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November, 2017 

It's that time of year! Time to join or renew your membership to WIL. As you know, WIL is a member driven organization and your membership is critical to support everything we do. If you have not yet renewed, or are not a member, please consider doing so today! Simply click on the Membership Link in this newsletter  or on our website. If you have already renewed, I thank you and encourage you to ask a friend to join as well!


Caroline Wischmann
The WIL Microfinance committee will provide a $5000 village bank for a 5-year revolving set of micro-loans to DCBS, a micro clean energy asset organization in West Bengal. ARC Finance will be WIL's intermediary and pass through the money with no charge. ARC will help monitor and get reports from DCBS. Here is the story of our first MFI bank in India. 

DHOSA CHANDANESWAR BRATYAJANA SAMITY (DCBS) is a small community-based MFI (microfinance institution) that operates in more than 200 village communities in in the Uttar District in West Bengal, about 3 hours west of Calcutta. The MFI was founded in 2003 and began offering micro credit loans in 2006. Currently, DCBS has an active client base of about 12,000 women borrowers. Its mission is to reach the poor urban and peri-urban women to foster social development through their services. Their programs include Financial Assistance, Technical and Educational Assistance, and Renewable Energy. Their target client segments are women with very low income and those previously known as 'untouchables.'

2018 Empowerment Grants
The Empowerment Grants Committee is now accepting applications for FY18 grants! We are hoping to increase the number of applications and we encourage all WIL members to reach out to any groups you know who might be appropriate for this opportunity. Please note that the deadline for submitting requests is January 31, 2018. 

By Jackie Crutchley

The program committee would like to thank you for your flexibility and your patience, due to our budding sponsorship with Comcast we will be focusing our energies on the second half of the year to offer an array of exciting programs and member parties! 

For the first 2017-18 WIL Education Program: Health Empowerment Principle: The Fistula Foundation, Giving Women a New Life, we raised $259.00 in donations.Thank you all for your generous support in September and for coming to learn about this important issue! 

SAVE THE DATE: Our second program of the new fiscal year will take place the week of January 15th and will be held at the Philadelphia Free Library (1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103) room 108. Final date and details to follow! 

SAVE THE DATE: Women and Sustainable Water Panel: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 from 5-8 p.m. at the Philadelphia Free Library (1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103) room 108. The topic will be on Women and Technology and the call for STEM education in Africa.

Pearl S. Buck House Tour
Nine WIL members enjoyed a beautiful fall day touring the Pearl S. Buck house in Perkasie, Bucks County, on October 17th. "We all seemed to agree that it was a wonderful trip. She was a fascinating woman who was ahead of her time. We all resolved to read or reread some of her books," shared Sandee Mandel.

Haiti 2017 Update
By Caroline Wischmann

WIL's trip to Haiti in 2012 was a truly inspiring experience, a first-hand exposure into the lives of the women being helped through our village banks.  All who traveled there came away with a renewed understanding of our mission to empower women globally.

Haiti has not changed much in the last five years.  All the tent people have been moved to the "burbs" so that the streets are no longer lined with the homeless.  The crumbling government buildings have been razed and not replaced.  But the sides of the roads are still piled high with garbage, interspersed with broken down cars, trucks and motorcycle parts and the streets are still lined with merchants selling their wares - containers of petrol, lottery tickets, bananas and mangos.  Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, has no clean air, no clean water, no sewage system, no infrastructure and no silence.  The rhythm is one of controlled chaos with an African cadence of resigned patience and longsuffering.

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