A.C.W.W.

ACWW Pennies for Friendship and Women Empowered Fund

It has been a tough eighteen months for everyone and like lots of charities ACWW has seen a drop in donations. In 2019 West Kent Federation WI members donated over £3,500 to ACWW. At the end of September this year we had raised only £729 for the Women Empowered Fund for Water and Sanitation Projects, and £510 for the WI Pennies for Friendship Fund.

Now that WIs are able to meet in person it is hoped that fundraising for ACWW will start again. A popular way is to collect small coins and then give them to your WI to donate to ACWW. Remember that coins weigh heavily so be kind to your Treasurer and if possible pay the coins into your bank account. Most banks have a coin machine for this. Then you can give the equivalent amount to your WI for ACWW.

WI Treasurers can add the amounts they have received for ACWW to the Invoice that comes from Federation. At the bottom of the Federation Invoice is a space for donations. Your Treasurer writes in ACWW WE Fund (Projects) or Pennies for Friendship, and the amount collected. The donation is then added to the invoiced amount owed and sent to Federation in one cheque. Some WIs do this a couple of times a year, and others wait until the end of their financial year and then give the yearly amount collected. The Federation Bookkeeper keeps a record of all the ACWW donations received throughout the year and then one cheque is posted to ACWW at the end of the Federation financial year.

If your WI would like to put on a special ACWW fund raising event always remember that ACWW Central Office is ready to support you with resources.

Email media@acww.org.uk or phone 020 7799 3875. Some of the suggested events are:

A Cooking Class, Photo Competition, Sponsored Walk, Cake Sale, Fashion show (perhaps showcasing sustainable fashion), Community Film night.

Most of us cannot afford to give large donations but when we work together every little donation helps to accomplish the extraordinary work of empowering rural women helping them create sustainable lasting change in their communities.

Tricia Ashdown ACWW Rep

ACWW Pennies for Friendship and Women Empowered Fund

It has been a tough eighteen months for everyone and like lots of charities, ACWW has seen a drop in donations. In 2019 West Kent Federation WI members donated over £3,500 to ACWW. At the end of September this year we had raised only £729 for the Women Empowered Fund for Water and Sanitation Projects, and £510 for the WI Pennies for Friendship Fund.

Now that WIs are able to meet in person it is hoped that fundraising for ACWW will start again. A popular way is to collect small coins and then give them to your WI to donate to ACWW. Remember that coins weigh heavily so be kind to your Treasurer and if possible pay the coins into your bank account. Most banks have a coin machine for this. Then you can give the equivalent amount to your WI for ACWW.

WI Treasurers can add the amounts they have received for ACWW to the Invoice that comes from Federation. At the bottom of the Federation Invoice is a space for donations. Your Treasurer writes in ACWW WE Fund (Projects) or Pennies for Friendship, and the amount collected. The donation is then added to the invoiced amount owed and sent to Federation in one cheque. Some WIs do this a couple of times a year, and others wait until the end of their financial year and then give the yearly amount collected. The Federation Bookkeeper keeps a record of all the ACWW donations received throughout the year and then one cheque is posted to ACWW at the end of the Federation financial year.

If your WI would like to put on a special ACWW fund raising event always remember that ACWW Central Office is ready to support you with resources. Email media@acww.org.uk or phone 020 7799 3875.

Some of the suggested events are:

A Cooking Class, Photo Competition, Sponsored Walk, Cake Sale, Fashion show (perhaps showcasing sustainable fashion), Community Film night.

Most of us cannot afford to give large donations but when we work together every little donation helps to accomplish the extraordinary work of empowering rural women helping them create sustainable lasting change in their communities.

Tricia Ashdown ACWW Rep

Most WI members know that ACWW funds grass root projects, which help the lives of women around the world, but did you know that ACWW represents rural women at the United Nations?

ACWW has had consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1949 and through data collected from their members can highlight issues facing rural women and raise them as a priority with policy makers.

