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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hope for India's Girls

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Photograph of girl taken in a class


Hope for India's Girls
Bringing Them Life


UNICEF recently released wonderful news for the young children of our world!  Since 1990, deaths in children under 5 years old have been cut in half.[1]

Indian girls, however, have little to celebrate.  

India is the only country in the world where baby girls consistently die at a higher rate than boys.[2]  This was true in 1990, and UNICEF numbers reveal that it is equally true in 2015.

The picture comes into starker perspective when you consider that there are many more baby boys born in India than baby girls.  Unborn Indian girls are aborted at an alarmingly high rate.

These numbers reveal a heartbreaking reality: If a girl in India manages to be born at all, she stands a much higher chance of dying before she reaches the age of 6

Why?  The Indian newspapers chalk it up to gross neglect, and this must be true, but there is also evidence from a number of sources that young girls are killed by their own families and mothers to remove their perceived burden to the remaining family members.

It is difficult for us to even wrap our hearts and minds around.

How can we help?  Although there are laws in India against the tragedies facing her girls, the numbers reveal that they have not made a dent in the problem.

We believe there is a better way.
 

We must begin to change the attitudes
that say girls are a burden, and that say women are worth less than men



It is only when Indian mothers begin to understand their own significance, that they will be able to empower their own daughters to live and to thrive!

In addition to teaching the students how to read, write and lift their families out of poverty, the classes teach the students that as women and girls they are valuable.  Their value is grounded on the solid rock of God’s unchanging love for women as equals with men.

The young girl shown above was photographed in a class in India!  Because her mother was a student, this girl's future can be filled with hope and opportunity, instead of pain and heartache.

Studies from the classes show that students stop promoting child marriage, and begin placing their daughters (and sons) into school instead.  Village by village, community by community, hearts are changing.

Our voices and our assistance can turn the tide for the women and girls of India!

We exist to bring Hope for India’s Girls.

"Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter,
Oh hold them back.”  Proverbs 24:11
 
 

[1] http://www.unicef.org/publications/files/APR_2015_8_Sep_15.pdf
[2] The tiny island country of Tonga has floated in and out of the statistics from year to year.  Unlike India’s consistently large results, Tonga’s numbers are small, inconsistent and may not be significant.


Give to Help India's Girls


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to create a fundraising page on Sister India

We're so excited to introduce our Create-A-Page fundraising opportunity! This post will give you step by step instructions on how to create your own page on SisterIndia.org. Let's get started!



1. Set Up Your Account
Enter your information to create an account. Click “That was quick!” to submit.




2. Create Custom URL
Replace “yournamehere” with a unique name for friends to find your fundraising page. Then click “Create my URL now”. Click “OK” to reload page with your information.

















3. Verify Your Account
You should have received an email with a link to verify your account. IMPORTANT: Your page will not be live to the public until you complete this step.



4. Congratulations, you've created your page!From here, you can customize and personalize your page by completing the checklist on the right, or click “View My Page” on the upper left.  

Customizing is OPTIONAL. If you wish to skip customizing, click "View My Page" on the upper left and scroll down to Step 8.






5. View My Page
This is your fundraising home page! Let’s customize it.




6. Changing photos.
You can change your profile photo and the banner photo by hovering your mouse over the existing images. For the banner image, you can choose from a selection of Sister India photos, or upload your own photo.





7. Edit My...
Below the banner, the box titled "Edit My" allows you to change the welcome message, edit your fundraising goal, upload a profile photo, and change the URL and Facebook ID.


8. Share Your Page
Now that your page is complete, share your page with your friends to start fundraising! The “share” option is located toward the bottom right of your page. Choose to share via social media or email.


9. Share Via Email
Select template or create your own text. Click “Save” at the bottom to send later, or click “Send Email” to send now!


And you’re done! Thank you for your support to help our sisters in India! Happy fundraising!



Check out more posts with great tips and ideas on how to create a successful fundraising campaign:

Fundraising Guide- the power of fundraising

Creative Fundraising Ideas

Friday, June 19, 2015

Men speaking out for women this Father's Day




Why is it important for men to speak up for women in the face of abuse, inequality, and devaluing? To answer that question, I’d like to first address another issue: why do men seek to control, abuse, and dominate women?


In his book, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine, author Robert Moore addresses some of the psychological and anthropological reasons behind male dominance over women. His analysis? Men have not been initiated, ritualized, nor taught how to be responsible, blessed, and gentle people. We have males in adult bodies but with a “boy psychology” (borrowing Moore’s phrase) filled with immaturity, irresponsibility, and sometimes untamed sexual energies seeking to oppress. Much of the work that men must do is to undergo the process of claiming their masculinity in adulthood and becoming responsible human beings that bless women and men alike.


I grew up seeing women abused in my family of origin. It stretched out to four generations of males physically and emotionally abusing women. My own journey of manhood taught me that to be a man means to love and bless others, especially women. When a male has been given patriarchal power (empowerment given on the merit of gender) it is done so with an immature outlook on manhood and womanhood. A true image of manhood seeks to partner with a woman and to be a voice of justice any time a woman is mistreated. When the man is no longer threatened by the power and sensitivity of a woman, he can open his heart to be affirmed and blessed by her.


