Kristen Knupp, Giving Women member:
My Giving Women journey

April 17th, 2019

I’ve been a member of Giving Women for two years and it has been a wonderful place to meet interesting and engaged women working in all areas and sectors; outside of my normal circle of friends.  I have been working on a project Circle for the last year and this has enabled me to grow professionally and contribute to a team.  I also go to the lunches and take advantage of the workshops on offer.  Giving Women has really changed my interaction and connection to Geneva in a positive way.

Kristen has a BA in Art History and a Masters in Urban Planning from Columbia University School of Architecture. She completed a two-year certificate in Art History at Christies Education, London.  She founded KPK Contemporary Art in 2010 focusing on American contemporary art, and has participated in art fairs and organised exhibitions in New York, Rome, London and Geneva.  In 2017, she co-founded Art Decision online magazine, writing about all things art in Geneva and beyond.


10th Anniversary Newsletter

April 9th, 2019

 

                   
10th Anniversary Newsletter    April 2019                 
Warmest wishes for a gentle and joyful Spring.
 
We have already completed the first quarter of our celebratory year and it has started with a rich combination of Giving Women regular workshops, informal lunches, project selection meetings and 10th anniversary events. 
We are looking forward to an exciting selection of Spring activities for our members and friends.
 
Working together in the DNA of Giving Women values
 
“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” Mother Teresa
 
As we go through a milestone year it is the perfect time to really delve deep into the values which are essential to Giving Women.  As an organization, we believe in the power of working together. This can be seen at the level of our governance, where the Executive Committee runs collaboratively. There is no hierarchy, everyone has a voice. If one member is overextended professionally or personally, the other committee members pick up the slack, and we all support the work of our operations and membership managers.

The very purpose of Giving Women is to bring together women of all ages, all professional backgrounds, and all cultures to combine their resources to help projects on the ground that are striving to improve the lives of vulnerable girls and women. We truly believe that together the power of each one of us is amplified. We also recognize that working together we learn from each other and each one of us is further enriched to continue our philanthropic work outside of Giving Women, in an effective, professional and efficient way. This collaborative approach bleeds into the richness of our workshops where often members of the Giving Women community run professional workshops for their fellow members or else other local associations and NGOs offer their expertise and knowledge while they get visibility within our community.
 
As Giving Women becomes an active player in the Philanthropic community of Geneva other like-minded organisations are reaching out to us and we are reaching to them to combine our resources for greater impact.
 
Recently in the context of our Giving Women 10th anniversary celebrations, we have partnered with other organisations. Both times this has been a very positive experience.

 
In February we partnered with Fashion Revolution to keep up the momentum and honour the commitment made at our October conference to build up the awareness and continue the call to action for an ethical fashion industry. Several of the attendees responded to the call for action and volunteered to establish a Fashion Revolution chapter in Geneva.

Following on to this we are working with several ethical brands to mark the Fashion Revolution week, during which ethical brands such as Tallis and SEP Jordanare organising a series of happenings as well as the events of the Fashion Revolution organization. Giving Women is partnering with SEPJordan an old friend of Giving Women, which is organizing an upcycling event. Between 22nd April and the 5th May, SEP invites you to bring the clothes that you love and want to love more, are bored of or clothes that have sat in your cupboards unworn and unloved and SEP artists in Jordan will embroider them a new lease of life. We will be emailing you detailed information on all these partnership events.

In March we partnered with the Festival du film et forum de Droits Humains. Giving Women moderated a conversation with the media guru Pat Mitchell and Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College and long-time Giving Women member. For Giving Women this was an amazing platform to make known our work to a different but extremely engaged public. The event was extremely well attended. For those who missed it, you can still watch it on the Giving Women facebook pagewhere it was streamed. We were also invited to participate in a new initiative of FIFDH to bring NGOs and filmmakers together to amplify the impact of their films.

On the 4th April, we partnered with B8 of Hope to screen a documentary film “Les Guerrières de la Paix”, which tells the story of courageous and determined Israeli and Palestinian women working together for Peace.
The event brought together 30 women members and non-members and following which a very engaged discussion took place led by Yara, a young Palestinian woman whose friendship with a young Israeli girl was one of the film’s stories.

Looking ahead Emilie Compignie and Abena Lauber, members of Giving Women, are organising a Fundraising Boot Camp. They have offered this to the Giving Women members for a 50% discount

Finally, for our May panel discussion on “Women and Climate Change,” we are partnering with International Union for Climate and Nature, IUCN. Their expertise and access to speakers are helping us to create an amazing event and again will open the activities of Giving Women to a larger public.

As we move forward, to the next 10 years of GW activity,  I believe that this spirit of collaboration will lead to a world where egos are left at the door and we all work together for a better and fairer world for all.

