UW Half the Sky 2017


This August, twenty-two global-minded students at the University of Washington will embark on an exciting four-week journey through vibrant India to explore the role of women in leadership and entrepreneurship. During this trip, our group will learn from transformative women entrepreneurs, gain a deeper understanding of microfinance as a tool for empowerment, and contribute to India through hands-on service. As we interact with various entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations throughout India, we hope to contribute monetary donations in addition to pro-bono consultant work.

Some of the organizations that we will be supporting include:

SEWA : The Self Employed Women’s Association is a trade union made up of poor, self-employed women workers. SEWA was registered in 1972 and currently has 2 million women members that work across 13 states of India. SEWA’s two main goals are to organize women for full employment and to build self-reliance. Recently, heavy storms and flooding have devastated the homes and villages of SEWA workers in the Gujarat region. As a result, many SEWA women and their families are homeless and are in need of supplies. We would like to create a SEWA disaster relief fund to alleviate them during this troubling time.

The Girl in Yellow: The Girl in Yellow Foundation, founded by a former participant of this study abroad program, provides scholarships that empower girls in rural India with the opportunity to pursue an education, effectively ending the cycle of poverty for their families. 

Biome Trust
: Biome Trust is an organization that builds rainwater wells in rural areas to provide villagers with clean drinking water. The groundwater in most of India has dangerously high levels of lead and fluoride, but through education and the installation of rainwater harvesting tanks in areas of high toxicity, people in rural areas will live healthier lives. We will need $2,000 to install a new rainwater harvesting tank for Biome Trust. 

: A women-led social enterprise dedicated to promoting and revitalizing menstrual practices through producing washable menstrual products that are healthy, dignified, affordable and eco-friendly. Girls often must stay home from school when they get their periods due to lack of privacy and sanitary waste disposal. EcoFemme leaders are hoping for around $2,000 (184,000 rupees) to purchase educational materials (booklets, flipcharts) and sustainable menstrual pads for marginalized women and girls.

PondyCAN: PondyCAN is a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to promote living in harmony with all living and non-living surroundings through regional planning, restoration of coastal area and renaissance of Pondicherry. We would like to help students in a poor school get better quality toilets and bins to help students recycle as well as some cotton rugs for use in their life sciences program which includes yoga, chanting, and meditation which often takes place on unsanitary floors.

With your support, we will achieve our goal of raising $10,000 to give back to these non-profit organizations and others by the time we depart in mid-August. Your donation in any amount is welcome and sincerely appreciated.

Thank you for helping us change lives!

The 2017 India "Half the Sky" Team


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Rachel Wilson 
Seattle, WA
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