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GWEM Magazine

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Janurary 2021 GLOBAL WOMEN S EMPOWERMENT MOVEMENT BUILDING CAPACITY EMPOWERMENT PROJECTS WITH DR MARA HUBER The Importance of Rhobi s Human Rights Work In Tanzania

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Copyright 2020 by GWEM Magazine All rights reserved This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of GWEM Magazine EIC Printed in the United States of America First Printing 2020 ISBN 0 0000000 0 0 Buffalo Custom Art Buffalo NY 00000 www gwemag com Building Capacity Piece Copyright 2020 Dr Mara Huber

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table of contents EDITOR S NOTES Hello from Founder and Editor Amanda Hart BUILDING CAPACITY Guest Writer Dr Mara Huber from University at Buffalo writes about what it means to build capacity in terms of empowerment FUTURE FOCUSED GWEM Editor interviews Professor John Justino from U Albany s School of Public Health on the implications of disempowerment for women s health outcomes and how he inspired the GWEM team during the SUNY COIL program EVER UPWARD Rhobi Samwelly talks with GWEM Magazine about Courage FGM her award winning documentary and more Cover story BICYCLES FOR CHANGE Richard Goodman Director of International Affairs at SUNY Fredonia talks about his organization Spokefolk empowers girls once bicycle at a time page 02

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TANZANIA NEEDING EMPOWERMENT Dr Dan Nyangorara speakes with Staff writer and student of Empire State University Daniela Maniscalchi about Empowerment in Tanzania A CANCER JOURNEY Staff writer Daniela Maniscalchi writes about the empowering aspect of her journey through cancer END THE STIGMA Staff writer Jasmine Kumar highlights her organizations profile on ending enstruation tigma INTERVIEW WITH DR AWINIA GWEM staff talks with Dr Chris Awinia of Open University in Tanzania about what empowerment means in terms of economics SANTIARY PAD PROJECT TANZANIA GWEM Staff writer Jasmine Kumar Interviews Morgan Woodbeck Pemba Sherpa and Daneille Nerber the empowered team behind the reusable sanitary pad project ongoing in Tanzania page 04

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Stay empowered with these recommended fabulous female authors I Am Malala The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban Malala Yousafzai On Tanzania Time Celebrating 10 Years of Friendship Engagement and Discovery in the Mara Region http hdl handle net 10477 78315 This book is open source Unorthodox The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots Deborah Feldman

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Editor s Note From sustainability initiatives to inspiring people in the women s empowerment movement GWEM Magazine aims to inspire women worldwide by giving you the power to take action We all have a lion inside of us Empowerment in its fullest essence is just that We are roaring lions waiting to let the world know who we are GWEM Magazine has committed to highlighting your voice It is your time to shine Our special Tanzania Edition aims to celebrate the fabulous roaring women and fearless men working together to cultivate change and encourage empowerment initiatives In this issue we feature an Award Winning Human Rights Activist Rhobi Samwelly a voice that has refused to be silent We also have an inside look at sustainability projects aimed at income generation in rural villages With knowledge comes power Thus GWEM staff spoke to experts hailing from significant institutions such as The University at Buffalo a major R1 research institution The School of Public Health at UAlbany Open University Tanzania and last but not least Empire State University The GWEM Staff is excited to present our debut issue to you just in time for the holiday season Stay safe informed and healthy AMANDA M HART Editor in Chief GWEM MAGAZINE 4 www gwemag com

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Bu ild ing DR MARA HUBER GUEST WRITER

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PAGE 7 For me empowerment is about building capacity having enough internal strength and resources to connect with the opportunities around us With the rapid expansion of technology and entrepreneurship virtually everything is at least theoretically within reach Yet for so many around the world especially women and girls accessing resources and opportunities remains a monumental challenge one that demands our collective attention and problem solving For me empowerment is about building capacity I spend a lot of time thinking about capacity and how it can be expanded There are so many components to be addressed and nurtured Education is of course important formal education still opens doors but knowledge skills and competencies are becoming increasingly powerful especially skills that connect with the evolving economy With the right skills and talents young people can leapfrog ahead but only if they possess other resources that are equally important and elusive Resonant narratives about our value and purpose resources in the form of relationships and networks and a theory of change how to add value and make a difference in the world If we can connect our own evolving stories with those who can join or assist us we can begin to move forward and expand This is the magic of capacity building the quest is not about succeeding When I visit communities around the world I see latent potential everywhere Yes there are natural resources that can be developed and harvested But mostly I see people I know that every child is born with gifts and talents that the world desperately needs Each of us is on a heroic quest to develop our gifts and deliver them to those who need them most For too many however the quest is not about succeeding but instead protecting our latent potential from the people systems and structures that threaten to diminish it For girls around the world there are so many threats Tasks as simple as fetching water are riddled with dangers and potential harm Gaining access to secondary schools or maintaining participation during menstruation avoiding sickness rape and pregnancyso many girls are robbed of their capacity unable to make choices and explore possibilities

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Use your gifts Talents When we are engaged and committed to using our gifts and talents for the greater good our potential expands and find strength in our courage and sense of purpose This for me is the essence of empowerment and the vehicle for making the world better and our lives more fulfilling Working with vulnerable populations Within our most challenged communities there are NGOs working to support the most vulnerable populations But they too lack capacity capacity to leverage their own assets and resources struggling to move forward and connect with the opportunities around them This is the space where I have chosen to work and innovate finding ways to help global NGOs build the necessary capacity to support women and girls within their own communities and regions I do this by connecting students from my University the University at Buffalo UB through mentored projects Learning about Needs By learning about needs and priorities as well as community assets and resources students can add value through leveraging their gifts and talents building capacity within themselves and the organizations and communities they touch Since piloting our model our students have engaged in many exciting projects including those highlighted in this edition For me the projects and the stories of the women engaged both at UB and in Tanzania speak to the potential of building capacity through global collaboration

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tis the season TO BE ARTSY FB COM BUFFALOCUSTOMART

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Advertisement ART SPOT I am powerful was painted in inspiration of Tanzanian girls who are fighting for empowerment Artist Amanda Hart used oil on cardboard to paint a vibrant portait of her subject

