iZōsh Spring Event: Investing in Women to Secure the Future

On Friday, March 16, 2018 more than 100 women came together at Huron Hills Church in Ann Arbor to continue the task of empowering women living in extreme poverty by providing micro-loans. These loans allow women in communities all over the world to pursue small business opportunities and improve their living situations, educate their children, and reduce the risk of oppression and exploitation of themselves and their families. This is the vision of iZōsh.

Ellie Collman welcomed the attendees, Johanna Ryan, Keynote Speaker for the evening, and featured artist Lea Bult. Vice Chair Katie Glupker described the theme for the evening, “Invest in Women to Secure the Future,” and went on to describe the role of iZōsh in the area of microfinance. iZōsh acts as the lender, and partners with NGOs to provide funds to institutions who coordinate small loans to women who have expressed a desire to begin or grow small businesses in their home communities. iZōsh partners with such portals as Kiva, Opportunity International, and Healing Hands of Joy, who distribute funds in the field. To date, iZōsh has funded more than 400 women. Katie also announced that Friday’s Event began with $4,430 having been received in advance.

The ice-breaker for the night asked women at each table to try to recall when someone had invested in them, perhaps taking a chance on them, and how that turned out.

Karen Peach announced the results of the stone voting, done by iZōsh members as they arrived. Through that process, micro-loans were approved for women in El Salvador, Kenya, Ecuador, and Cambodia.

Robin Phillips, president of iZōsh International, then introduced Johanna Ryan, describing her background and training for the important work she is involved in. She is Global Director of Social Performance at VisionFund International, the microfinance arm of World Vision, where she oversees VisionFund’s 30+ subsidiaries, seeking to provide economic support to the most needy in the most efficient way. She has worked to promote the interests and needs of women globally through her involvement in various organizations. Johanna lives in London but travels extensively to the rural locations where micro-loans are given through VisionFund, and to speak to groups such as iZōsh.

Johanna talked about the differences that can come about when women in poverty are supported financially. Where many millions of women were typically excluded from financial dealings, they can now be empowered to take control of their own finances, better care for their families, educate their children, and improve their lives into the future. She emphasized the importance of women having the ability to make choices, and how empowering that is. She introduced the group to women in Rwanda and North Uganda whose lives were changed by being listened to, and served.

Johanna described how VisionFund recruits field officers who are then trained to assist women by lowering the barriers of entry to small business. Many times these field officers are prior micro-loan recipients themselves, so they have an intimate knowledge of the process, and can relate to future borrowers on a personal level. She described how being able to access the world of personal finance can have global impact; how it can lead to gender equality, lower incidence of child marriages, and better-educated children.

At the close of Johanna’s remarks she took some time to respond to questions, and the group learned about the repayment process. She mentioned that it is quite structured and rigidly applied out of respect for those who donate and need to be able to trust that their contributions are being properly administered. Johanna mentioned that the loans are rarely in default, and that with 1.2 million clients and 820 million dollars in loans to date, the repayment rate has been an astounding 98.37 percent!

Rachel Brock, Treasurer, announced that $13,176 had been raised that night. Leslie Wilkins, Marketing and Communications Officer, introduced the process of providing loans to a number of the women described in scrolls on each of the tables. In spite of how difficult it is to choose just one, this is the process. Attendees were encouraged to really see the women described, to read about them, imagine them, trust them to be credit-worthy, and make a choice. When the choices had been made, they were presented to the group as a whole.

iZōsh Education Committee Chairs Melodie Marske and Ruth Ann Logue then introduced Lea Bult, an artist who has created a series of paintings related to human trafficking, using a particularly innovative method involving transparency that allows the viewer to get a glimpse into the suffering going on behind seemingly innocuous settings. The works are for sale, and Lea generously decided to share the proceeds of any sales that night with iZōsh.

A story entitled “Mushrooming Empowerment” was presented to the group and a brief discussion took place as the Loan Officers completed their work. Johanna returned to answer a few more questions, clarifying how World Vision and VisionFund use their resources, and how the actual savings groups in small villages might work for both individuals and groups of borrowers. She also told the group that often recipients of small loans are able to transition to applying to banks for larger loans, and they are encouraged by VisionFund to do that. They pay back their loans and, having now gotten on their feet, move on.