I would like to thank the members who have contributed with their Giving Women stories for our blog. I hope you are enjoying them and look forward to hearing from more of you. Please send your entries with a photograph.

We are also including a section where the members of the Giving Women Executive Committee and team will contribute.


Sophie Chapuisat, Giving Women Executive Committee member:
Meet the team

April 1st, 2019

I have been a member of Giving Women since 2011, and I am currently completing my second non-concurrent term as Chairwoman of Giving Women’s Executive Committee.

Giving Women has been the means through which I have fostered my objective to empower women and girls, and to accomplish this in the company of like-minded women with whom I share a common set of values.  The organisation and its membership is a lodestone in my life, I am drawn by its unique interpretation of philanthropy that makes it accessible and sustainable, and advances our aspirations in an environment that is positively charged. My life has been enriched by participating in this wonderful organisation, and its ability to reach the 10-year milestone provides me inspiration and hope that we will continue to positively move the needle forward to empower women and girls worldwide.


Paola Genovese, Giving Women member:
My Giving Women experience

March 22nd, 2019

When I first heard about Giving Women, I couldn’t see clearly the opportunity for me to become a member.

Today it has been two years since I first stepped into one of their assemblies where I found a community of passionate women holding hands for a brighter future.

First of all, they strongly believe that as philanthropists we need the right tools to give well. Thanks to their program of capacity building workshops, free access to resources and Project Circles I am continuously learning and growing my philanthropic knowledge and skills.

As the proud founder of a new project, I was desperately looking for support and advise. Since day one Giving Women is giving me huge support in terms of strategy and networking. They are constantly looking for innovative ways to collaborate and create synergies.


10th Anniversary Newsletter

March 4th, 2019

 

10th Anniversary Newsletter     February 2019
 “I was looking for an organisation, which would need me, not for what I have, but for what I know! This is why I have chosen to join Giving Women.”  Magda Zaorska, Giving Woman, Zurich chapter

Dear Members and Friends,

In celebration of our 10th anniversary year, we are putting on monthly events, in addition to our educational programme and project evenings, to mark this important milestone for Giving Women.
It is also a moment to take stock of our achievements and highlight the contribution of our members and our projects. Every six weeks I will be writing a newsletter, which will keep you informed of our evolving 10th anniversary programme as well as share the stories of our unsung heroes from our ever-growing community of members and project owners, and reveal some of our hidden successes.

The last ten years have been an incredible journey for us all. As with all ambitious visions the path has not always been without its challenges. However, the commitment, enthusiasm and faith of our members and devoted ExCom have allowed us to remain dedicated to providing professional support to projects, delivering quality events to our community, and developing effective processes for our organisation that we can all be proud of. Every day we learn something new, continue to meet inspirational people who help us grow and continue to shift the dial towards making this world a fairer and safer place for vulnerable girls and women.

Upcoming 10th Anniversary Events:

  1. To start this exciting year, we are honouring the commitment we made at our annual conference in October to continue the campaign for an ethical Fashion Industry:
Monday, 25th February, 12.15-14.15, Fashion Revolution, the campaign continues, at the Impact Hub Geneva
  1. On International Women’s day, 8th March, in collaboration with Festival du film et forum international sur les droits humains, FIFDH, we are hosting within the programme of the festival a conversation with Pat Mitchell, media guru, lifelong activist, curator of Ted Women the list goes on. The Giving Women members are invited to this lunch time conversation, which I know will be inspiring, informative and impactful. Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College and long-standing Giving Women member will be joining me in leading the conversation with Pat Mitchell:

Friday, 8th March,12:30-14:00, Pat Mitchell in Conversation with Giving Women,Theatre Pitoeff, rue de Carouge

Invitations to follow.
Events being planned:

  1. Film Screening, Les Guerrières de la Paix,  April TBC
  2. Film screening and conversation/panel discussion on the effect of climate change on vulnerable women, May TBC

How can you get involved in the celebration of our 10th Anniversary? 
(Many more ways to get involved in ongoing GW activities and committees below…)

  • Participation on the 10th-anniversary committee
  • Contribution to a 10th anniversary blog which we will be setting up on our website, if you are a GW member or a project owner tell us your stories: Projects you are involved; a GW experience and how his has impacted your work/life; tell us about a woman /girl that has inspired you. The power of storytelling to motivate others is priceless.

To get you started here is a story which is a small example of the hidden impact of our work.