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n a c e No on el inf erior e f u o y make t your consent u o h t i w Eleanor Roosevelt GWEM www gwemag com

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FUTURE FOCUSED Amanda M Hart GWEM EIC

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GWEM talks with Professor Justino The United Nations UN Sustainable Development Goals also known as the Global Goals have been adopted by all UN participants since 2015 The UN s Sustainable Development Goals SDGs are in essence what the world needs for it to grow sustainably and run peacefully With lofty goals such as ending poverty climate action and gender equality by 2030 it will take an army of academics scientists volunteers and more to ensure that the goals are achieved In as little as fifteen years we need to change the world on multiple playing fields John Justino a Clinical Associate Professor and the Director of the Center for Global Health at the University at Albany s School of Public Health is a solider among many people willing to discuss the SDGs and their importance to our future Professor Justino has dedicated much of his career and life to promoting health and well being globally When asked about his background Justino modestly told GWEM magazine that he started his global health career after serving in the U S Peace Corps in the West African country of Cameroon and that he lived and worked abroad for nearly 20 years He added that much of that time was with his family and that his two sons spent their young lives growing up in Africa

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The State University of New York SUNY Global Commons Program focuses on Intercultural storytelling and the Sustainable Development Goals an initiative involving several SUNY institutions and more than a handful of academics and professors This rigorous program over the summer of 2020 gave students the first option in the history of the SUNY school system to participate in study abroad virtually After the program assesses strengths and skills students are divided into groups assigned a mentor and an NGO The idea is for students to develop intercultural communication problem solving team building and leadership skills Ultimately this comes in the form of delving deep into cultural studies sustainable development and project development Despite the time constraint of only six weeks to complete meaningful work Professor Justino believed the overall experience was extremely positive for all involved the students the collaborating international partner organizations and the course instructors Through this unique Cooperative Online International Learning COIL course the opportunity to work abroad was accessible to me for the first time Home responsibilities a disability childcare and more never allowed the time or finances to participate in such a ground breaking adventure Many women on social media shared the same sentiment as home responsibilities and childcare falls heavily on our shoulders I would never be able to travel My husband and my kids would fall apart a GWEM reader on Facebook mentioned It was with this new opportunity that I suddenly felt encouraged and empowered The issue of women s empowerment came up again and again during the summer program as we learned that women worldwide are often disempowered leading to negative social and economic consequences for families communities and nations all across the globe GWEM Magazine spoke recently with Professor Justino about what it was like living in SubSaharan Africa We asked what it means for a woman to be dis empowered from a public health standpoint Professor Justino says Often in developing countries gender roles and certain traditions such as childhood marriage limit women s access to education which has been shown to have negative health consequences for women and their families Often in developing countries gender roles and certain traditions such as childhood marriage limit women s access to education

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GWEM Magazine asked what type of health implications women face when they are dis empowered Professor Justino told GWEM Dis empowered women face all sorts of adverse health outcomes Some have obstructed labors due to being very young when giving birth which can cause fistulas a lifelong health complication Dis empowered women lack the power to make decisions about their own reproductive lives which puts them at increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS They often also lack access to modern contraceptive methods which can result in them having children too close together resulting in adverse health and economic outcomes for her and her entire family There is considerable evidence that shows if a woman gets at least a secondary education both she and her children will live healthier and more productive lives Women s empowerment is critical to ensuring sustainable development worldwide GWEM Staff ultimately set out to report on empowerment and we were learning fast that the dis empowering aspect of what women in poverty face is an index of despair All the GWEM editorial team members had worked under Professor Justino in the SUNY COIL program Looking to continue our work after the original project was completed with a women s empowerment lens we formed together and sought to add value by disseminating information Adding value is more than placing assumptions on statistics and assuming you are knowledgeable about a subject We need to dive headfirst into the material and understand what is needed and build long lasting foundations and relationships with institutions who are on the ground already doing the work GWEM Magazine asked Professor Justino what students could do to make a difference around the world and add value something GWEM magazine is dedicated to doing He added If you plan to go abroad plan to stay at least two years Get to know the people and the country If you cannot physically travel you need to work hard to build strong relationships with your counterparts abroad and make a sincere long term time commitment towards achieving your shared goals In addition to those things you can work from the US on efforts to inform policy decisions and engage in related research There will always be challenges but you have to be future focused and have a longterm perspective As the interview concluded GWEM Editor thanked Professor Justino for taking part When writing this piece the term Future Focused stuck with me If we are empowered to be goal oriented and make a long term commitment to women globally by telling their stories and spreading their initiatives we are doing what Professor Justino tells us in his recipe for successful and impactful global engagement GWEM magazine is making a long term commitment by sharing the stories of sustainability projects and women worldwide That is not to say we will not hit a few bumps in the road but we will remain future focused

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Happy Holidays A Joyful New Year from our Editorial staff at G W EM Magazine Visit us at www gwemag com NOMADIC 24

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EVER UPWARD INTERVIEW WITH RHOBI SAMWELLY WITH GWEM EDITOR AMANDA HART

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INTERVIEW WITH RHOBI SAMWELLY EVER UPWARD Written by Amanda Hart GWEM Editor in Chief Rhobi Samwelly is a lion in the human rights category Her astounding courage and vision should be a source of inspiration for generations to come GWEM Magazine had the honor to have a personal interview with Rhobi this December over Zoom regarding her humanitarian work her award winning documentary and of course what her vision is for the future With Rhobi s work focusing on Female Genital Mutilation her dedication and positive attitude are a fierce opponent for those standing in her way Rhobi was in a cheerful disposition and waved hello to GWEM interviewer Amanda Hart Amanda Hello Rhobi How have you been Rhobi I am well It has been busy here in Tanzania Amanda Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today I am so excited I m a massive admirer of your work and I ve been doing a lot of research First of all I wanted to start off by congratulating you for the award on your documentary Rhobi Thank you When we developed the documentary we based it off of a small community in Tanzania Most of it showed the things we went after the community for People didn t like it but we wanted to be a voice for the girls there Amanda Having your film recognized worldwide how has that changed your direction and vision of continuing your work Has it inspired you to continue to keep going

