Tribute to Women

Student Movement of Real Change: Celebrating women around the world this Mother’s Day

Send free Mother’s Day e-cards from SMRC May 8, 2009

Filed under: SMRC General — smrctributetowomen @ 3:46 pm
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This Mother’s Day, honor your mother and the women in your life with a beautful photograph from SMRC’s work in South Africa. We brought you this Tribute to Women, and now we are offering free e-cards.  It’s an amazing way to show you care, and spread the word about our mission.  



Dan Armanios shares his mother’s inspiring story

Filed under: Personal Stories — smrctributetowomen @ 9:22 am
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Daniel Armanios joined SMRC for its inaugural Global Development Internship in Manyeleti, South Africa in 2007. He produced a textbook for rural education in Africa to teach math and science to high school students. The students he tutored had a 100% pass rate on the national exams. He is a Truman and Rhodes Scholar, and plans to pursue his PhD next year.

My mother taught me change often comes in small packages but are no less significant…

In life, we often come upon those rare individuals that have the unique mixture of a will to preserve, an intellect with foresight, and an energy that inspires. For those of us who have the even rarer fortune to have those individuals as family, public service often becomes a lifestyle construed as easy. This is a reminder to me that change is not something that happens casually. (more…)


By: Claire Bristow on the women of Uta May 7, 2009

Filed under: Personal Stories — smrctributetowomen @ 8:58 am
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This post is written by Claire Bristow, a current student at the University College London and a Global Development Fellow. She will return to Manyeleti, South Africa this summer for one year with Sarah Whitney, her partner fellow, to build the Uta Community Center.

In honor of SMRC’s “Tribute to Women”, I have dedicated this blog post to updates about how the Uta Community Center will target women specifically.  In Uta there is no industry.  Uta has no farming so very few people have jobs and of those that do, they are hours away and people will live at the jobs. Many women are out of work and live at home, alone with their children, while their husbands work away from Uta.  Women who don’t have jobs still have a huge responsibility to complete domestic work and raise their children.  Those women that do have jobs have the double burden of the domestic work while also earning money.  This means that women in Uta are often overworked retrieving water, cooking for their families, looking after their children and with the added stress of poverty this is something to recognize and commend.

For the strong, admirable women of Uta we want to provide something special through the Uta Community Center.  There are a few informal women’s groups in Uta that could benefit from the community center by creating projects, holding meetings and educational workshops.  We want to target women specifically because they are so involved in their children’s lives that offering education workshops to them will also benefit their children.  Also women are the most at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS and also the least likely to have access to antiretroviral treatment.  AIDS prevention in South Africa frequently encourages condom use, minimization of partners and treatment of STIs.  These three strategies are very important to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS but aren’t always possible for women who have little power to control sexual encounters, especially with their husbands.  If the Uta Community Center can empower the women of Uta through education (HIV/AIDS prevention, nutrition education, academic education etc.), then perhaps the women of Uta can have a chance to defend themselves against a deadly virus and help alleviate the burden of poverty and in-access to public services.

Women of Uta also have the capacity to create their own projects to earn extra money for their families. The community center will run a micro-finance program in which women can apply for small loans to start up projects in their community.  This will empower women by providing a way for them to earn their own money.

The women of Uta deserve this opportunity to find equality within their homes and their communities, and the Uta Community Center is dedicated to finding ways to achieve this goal.


Doris Mashego of Uta, South Africa May 6, 2009

Doris Mashego is from Uta, South Africa. She has raised 3 children as a single mother while managing the community’s nursery school and fulfilling her role as its headmaster and teacher. The story of a single, working mother of 3 has become common for our generation; however, Doris’ story is unique. Watch the video below to learn more!


By: Julie Walz on Women and Education May 4, 2009

Filed under: Personal Stories — smrctributetowomen @ 10:39 am
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This post is written by Julie Walz, a current Georgetown University student and Global Development Fellow. She will return to Manyeleti, South Africa this summer with David Lamb, her partner fellow, to implement the Mundzuku Scholarship Project.

In the United States today, more women than men attend college.  The classic gender barrier in education is being worn away as increasingly women are pursuing higher degrees, often outperforming their male counterparts.  Little girls dream of not only becoming mothers but of becoming doctors and lawyers and financial analysts (well, maybe neither little girls or boys dream of becoming financial analysts, but you get the picture.)  Girls in the Manyeleti community share these same dreams.  Last summer when working to choose a 7th grade girl to be the recipient of a scholarship to attend a private high school, David and I interviewed many at the top of their class.  The girls shared big dreams with us; wanting to go to university, wanting to improve their English, wanting to become nurses and lawyers. (more…)