Vice Chair Katie Glupker described how one may become an iZōsh member. She announced the evening’s result: 37 women funded using the $13,176 collected, and sharing that during the lifetime of iZōsh 479 women have been funded through contributions of $179,269! Final announcements were made, and tonight’s attendees were asked to “save the date” for the next meeting on October 12, 2018.

Happy International Women’s Day! See iZōsh’s Impact!

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day by remembering the 431 women iZōsh has empowered, to date, through micro-loans. Below you’ll see some updates we’ve received about some of our loan recipients.

Please plan to join us at our Spring Event one week from tomorrow, on Friday, March 16th at 7pm at Huron Hills Church. We’ll be supporting even more women in extreme poverty around the globe!

Tanzania:

“Greetings from Tanzania! Thank you for supporting Watende, a hard working cosmetics supplier. I’m pleased to inform you that she’s doing extremely well and with the loan she received, Watende bought new cosmetics to sell in her beauty shop and brand new hair drying machine and front mirror for her business to grow. With the additional stock to her business, she can use the profit for loan repayment and household expenses. She dreams of opening a clothing store. Watende is very grateful for the loan and thankful to everyone who has supported her.”

Tajikistan:

“Dear Kiva lenders, Quzigul used the loan purposefully. She purchased onion seeds and got a good harvest. Quzigul increased her profits and is grateful for your kindness!”

Jordan:
Nejmeh sends thanks for the loan. It helped her buy dresses to sell.

Ethiopia:

Wudenesh is a fistula survivor and went through the Motherhood Ambassador program with Healing Hands of Joy (HHOJ). With the money from her micro-loan, she purchased four sheep for fattening. Three months later, she sold them all and purchased one cow for dairy farming.

Like Wudenesh, Rahima is a HHOJ Motherhood Ambassador. She originally purchased two goats and three sheep for fattening. After four months, she sold the two goats and two sheep for profit, and purchased one ox for fattening.

Invest in Women to Secure the Future

iZōsh is delighted to welcome Johanna Ryan to our March 16 Event as our keynote speaker! Ms. Ryan’s presentation is titled “Invest in Women to Secure the Future.”

Johanna is the Social Performance Director for VisionFund International. Her work involves both measuring and evaluating the products and services produced by VisionFund. This vital work helps VisionFund to ensure that their work is bringing true transformation to local communities and individuals that they serve. Johanna also provides ongoing communications to those who regularly contribute to VisionFund’s ongoing operations.

Johanna has been with VisionFund since 2009. She has teaching experience at Oxford University in the UK and as a lecturer in Texas! Johanna also spent 18 years in global bank operations. In these various careers, Johanna has found her greatest joy in helping her colleagues to succeed and meet their goals.

As part of the March Event, we’ll be funding micro loans — in real time — to women supported by VisionFund and other microfinance institutions.

We hope you can join us Friday, March 16th from 7-9pm at Huron Hills Church.

Written by Ruth Ann Logue and Melodie Marske

What is Kiva Credit?

The March iZōsh Event will be here before we know it (March 16), but for those of you who can’t wait that long for some goosebump-inducing good works, please plan on attending our next “Micro-Event” on February 27th!

As you know, iZōsh helps women in extreme poverty by funding their micro-loans, and these women are repaying their loans! When we loan money to women through Kiva, the loan repayments come back to iZosh in the form of “Kiva credit.”

At first, the iZōsh Loan Officers donated the credit back to Kiva to cover administrative costs. But as more and more women began making repayments, and the Kiva credit began to significantly grow, the iZōsh Leadership Team decided to use that money to fund even more micro-loans to women in extreme poverty. And now THOSE women are starting to make repayments on THEIR loan, so the Kiva credit keeps growing and growing!

Last summer iZōsh hosted two “Micro-Events” with the specific purpose of re-loaning Kiva credit to new women. We also added Kiva credit to the amount that was given at last October’s Event. In fact, in 2017 we used $4,825 in Kiva credit to fund micro-loans to 33 women!This is the multiplying power of microfinance, and it means that the funds we used to make loans years ago are continuing to change women’s lives!

iZōsh currently has more than $4,000 in Kiva credit! We can’t wait until March; we want to loan the money now! So please join us on February 27th for yet another Micro-Event. And whether you can attend or not, please choose a woman on Kiva to fund. Simply reply to this email, and/or leave a comment on the Event on our Facebook page, and let us know which entrepreneur you’d like to see some of our Kiva credit go to.