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INTERVIEW WITH RHOBI SAMWELLY Rhobi Of course it has motivated me to do more Because still in Tanzania we have the practice of FGM I want to make sure it is clear to my community that FGM is history and not part of the future It is encouraging me because I know women and girls are suffering even in other countries We are helping by even creating awareness in communities If we spread our efforts to other communities we can help protect girls and women who are suffering in my community and other communities Amanda I think it s incredible that you were able to have that type of following and get your message out there to the people who need to hear it When I was researching you I had read that you are a survivor of F GM and had endured it when you were fifteen years old Is fifteen the standard age for FGM to be performed Rhobi The age for girls to be cut has changed What used to be fifteen years of age has now shifted When I was young the age was between twelve and fifteen Now people are against FGM so parents are doing it when the girls are more youthful about six years old Parents are saying they have to do this because children are now starting school when they are seven years old Now the schools have programs that talk about FGM So the parents cut the girls before they start school In the Mara Region of Tanzania one clan is doing the practice on infants The clan pretends they don t have FGM but they are secretly doing the procedure We heard from one family where the girls died because of too much bleeding so we know the practice is still ongoing in this clan Amanda I find it sad that clans are still protecting the tradition even though it harms their children After watching your documentary I saw that you run safe houses to help girls escape FGM Can you tell our readers a little more about the safe places and your vision for the future regarding them

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INTERVIEW WITH RHOBI SAMWELLY Rhobi We are running two safe houses in the Mara region We have one in the Serengeti District and another in Buhari District The safe houses are used to protect domestic violence survivors which include FGM survivors We cover the girls and women so they have a safer place to stay for a short time while waiting for the reconciliation or further action depending on what happened to her Our safe houses cooperate with the local law and government where we develop leverage for social welfare offices community development offices and medical offices This is how we work together By receiving the survivors to the safehouses they are protected as well as receiving the services Let me give an example of an FGM survivor After the girls have undergone FGM and we receive them we do reconciliation with those social welfare agencies and city medical offices We visit the families and then talk to them about FGM s effects telling them that it is illegal and offers counsel Someone is charged for performing FGM and before they can receive their daughters they have to sign a consent form which is a promise to not commit harm against their Daughter and assure us they will support her while she attains education But some parents want us to take their daughters and tell us It is a curse for them to have a girl who is uncut in their family and the girl brings shame to them The parents get upset they prepare a ceremony and no one was there and they don t want to accept that FGM is harmful to their daughters If they need to go to school we take them to school If they need higher education support we enroll them in vocational classes such as management courses hospitality and more After everything we do we always do a follow up to see how the girls are doing We provide legal aid psycho social counseling and train them on sexual reproductive health We also teach the girls how to read their rights and understand the rules that hinder them in the community In the future I want to provide more significant workshops so the girls can learn more skills such as mathematics

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INTERVIEW WITH RHOBI SAMWELLY Amanda You do beautiful things in your community and while the girls are receiving these services they are also being empowered Rhobi what does empowerment mean to you How would you define it Rhobi Economic support and training counseling Anything that can make a woman healthy For a girl to be strong she needs to have a lot of information so she needs to be educated She needs to know her rights You have to be willing to report If a woman and a husband have a conversation about their Daughter being cut so they can sell the Daughter off the woman should have the power to say NO Amanda How do you find the courage within you From what I was reading you were saying you ve gotten a lot of push back because it s a very controversial topic People want to hold on to tradition I m wondering how you find the courage to continue forward with it In my daily life I struggle with finding my inner lion but you roar so loudly and proudly Rhobi I have the courage because I know about the effects of FGM personally I see how the mothers are suffering from their daughters when they die I know how it is paining them I know what FGM is because I am one of the survivors So I am talking about what I have in my heart and what I feel No one can tell me that FGM is good at all So through that courage I have something in my heart that is motivating me to keep going and fight against this I m talking to traditional leaders telling them the truth because I come from the same tribe they have to know what is happening to girls when they cut They are pushing it because they are selfish and want to benefit from it They want what they want to have from their daughters with the girls dreams in the balance There is not one woman from my tribe who is a top leader in our country Not one Why This is why I have the courage because I am a living example My community also supports me when I talk about the harmful effects of FGM I know some don t want to change their attitudes they don t want to stop FGM They don t want to advocate for their daughters they are just looking for themselves

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INTERVIEW WITH RHOBI SAMWELLY Amanda Hart Rhobi An example we have a lot of girls I m assuming you do the work you do to at our safe houses One girl was not taken inspire courage in other girls to school and was forced to be cut when You have to have that courage for yourself she was 23 years old They favored her and that courage inspires others So it s this young brothers and she ran away She idea of passing the torch of empowerment didn t know how to read her rights even from one girl to another I really appreciate though she is very bright This year she your raw emotion with that graduated and is the best student and is statement as it shows how dedicated you are dreaming of becoming a pilot How many to your cause and your commitment to the young community you work with What doctors and pilots have we lost in our community because of this tradition Many other projects are you working on so women can t read I know because when I we can highlight your progress ask them to sign their name they ask me Rhobi We need to have accessibility to work to write their name because they don t on more projects We need to sustain our safe know how houses tasks such as income generating projects to maintain the safehouses I am dreaming of having a Girls Education Fund I can see the way the girls are dreaming If I can take the girls who are doing well into better secondary schools they can succeed in their dreams If I start this fund it can help them continue their education and they can go back to their communities and help them We are doing a lot of things to create awareness such as creating festivals and traditional dances This is making a lot of support SUPPORT RHOBI Please support Rhobi s dream of eliminating FGM and helping its survivors HOPE FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN helping girls from Female Gentile Mutilation hopeforgirlsandwomen com globalgiving org projects safe house training centre tanzania IN THE NAME OF YOUR DAUGHTER DOCUMENTARY Schedule a screening inthenameofyourdaughterfilm com rhobi Amanda Thank you Rhobi for your time I can t wait to see what further collaboration we can have and we will continue to highlight your progress in GWEM Magazine It was such an honor to speak with you Rhobi Thank you Amanda Let us continue out collaboration Have a great day

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ADDING GWEM INTERVIEWS DR MARA HUBER Interview with GWEM EIC Amanda Hart VALUE

