Dear Friend,

I hope you and your loved ones have stayed healthy and safe. This newsletter is the last one in Zonta’s Centennial Anniversary Biennium, which has, indeed, been an exceptional one. I am most grateful for all the wonderful support that our initiatives, programs and projects have received. These last months with COVID-19 have shown that our common vision to make the world a better place by empowering women and girls can also be a source of strength and an avenue for meaningful action.
You will find some recent examples below along with a few other updates. More are provided in the digital issue of our magazine The Zontian

With many thanks for your ongoing support and very best wishes.

Dr. Susanne von Bassewitz, President
Centennial Anniversary Grantees Empower Women and Girls in their Communities
In honor of our centennial anniversary last year, Zonta awarded grants of up to US$5,000 each to local projects that were proposed by clubs around the world. 
A total of US$296,271 was disbursed to 62 organizations in 18 countries, partnering with a Zonta club. Following are the stories of how three  Centennial Anniversary Grantees impacted their communities. 
Survivors of violence build resilience
Globally, one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

Through their project, Food for Thought, the Zahra Foundation and the Zonta Club of Adelaide Flinders Inc in Australia, assist women who have suffered from violence to build up their social connections, confidence and ultimately their resilience. The educational program taught women from diverse cultures and ethnicities how to cook and how to eat nutritiously in a budget-friendly way while engaging with and learning from one another.
Women develop cooking skills and learn about financially sustainable nutrition in the 'Food for Thought' program.
Empowering girls through education 
“I don’t learn by watching. If I just watch, I don’t know what I’m doing. But I get to do things in Girl Scouts. I’d never thought I’d learn all things I have,” Z’Yahne said after attending the 6th Annual Girl Scout STEM Conference. 

Z’Yahne was one of the 35 girls sent to this event and the Girl Leadership Summit with support by the Zonta Club of Trenton/Mercer and the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern NJ Inc. Both programs are girl-led, provide hands-on learning and reflection, and included cooperative learning. 
Girls code a Sphero Robot to guide it through a maze during the 6th Annual Girl Scout STEM Conference.
Immigrant women receive work opportunities 
In Finland, slightly more than 50% of immigrant women are employed. Poor employment prospects for immigrant women affect their families’ financial situations. The Zonta Club of Vantaa II and the Finnish Federation of Graduate Women, Vantaa Branch partnered for the  Let’s Work Together  project, which helped find jobs for immigrant women. 

The project directly benefited 58 women and one man, indirectly affecting up to 300 people—including their families, their employers and the families of their employers. 
Raija Sollamo (right), president of the Finnish Federation of Graduate Women Vantaa Branch, is presented with a grant certificate for the "Let's Work Together" project, which benefited 58 women.
Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis
Despite the hardship and uncertainty amid a worldwide pandemic, Zontians acted quickly to provide relief to their communities. 

In Thailand, clubs united to provide medical equipment and cash to support doctors and health workers in the fight against COVID-19. Area 6 Director Poungthong Anantanasuwong, District 17 committee vice chair and Zontians from the Zonta clubs of Bangkok I, Bangkok V, Bangkok IX, Bangkok XI and Khon Khaen, donated more than US$50,500 in total. 

In the Philippines, clubs are mobilizing to help families and medical workers. The Zonta Club of Baliuag distributed food to 51 marginalized families, particularly the ones with impoverished women and children, and the Zonta Club of Cebu II supported the production of more than 1,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) in one week and donated the materials to Persons Deprived of Liberty in the BJMP-Mandaue City Female Ward. 

The Z Club of Saint Sofia launched a social platform to support women during the pandemic called "Plan Z." The specialized platform provides psycho-social support, legal assistance, social consulting and career guidance.
For more examples on how Zonta members across the world are making an impact in their communities,  click here
Successes in our Efforts to End Child Marriage
Education in Madagascar Continues
"...In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, Zonta funds continue to help UNICEF contribute to the education of children in Madagascar.

Seven million children have been affected by the closure of schools, including over 1 million adolescents in lower secondary schools.

Thanks to Zonta, 67,000 students have benefited from self-directed learning materials that they can use during school closures and to prevent learning losses during this time.

From all of us here at UNICEF Madagascar, and on behalf of Malagasy children and their families, we would like to say thank you for your support!”

FelanAndo Aliderson, Education Specialist, UNICEF Madagascar
Read Now: The Zontian Digital-only Issue 4
"These past two years, and especially the last months with COVID-19, have made it clear that humanity faces what are probably its most serious challenges ever.

That said, as very often in times of crisis, opportunities also appear more clearly. One of them is making women’s equal participation in all decision-making processes a reality."

- Susanne von Bassewitz, President
Watch Now: Centennial Anniversary Biennium in Pictures
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