Spring Appeal 2019

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” 2 TIMOTHY 1:5

Mother. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Niece. Grandmother.

It’s hard to conceive of a world without the women who play these vital roles. Like me, I’m sure there have been women in your own life who have played an instrumental part in shaping who you are today.

Across Canada, on the first Sunday in May, cards will be written, flowers delivered, and dinner reservations made as we honour these women on Mother’s Day.

Yet sadly, these celebrations are a stark contrast to the tragic injustice many women around the world continue to endure. In the tradition of Lois and Eunice who shaped Timothy into a godly leader, women have the potential to be the greatest influencers for change in families and communities. Yet poverty, violence, culture and gender discrimination prevent them from developing their God-given gifts and abilities.

As this Mother’s Day approaches, I am asking you to stand up and tell the world that She Matters to you. Not just for the women have played a part in your own life, but also for all the marginalized women in our world who need us to walk alongside them so their voices can be strengthened and concerns heard.

You can help bring justice to women through CBM’s She Matters campaign.We need you to say “YES” today. I am so excited to share real and tangible ways you can be part of transforming the lives of women.

First, I want you to meet Megdel, a widow from the hill country in eastern India. Megdel and her five children survived by picking cashews and growing vegetables on an uneven plot of land. But the growing season lasts only a few months, and the harvest was never enough. No one offered to help because widows have no status in this remote community.

Soon, Megdel could no longer afford to send the kids to school, and they dropped out. The older children worked where they could, and the younger ones helped their mother at home. Megdel spent exhausting days doing manual labour for very little pay – but few would hire a woman to do the job if a man was also seeking employment. Megdel felt so powerless. At only 39 years old, the fever that killed her husband had also stolen everything from her.

She Matters is empowering widows like Megdel through education, community-building, business training and micro- enterprise funding. Widows’ support groups are restoring dignity and emotional health. Training workshops are equipping women with business and marketing skills and startup funding is setting them up to support themselves and their children.

Through her local church, Megdel learned how to raise poultry and got her first brood underway. But it wasn’t just the chickens that grew stronger. With a purpose and source of income, Megdel felt her dignity returning. In time, she was able to enroll her children in quality education. “I want to set an example by raising the poultry and bringing up my children and educating them well,” says Megdel. Today, she supports her family and has started encouraging other women in the community to do the same.

You can bring hope to women like Megdel today. There are more women who need opportunities that help restore dignity, but we need your help to make this happen. By supporting these women, you tell the world that their lives have value, that they matter to God and us.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we are also restoring wholeness to women and girls. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict called DRC “the rape capital of the world” due to the unimaginable levels of sexual assault during the years of ongoing conflict.

Kahambu is a woman who knows what it’s like to feel robbed of dignity. After her assault, shame consumed her and she was cut off from her community. As a young mother she hardly left home even to get food, water, or clean their clothes. She could not work and the family often went hungry. When money ran out, she could no longer afford school fees for her children and they were forced to drop out. She describes herself as feeling dead inside.

Through She Matters, we are giving victims of sexual violence like Kahamba, a safe place to connect with other survivors within a trusting community. Hand-in-hand with counselling, training workshops teach business and marketing skills. This support helps give women agency over their lives. Financial support sets them up to reclaim their place as productive, valuable members of the community.

Thankfully, Kahamba found a support group through her local church. She was amazed at how connecting with other women who had experienced similar trauma made her feel accepted. After slowly regaining her strength and dignity, she threw herself into business training, and with a loan from the program, is now an independent fish vendor. She has a purpose again and makes enough money to feed her family. Her children have returned
to school. One day, Kahambu hopes to become a psychosocial assistant so she can help other women, but her success is already inspiring people in the community.

Today, you can help more women like Kahambu overcome their trauma and thrive despite their circumstances.

This Mother’s Day, as you celebrate the influence of the women in your life, won’t you remember those who have yet to be celebrated? Your sisters in Christ in India, the Democratic Republic of Congo and so many other places, are strong and resilient, but they need you to support the work God is doing in their communities.

These women are ready to realize their full potential, but they need people to tell the world that She Matters. You play an important part in ensuring life-changing programs like the ones I’ve shared here, can continue to help marginalized women in so many places.

I invite you to stand with me and help end the injustice of gender bias. You have the power to help women all over the world develop their gifts and abilities so that families and communities are healthy and strong.

Will you make that commitment today by making a generous gift to ensure the continuation of these vital projects?

This Mother’s Day and every day let the world know that She Matters.

Sincerely,


Jennifer Lau

Associate Executive Director