Last Month’s Event: Women’s Empowerment Through Art

On Friday, October 20, 84 women met at Huron Hills Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan to celebrate and continue the effort to empower women globally who are living in extreme poverty. The theme for the evening was “Power Through Art” with a focus on how art has been used effectively by women to advance their lives and make a difference in their communities and the wider world.

A raffle was held prior to the formal opening, and several lucky ticket holders received Little Stones t-shirts and DVDs. Chairpersons Colleen Dauw and Katie Glupker welcomed guests and explained some of the history and purpose of iZōsh. Since its inception, iZōsh has tried to represent a vision which includes understanding without judging, prayerfully pooling resources, honoring the dignity of women everywhere, and inviting all women to join in this effort as lives are changed. The chairpersons discussed the perks of becoming an iZōsh member, and expressed thanks to Huron Hills Church for providing the venue and supporting the organization in numerous ways. It was explained that all money collected would be distributed in real time by giving micro-loans to women in extreme poverty so that they may use it to maintain their own businesses and provide for themselves and their families.

By the beginning of the night’s meeting $9,560 had already been received in dues and contributions, along with Kiva Credit in the amount of $1,875.

As an ice-breaker, going along with the evening’s theme, attendees were asked to think about the power of art in their own lives. Women were asked to consider the question, “What Creatively Moves You?” and share their thoughts with those around their tables.

Jennifer Steiner, from the iZōsh Facilities Team, asked attendees to open the scrolls at each table and consider the profiles of two women who were asking for micro-loans. Each table chose one woman, keeping in mind that if funds permitted, the other might also receive her requested funds. After this round of voting, the group moved to the sanctuary for the screening of the evening’s movie.

Little Stones was introduced by Melodie Marske, Co-chair of the Education Team, who compared the movie’s theme to some of the recent headlines surrounding the “Me Too” movement and its relevance to the historical limitations which have been placed on women. She made herself, along with others, available to speak with anyone touched by the difficult messages contained in the movie.

Little Stones was directed and produced by Sophia Kruz, a past iZōsh keynote speaker, and an EMMY award winning filmmaker. The documentary follows the lives of four women in various parts of the world who used art to create positive change in their communities. Sister Fa, from Senegal, was one of the very rare female hip-hop musicians in her country who carried the message of female freedom around the world. Her campaign to end female genital mutilation has had wide-reaching results. Panmela Castro, a graffiti artist from Brazil, used her painting to bring attention to domestic violence in her country. Sohini, a dancer in India, became a dance movement therapist to help heal women who had been abused, and trained others to use her methods. Judith from Kenya, with the support of Anna Taylor from the USA, co-founded a fashion business, employing and training local women to produce items that would be desirable on the world market, empowering them to make their own money and support themselves. The moving documentary has revealed the profound impact of art on women’s rights internationally.

At the end of the movie screening, Katie Glupker announced that, in total, $16,342 had been distributed in real time that night to 49 women in need. Individual table selections were presented one by one, with 18 different countries represented in that total. It was announced that, since its beginning, iZōsh has funded 411 women and disbursed $166,093 in micro-loans.

The next iZōsh meeting will be March 16, 2018. The speaker will be Johanna Ryan, Global Director of Social Performance, VisionFund International, speaking on the subject, “Invest in Women to Secure the Future.”

Written by Beryl McHenry

All photos by Aileen Butler Burke

Little Stones: Award-Winning documentary screening October 20

We’re excited about our next iZōsh Event on Friday, October 20, which is going to be a little different than past Events. Instead of having a speaker, we’re hosting a screening of an award-winning documentary directed and produced by a past iZōsh keynote speaker.

Some of you will remember hearing from EMMY® Award-winning filmmaker Sophia Kruz at the Spring iZōsh Event in 2015. Her film Little Stones at that time had the working title “Creating4Change.” The documentary follows personal narratives of four women around the world using art to create positive change in their communities.

Little Stones follows Brazilian graffiti artist Panmela Castro, Senegalese rap-singer Sister Fa, Indian dance therapist Sohini Chakroborty, and fashion designer Anna Taylor as they use their art to combat violence against women and to empower women and girls globally.

