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January, 2019
A Message from the President
The fall of 2018 was an exciting and busy one for WIL. A group of 14 members traveled to Bolivia to investigate micro finance and the conditions and challenges for women there. We presented a one of a kind program focusing on how young professional women can get involved in the non for profit world both in leadership and how to form a 501c3. Our panel of experts made up of our very own members with vast experience in the field showcased some of the talent in our WIL organization. We finished off the year with a full day strategic planning session including 60 of our combined stakeholders; members, donors and recipients. We will be sharing the results with you in the next few months. Details of these accomplishments follow in this newsletter.

I'm excited about our prospects for 2019. Service days are planned, three programs are scheduled for February, March and April and local travel is planned. Watch for those notices and of course our website at  www.wil-gp.org contains up to date information.

Our continued focus for 2019 is to establish more village micro finance banks and provide empowerment grants to NGO's working with women and girls. Donations are our single resource for improving the lives of these women and their families in developing countries. Please consider a gift to WIL in the coming year. Together we can make an impact.

On behalf of the Women International Leaders Board I would like to wish our WIL family a very healthy and prosperous New Year.

Nancy Alter
Upcoming WIL Educational Programs
February Program: The Chain Collaborative and Coffee Tasting
Join us on February 6, 2019 at Peirce College, 1420 Pine St., Rooms 51 & 52, Philadelphia to learn about The Chain Collaborative:

5 - 6 p.m. Networking and Registration
6 - 6:15 p.m. WIL News and Updates
6:15 - 8 p.m. WIL Program

WIL welcomes Nora Burkey, Fou nder and Executive Director of The Chain Collab orative. Nora will present o n How Prioritizing Community-Led Development and Local Leadership Leads to More Sustainable Change. The Chain Collaborative is committed to changing the paradigm of development in the coffee sector, specializing in training, organizational, and programmatic support that aims to shift power back to coffee communities. They do this through investing in local Change Leaders' community projects in Latin America and Africa, connecting with likeminded organizations, and mobilizing resources and meaningful collaboration.. Nora will highlight the impact the organization has seen so far in three countries, their Theory of Change, and their efforts in advocacy to promote community-led development throughout the coffee and development sectors. Please come join us for an excitingly caffeinated program that shares methods and metrics of creating lasting change that Empowers Women Globally! - a coffee tasting will accompany the presentation.


March Program: Heifer International
For the March program, the Service Committee will introduce Heifer International.
Hold the date of March 27, 2019, when Valerie Danzey, the Heifer International community engagement coordinator for NJ,PA, & DE, will  present and we will learn about the collective power of economic development, food security and nutrition and environmental sustainability can empower small-scale farmers on the path to living incomes. When those components are multiplied by the positive impacts of gender equality and social capital, communities achieve greater resilience and a sustainable reduction in hunger and poverty.

April Program - M. Night Shyamalan
Look out for an invitation to go out to you shortly for our April Program when we will enjoy a presentation from M. Night Shyamalan on Storytelling for Leaders.
Second WIL Welcome Basket Project with HIAS Pennsylvania
WIL Service Committee and HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) again collaborated on a project to "Welcome the Stranger" providing welcome baskets to immigrant 5 families in November, 2018. The HIAS mission is to provide legal, resettlement, citizenship, and supportive services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from all backgrounds in order to ensure their fair treatment and full integration into American society.

This time, instead of listing all of the specific needs on Amazon for WIL members to purchase, we used a mixed model drawing upon Conshohocken-based Cradles to Crayons to acquire children's' clothes, toys and school supplies for 0 to 12 year olds in addition to WIL sourced new and gently used items plus donated gift cards. This donation model generated so many goods that it took 8 of us a morning to sort (photo 1). Each family received not one but several "welcome baskets" the contents of which filled Lynne McMahon's living room and required 2 car teams and several trips to deliver (photo 2).
The families received us with warmth and emotion - thank goodness for cell phone translation apps to help us personally welcome these new families.

MANY THANKS to the WIL members who went out to collect goods, donated clothes, bought new items through Amazon (23 donations), gave gift cards and who otherwise supported this worthy effort.

MLK Day Service Project with HIAS Pennsylvania
HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) has invited WIL to collaborate in a service day to help renovate two of their sites on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 21. WIL members will work at Tarken Recreation Center 6250 Frontenac St. and has signed up to send 4 people who want to paint, organize and clean the center. We will also supply 15 bag lunches, and may decide to bake cookies as well! The service committee considers this project to be valuable to the community of newcomers so we start 2019 with a renewed commitment to support the work of HIAS in "Welcoming The Stranger."