My favorite image is of my mother embracing me and telling me to be a responsible man in this world. Why is important for women to be empowered? Because they “hold up half the sky” (Mao). “Women’s empowerment helps raise economic productivity and reduce infant mortality. It contributes to improved health and nutrition. It increases the chances of education for the next generation...Women are the key to ending hunger in Africa...” (Kristof, Nicholas D.; Wudunn, Sheryl, “Half the Sky”) Hey, Man! Become an initiated man and enter adulthood. Seek to bless and be blessed by “half the sky.”

This Father’s Day, speak up for women with a gift to Sister India:






This will be my first Father’s Day as a father. My wife and I are expecting our firstborn, a sweet baby girl, in about a month.


As I understand it, Father’s Day is a good day to be a dad. You get all the red meat you could want, you can watch a Lee Marvin flick with impunity, and you get the love and admiration of your family in the form of cards with glued-on elbow macaroni.


Having grown up with a scrappy younger brother, I have only a vague and hypothetical understanding of what girls are like. My childhood may not have clued me in to the particular care and feeding that my little girl will need as she grows into the woman she’s destined to be. But I do know that little girls are a treasure, and it breaks my heart to know that globally, girls face abuse, neglect and exploitation daily.


Fathers are an integral part of our families and an essential part of this world. Your presence, attention and kindness at home lead to the stability that helps your family thrive out in the world. And your position can be used to advocate for justice.


My wife and I want to give our little girl a life of possibility. We are doing everything in our power to give her every opportunity imaginable -- to grow, explore, learn, and thrive. This Father’s Day, as I await the arrival of our own little girl, I’m thinking of the baby girl being born in a different country, without the same hope and opportunity, and I want to change that.
Through Sister India, you and I can make a difference in the life of a woman in India, impacting the choices she makes for her daughters and the opportunities she can offer them.


Fathers, we can take a stand for them. And for those of you who aren’t fathers, you can give a gift in honor of the father who has always been an advocate for you.


This Father’s Day, let your Dad know you love and appreciate him. And thank him with a gift to Sister India: https://progress-sisterindia.nationbuilder.com/donate_now






The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Sister India.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My first Father’s Day

 


This will be my first Father’s Day as a father. My wife and I are expecting our firstborn, a sweet baby girl, in about a month.


As I understand it, Father’s Day is a good day to be a dad. You get all the red meat you could want, you can watch a Lee Marvin flick with impunity, and you get the love and admiration of your family in the form of cards with glued-on elbow macaroni.


Having grown up with a scrappy younger brother, I have only a vague and hypothetical understanding of what girls are like. My childhood may not have clued me in to the particular care and feeding that my little girl will need as she grows into the woman she’s destined to be. But I do know that little girls are a treasure, and it breaks my heart to know that globally, girls face abuse, neglect and exploitation daily.


Fathers are an integral part of our families and an essential part of this world. Your presence, attention and kindness at home lead to the stability that helps your family thrive out in the world. And your position can be used to advocate for justice.


My wife and I want to give our little girl a life of possibility. We are doing everything in our power to give her every opportunity imaginable -- to grow, explore, learn, and thrive. This Father’s Day, as I await the arrival of our own little girl, I’m thinking of the baby girl being born in a different country, without the same hope and opportunity, and I want to change that.
Through Sister India, you and I can make a difference in the life of a woman in India, impacting the choices she makes for her daughters and the opportunities she can offer them.


Fathers, we can take a stand for them. And for those of you who aren’t fathers, you can give a gift in honor of the father who has always been an advocate for you.


This Father’s Day, let your Dad know you love and appreciate him. And thank him with a gift to Sister India: https://progress-sisterindia.nationbuilder.com/donate_now





Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let girls be girls!

I don’t know her yet, but I love her.

After 10 months of peeing on sticks to no avail, in November I saw the tiny double line I’d been longing for. I soon learned Baby likes pancakes and Dad shows his love by coming home with 8 kinds of crackers to keep the nausea at bay. And in the grab bag of first trimester surprises, something unexpected happened.

Baby was still the size of an olive and we had months to go before learning our little creature’s gender. I was watching a documentary I’d already seen twice--- about the dangers girls face all over the world. And three quarters of the way through, I lost it. I ugly-cried in a way I’ve never done so abruptly. 

All it took was one thought: “It’s a terrifying thing to bring a girl into this world.”

Terrifying to love a treasure so full of promise in a world that’s primed to break her spirit and beat her body.

As the 8 inch baby girl inside me grows, I can’t wait to meet her, to celebrate her. And more than ever, I’m passionate about creating a world that prizes her innocence, creativity, compassion and dreams.

In honor of International Women’s Day, here’s one way we can celebrate and protect the daughters of the world...


14 million girls were child brides last year.