Each year the United Nations convenes the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at its Headquarters in New York. This is a two week gathering of Governments, UN bodies and civil society organisations like ACWW. All brought together to discuss women’s rights and agree new standards for action.

2020 was due to be a Review Year but the main conference was not able to happen because of Covid-19, but there was a series of negotiations. In mid-February ACWW attended a private briefing from the United Kingdom Government Equality Office, which gave an overview of the progress in negotiations. ACWW felt there was some troubling indications from the negotiations and draft text, which included removal of references to women’s rights as human rights, attempts at changing ‘agreed language’ which protects rights in existing treaties, and switching the blame for slow progress from governments to women globally.

ACWW represents millions of women worldwide and felt it important that they reached as many members as possible so they could have input into a UN process at this high level. So a letter to the UK negotiators was drafted and circulated to all member societies for agreement. West Kent Federation as a member received a copy, and the Board of Trustees agreed to sign the letter.

In just five days ACWW received a huge response. 185 organisations from 35 countries signed the letter and a copy was sent to the UK negotiator on 24 February. The following is an extract from the reply sent by the UK negotiator.

“As chief negotiator for the UK in the CSW Political Declaration process, I can say that having your letter was useful in showing that the world was watching with keen interest for the outcome of our discussions and that there were expectations to be met.”

When the renewed Political Declaration was published on 9 March ACWW was pleased to see that three of the points raised in the letter had been listened to and their impact was visible in the Declaration.

It is through ACWW’s influence in these processes that real change is achieved, and with all governments now committing to this renewed Political Declaration this gives a mechanism for monitoring their action. It is not a perfect system, but by ACWW members responding, the voices of rural women were amplified and crucially heard at the international level.

Tricia Ashdown

The Women Empowered Fund of the Associated Country Women of the World helps to empower women by funding small-scale, women-led projects in rural areas. ACWW works with their own grassroots Member Societies around the world, and with local partner organisation, that collaborate with beneficiaries to create and implement projects.

Each year West Kent Federation supports the WE Fund and this year we are supporting ACWW projects that deal with Sustainable Water, Sanitation & Energy.

When you donate to this Priority Focus Area you support projects that promote:

* Access to water

* Water conservation and security

* Improvement and access to sanitation facilities

Project 1018 is an example of a Sustainable Water and Sanitation project, and was successfully conducted by ACWW’s partner organisation Women’s Action Against Climate Change and Hunger. The project brought safe water and sanitation facilities to women in poor neighbourhoods of the Philippines. Two rainwater harvesters were constructed which serve 311 households. In addition 50 latrines were constructed for women-led households providing better sanitation and safer facilities for these women and their families.

As well as the water and sanitation facilities, backyard gardens have been established and 220 women and their families are participating in home gardening. They have been trained to grow vegetables and fruit using local seed varieties.

ACWW is very grateful to their membership and supporters globally for their donations to Pennies for Friendship and Projects funds.

This year money sent to West Kent Federation for ACWW is understandably down on previous years so any donations will be most appreciated and will be helping to improve the lives of women in the poorest countries.

Tricia Ashdown. ACWW Rep

Did you have a Spring clean this year or a big clear out during lockdown? Do you have unwanted items and don’t know what to do with them?

Why not donate your unwanted items to help raise funds for ACWW.

ACWW has linked up with Recycling for Good Causes; a company that gets the best price for your items and then donates the money to ACWW.

The following can be recycled:

Jewellery (any material, wearable or broken)

Watches (including broken or damaged)

Used stamps (loose, albums, presentation packs, postcard collections)

Gadgets (mobile phones, cameras, Satnavs, game consoles, tablets, MP3’s etc.)

Unwanted currencies (all those foreign coins and banknotes from your holidays, no matter how old)

Please bag your items (an old carrier bag is ideal) and deposit into the box or sack at the Annual Council Meeting. Our Federation Annual Council Meeting has been booked for 21 March at Tunbridge Wells in 2022 and I shall be there with my collection box and red sacks.