Contact Chris Stanley if you are interested in this project.
Join WIL March 12-13-14 (overnight optional) for an exciting trip to New York City to attend the NGO 63rd Commission on the Status of Women Forum and Parallel Events
NGO CSW/NY is an untiring advocate for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls across the globe in support of the work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and UN Women. The priority theme for the conference this year is Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. If you would like to learn more about the 63rd Session of Commission on the Status of Women, you can access it online  at www.https://www.ngocsw.org/ngo-csw-forum  . Though the Forum events are free, on Tuesday evening, March 12 there is a reception which some of our members will be attending. The reception will be an extra cost of $100.00 and requires registration soon. We are excited to announce that Sandee Mandel, one of our WIL members was invited to be a guest presenter for Leah's Dream on Wednesday morning, March 13th at 8:30am at the Armenian Convention Center. For those WIL members arriving early, it will be great to share our support with Sandee! There will be several meetings throughout the day on March 13 and 14 that you can choose from, and we were hoping to meet as a group for lunch and/or dinner. Last year many of our members also enjoyed the Artisan Fair. Though the date for this year's Artisan Fair is yet to be announced, it will hopefully be held while we are there. While WIL is not organizing overnight accommodations, this could also make for a fun overnight trip for anyone interested in spending one or two nights and attending many of the activities. 

Please RSVP (name, email and phone number) if you would like to plan on joining us and which days you would like to attend NO LATER THAN January 25, 2019 to Mary Kahn (mary.w.kahn@gmail.com) so we can begin to finalize our plans in NYC. This is a preliminary RSVP, for planning purposes! Details will follow once we get an idea of WIL members preferences for attending CSW 63. Once we have a head count, we will send you more details on this wonderful event and of course make reservations for lunch and/or dinner on Wednesday, March 13 in NYC and look into bus, train, and hotel suggestions.

Service Day at Narenj Tree Foundation
Another successful service day to pack boxes with supplies ranging from baby clothing to adult/child clothing and bedding for Narenj Tree Foundation was enjoyed by 12 WIL members on October 13, 2018. WIL members, along with other volunteers, packed so much that Narenj personnel almost ran out of boxes. I am certain that at the end of the day, there were almost enough packed by us and others before us to fill a giant shipping container. After our service hours were up, several members went to Aroma, a Syrian restaurant, for a great lunch.

This type of service is essential to Narenj Tree for sorting and packing supplies quickly so they can be on the way to Syrian in-country refugees. Many thanks to Martha Moore, Nancy Alter, Loretta Raider, Kathy Howell, Pat James, Mary Osbakken, Madeleine Champion, Jacquelyn Crutchley, Jackie's husband, and Kim Freeman, for providing this important service.
Microfinance Committee Update
WIL's Microfinance Committee is on track to finalize an agreement with Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), a microfinance organization in the Philippines, to provide $5000 for NWTF's Project Dungganon. The Project provides small loans to women to support their entrepreneurial businesses following the Grameen micro credit method. The individual loans are generally around $170 made to a group of women who are jointly responsible for repayment. The loans enable the women to purchase equipment or inventory to enhance their ability to realize greater profits and put them on a path out of severe poverty. Typically loans support small retail ventures including grocery stores, prepared food, handicrafts and even the purchase of an animal such as a cow for selling milk.

This project is especially exciting for WIL and our Committee as we will be able to forge a closer relationship with NWTF than is usually possible with microfinance organizations we have funded. Committee member Irish Olynyk, who researched and was the main contact with NWTF, grew up in the Philippines and her family still lives there. Irish will be visiting the Philippines for a month over January and February and will be meeting with NWTF staff. We are hopeful that this will result in the Committee's deeper understanding of the Project and the women it serves and may help WIL better understand and measure the impact of WIL's support on these women.
WIL's Trip to Bolivia
It was the women who impressed us the most. After all, we were there for the women. Bolivian women, in their distinctive swirly skirts and bowler hats were a ubiquitous presence in the markets and squares, toting bread and babies in brightly-colored blankets tied to their backs. The poorest country in South America, Bolivia seemed like the ideal partner for WIL. In October 2018, guided by the very capable Lee Cridland, a group of fourteen set out to learn about women's issues in Bolivia and how we could partner to improve their lives.

WIL of Greater Philadelphia | wilofgp@gmail.com | http://www.wil-gp.org