between chores and daily survival, WELNepal is providing a lifeline for many women in Nepal.

In many villages, women of all ages are gathering. Not to fetch water or help with planting or the harvest or celebrate a birth or mourn a life passed. They’re gathered to enter a new realm of understanding; of voice, of empowerment. This is an opportunity not to be missed and one that I was very fortunate to share in March 2014.

I met some of the beautiful women from WELNepal’s programs on my recent visit to Nepal. I was graciously welcomed into their innermost circles — circles of literacy and small cottage house industries such as organic farming, mushroom growing, candle making, sewing projects and souvenir making.

But it is the ability to better communicate by reading, writing, and reasoning that is so very fundamental to this circle of women. I spoke no Nepali and they spoke no English, but that did not diminish the confidence with which they shared with me a smile, a cup of tea, an orange. There were elements of on-going successes, hope and value in self.

A simple life made simpler with WELNepal's gift of literacy.

To all of you that have gifted (and to those of you who may), please continue or start to give whatever you can to WELNepal's programs. 

I have seen, heard and witnessed the results of the investment. There is always more that can be done - a letter, a donation, one step, a shared dream.