Introducing Spirit….the new Soroptimist Huntington Beach Spokes-Puppy

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Introducing Spirit

For the last 4 years, River, our Belgian Sheepdog, has been the SI Huntington Beach Spokes-Dog.  It all began in 2014, when River and I walked 3 miles round trip from our home to the Huntington Beach Pier to raise funds to help improve the lives of women and girls for our club.

That first year, River raised $380…not bad for one dog and no advertising.  But, River thought he could do better…and the next year, he gathered both four and two-footed friends plus many generous sponsors and donors, and they walked together, raising over $5,800!

Thus…the Walk to Make a Difference (aka The River Walk) was born.

River Rose raises funds and walks to make a difference

Unfortunately, in November 2017, at the age of 9, River went to the Rainbow Bridge but, he sent me a message before he left that we would not be alone or without someone to carry on his mission….to help improve the lives of women and girls primarily through the Soroptimist International of the Americas two signature programs, Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for women and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls.

I found a breeder in California, and on December 7, 2017, Spirit was born.  Not only is Spirit a black Belgian Sheepdog with a white blaze like River’s, she is also his niece…and ready to carry on his legacy.

And so, Spirit invites you to ” Catch The Spirit” and join her for Soroptimist Huntington Beach’s 5th Annual Walk to Make a Difference on Sunday, June 24, 2018 beginning at 10:00AM at the Huntington Beach Pier.  Sponsors and donations welcome.  More information coming soon!

Warm wishes,

Terry & Spirit

 

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Honoring The Women We Serve – February 22, 2018

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On February 22nd, we held our annual “Honoring The Women We Serve” Program Meeting….from my perspective, the best meeting of the year….because, it is at this meeting where we get to experience the impact we have made in the lives of the women we serve.  It is at this meeting where we gain a deeper understanding of our mission: to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment!

We caught up with women we have served in the past from Mira and Chelsea to Sally and Megan.
          

Mira is planning to retire in a few years and move back to Serbia where she wants to start a Soroptimist Club in her town….Chelsea has purchased her own, first home….Sally completed the Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College and is working in her field and….Megan, still a culinary student at Orange Coast College, has started her own catering business and will be moving into a new home in March!

We recapped our Day of Empowerment and expressed our gratitude to the Assistance League of Huntington Beach, especially Doris Kennedy and Laura Syzdek and to Evangelia Rosales and the students at Golden West College who provided hair and make up services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We celebrated our long-standing relationships with Project Self-Sufficiency and Build Futures.

And we honored 5 women this year with Live Your Dream Awards….which is 2 more than we honored last year….and we gave away more money to each woman this year as well…thanks in part to a generous donation from AES!  

Introducing our 2017-18 Live Your Dream Honorees:

Kat , who attends Orange Coast College, wants to create sustainable textiles…Charity is completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services with an emphasis on Mental Health at Cal State Fullerton (after graduating from Coastline College)…Tammi is completing the Esthetician Program at Golden West College and also completing her AA in Communications.  She will use her Esthetician license as another way to support her daughter and herself while she completes her education.  Michelle, a student at Coastline Community College is pursuing a career as a Registered Dietician….and Yulia, also at Orange Coast College, wants to become a Math Teacher.

It is with our deepest gratitude that we thank this women who allow us into their lives and we thank our partners and supporters who continue to enable us to improve the lives of women and girls both locally and around the world!

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Coming Events You Won’t Want To Miss!

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This is such an important week for Soroptimist Huntington Beach; I just couldn’t let it slip by with a little promotion!

The FIRST ever BUNCO BRUNCHO FUNdrai$er at The Girl Cave!  What a way to spend your (extended) lunch hour…..Laugh a lot….Eat tasty tidbits….Maybe even win a prize…No experience necessary….All you need to know how to do is roll dice…and there’s only 3 of them!!  Not to mention, it is for a great cause…helping to improve the lives of women & girls through programs leading to social & economic empowerment!

And…if that is not enough….the most important program meeting of our year….Honoring The Women We Serve…..Meet our 2017-18 Live Your Dream Honorees…plus….hear from women we have served in the past!  Invite your friends, family and co-workers…this is such an amazing meeting!

 

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Orange County a Big, Lucrative Market for Sex Trafficking

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The following information was published in the Orange County Register, September 13, 2016.

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A new report has led those who work with victims of human trafficking to an unsavory conclusion about Orange County’s wealth: Perpetrators know they can bring victims here to sell for sex acts at a higher price than anywhere else in California.