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COVER STORY Adding Value Dr Mara Huber talks with GWEM EIC about how to add value and about her new book Dr Mara Huber is an inspiration With countless initiatives and successful projects Dr Huber proves to be a passionate generous and empowered leader in her field At the University at Buffalo a major R1 research institution Dr Mara Huber is not only the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research and ELN Director but also a mentor who spends most days inspiring and empowering her own students Editor in Chief Amanda Hart of GWEM Magazine has the honor to be mentored by Dr Huber After completing the SUNY COIL program The GWEM team was looking to continue their efforts and with a few dead ends we were beginning to feel that our efforts had been in vain That sentiment had soon changed A game changer in her field Dr Huber continued the online study abroad initiative As the SUNY COIL program came to a close the new opportunity of traveling to Tanzania virtually came into focus Within a few weeks the students were suddenly talking with the same people featured in many of the articles in this Tanzania Edition of GWEM We had the chance to Interview Dr Huber about her initiatives her book On Tanzanian Time and her successful projects with Stephen Marwa and his successful initiatives Amanda Hello Mara Thank you for taking the time to interview with us and supporting our magazine Mara Hello Amanda Thank you for the opportunity Amanda Could you start by telling our readers a little more about why you are so passionate about Tanzania Mara When people ask how I chose Tanzania I always laugh and clarify that Tanzania chose me Through a family connection I met two nuns from Mara Tanzania same name on Christmas Day 2007 and began collaborating around women s empowerment with a focus on a school for girls Since first visiting in 2009 my engagement has been an endless source of inspiration and a reminder that anything is possible when we work together toward goals that are bigger than our own Since the pandemic hit this past spring and disrupted so much for our students our Tanzania projects have allowed innovation and growth during a time when travel and in person engagement are impossible For me Tanzania is my laboratory my studio my soulplace GWEM magazine was birthed from the idea of a women s empowerment project Dr Huber had asked her students to come up with an inspiring project based on Tanzania My original idea had been a fundraiser but Dr Huber had pushed me to reach outside of my comfort zone She did not doubt that I could have a successful fundraiser but she saw something in me that I had not seen yet I once again embarked on the mission to create a magazine but this time for Women s Empowerment GWEM MAGAZINE 28

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ADDING VALUE CONTINUED Amanda Where do you find your Mara COVID has been disruptive on so many levels But it has also created opportunities to innovate through the benefits of technology Our study abroad class has revealed so many possibilities passion for doing the work that you do How do you manage your success Mara My passion comes from knowing that we have everything we need to help communities be strong and vibrant My work is so exciting because with each new day I never know whom I will meet or what new ideas or opportunities will emerge At its core I see my job as a facilitator helping to leverage the potential of our University and the world to make positive change while supporting students growth and learning I work within the spaces of opportunity and possibility and because of this I get to see the best in people I don t really think of my job or life in terms of success I just try to meet each day with positivity and gratitude students Zooming with partners from remote regions sharing videos testing and not take myself too seriously ideas and pushing the boundaries of learning and collaboration Through technology we can engage students who wouldn t normally have the Amanda Being a part of the opportunity to travel and partners who wouldn t have access to our virtual study abroad initiative has relationships or resources I see so many unnecessary lines blurring been such a unique and and eventually falling away projects study abroad mentored research the enlightening experience What names and structures no longer matter as we simply strive to help students are your plans for the future in get close to places people and ideas no matter where they are in the world I regards to other projects and see our work continuing to expand there is still so much to discover and classes learn www gwemag com

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Amanda The brick making empowers women to be financially independent with Stephen as a co pilot on this project how have you managed to work together on a virtual platform The machine will support ARAM project you have completed community infrastructure projects with a focus on school latrines and water systems And these projects in turn align with broader impacts including the UN Sustainable development REBUH Goals We currently have Mara The brick making project is wildly exciting The machine is a technology that can change everything and offers so many levels of value The bricks themselves can generate revenue and develop human capital students working on a design challenge how to improve ecoflush toilets to manage waste in rural villages The students are connecting with Stephen and other partners through teleconferencing which is helpful But I am currently raising funds to purchase a similar brick press for the UB community to give our students and faculty access to the same technology being used by our partners allowing for more collaborative and equitable innovation I think this combination of virtual and hands on engagement will take this project to an entirely new level of possibilities

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I BELIEVE THAT THE WORLD NEEDS EVERY DROP OF OUR TALENT COLLECTIVE AND INDIVIDUAL AND THAT WE CAN ALWAYS CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING MEANINGFUL IF OUR INTENTIONS ARE GOOD AND WE TAKE THE TIME TO TRULY LISTEN AND GET CLOSE Amanda A favorite term I have picked up while working with you is Adding Value Can you explain what you mean by this term and why it is so important Mara That is so funny I actually completed the final sentence to the question above in hopes of adding value before I read this question I guess the notion of adding value is central to the way I work and mentor I believe that the world needs every drop of our talent collective and individual and that we can always contribute something meaningful if our intentions are good and we take the time to truly listen and get close Our students need to go beyond learning they need to make something happen and then reflect on their impactsboth positive and negative This is how we grow and do better This is essentially experiential learning I want my students to feel safe to take risks and stretch beyond their comfort As long as their intentions are good and they are committed to learning and doing better it is not necessary to know or guarantee the outcome This can be a little scary especially for students who are used to high degrees of structure and clarity But the challenges facing our most vulnerable communities are complex and daunting and call for people who can handle ambiguity and uncertainty Amanda What are your hopes for GWEM magazine in the future Mara I think the vision of GWEM is a beautiful complement of courage and humility two of my most favorite attributes Striving for women s empowerment is inherently complex and even dangerous it calls for questioning the nuances of culture traditions and beliefs And as individuals and communities question their assumptions and practices dynamics are shifted and norms are scrutinized I think students and young people are uniquely poised to navigate and push these explorations and I think the digital magazine and social media formats are wonderful tools to support this vision I hope that it continues to grow and evolve as more voices and stories are shared I could not be prouder of Amanda and the GWEM team and all our partners and collaborators who continue to invest in the promise of empowerment Mara you have been such an inspiration to our team We want to thank you sincerely for your time and your continued guidance GWEM magazine will continue to highlight Dr Huber s projects and students