How Giving Women and a teapot created the “Giving Women ripple effect”


One of our early and very innovative projects was Women on Wheels from the Azad Foundation. Meenu Vedera, the pioneering and courageous founder, established a programme to train the poorest women from the Delhi slums to become taxi drivers. When Elianna evaluated the project in 2012, she noted that Women on Wheels ticked so many boxes for us: It was challenging the traditional beliefs of what jobs were possible and appropriate for women; it had an innovative and holistic approach to poverty alleviation through women’s economic empowerment, which went far beyond a vocational training programme; it was a hybrid organization that had set up a for profit taxi company to provide jobs and help fund the not-for-profit training programme and much more. The Giving Women project circle helped this organisation to write their first annual report, which was instrumental for them to find the funding they needed to expand their work to other cities. We closed the project circle but stayed in contact with Meenu and introduced the organization to various funders.  Women on Wheels has now expanded to JaipurKolkata, Ahmadabad, Bangalore, and Indore.
In 2017 the Giving Women 7th Annual Conference was on the economic autonomy of vulnerable women. We wanted to highlight innovative programmes that were giving women access to dignified work and also building financial autonomy. Meenu and Women on Wheels was a perfect fit. We invited Meenu, who told her story and the story of the women that had gone through the programme.
When the conference ended Meenu spent a couple of days with us and we enjoyed many hours of exchange in my kitchen over many cups of tea made in an IKEA teapot much admired by Meenu. I took note and at the next opportunity sent her a teapot. The teapot made it in one piece all the way to Delhi but broke as it was being handed over. Determined that Meenu should receive her teapot, a second one was purchased and carefully wrapped and with great care, I handed it over safe and in one piece in the beautiful gardens of Bikaner House in Delhi. At that exchange of gifts and news, I mentioned my daughter, Elianna’s, Mastermom initiative. Meenu enthusiastically responded by asking her to speak on a panel at a two-day conference that she was organising on non-traditional livelihoods for marginalised women. The aim of her conference, much like that of Giving Women’s a year before, was to challenge the limited view of what women are capable of and question what systems and structures were needed to ensure that women entering new or unfamiliar territory for work are able to sustain this work safely and happily.
The Giving Women connection, however, does not end there. Meenu was organising this conference with Theo Sowa, CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund, who had also spoken at our 7th Annual Giving Women conference, and where she had met Meenu. In addition, a Barefoot College solar Mama, trained at Barefoot college, a past GW project and run by one of our long-standing GW members, Meagan Fallone, was also invited to share her story as a woman working in a non-traditional livelihood as a solar engineer. The ripples go on…
The openness and reach of the Giving Women community have created many often quiet synergies many of which remain unsung. I invite our community to share such connections, or ways that the GW community has made a difference in your life or the lives of those around you.
Please share your stories with me, Atalanti Moquette, Founder and Vice-chair, Giving Women.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the past 10 years, and here is to 10 more years of strong collaboration between women for profound impact on the lives of women and girls in need globally!


Jenny Yerena Schönberger, Giving Women member: My Giving Women story

March 4th, 2019

My first experience with Giving Women was at the Giving Women’s 8th Annual Conference in 2018. I went there without knowing much about it but curious about the subject. I was very impressed by the quality of the speakers and the discussions that took place there between change-makers of the fashion industry from different parts of the world. This allowed me to know more about many issues linked to the industry and motivated me to support sustainable and ethical fashion brands. During the conference, I also found that it was really easy to talk and connect with very interesting women. 

At that time, I was looking for an opportunity to collaborate in an organization that positively impacts the lives of others and I was glad to find that Giving Women was the perfect opportunity to do it, so after their annual conference, I decided to become a member. Since I’ve joined it, I’ve participated in various Giving Women events and continue learning and connecting with a wonderful network of philanthropic women who give their time and are very passionate about making this world better for everyone.

In addition, the project circles have given me the opportunity to learn and also share my knowledge and skills while bringing solutions to their challenges, in fact I am currently part of one of the project circles called “Lensational”, which helps marginalized women in the developing world, allowing them to share their unheard stories through photography, gain confidence and develop a base of strength.

And the story continues, last December, in an informal Giving Women lunch I sat in front of a very nice lady who works at The Red Pencil Organization which is part of the Giving Women Project Circles, another NGO that has an inspiring mission, bringing Art Therapy to families and children that have been through traumatic life circumstances around the world. We had a really interesting conversation about their work and also my interest in being part of a charity and after this, I started collaborating with The Red Pencil as well.

It hasn’t been long since I’ve joined Giving Women, but I feel like a lot of rewarding experiences, learnings and meaningful connections happen in every Giving Women event I attend. I am sure that this energy and positiveness come from the inspiring founder Atalanti and the rest of the exceptional Giving Women team. 

Finally, I have to say that Elianna has been a great inspiration for me, her positive energy and her willingness to help everyone are contagious, through her I also found Mastermom which has given me guidance to find my passion and mission in life. I love to be part of this wonderful community, where I always feel welcome and look forward to continue learning and contributing to the Giving Women mission.