“Whatever the price in Los Angeles County, whatever the price in San Diego County, it’s going to be twice the price in Orange County and it’s going to be worth the trip for them,” said Lita Mercado, an administrator with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, which will release its annual report today.

This is the fourth year that the task force, a partnership of law enforcement, service providers, nonprofits and faith organizations, has produced its Human Trafficking Victim Report.

Members of the task force, including Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and local police chiefs, will discuss the report and local strategy to combat human trafficking at a news conference this morning.

For the first time, the task force report looks at the origins of victims who have been rescued in Orange County, along with the origins of perpetrators who have been prosecuted here.

The majority in both cases are from other California counties or out of state, the report says, based on a review of data from 2012 to 2015 by Community Service Programs, administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force.

Of 231 domestic sex trafficking victims studied over the three-year period, only 22 percent were from Orange County. Of the remainder, 56 percent hailed from other California counties and another 22 percent from out of state.

Sex trafficking accounted for the exploitation of more than three-fourths of the 137 new victims of human trafficking identified and assisted with services last year in Orange County, according to the report.

A total of 225 human trafficking victims were being provided services in Orange County in 2015, a number that includes people brought here to perform labor and victims identified the previous year.

The vast majority of victims were adult females, the report shows.

“Orange County is clearly a destination location,” said Mercado, director of victims assistance programs for CSP. “The victims are being brought here specifically and purposely because the perpetrators know there is a demand here for forced sex.”

Mercado said the youngest victim receiving services from her program was 13 and the oldest was 60.

Harbor and Beach boulevards, with their density of motels and hotels, are major sex trafficking corridors and Orange County, based on what perpetrators tell police, is a highly lucrative market, Mercado added.

“What pimps and traffickers are saying to us is they can up the price and they know they are going to get takers,” Mercado said.

Los Angeles County is different from Orange County, Mercado said, in that most of the human trafficking victims and perpetrators there are homegrown.

The top 10 hometowns in California of trafficking victims assisted in Orange County included Los Angeles at No. 1, and three local municipalities: Anaheim, Santa Ana and Fullerton.

The report does not look at the sex purchasers, or “johns” in the common vernacular, to review whether they are mostly locals or travelers from elsewhere.

Since its formation in 2004, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force has helped more than 580 sex and labor trafficking victims, adults and minors.

In addition to an increased focus by law enforcement to crack down on human trafficking and growing outreach by social service programs to assist victims, the task force has worked to raise public awareness.

A major federally funded campaign launched in 2014, called “Be The One” or BT1, involved ads on Orange County Transportation Authority buses and at bus shelters, along with training more than 1,100 OCTA drivers on how to spot victims of human trafficking aboard their buses.

Mercado credits public awareness efforts for increasing the number of calls made statewide to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. California has had more calls to that hotline than any other state, Mercado said.

Theresa Walker is a Southern California native who has been a staff writer at The Orange County Register since 1992. She specializes in human interest stories and social issues, such as homelessness. She also covers nonprofits and philanthropy in Orange County. She loves telling stories about ordinary people who do the extraordinary in their communities.

And in March, 2017:

IRVINE (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say they’ve uncovered a massive international sex trafficking ring in Southern California.

Prosecutors announced the arrest of four people connected to the Orange County-based enterprise that allegedly placed thousands of ads for sexual services in 29 states over the past two years.

Human trafficking knows no economic boundaries….Human trafficking is not just in low income areas….It is right here in our backyard.

Come and join us on January 25, 2018 to hear our panel on Human Trafficking.  It is one of the most important programs of the year.  You can still RSVP.

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January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

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January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, also known as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We encourage you to join us throughout the month as we come together to raise awareness of human trafficking and combine our efforts to prevent it.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is observed every year on January 11.

About Human Trafficking

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “severe forms of human trafficking” as, “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for:

  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is inducted by force, fraud, and coercion, or in which the person inducted to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or,
  • Labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, and coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”

Trafficking in persons, or human trafficking, is a widespread form of modern-day slavery. It’s a crime that involves the exploitation of a person for the purpose of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. If a person younger than 18 is inducted to perform a commercial sex act, it is considered a crime regardless of whether there is any force, fraud, or coercion. Human traffickers target all populations around the world and in our own neighborhoods: women, men, youth, children, citizens, non-citizens, English speakers, non-English speakers. Some groups, such as runaway and homeless youth, native individuals, domestic violence victims, and LGBTQ population are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. Victims are recruited and lured by traffickers with the false promise of a better life, love, and job opportunities. Later, traffickers use violence, threats, and manipulation to controls their victims. Homeless youth who are forced to trade sexual acts with an adult in exchange of something of value (i.e. shelter, food) are considered victims of domestic sex trafficking.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise of this century, growing from a nine billion to a 32 billion dollar global industry in a little over a decade. There is no typical trafficker, and it has been shown that traffickers can be parents or other close family members, family friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, employers, smugglers or strangers.  Traffickers can be part of an organized enterprise or can work alone. Street gangs, for example, are known to traffic minors into the drug and sex markets. Don’t ignore the facts. Slavery exists and we can work together to end it.
–source National Safe Place Network

