Stirring the Fire

[Note: Our guest blogger this week is Sandy Jeglum–thanks, Sandy!]

Stirring the Fire is a multimedia exhibition and companion website.  Together they form a global movement to empower women and girls.  They showcase extraordinary individuals who are breaking through barriers of discrimination, oppression and tradition to become agents of change in their communities.  In order to bridge the gap between awareness and action, the website provides in-depth resources for those who would like to explore or participate in solutions to specific women’s issues.

Central to the project is the “Call to Action” (http://www.stirringthefire.org/take-action) which features an easily searchable database of organizations that provide opportunities for involvement that include internships, study abroad programs and other creative volunteer opportunities.  The “Call to Action” is intended to assist concerned individuals to find a tailor made avenue to help empower women and girls worldwide.

The “Call to Action” also includes volunteer stories to offer further inspiration to those interested in getting involved in women and girls issues.  You can read how others have worked to empower women and girls, what organizations they worked with, how they made it happen and what they have gained from their experience.

We could not be more honored to feature the amazing volunteers who have contributed their stories to our “How I Got Involved” section (http://www.stirringthefire.com/take-action/testimonials).

Meet Jen, who during a microfinance internship in Uganda through Experiential Learning International formed a partnership with her supervisor resulting in Empower U.  The concept of Empower U is simple – each beneficiary chosen is a young woman who is looking for a way to fund her education. Each beneficiary receives a pig and business training through Empower U, setting her on the road to becoming a business-woman of agriculture – a field many Ugandan girls feel most comfortable in.  As the pigs multiply, the girl is responsible for passing one on to a new beneficiary and for using the rest of her profit to fund her education goals.

Then there is Ashley, who first learned about the challenges children in Tanzaniaface to get an education during a trip at age 11.  Determined to help provide young African girls with an education Ashley formed AfricAid at the age of 16.  Now, since 2001, AfricAid has raised over $800,000 for education that currently supports eight schools in northern Tanzania, and has funded hundreds of scholarships for girls’ secondary education there, along with other educational initiatives and projects in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zambia.

We are looking for volunteers who are willing to share their stories and in exchange we have prints to offer!  The volunteer stories added to the website will receive a signed print from the Stirring the Fire exhibition.  Do you have a story or know of someone that does?  More information can be found here:http://www.stirringthefire.com/blog/2010/07/01/share-your-story-and-get-a-print/

Interested in seeing the exhibition and live in the San Diego area?  The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego is hosting the Stirring the Fire exhibition from August 15th – December 15th,2010.  Visiting hours are Monday through Thursday 12 – 7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and during Institute events, including October 6th when Phil will be there giving a presentation!

Please help us spread the word about Stirring the Fire by telling your friends about our website (www.stirringthefire.org) and facebook page (www.facebook.com/StirringTheFire).  And keep in touch with us by joining our newsletter (http://www.stirringthefire.com/newsletter)  Thank you for your support!

—by Sandy Jeglum

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