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I WILL WIN A Cancer Journey GWEM Staff Writer Daniela Maniscalchi

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I remember thinking to myself as the tears fell down my face I can t have cancer I m fit I eat a healthy diet and I m only 40 years old I remember looking at my husband and seeing him start to cry as my doctor s voice began to fade in the background The news was utterly devastating to me My husband and I had many questions concerns and thoughts running through our minds How are we going to get through this Will I live Will I lose my hair I remember thinking I definitely was afraid but I knew I had to hold it together I remember saying to myself you will win and you have to be strong for everyone else I put this cheerful voice on repeat in my head and promised myself I would not give in To keep me in that mindset I made t shirts with a I Will Win A Cancer Journey GWEM STAFF WRITER DANIELA MANISCALCHI It was March 17 2016 St Patrick s Day to be exact I went to an appointment at the thoracic surgeon s office with my husband holding my hand and feeling I had nothing but luck on my side Even though I had been experiencing breathlessness nighttime sweats and lethargy I felt pretty positive about everything However that all changed when the doctor looked over my scans My doctor peered over his monitor and delivered the news You have a vast mass between your heart and lungs and it appears to be Hodgkin s Lymphoma countdown for my treatments

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I ALSO THE WROTE T SHIRT THOSE THE AND WORDS I WORDS I BELIEVED MORE THAN WILL WIN ON IN ANYTHING A lot happened next scans blood draws a bone marrow biopsy and what seemed like an endless amount of tests treatment Then came the first day of I had no idea who or what was waiting on the other side of those doors Trembling I sat down and waited I feared the worst but my whole experience could not have been any better to be honest Don t get me wrong there were moments I felt horrible scared sad and emotionally drained you will win and you have to be strong for everyone else became my mantra as I told myself them every single day of my journey husband along with family and friends was extremely helpful As I entered the doors of the Infusion Center I was scared worried and confused Knowing how lucky I was to have a supportive However I knew I needed more positivity during this difficult time I wanted to distract my thoughts and put my imagination and energy into something positive happy and fun tried to shift my thoughts to others by attempting to brighten other people s day even though I was terrified I

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During my first treatment I came up with the When we dressed for pajama day the idea of having a festive theme for each of infusion center had a patient send in my upcoming twelve chemotherapy photos of her and her family from a cruise treatments Myself my family all of the nurses staff and even the patients dressed for each occasion and they never disappointed from getting dolled up in fancy dresses and long white gloves while wearing sparkly jewelry for Prom Day to wearing tied dyed clothing for That 70s themed week They all joined me and donned head to toe patriotic flair for Red White and Blue Day which got filmed for a segment on FOX TV Channel 5 NY When the dressed in their pajamas holding up signs that read Daniela s Pajama Day My last chemo theme Life is a Circus had everyone put on red clown noses big clown glasses and posing with circus props as they all helped me celebrate what was one of the most memorable days of my life Each and everyone who participated touched my heart and I will be forever grateful feature reporter arrived to cover the Red White Blue treatment theme for that night s I have been NED no evidence of disease newscast the nurses never missed a beat for approximately four years and Their dedication to nursing was heartfelt am thankful for each and every day every time

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Know yourself your family history and your risks This is my story but sadly hundreds of thousands of stories are just like mine On the American Cancer Society website 2020 cancer org states that colorectal endometrial breast cervical skin ovarian and lung cancers are the most cancers that affect women For this reasoning it s essential to know about these and other cancers so women know about prevention and early detection which can help to save lives The American Cancer Society 2020 recommends the following health choices so women can avoid developing cancer of any kind Stay away from tobacco Get to and stay at a healthy weight Get moving with regular physical activity Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits vegetables and whole grains limiting or avoiding red processed meats and highly processed foods It s best not to drink alcohol If you do drink have no more than 1 drink per day for women Protect your skin Know yourself your family history and your risks Have regular check ups and cancer screening tests All women should be vigilant and aware of cancer risks by knowing their family history signs and symptoms being proactive and regularly seeing your doctor Reference Cancer Facts for Women Most Common Cancers in Women

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E t S END THE STIGMA AGAINST MENSTRUATION

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Jasmine Kumar VP of Research and Co founder of ETS It all started during the summer of 2020 where we realized with all the uncertainty going on in the world We need to continue making progress and bring awareness to issues that are important to us Thus we started working to create our club End The Stigma at our SUNY Stony Brook campus Periods do not stop for pandemics and neither does the need for bringing awareness to crucial female health issues that are often stigmatized and not taught well enough to young girls and women End The Stigma aims to empower young girls to feel comfortable with their bodies and confidently discuss their health The unfortunate reality that we have experienced or seen within our own cultures is that many young women are ashamed of their periods due to taboos Additionally End The Stigma hopes to provide an open and safe space for discussing endometriosis PCOS PMS safe and sustainable menstrual hygiene products reproductive education maternal mortality and many other relevant issues within female health

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Annie Gupta President and Co founder of End The Stigma Menstruation remains a taboo in every country In America we are no stranger to period poverty the pink tax and limitations on female reproductive rights Misinformation can directly impact young girls particularly girls in many South Asian countries where periods are still considered impure and dirty Hygiene products are seen as a luxury tampon usage is considered impure as oppressors say it tampers with a girl s virginity and girls are isolated from society and education during their cycles Additionally in many cultures girls who visit a gynecologist ob gyn before marriage are often slut shamed and ostracized Menstrual health isn t just about being sexually active or not It includes vaginal ovarian health hormonal disorders including PCOS thyroid imbalances diabetes and menopause At Stony Brook University we are a diverse community and full of second generation students who face menstrual stigmas at home in our communities I saw the opportunity to create a safe space for students to discuss health policy fund raise and make media content to break stigmas in our community with the help of Jasmine Sanjana and other board members

