Chances are, if you’re reading this, if you were interested in The Her Initiative, in clicking on a link to page that’s all about Her, you are probably female.
If you’re a guy though, I want you to know how important and needed you are in this community, too! Men, we need you in support of this movement in order to have greater influence. You are an integral part.
When I talk (which is always excitedly) about The Her Initiative, I’ve had people ask me, “Why just women?” “Aren’t there men and boys in poverty too?” This is a very valid question, and I want to address it by casting a bigger vision of the potential that we see, and the real life impact that we see. But first let me start off by simply saying that here at The Her Initiative, we care deeply about our brothers around the world too.
However, it is not our brothers that are the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, in our broken world, women and children are a marginalized population. For no other reason other than she’s a girl, or a child, she is an extremely susceptible target for injustice. This is especially true in less-developed countries without legal protection for the poor, or with active institutional oppression of certain people groups. Injustice runs rampant into the very core of the issue of poverty itself. Who will take a stand for the one who can’t take a stand for herself just because of the body or the country she was born into?
Why? Because we believe we’re called to.
The Young Women’s Curriculum that we teach alongside our water purification systems is called “Clothed with Strength and Dignity,” inspired by Proverbs 31. Right before this well-known description of a hard-working woman, the writer advises us to:
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy”
But our why only begins there. We believe that yes, we’re called to stand in solidarity with, and to minister a living hope to those who otherwise would be stuck in hopelessness. But, we do so because we see that when she is empowered by this same hope, she “sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Sharing this hope with her may be the very thing that unlocks her destiny.
She “sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Sharing this hope with her may be the very thing that unlocks her destiny (Prov 31:17).
When I see her, I see a soul that was uniquely designed for a time such as this. Full of dreams and potential. Specific design to bring flourishing.
Here are two ways that women specifically carry flourishing potential:
1.) A woman carries an intrinsic devotion and nurture for her family
The role of a strong father is incredibly important, but also there is nothing quite like motherly affection, mama bear protectiveness – a woman’s drive to defend her children. Women are at the core of the family unit in most developing countries. When a woman is empowered and able to provide for her family’s health, economic, and educational needs, she will do everything in her power to lift her children’s needs above her own. Therefore, empowering women is, by default, empowering an entire generation of children. Wow. Powerful.
2.) A woman carries an incredible strength and determination to accomplish what she puts her hands to
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to carry double-digit-pounds of water above your head, but I have, and we’ll just say that halfway up that hill, that single bucket was difficult to carry even with my both of my hands. The local women alongside of me, however, were doing laps around me, with twice as much water above their heads!! Women in developing countries may be vulnerable because of their external circumstances, but their internal is truly pumped full of strength and dignity. If she has that much determination in carrying water to her children, imagine the determination she could put towards her destiny and her dreams. We can provide her the resources to propel into that.
How do we unlock this flourishing potential?
We implement both a Children’s and a Young Women’s Health + Hygiene Education Curriculum alongside water purification system launches. This aspect is HUGE both economically and spiritually. First, research shows that for every $1 invested in health + hygiene education, the community is benefitted by a range of $5-$46!! Secondly, teaching them life-sustaining skills is a practical living out of the Gospel.
This is both life-giving and life-changing. More than that, it has the potential to transform communities, nations even.
This is why caring for Her is caring for All. This is our vision, and we invite you, men and women, to be a part of it!