Filmed in Senegal, Kenya, Brazil, Germany, India, and the USA, Little Stones won Best Foreign Documentary at the Female Eye Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Vail Film Festival, and an Award of Excellence from the Impact Docs Awards. ​

And iZōsh attendees can do their own part to empower women globally: like past Events, we’ll be funding microloans in real time to women — artists and otherwise — in extreme poverty around the world.
We hope you can join us Friday, October 20th from 7:00-9:30pm at Huron Hills Church.

PS – Like us on Facebook, and tell your friends you’re going to the Event!

Connecting, Giving, Learning, and Celebrating: Recap of the iZōsh March 24th Event

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The iZōsh Event last Friday night was a powerful and fun-filled evening!

Connect
Following a welcome by iZōsh Chair Colleen Dauw, the iZōsh gathering of 107 women opened with an inspirational presentation by Images of Praise, a dance troupe auxiliary of the Michigan Gospel Chorale. Colleen then went on to describe how iZōsh works, accompanied by a brief video. iZōsh is modeled after the savings group concept, in which micro-financing is given to women in third-world countries and recipients are chosen by iZōsh members and guests. iZōsh works in partnership with a number of international organizations, including Kiva, Opportunity International, World Vision, and most recently, Healing Hands of Joy. Huron Hills Church covers all administrative expenses so that 100 percent of money raised goes directly to fund micro-loans for women in poverty. Colleen introduced some key players in iZōsh, including Treasurers and Loan Officers, all of whom donate their time to this organization.

Give
It was announced that prior to tonight’s meeting, $4,895.00 had been collected from members who could not attend but sent their dues in ahead of time. This was followed by the collection of dues and gifts at each table, during an ice breaker activity that encouraged attendees to share the first thing for which they had saved. This led to lively discussions around each table, while iZōsh treasurers collected and began to count the money. Katie Glupker, Vice Chair of iZōsh, described how members can propose loan recipients prior to the Events, and the results of the first round of voting were announced.

Learn
iZōsh Education Committee’s Melodie Marske introduced the keynote speaker for the evening, Kari Derenzi, a volunteer with Kiva. Ms. Derenzi’s responsibility is to manage and translate some of the micro-loans given through Kiva to recipients in the 82 countries in which Kiva operates. She first described some of the problems encountered in making these loans. “Dreams are universal”, she said, “but opportunities are not,” and there are multiple issues involved in connecting the lender to the borrower. Kiva envisions a world where all people hold the power to create opportunities for themselves and others, even in the most remote areas of the globe.

Kari summarized the history of Kiva since its beginning in 2004 in Bangladesh, and mentioned that on March 8 of 2017, International Women’s Day, they had their biggest lending day ever. Kiva is considered a pioneer in crowd funding for international businesses and has been gratified to find that the poor of these countries are actually quite creditworthy. To date, Kiva has served 2.3 million borrowers in 82 countries, using funds from 1.6 million lenders for a total of $960.2 million dollars and an amazing 97.1 percent repayment rate! While the details can be enormously complex, the process is simple – choose a borrower, make a loan, get repaid, and repeat. The most important aspect, according to Kari, is that while you are funding a single borrower, the effects on the family and community are far-reaching. Repayments can be loaned again. An example was shown of funding for water filters in Cambodia which resulted in safe, clean water for an entire community.  Kiva attempts to reach the most “un-banked” people in very remote locations and has been successful in improving many aspects of their lives.

 Members learned about the various roles that those interested in working with Kiva could perform, including traveling to remote locations to find and service the loan recipients. Kari herself had to travel 2 hours by motorbike to meet borrowers in Vietnam! The discussion was then opened to questions. Interesting points included the difficulties of applying the Kiva model to countries with widely different customs, and the requirements for regular on-site monitoring to prevent abuse. Borrowers often need to be supported in their businesses with education and prayer.

Following this discussion, during which treasurers were counting and recounting donations, iZōsh Treasurer Rachel Brock announced that a total $13,431 had been raised to spend that night funding micro-loans in real-time. iZōsh Secretary Dawn Perry announced the process of table voting to determine recipients of this loan money. While the chosen recipients were being funded, attendees were encouraged to discuss an excerpt from the book Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day by Daryl Collins, et al., which was read aloud by iZōsh Education Committee’s Melodie Marske and Ruth Ann Logue.