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Sanjana Thahura Vice President of Social Media and Events Co Founder of ETS Some of my earliest memories regarding periods were watching pad and tampon commercials and being very confused about why women were talking about what in my mind were diapers with blue stains My friends and I noticed the importance of sexual health and menstruation education as we confided each other about our past confusions and stigmas we have faced ETS wants to make Youtube videos interviewing healthcare workers or NGOs that give women access to hygiene products and other resources to educate others We hope to collaborate with other student organizations on campus to have informed discussions about menstrual health and host fundraisers As of now we are still in the second phase of being approved as an official club on campus and have the incredible Professor Catherine Marrone as our advisor who researches and teaches about the sociology of reproductive health We look forward to our future here at ETS and can t wait to end the stigma

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THE SANITARY PAD PROJECT Covered by Jasmine Kumar Danielle Nerber Morgan Woodbeck and Pemba Sherpa form together an alliance that helps end the stigma of menstration in Tanzania

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DANIELLE There is no question that Danielle s work reflects many aspects of NERBER women s empowerment When Danielle Nerber is a medical student asked what women s whose compassion and passion for empowerment means to her global work has impacted an entire Danielle replied that the essence of community women s empowerment stems of young women in Tanzania Danielle from education educating women had started the reusable Pad Project to feel confident knowledgeable Mara and thus empowered enough to Huber and Stephen Marwa They ran make their own decisions for the reusable Pad Project from themselves communities their Tanzania and is executive director of the non profit partners and others Danielle believes that empowering women Hope Revival Children Organization in parts of the world where they do HRCO Since the creation of her not have access to the best project many students have been educational and health resources is inspired by Danielle s work They have continued extremely important These women to participate in it in multiple ways to could feel just as capable in their contribute to helping this community decision making as they fiercely and confidently live their own lives of girls in Tanzania and expand on it further When it comes to Danielle s work with the reusable Pad Project she aimed to establish women s empowerment as she worked with this community for young girls and women in Tanzania Unfortunately Danielle added that in certain cultures menstrual taboos and stigmas persist surrounding menstruation and reproductive health discussions Within her work with the reusable pad project Danielle realized that she must destigmatize cultural taboos surrounding menstruation and emphasize self care and sexual education to truly educate and empower this young woman s community in Tanzania IN CERTAIN CULTURES MENSTRUAL TABOOS AND STIGMAS PERSIST SURROUNDING MENSTRUATION Danielle Nerber

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Now what exactly does the reusable Pad Project entail Danielle created the reusable Pad Project after taking a trip to Tanzania After coming home from her trip Danielle researched different issues women face regarding menstruation such as having limited access to menstrual hygiene management products The community of young girls and women she had met on the trip made Danielle realize that she would like to empower this community to feel comfortable with their bodies and menstruation and access sanitary menstruation products to care for their reproductive and menstrual health However something that helped Danielle think of this idea was learning about Dare Women s Foundation which is an organization in Tanzania that has a project that teaches women how to sew reusable pads Not long after all this research and With the assistance of her team reflection Danielle connected with Danielle was able to replicate the Mara Huber and the rest of her Pad reusable Pad Project in Raryana As Project team to create a successful for the community of young project She acted as a liaison women in Tanzania their hard between Dare Women s Foundation work and drive to help each other and this particular community of feel empowered and not ashamed young women she had met on her trip of menstruation is a true The project encouraged efforts to improve their community s access to inspiration As a result of the sanitary products and to make each reusable Pad Project school attendance for young women in other feel empowered and comfortable enough with their bodies Tanzania rose by 76 in a Doing so helped to destigmatize any particular school in Roya Raranya taboos that young district and the regional office girls may have face surrounding recognized this increase The menstruation In Danielle s words in reusable Pad Project is a beautiful reality it came from the people and example of the greatness that the community could be This experience had truly impacted achieved by empowering women Danielle and the people around her in many ways Danielle learned the value of collaboration and partnership both of which are essential in progressing the Sustainable Development Goals such as women s equality Danielle s compassion shines through her work in Tanzania and all she has gained through her experience working there AS A RESULT OF THE REUSABLE PAD PROJECT SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FOR YOUNG WOMEN IN A PARTICULAR SCHOOL IN ROYA TANZANIA ROSE BY 76

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SAVE THE WORLD SOUNDS CLICHE BUT IS A CRITICAL MENTALITY THAT PEMBA GAINED THROUGH HER WORK PEMBA SHERPA Co lead Fundraiser on The Pad Project Jasmine Kumar interviews Pemba Sherpa about her involvement with the Pad Project team Jasmine What does women s empowerment mean to you Pemba Having a voice freedom to be yourself freedom of expression women supporting women and society supporting women are essential factors in Women s Empowerment There are many stereotypes such as ambitious women seen as aggressive or pushy and this is why she believes we need to empower women to overcome these stereotypes within themselves and society Pemba supported her friend Danielle Nerber who started The Pad Project initiative in Tanzania reflecting a core aspect of women s empowerment women supporting women Pemba was initially drawn to it Another way Pemba s work reflects women s empowerment is that she could use her resources to help girls in Tanzania who may not have these resources themselves Pemba learned about stigmas and taboos that prevented girls from attending school girls not having access to clean water and Pemba who has had a passion for education and human rights in undergrad to current day now realized learned the importance of the health perspective when it comes to how important it is to promote taking care of one s own menstrual and reproductive This new perspective shows why Pemba s work was essential to her Pemba tells GWEM Magazine save the world sounds cliche but is a critical mentality that Pemba gained through her work She hopes to inspire others and gain insight through her example Pemba was encouraged to do more community work and learn about the hardships girls in Tanzania face regarding menstrual health management Even though she was working virtually across the other side of the world Pemba learned that she could still create this vital connection between herself and these girls that would allow her to make a real difference in their lives and the world There is no one path to bringing change everyone has something to offer big or small Change one person That is enough Look at it from a positive perspective We should not be saying I am only one person what difference can I make but instead looking for change we can make When you apply your skills and knowledge change can happen right in front of your eyes There is no one path to achieving gender equality Everyone is creative If you have an idea go for it You never know who is the life you will end up changing It might end up changing your own life as it did to me