If you live near Maidstone you can always drop them off at my house, 8 Spot Lane Bearsted ME15 8PR. Alternatively, you could take to Ethel Hunt Lodge and I will collect from there.

Over the last three years, your items have raised £1,433 for ACWW. Your unwanted items are improving the lives of women in the poorest countries of the world.

Tricia Ashdown ACWW Rep

ACWW Women Empowered Fund - Priority Focus Area for 2020

Many thanks to all the WIs who sent me their choice of which Priority Focus Area to support in 2020. The clear winner was Sustainable Water Sanitation and Energy Projects. This received over twice as many votes as the second choice. West Kent Board of Trustees has agreed that this will be the 'pot' we support with our donations in 2020. You might like to hear about the current projects that are being funded from that 'pot'.

At the October meeting of the ACWW Board there were 19 new projects funded and three came under the heading Sustainable Water Sanitation and Energy.

Project 1054 - Safe Drinking Water for Low Caste Women, Tamil Nadu region India - this project will install borewells and handpumps in five villages, ensuring access to water for 755 families.

Project 1059 - Improving Access to Safe Water for Rural Women in Kisawa, Kenya - this project will benefit 800 women. The project will install three communal 8,000 litre rainwater harvesting systems in three villages.

Project 1067 - Drought Mitigation through Alternative Water Management Uganda - this project facilitates a hand-dug well to mitigate water scarcity during the dry season and reduce the risk of water contamination and related illnesses, and will benefit 418 women and their families.

Altogether these three projects will improve the lives of 1,973 women and their families, and could not be funded without the continued support of members from the wealthier countries sending in donations. Please continue to support ACWW during 2020 so more projects can be funded in the future. Perhaps your WI could take part in a 'Women Walk the World' sponsored walk in April (it doesn't need to be far), hold a fundraising tea party for members, a bookstall, or donate one meeting's raffle money.

Your donations are making a difference to the lives of women in the poorest countries of the world and are always much appreciated.

Tricia Ashdown - ACWW Rep

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Women Walk the World

Each year on or around 29 April. women worldwide celebrate ACWW's international network by joining together to Walk the World. The aim is to raise awareness of ACWW's work, promote the organisation and raise money for Pennies for Friendship - this money goes to further develop ACWW's core work in raising the standard of living for rural women and their families through awareness-raising, advocacy, education, training and community development programmes, supporting rural women and girls and helping eliminate gender discrimination.

Why not arrange a walk for your own WI??

Tricia Ashdown - ACWW Rep.

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2019 Donations to ACWW from West Kent Federation Members

A big thank you to West Kent WIs for sending donations for ACWW through to the Federation. A cheque has been sent to ACWW for £2,779.40. A further £726.55 was banked direct to ACWW from Recycling for Good Causes and other money collected. This makes a total of £3,505.95 from our members going to the Income Generation 'pot' of the Women Empowered Fund. A further £212.59 from members has been sent to the WI Pennies for Friendship Fund which is used for the expenses incurred by projects.

The Projects Committee of ACWW held a meeting in October 2019 and there have been two new Income Generation projects funded.

Project 1060 Beekeeping for Economic Empowerment, out forward by Universal Farmers Association, Liberia.

ACWW is funding this project that aims to enhance the livelihood of rural women farmers in Liberia. 25 women farmers will be trained in beekeeping so that they can establish and run a demonstration apiary with 150 beehives. Income generated from the sale of honey will enable the farmers to set up their own apiaries and provide small short-term loans to members of the local community to establish further agricultural initiatives.

Project 1061 Economic Opportunities for Women living with HIV/AIDS Malawi

The project is to be run by Youth for Positive Change (YOPOC) who work with adolescent mothers and sex workers who are unable to provide for their families due to poverty. This project will provide knowledge and skills training in tailoring, carpentry, poultry raising and vegetable production. There will also be a community revolving loan fund to provide them with capital to help establish their own small businesses.