Join us on at our January 25, 2018 Program Meeting and learn more about Human Trafficking in Orange County.  For more information, click on our Meetings & Events tab or contact us at info@soroptimisthuntingtonbeach.org.

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We Are Proud Of Our Accomplishments That Help Improve The Lives of Women & Girls

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At our last business meeting of 2017, President Marcelle read a list of what we have accomplished since our 2017-18 year officially began in September 2017 (but what really began at our planning retreat in August)!

Sometimes we feel we aren’t doing enough….Sometimes we feel we should be doing more (and heaven only knows I am one of those people)….so, it is good to remind ourselves of what we have done.

We…

  • Prepared Mitzvah Meals twice for various homeless shelters at Temple Beth Sholom.  Thanks Rachel for organizing that fun, ongoing connection!
  • Donated and delivered a full-size bed to a senior lady referred to us from the Huntington Beach Senior Center. One member donated the bed and another member provided the transportation to get the bed delivered.
  • Donated a scooter to a senior lady referred to us from the Senior Center. The scooter was donated by a member.
  • Collected  diapers at our annual club Planning Retreat in August and donated them to the CARE Programs at Orange Coast College, Golden West College and Coastline College
  • Adopted 3 moms and 6 children for the year as supported by the Dolly Wakeham fund and club members generosity.
  • Celebrated 2 Dolly Wakeham kids’ birthday (twins).
  • Assembled 38 jars filled with toiletries, socks, snacks, etc. which we donated to Colette’s Children’s Home at our first Program Meeting in September.  We also introduced two of our Dolly Wakeham moms at this meeting who jumped right in and helped create the jars.
  • Helped one of our Dolly Wakeham moms’ move from a domestic violence shelter to her own apartment. Members donated money, furniture, household items and staples and helped with her move-in.  One member donated a large sectional sofa and another member arranged to have the sofa picked up and delivered right to the mom’s apartment.  Thanks to some very generous donations from our members, we were able to purchase new beds for her two children (which we delivered and helped assemble), pillows for her couch, a desk that folds up and hangs on the wall, new pots & pans, dishes and more.
  • Received 14 applications for the Live Your Dream program. The Live Your Dream Committee met and selected 5 honorees who will receive awards, four at $1,000  and one at $1,500.  We also purchased a new computer for one of the applicants whom we did not choose but who was in desperate need of a computer.  We shared the  remaining 9 applications with other clubs in our district and region and hope that all will be selected to receive an award.
  • Worked with the Newport Harbor Area club to conduct a 7-week Dream, It Be It curriculum to over 20 at-risk,  female High School students at the Back Bay High School in Newport Beach.
  • Donated $600 to the Youth Shelter as evidenced by the snowflake at the Huntington Beach pier in December.
  • Donated 2 scooters, 2 pairs of roller skates  and 1 skate board for the children who attended Project Self Sufficiency’s Christmas Party in December.
  • Adopted 3 ladies from the Huntington Beach Senior Center for Christmas and bought them items from their Christmas Wish list.
  • Raised approximately $3,600 at our annual Wine Tasting fundraiser in October.
  • Raised over $5,000 at our annual Stay Home for the Holidays ask.
  • Held a Christmas party for the Dolly Wakeham families at Leslie Miller’s home where we showered them with presents from the Christmas wish lists and more.
  • Purchased a Christmas tree, tree stand and lights for one of our Dolly Wakeham moms and gave her a few gently loved ornaments to help her and her two children celebrate their first Christmas in their new home.
  • Paid for car repairs for one of our Dolly Wakeham moms.

And that is only what we have done since August!

I know I join President Marcelle in saying THANK YOU and wishing each and everyone one of you and your families and happy, healthy, caring & sharing 2018!

Hugs to all,

terry

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Notable Events – January 2018

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As we open a new chapter in our book of life, here are some facts you may or may not know.

