Raku Woman With Mask, slab and hand built clay wall sculpture by Tammy Vitale
Today we are intervieweing JoeannFossland, Master Certified Coach and Founder of the Web Women Giving Circle.
First a little background on why this program appeals to me so much.
In 2001 I was sent to Zambia by the League of Women voters to work with Women’s NGOs (non-governmental organizations – the equivalent of our non-profits) around voting and women’s rights. I was there for 2 weeks and stayed with a woman who was running a microfinance program.
I learned that in Zambia and other African and third world countries, what to us is 12 days worth of lattes at Starbucks, $50, will buy a business and a life not for one women but for posterity.
Here’s how it works. A woman is loaned $50 for her business (sometimes even less – even $25 is enough sometimes!). The percentage payback is something like 99%. These are women who understand a chance for themselves and their families when they see it. That $50 gets them set up and started and they become self-sufficient. Their repayment of that $50 plus interest (yes, they pay interest), sets up another women. The interest goes into a pot which will eventually set up another woman. In other words, your $50 can change the world the way the world always changes, one person at a time. When one person changes, everything around that person changes. So I love this program and am tickled that Joeanne added me to her virtual interview tour.
I met Joeann through Molly Gordon who wrote about The Web Women Giving Circle in her October 17 ezine mailing (through which I made my $50 donation before joining into the effort myself). I have been reading Molly for years and anyone who Molly endorses is fine by me. Then my other favorite ezine author, Suzanne Faltler-Barnes showed up on the interview tour. Well, I figured it was worth trying to get onto this bandwagon, so here’s Joanne.
TV: How did you decide to dedicate this serious effort to support CARE? What was the spark that not only caught your eye, but made you act?
JF: This spring, Magazine announced its pledge to raise $1 million for CARE. Their vehicle was to ask people to form Giving Circles to donate, and the Giving Circle that raises the most money gets to go to Peru on a working trip with the MORE editors. I am naturally competitive, was intrigued with the Giving Circle concept and when I sw the need and how much just a little helps – I was in!
TV: How do you see what you are doing making a difference in the world, where it’s often hard to believe that one person CAN make a difference?
JF: That’s why the Giving Circle model is so seductive. When we act together, as community, we can usually make a BIG difference when the money is pooled. It gives people who even want to make small contributions like $5 or $10 a way to know their money is actually making a difference in the life of another.
TV: Does the money go into a general pot or are you targeting a specific project/country?
JF: This money goes to CARE’s general fund, but 80% of what they do is empowering women, believing that they most help make changes in the lives of those in their villages and towns by being the mothers and teachers. They have a program that fosters entrepreneurial ventures and micro development – lifting people from poverty by giving them the means to support themselves. I love this!
TV: How can others who are excited about this movement you have started get involved themselves?
JF: We are looking for more members of the Giving Circle and I’d love anyone who might want to join us to contact me at Joeann@joeann.com
Here are the ways you can join in this effort:
2. Buy your Christmas gifts through the Web Women’s Giving Circle Amazon link.
3. If your friends have enough stuff and you want to give a gift of appreciation that will make a difference and touch lives (instead of waistlines!) nominate a woman who has inspried you at www.InspiringWoman.com for $10 or more (it’s up to you). [a note to AEMers – I can think of one special person really really easy!]
4. Or, for those in real estae: Buy a premium package at www.joeann.com/premiums.htm.
5. If you are a blogger and would like some more traffic on your blog, book a visit from Joeanne on her virtual tour. In a nutshell, you and she set a date, she posts it on her website as an event with links and love and hugs. You and she chat via email; then, on the set date, you post an interview [just like here! how hard it that?!]. Contact Joeann at BookTour@joeann.com
This is good stuff. No! This is Great stuff. This is what women do – we form community and we share. This is the season to think about how really good we have it, those of us who blog from a warm home with electric and running water. We are blessed. Blessings grow when they are shared. This is win-win.
Happy Holidays everyone!