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It is important not to feel alone or embarrassed when MORGAN WOODBECK Morgan Woodbeck is an undergraduate student at the University at Buffalo Along with focusing on her college studies she made an effort to get more involved with global work To Morgan global work is an important way for her to contribute to the world around her especially during these uncertain times When asked what women s empowerment means to her Morgan replied the future Morgan envisions a future where every girl feels as if her opinion matters her voice matters By giving women of any age the confidence to feel as if their opinion matters Morgan believes that this type of empowerment would help women gain power over their own decisions changing communities and the world As Morgan stepped outside of her undergraduate curriculum bubble she became heavily interested in global studies working on initiatives such as the reusable Pad Project in Tanzania and more Morgan felt as if her work with the reusable Pad Project encouraged women s empowerment because she could educate girls about their bodies It is important not to feel alone or embarrassed when discussing or dealing with menstruation Morgan tells GWEM Morgan created an infographic that covered all of the information that the reusable Pad Project is about Topics such as menstrual hygiene basic knowledge regarding the menstrual cycle risks associated with not maintaining proper hygiene and more were included discussing or dealing with menstruation Along with her infographic Morgan contributed to the reusable Pad Project by sharing a survey with an educator in Tanzania The survey conveyed opinions about the importance of each menstrual hygiene topics With Morgan s survey she successfully zeroed in on the issues that needed to be focused Morgan had ultimately hoped to improve menstrual hygiene management and sexual education for the young girls and women in Tanzania The importance of Morgan s work indeed rests within the idea that these women are encouraged to become comfortable and confident with their bodies This in turn creates opportunities for more empowerment projects Although Morgan has not gotten the chance to work abroad yet she stated that she would want to see these communities in person and further contribute to them Even though her work has been virtual Morgan appreciates all of the connections she has made while working with the reusable pad project team A global pandemic may hinder the opportunity to travel and meet her newfound international connections but it will not get in the way of her feeling connected to them and being interested inworking with them further

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SUSTAINABLE GIFTS Great for all Self Care Gift Box earthhero com 4ocean Cleanup Combo A great gift for children who are learning about recycling or for beach lovers www 4ocean com PlanToys Happy Doll Family Sustainable Doll Set earthhero com

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SPOKE FOLK HOW SPOKE FOLK IS EMPOWERING TANZANIAN GIRLS

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Amanda Hello Mr Goodman thank you for taking the time to talk with GWEM magazine today How has your year been given the state of things Goodman To say this year was challenging would be gross understatement Not only was normal life turned upside down but for community projects like Spoke Folk it was historic With the arrival of the mild weather and the closing of fitness centers and other recreational venues people viewed the bicycle as a way to cope exercise escape etc Additionally those who hadn t ridden a bicycle in years decided to either buy one or retrieve their old and often neglected bike tucked away in their attics or backyard sheds Since Spoke Folk was the only act in town when it came to bicycles Dunkirk and Fredonia our lab was overwhelmed Amanda Can you tell me about your organization Spoke Folk and how you came up with the idea Goodman Approximately 15 years ago I became involved with a SUNY Fredonia HUD project designed to provide programs and services for members of Dunkirk s under served community Aware that for many residents bicycles were the primary source of transportation and since there wasn t a place to either purchase reasonably priced refurbished bikes or have existing ones repaired the Spoke Folk project was born Since that time a myriad of programs and services have been added and more than a thousand refurbished donated and abandoned bikes have been returned to the community Built on a social entrepreneurship business model Spoke Folk is self sustaining

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SPOKE FOLK S BICYCLES FOR CHANGE Empower girls and women to acquire the skills needed to repair their own bikes as well acquire the business skills necessary to start micro enterprises Amanda How did you initially get involved in humanitarian work in Tanzania Goodman When I became aware of the work Mara and others were doing in Tanzania it occurred to me that for a number of reasons a program like Spoke Folk would be a perfect fit A dialogue was initiated between myself and Stephen Marwa of the HRCO and the rest is history Amanda If someone wants to get involved in your project how would they be able to contact you Goodman Anyone interested in learning more about our project should just give me a call at 716673 5834 Amanda When you inspire girls to build bikes how does this help them in terms of empowerment Goodman Providing bikes tools and replacement parts to the HRCO was always intended to be part one of the project implementation plan The goal has always been to empower girls and women to acquire the skills needed to repair their own bikes as well acquire the business skills necessary to start micro enterprises bicycle shops etc Toward this end part two of the implementation plan has recently been launched and a series of Bicycle Assemblers Workshops are scheduled to begin in the very near future It is my hope that like Spoke Folk the Tanzania bicycle project will become totally selfsustaining professionally taken Amanda What is your vision for the future regarding Tanzania and Spoke Folk Amanda What is your vision for the future regarding Tanzania and Spoke Folk Goodman During decades of involvement in community projects and partnerships I have never been more excited and optimistic about the one between Spoke Folk and the girls and women of the HRCO Although I m often amazed at how much we have accomplished together in a relatively short period of time I truly believe we have only scratched the surface In this regard I look forward to the following Finding secondary markets for used bicycle parts Creation of unique jewelry pieces from discarded spokes and chain pieces Creation of unique art pieces from discarded sprockets hubs etc Start up bicycle delivery service modeled after Meals on Two Wheels Retail bicycle shop spin offs Adapting bicycles for people with disabilities Creation of a bicycle academy to train other individuals organizations Spoke Folk will continue to do everything within its power to assist the girls and women of the HRCO realize their dreams

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YOUNG WOMEN WHO WANT AN EDUCATION WILL NOT BE STOPPED Freida Pinto

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ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT IN TANZANIAN WOMEN FEATURING DR CHRIS AWINIA DR DAN NYARONGA WHY IT S IMPORTANT Covered by Daniela Maniscalchi Amanda Hart