Ms. Derenzi then answered some additional questions, clarifying how Kiva works, the role of field partners in diverse cultures, and the difficulties of dealing with 82 countries with 82 different sets of laws.

Celebrate
Once voting was completed, it was announced that the night’s funds had been allotted to 20 women, and the total funds disbursed since the inception of iZōsh is now a staggering $145,776!

Following some final remarks about membership and the iZōsh vision, the date for the next Event, October 20, was announced. Robin Phillips, president of the newly formed iZōsh International, announced that the first new chapter of iZōsh will be piloted in Portland, Maine. Information on iZōsh International and directions for starting a chapter are available at the website iZosh.org. The Ann Arbor chapter’s website is now located at iZosh.org/annarbor.

Beryl McHenry and Leslie Wilkins,
iZōsh Marketing & Membership

Announcing: iZōsh International!

What better day than International Women’s Day to announce the launch of iZōsh International?

The UN is using today’s holiday to remind people of its 2030 Agenda, which includes goals to “empower all women and girls,” ensure quality education for all girls, and “eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls.” Those of you familiar with us know that these goals directly align with the mission of iZōsh.

iZōsh is a group of women dedicated to the economic empowerment of women globally who are living in extreme poverty. By giving micro-loans to these women, we help them to lift themselves out of extreme poverty and reduce the risk of oppression and exploitation in their lives. We’re excited to announce that with the launch of iZōsh International, we can equip other churches around the globe to start their own iZōsh Chapters.

So, if you’re not within driving distance of Ann Arbor, please consider starting a Chapter. Or encourage your out-of-town girlfriends to start Chapters. iZōsh International’s mission is to inspire, educate, and support these chapters.
 

iZōsh International has a new website at izosh.org — please take some time to explore!

To date, iZōsh Ann Arbor, the founding Chapter, has granted micro-loans to 311 women, totaling $132,345. We’re looking forward to seeing an even greater impact on women in poverty when partnering with Chapters around the world.

Happy International Women’s Day!

– The iZōsh International Board

Kiva Stories from the Field: The Asian Tropics and Beyond

Please mark your calendars for our next iZosh Event on Friday, March 24.

Our keynote speaker is Kari Derenzi, who will share “Kiva Stories from the Field: The Asian Tropics and Beyond.” A Bay Area native and international traveler, Kari has volunteered with microfinance lender Kiva at home in San Francisco and abroad in Southeast Asia.

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Language Studies from ​​the University of C​alifornia,​ Santa Cruz, Kari is currently a Review and Translation Program Associate at Kiva. In this role, she helps manage approximately 400 volunteers who diligently work to ensure that all loan profiles are in order before lenders like iZōsh help fund borrower dreams.​

She has a deep affection for both Italy and Vietnam, and will always advise you to order at least one noodle dish. Also a dedicated fan of potable tap water and window screens, she hopes they gain more ground.

The exciting thing about the March Event is that iZōsh members will be able to directly impact women in some of the situations Ms. Derenzi describes by funding micro loans — in real time — to women in the Asian Tropics and around the world.

We hope you can join us Friday, March 24th from 7-9pm at Huron Hills Church.

Like us on Facebook, and tell your friends you’re going to the Event!

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Delivering Joy: Recap of the iZōsh October 21st Event

On October 21, 2017, 117 women gathered together at Huron Hills Church in Ann Arbor for the semi-annual meeting of iZōsh: Women Investing in Women, an organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of women globally who live in extreme poverty. Their mission is to give micro-loans to these women, allowing them to establish small businesses and help lift them out of their dire circumstances, reducing the risk of oppression and exploitation in their lives.

Attendees were treated to an original opening song by Mary Collins of Ann Arbor, mary-collins_blogwho accompanied herself on the guitar. Following this, iZōsh founding member and Chair Robin Phillips described the mission and vision of iZōsh for members, guests, and first-time attendees. She outlined how iZōsh is modeled on a savings group concept and, since its inception in 2012, has provided funds for small loans which have empowered women in third-world countries to circumvent ancient cultural practices detrimental to their well-being, avoid cultural oppression and exploitation, and go on to educate succeeding generations to do the same. iZōsh works with Kiva, World Vision, and Opportunity International to distribute these funds, 100% of which go directly to the women who are chosen at iZōsh meetings such as this.

stone-voting_blogKatie Glupker, iZōsh Leadership Team member, welcomed the group, with a special welcome to attendees who’d heard about iZōsh from attending the ilm Little Stones, directed by former iZōsh keynote speaker Sophie Kruz, that was shown at the Michigan Theater recently. Recipients of loans from the stone voting by the membership were announced, and then the evening’s speaker, Allison Shigo, was introduced by Robin Phillips.