The thank you letter from ACWW's Jessica Green, Central Office Team says

Donations such as these are what enable ACWW to continue our work in empowering women worldwide to make positive and sustainable progress in their communities and I would be most grateful if you would pass on our thanks to the members for their generosity. If you would like to share stories and pictures from your fundraising efforts or if you need any support from Central Office, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

ACWW Central Office can be contacted on info@acww.org.uk 0207 799 3875

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West Kent Members have raised the pledged amount for Project 1033, Sexual & Reproductive Health Awareness, India.

I am pleased to say that the profit from the ACWW lunch on 29 October was a splendid £700. Many thanks to all those who attended. This means we have reached our target of £4451 for Project 1033.

We will now be supporting the Women Empowered Fund. There are six Focus Area pots:

  • Education & Capacity Building
  • Nutrition, Good Health & Wellbeing
  • Sustainable Agriculture Training
  • Income Generation
  • Sustainable Water & Sanitation
  • Maternal & Reproductive Health

By supporting one of the six Focus Areas we will see how we are making a difference to communities around the world. If, for example, we decide to send money to the Income Generation pot we will be sent details of all the projects that have been funded from that fund. At the last round of approved projects, the project 1048, Bee Keeping for Sustainable Income in Kenya was funded from the income generation pot. The project was put forward by the organisation 'Slow But Sure Self Help Group'. This project will initially train 42 members of the Self Help Group in beekeeping and with help they will build 20 beehives in Tangakono Village, Busia. A further 4 groups of 30 marginalised women will then be trained. It is hoped to benefit 162 women altogether, and a percentage from the group's income will be put back into the project and be used to introduce bee keeping in other villages in the area.

West Kent Federation will also be continuing to collect money for the WI Pennies for Friendship Fund. This money goes towards the cost of day to day running of the projects. Also we will be continuing to collect jewellery (all materials, even broken or damaged) currency (coins or bank notes), watches (even damaged or broken), stamps, mobile phones, cameras (video, film and digital), Sat Navs, Games Consoles (including games and accessories), iPads, MP3 players, laptops and tablet computers. The items collected at the ACWW lunch in October raised £308.20

There will be a collection point at the Annual Council Meeting in Tunbridge Wells on March 5th 2020.

Tricia Ashdown (ACWW Rep.)

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Recycling for ACWW

A reminder that I collect a range of items that are sent to Recycling for Good Causes. ACWW has an account with this company in order to raise money.

Yes please to the following:

  • Gold or silver jewellery
  • Mobile phones
  • Costume jewellery
  • Watches
  • Cameras
  • Video cameras
  • Stamps
  • Laptops
  • Stamp albums
  • First day covers
  • Electronic gaming devices
  • iPods/MP3 players
  • Postcard collections
  • Banknotes and coins
  • Tablet computers
  • Sat navs

Tricia Ashdown - ACWW Rep

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International Forum on Rural Women

Global Survey of the Living Conditions of Rural Women

We know that the voices of rural women are the hardest to hear. We want to change this.

We would like to invite every ACWW member, their colleagues, friends and families to participate in this crucial Global Survey.

It is so important that women in rural communities are fairly and truly represented and we are best able to advocate for your needs when we can show the issues that affect your every -day life, Please take part and encourage others in your community to do so too!

The data from this survey will be published and shared with governments, policy makers and non-governmental organisation partners around the world.

To complete the survey please use the following link: http://www.ifrw.org.uk/take-part.html

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ACWW Friendship Links - Penfriend Scheme

Are you interested in corresponding with a woman living in another country or a WI member in the UK?

The ACWW Friendship Scheme encourages international friendships by bringing women closer together. The correspondence can be by letter or email and English is the official language of ACWW. You can exchange news of your WI, photos, recipes, craft patterns or family news. It's up to you.

For further information contact the ACWW Links Coordinator, Debbie Reardon by email on deborahrbanana@yahoo.co.uk

Debbie has links with South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and the Caribbean

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