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OPEN UNIVERSITY DR CHRIS AWINIA TALKS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN S EDUCATION IN TANZANIA Amanda What does empowerment means in terms of economics Dr Awinia Empowerment has many dimensions It could be economic which is what many people may refer to However it also includes cultural social political and systems such as access to internet These other dimensions of empowerment are sometimes collectively referred as social capital Without the latter it becomes more difficult to access and sustain economic empowerment I would say empowerment means enlargement of opportunities which can make one to meet their desired ends to become what they want to be Amanda What has Open University done to change the narrative surrounding Women s Education in Tanzania Dr Awinia OUT is a teaching and research university A lot of research has been done on women s education at OUT An example is my own research published in the University journal assessing how the girl child benefits from basic education policy It analyses barriers female students face as they progress along basic education Other faculty and students have researched a lot on gender and education However these studies have not been synthesized into a single booklet that brings together the rich and diverse findings on girls education studied at OUT This is challenge which needs to be addressed Amanda Why is it hard for women to own businesses in Tanzania Amanda From your perspective a male point of view what does Women s Empowerment mean to you Dr Awinia Women comprise 52 of the population in Tanzania A clear majority Empowerment of women is therefore empowerment of national development If women are left out the the Tanzanian dream will be reached but it will be delayed as the nation will be cruising with one propeller Women empowerment has also got to be multi faceted It should include the different aspects of empowerment mentioned above Social cultural and political empowerment among others is an important pre requisite to economic empowerment of women Dr Awinia Reasons are pretty much as those mentioned above The bureaucracy sub culture and perception that women should be home makers than venture out into the public domain This being said women dominate in small businesses which trade in traditional open markets in rural areas Their representation falls as one progresses to formal businesses Amanda How can open University help to Empower Women to become financially independent Dr Awinia OUT has a flagship course on community economic empowerment CED The course teaches social entrepreneurship including how one can mobilise community members to start a project or business from start to end The course was established in partnership with the University of New Hampshire USA

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DR DAN NYARONGA Empowering Women in Tanzania Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Dr Dan Nyaronga who currently works at SUNY Empire State College where he serves as an associate professor ofpsychology Since 2014 Dr Nyaronga has overseen many of the study abroad programs in Tanzania He has lived in the U S for approximately thirty years but still has family who lives in rural Tanzania When GWEM magazine asked what female empowerment means in relation to the projects he works on Dr Nyaronga responded female empowerment means everything He remembers what his aunts and sisters went through and are still go through in Tanzania Women have to walk five miles to get water and firewood just to cook for their families He also explained that ninety percent of homes do not have electricity making it extremely difficult for women to get food on the table The infrastructure in rural Tanzania is not acceptable and since they do not have electricity and other resources life is complicated Dr Nyaronga stated that water is a big deal because the women have to fetch it from rivers They then have to boil it because it is not clean According to Dr Nyaronga empowering women is the only way to help get Tanzania on the right path Due to gender inequalities women in rural Tanzania do not do well with school Unlike boys who can study and go to school girls have to help their mothers with household duties often leaving no time for school Also Dr Nyaronga explained that girls as young as twelve years old could get married Often it is to men who have more than one wife because families are poor and want to accumulate wealth so they have to get rid of the girls to get cows The inequalities women face in rural Tanzania are challenging so the only way to empower women is for them to have their own businesses and money However without policy change then traditions stay Coming up with ideas for women s empowerment in rural Tanzania is not easy and can be overwhelming because so much needs to be done We can help support Tanzanian initiatives by talking to the local people and letting them be a part of the solution Dr Nyaronga explained that you can see if there is value to the solution and if the community will benefit from the ideas support them because they know what they want so let them be a part of what you are doing Consult them

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There is still much that needs to be done for Tanzanian women Bringing awareness to the issues they face is vital for their futures Awareness is key to helping sustain these initiatives A special thank you to Dr Nyaronga for taking the time to discuss the importance of empowering women in Tanzania and for all of his hard work and dedication

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Mandazi

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cup coconut milk1 4 cups all purpose flour 1 egg A teaspoon active dry yeast cup sugar cup warm water 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened A teaspoon ground cardamom ginger and cinnamon blend teaspoon chili powder optional Vegetable oil for frying Sugar or icing sugar to cover

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Resources Domestic Violence Hotline Call 1 800 799 SAFE 7233 24 Hour Crisis Hotline for Women 954 761 1133 Strong Hearts Native Helpline 1 844 7NATIVE 762 8483 SAMHSA s National Helpline 1 800 662 HELP 4357 National Women s Law Center nwlc org legal assistance

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JASMINE KUMAR

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Sustainable fashion aims to move the fashion industry towards a direction that values environmental integrity and social justice There are many ways to contribute to bettering the environment and that includes watching where you buy your clothes from Clothes can be a way to express yourself However when what you wear destroys mother nature and promotes discriminatory ideas your expression ends up hurting the planet and hurts Oftentimes major concerns surrounding fashion are pollution As a result of chemicals used in synthetic dyes toxins enter out water supply in the name of fashion Clothing takes up lots of space in landfills as waste High water usage in the textile industry contributes to water scarcity Sustainable fashion often turns to alternatives like converting the by product of sugar molasses into colorants that are used for dyeing clothing The issue with synthetic dyes is that these chemicals often pollute water with toxic dyes salts alkalis heavy metals and other toxic chemicals As a result this water becomes undrinkable and can be detrimental to ecosystems and people s health if it is consumed Another common issue is high water usage in the textile industry that leads to water scarcity Globally around six to nine trillion liters of water are used in the textile industry to dye your clothes THE STYLE SECTION Cheap garments and polyesters are not biodegradable so when they end up in landfills they pollute surrounding waters So next time you think about throwing out your old clothes resort to donating recycling or upcycling them Other than factoring in environmental integrity when buying clothing consider social justice as well Do your favorite brands verbally artistically or financially support discrimination If so you may want to reconsider where you money goes Fast fashion in a nutshell refers to unsustainable fashion practices The fast fashion industry often sells clothes that are trendy cheap and highly accessible through global production chains Fast shipping practices often include the exploitation of overseas workers being harmful to the environment and having a lack of transparency when it comes to revealing employee working conditions or who exactly farmed the fabric used Whereas sustainable fashion options are much better for the environment usually are much more transparent and of humane moral standing Not only does sustainable fashion come with those artistic empowering perks but it also takes into consideration science the environment and humanity

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MEET THE STAFF of GWEM Amanda Hart E I C Curator Founder of GWEM Owner Buffalo Custom Art Social Science A S SUNY ERIE 18 Psychology B A University at Buffalo 20 Jasmine Kumar Staff Writer Social Media Outreach of GWEM VP of research ETS Biology B S Stonybrook University Daniela Maniscalchi GWEM Staff Writer Social Media Outreach B S community and Human Services Empire State University Bryan Hart Website Development Promotions Manager