Allison Shigo has been the recipient of an Emmy for her work on A Walk To Beautiful, a film which also won the International Documentary Association award for Best Feature Documentary in 2007, was screened at over 25 film festivals, and received numerous other awards internationally. She also co-produced Fistula Worldwide, Three Years Later, leading to an outreach campaign to raise awareness of the issue of obstetric fistula and begin changing attitudes and practices surrounding this devastating condition. In 2009 Allison co-founded Healing Hands of Joy, a non-profit organization in Ethiopia to empower fistula sufferers and eliminate fistula. She developed the Safe Motherhood Ambassador Training program to provide reintegration and rehabilitation services to fistula survivors. Graduates of the program, more than 700 to date, serve as trainers and advocates for safe delivery in their communities.

speaker_blogAllison’s topic was “Delivering Joy in Ethiopia: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, Healthy Communities.” She very recently returned from Ethiopia, and said that one third of all births in Ethiopia happen at home, and there are 3,750 new cases of fistula every year. In the United States, fistula was eradicated over a century ago; in Ethiopia it continues to be a “double sorrow.” The baby dies and the mother is left with injuries and suffers a social death because of the ignorance of the general population as to how this happens. She described how women who suffered obstetric fistula following long, unsuccessful deliveries then endure being shamed, shunned by neighbors, and abandoned by their husbands and families. Condemned to a painful, lonely existence, many become suicidal. Because of the isolation of many Ethiopian villages, no medical assistance is available. Care at hospitals in larger cities requires many hours of walking by women already in labor and distress. The goal of Healing Hands of Joy is to spread the word to outlying villages that there is help and after-care support services so they are once again accepted in their home villages. In a true “treatment cycle,” these women then educate other women they come into contact with, encouraging them to deliver in hospitals and clinics, with the goal of eliminating fistula within five years.

In 2003, Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist (and author of Half the Sky) called fistula sufferers the “lepers of the 21st century.” He described the huge educational gap that had to be surmounted, and told of the first center for fistula treatment which opened in Mekelle, Ethiopia. Ms. Shigo shared that there are now three such centers that do workshops for male family members, community members, religious leaders, and other stakeholders, as well as women who are pregnant and those who have suffered fistula in the past. Their economic empowerment program, which includes micro-loans, encourages women into income-generating pursuits. The women tell their personal stories, beginning with treatment for fistula, reintegration into their communities, receipt of small loans, establishment of businesses, repayment of their loans in small increments, and their determination to educate the next generation. In the years ahead, these centers intend to apply to the government for assistance in funding these programs.

hana_blogA period of questions and answers followed. In response to questions Allison told listeners that obstetric fistula is not confined to Ethiopia but occurs in 49 countries, including Nigeria, Bangladesh, Viet Nam, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, among others. One person asked if paying for treatment was a problem for women who sought it. Allison clarified that the treatment was free, but that the main reason women did not seek treatment is the problem of transportation to the centers. Villages are so isolated that there is almost no way for a woman already suffering to get to the center for help. When asked how we could help more, Allison encouraged listeners to go to the Healing Hands of Joy website.

Following Allison’s moving talk, iZōsh treasurer Dawn Perry announced that $13,665 had been collected that night! Attendees celebrated with cowbells and shakers. Tables then chose additional women to be funded from among potential recipients. While the team of loan officers worked on allocation of all the funds, Ruth Ann Logue and Melodie Marske, iZōsh Education Committee chairs, read Tsehay’s Story, a personal account from a fistula sufferer, and discussions at each table followed.

aacrc_blogIt was announced that 40 women had been funded by money donated that night, and since the inception of iZōsh, a total of $132,345.00 has been distributed to 311 women.

The highly successful evening ended with another song by Mary Collins, and attendees were encouraged to put the next iZōsh meeting, March 24, 2017, on their calendars.

–Beryl McHenry, iZōsh Communications

All photos by Aileen Butler Burke