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RFH Students Empower Women Globally

Fundraisers through Global Women Empowerment club coming up

Jean Semler, President of Change a Life Uganda (second from left), presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Hope Haywood, Alexandra Siwulec and club advisor Christie Ferraris. (Photo: RFH)
Jean Semler, President of Change a Life Uganda (second from left), presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Hope Haywood, Alexandra Siwulec and club advisor Christie Ferraris. (Photo: RFH)
It's all about spreading awareness of women's issues around the globe and making a difference. That's the mission of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional (RFH) High School's new Global Women Empowerment club.

Women in developing countries have already benefitted from the club's fundraisers; and the students are poised to do more by raising the funds and working in concert with global organizations dedicated to advancing women and girls around the world.

Global Women was founded by RFH juniors Hope Haywood and Alexandra Siwulec. Social Studies teacher Christie Ferraris is the group's advisor.  

"Global Women Empowerment hopes to continue its success in fundraising, spreading awareness, and empowering women as the year progresses," said Siwulec. "We are so grateful for all of the support we have received from the RFH students and community."

The kickoff fundraiser, a screening of the film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity, raised $149, which was loaned to two entrepreneurs in developing countries, according to a release from RFH. The group worked on getting the loan to the women via  KIVA, a non-profit organization that connects individuals through lending in order to alleviate poverty.

Recently the club raised $1,054 by selling bracelets with an "Education is Empowerment" message. The money was used put a Uganda teenager named Daisy through high school for one year, the release added.

The club plans to sponsor Daisy again next year through Change A Life Uganda, which helps to provide school-based programs for children there. According to the organization's web site, more than half the population of Uganda, Africa, is under the age of 15.

For many of these children, who have lost either one or both of their parents to HIV/AIDS, a quality education is not an option.

Worldwide, 33 million fewer girls than boys attend primary school.

Global Women Empowerment's upcoming fundraisers include a bake sale to benefit female victims of the November 2013 typhoon that impacted the Philippines, as well as a film screening of Girl Rising.

Filmed at locations around the globe, Girl Rising is a critically-acclaimed documentary that tells the stories of nine discriminated, suppressed girls who face arranged marriages, child slavery and other hardships.

The screening of Girl Rising, is co-sponsored by the RFH Character Education Club, Environmental Club, and the Film Club, and is open to the general public.

It will be held in the RFH auditorium on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. The proceeds will benefit three non-profit organizations -- Angels in Africa, Mending the Sacred Hoop, and Appalachian Women's Fund.

Angels in Africa is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing basic necessities to the people of Africa.

Mending the Sacred Hoop is an organization working to end domestic violence against Native American women.

The Appalachian Women's Fund helps support programs for women and girls by working with local nonprofit agencies.


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