Stories of Impact: Zonta Centennial Anniversary Grantees make a difference for women and girls
In honor of Zonta s centennial anniversary in 2019, Zonta International awarded one-time grants of up to US$5,000 each to recognized charitable organizations. Each grant was dedicated to improve the lives of women and girls in the local community.
A total of US$296,271 was disbursed to 62 organizations in 18 countries, partnering with a Zonta club. Following are stories of impact from three of our Zonta International Centennial Anniversary Grantees.
A healing environment
This year alone, 70 to 90 women and children will find refuge in five refurbished bedrooms, one newly created bedroom and gathering spaces in a shelter for survivors of domestic violence. This is the impact of the US$4,110 that the Hope Shores Alliance in Michigan received through the initiative of the Zonta Club of Alpena-Tri County Area. Hope Shores Alliance is a multi-service agency that supports women and children in four rural counties. The grant went to their project Creating Trauma-Informed Spaces to Empower and Educate Women and Children for a Better Tomorrow.
The team reported, "The immediate impact to the well-being and overall energy in the shelter has been so very positive. While we did anticipate that outcome, we didn’t realize how quickly the residents would notice and comment on the shift in feeling as though they were in a healing environment."
IT trainings for survivors of sexual abuse
The US$5,000 grant from Zonta International bought laptops, desktops, an overhead projector with LCD printer and other equipment for IT Trainings and Values for 40 Girl Survivors of Sexual Abuse. Participants completed a 30-hour skills enhancement training in IT and received Certificates of Participation and Completion. This service was provided by Cameleon Association Inc., an organization that has developed a holistic approach to responding to the causes and effects of sexual violence towards children and teenagers in the Philippines. They protect and support victims of sexual violence by accompanying them and their families on the path to resilience. They encourage beneficiaries’ autonomy and the socio-economic development of families in their communities. Their training project was made possible through the partnership with the Zonta Club of Makati-Ayala.
It is important to note that the trainings also contributed to the mental and social well-being of the girls. As the motivation and interest of the girls increased, their participation also improved as shown in their attendance and outcomes. Equally important, the IT trainings provided an opportunity for the girls to develop positive values as they were encouraged to enjoy and use their imagination. With the supervision of the staff, this activity provided a venue to improve their collaboration, teamwork, discipline and positive peer interaction.
"This training helped me to be more patient. Learning new skills is not easy but at the same time very challenging. Now, I am more confident to help my classmates and fellow girls when they need assistance. I am thankful for this opportunity," said Angel, one of the training participants.
Rehabilitation services for women and girls with disabilities
With the grant from Zonta International, the Centre for Handicapped in Sri Lanka provided 25 women and girls with below the knee artificial limbs, four women and girls with above the knee artificial limbs and two women with below the elbow artificial limbs. This enables them to live a full and productive life.
The Zonta Club of Kandy supported the application that was awarded with a grant of US$4,400.
One of the beneficiaries, a 46-year-old mother of two and housemaid, shared her story. "My husband and I were having an argument which turned into a fight and he attacked me, due to this I was severely injured, I was taken to the Colombo General Hospital by the family members. The doctors who examined me said that my leg was severely damaged and in order to save my life, the left leg had to be amputated from below the knee. I underwent surgery and had to stay at the Hospital for nearly two months till I recovered fully.
"While at home I came to know about the Centre for Handicapped through a friend and I visited the centre. After having explained my present financial situation to the officials at the centre they said an artificial limb could be fitted free of charge as they had a donor who was sponsoring the limb. Accordingly, they referred me for the necessary measurements and fitted an artificial limb.
I don’t feel disabled anymore. I attend to all my work as I did previously. I take this opportunity to thank the Zonta Club of Kandy and also the staff at the Centre for Handicapped for their kindness and all the efforts taken by them to help me walk again."
View list of recipients