Childbirth is the leading cause of death of girls aged 15-19.


70 million girls aged 6-12 do not attend school, often because they are forced to provide for their families.


50 million girls are missing in India--- that’s as if every girl in America were to disappear.


47% of all girls in India are married as children


India is home to more illiterate moms than any other nation. They are strong-armed into aborting their girls, selling them or sending them to work in order for the family to survive.

When we educate a mom, we break the cycle of poverty and abuse for generations! We give her the power to give her daughters the safety and opportunity that she’s always been denied.

One amazing way we can help is by sponsoring a student through Sister India. Just $30 sends an illiterate woman to school for an entire year--- where she’ll learn reading, writing, math, business skills, family health and how to make right choices for her children.

After one year 80% of students graduate with a 5th grade level of reading, writing and math! Before the class only 59% of students oppose child marriage, and by the end 95% oppose it! And by the end of the class 96% of students send their sons and daughters to school.

This literacy program, taught by caring, Indian Christian volunteers has already educated over 500,000 students in the last 30 years. Just $5,000 more would complete the funding for this year’s classes in Delhi and Haryana--- two of the most dangerous regions to be a woman.

By skipping out on 1 blouse or one shellac mani, you can transform an entire family in India. You can stand with your sister in India and give her something others said she wasn’t worthy of: an education.

A world without girls is utterly incomplete. Let’s celebrate everything we love about them--- their laughter, their ideas, their heart--- by creating a safer world for girls everywhere! Please be a voice for girls by sharing this post with the hashtag #letgirlsbe.




Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Give the Gift of Light

Light her path this Giving Tuesday. Hundreds of millions of our sisters in India are living in deep darkness...

IN INDIA...
45 million children are working today. 
47% of girls are married before 18. 
Every 17 minutes a bride is burned to death over dowry. She’s traded like property. 
Every 20 minutes a woman or girl is raped. Most go unprosecuted. 
50 million girls are missing in India. That’s as if every single girl in America disappeared. 
86% of India’s women live on less than $2.50 a day. 
250 million of them are robbed of education… It’s not too late to give it to them.

You hold the flame to her freedom. Through Sister India, you can give her a comprehensive education for a one-time gift of just $30.

80% of a students reach a fifth grade reading level within the year. Income-earning potential doubles. Before the class, 41% of students advocate child marriage; after, only 5% do. The 51% who advocated child labor at the beginning of the class has shrunk to 6%. Girls who once were sent into early marriage or child labor instead sit in classrooms. Students learn about women's rights under law, and are encouraged to Honor the Girl Child.

Right now, because of a matching donor, the number of women your donation reaches will be doubled. When you teach a woman about health, business, reading, math and human rights you light her path to freedom, opportunity and hope. 

Watch this video to see the power of the light you hold:
 

She is worthy of the freedom you have and the light you hold. Here's how you can help...

Visit LightHerPath.com to donate any amount. Because of our match, every $30 you give funds 2 students.

2. Share today! 
Here are 2 simple ways to be a voice for the women of India right now:
-Share the Light Her Path video on your social media channels, or in emails or text messages. Just copy and paste this link: https://vimeo.com/112967482
-Click here to send eCards to your friends inviting them to join in lighting her path. 


To learn more about Sister India visit SisterIndia.Org.
To connect with others who care, like us: facebook.com/IndiaSisterhood.
Want to talk to someone about how this moved you, or want to ask questions? Email: charlotte.sanchez@sisterindia.org

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How do the classes sponsored by Sister India help Indian women and girls?​

You may wonder: ​H​ow do ​the classes you sponsor help Indian women and girls overcome the problems they face, such as child marriage? Can we really improve​ the​ir situation​?
The chart above shows some of the incredible results!  
At the beginning of the year 41% of the students encouraged child marriage. By the end of the class, only 5% encouraged child marriage! At the beginning of the class, 41% did not send their daughters (and sons) to school; by the end only 4% did not.  We see these remarkable results in classes across India.
Through your support for Sister India, you can make a tremendous difference in cultural attitudes toward child marriage. Student by student, class by class, village by village, we are part of a groundswell of social change in India, educating communities about the devastation caused by child marriage, about the importance of sending their daughters to school, and of the great value God gives women and girls. 

Some Facts about Child Marriage:  Child marriage is a persistent problem in India. According to the UN, 47% of Indian girls are married before the age of 18, even though it is illegal in most places in that country.1 Although most child brides are 13 - 17 years of age, girls are given in marriage as young as 3 to 5 years old. They are generally married to older males.2 Girls who marry before 18 suffer greatly, including from much higher rates of marital abuse and death while giving birth.3  

You will soon receive an email with an opportunity to help these girls through our end of year campaign.  Because of your support for Sister India,​ we will​ be able to point to many girls who have escaped child marriage, and who are instead sitting in a school room with their peers.  

Please consider making a difference for the women and the girls of India. You matter to them in a very tangible and measurable way!

For the women and girls of India,​
Deborah Spencer
Executive Director