  • January 3, 1949 – Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine) starts her tenure in the Senate, where she stays in office until 1973, became the first woman to serve in both the House and Senate as she previously served in the House (1940-49)
  • January 5, 1925 – Nellie Tayloe Ross is inaugurated as the first woman Governor in U.S. history (Governor of Wyoming)
  • January 7, 1896 – Fanny Farmer’s first cookbook is published in which she standardized cooking measurements
  • January 7, 1955 – Marian Anderson is the first African American woman to sing at the Metropolitan Opera
  • January 8, 1977 – Pauli Murray is ordained as the first female African American Episcopal priest
  • January 11, 1935 – Amelia Earhart makes the first solo flight from Hawaii to North America
  • January 12, 1932 – Hattie Wyatt Caraway (D-Arkansas) is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, becomes the first woman to chair a Senate Committee and the first to serve as the Senate’s presiding officer
  • January 25, 1980 – Mary Decker became the first woman to run a mile under 4 1/2 minutes, running it at 4:17.55
  • January 29, 1926 – Violette Neatly Anderson is the first black woman to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court
  • January 29, 2018 – February 7, 2018 – The United Nations 56th Session of the Commission for Social Development whose priority them for the 2018 policy cycle is to come up with strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all.  For more information on this, go to: https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/united-nations-commission-for-social-development-csocd-social-policy-and-development-division/csocd56.html

    And we also have some special birthdays to remember:
    January 4: Cathy Standiford

And….don’t forget…our first fundraiser of the year…BUNCO (who can resist?) on January 16th!

 

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Thoughts to Ponder

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Here are some thoughts to ponder as we end 2017 and begin 2018

This one from our amazing Recording Secretary, Leslie Miller:

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If you have a favorite quote (your own or someone else’s) that has a tie in to our mission of improving the lives of women and girls that you would like included in an upcoming post, please email it to me.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!

 

 

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T’is Better To Give Than To Receive

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This is the time of the year when we all think…”presents”!!!!  What should I buy for my husband…my children…my parents…my friends….and so on but, giving is not all about “just presents” and giving, in my opinion, should not be a one-time event that happens once a year but something that you do daily.

So….at this time of year when the stores live for “Black Friday” or “Shop Small Saturday” or “Cyber Monday.” take a moment to think about giving something less material.

Think about giving of yourself…your time, like babysitting for a single mom who is going to school and working so that she can have an “adult” evening out with friends or going grocery shopping for someone who is home-bound or volunteering to serve meals at a homeless shelter or think about giving an experience, like a picnic in the park or a campfire at the beach, that will live for years in the memory of the person you give it to.

And while you’re at it, whether you are a Soroptimist or are just reading this blog because you think it is interesting, remember these other days of December:

December 1: UN World Aids Day

2017 Theme: My health, my right

Everyone, regardless of who they are or where they live, has a right to health, which is also dependent on adequate sanitation and housing, nutritious food, healthy working conditions and access to justice. The right to health is supported by, and linked to, a wider set of rights.

Ending AIDS as a public health threat can only happen if these rights are placed at the centre of global health, so that quality health care is available and accessible for everyone and leaves no one behind.

This year’s World AIDS Day campaign focuses on the right to health.

The #myrighttohealth campaign will provide information about the right to health and what impact it has on people’s lives. It will also aim to increase the visibility around the need to achieve the full realization of the right to health by everyone, everywhere.

Almost all of the Sustainable Development Goals (link to SDG website) are linked in some way to health, so achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending the AIDS epidemic, will depend heavily on ensuring the right to health.

Remarkable progress is being made on HIV treatment. UNAIDS has launched a new report showing that access to treatment has risen significantly. In 2000, just 685 000 people living with HIV had access to antiretroviral therapy. By June 2017, around 20.9 million people had access to the life-saving medicines. Such a dramatic scale-up could not have happened without the courage and determination of people living with HIV demanding and claiming their rights, backed up by steady, strong leadership and financial commitment.

source: http://www.un.org/en/events/aidsday/

December 10: UN Human Rights Day

Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.

source: http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/

December 10: Soroptimist International President’s Appeal

Every Soroptimist International (SI) President proposes a ‘President’s Appeal’: a project Soroptimists worldwide, across all four federations, are called upon to raise funds during the President’s two-year tenure. The 2017-2019 President of Soroptimist International is Mariet Verhoef-Cohen. Her appeal is “Women, Water & Leadership” – supporting projects that educate, empower and enable women and girls, ensuring they have the capacity, experience and education needed to manage water resources and gain careers in water-related professions.
As SI President Mariet launches her appeal let’s take the opportunity to learn and share information about “Women, Water & Leadership” by utilizing the tools provided below to raise awareness about this program to improve the position of women and girls as experts and leaders on the topic of water.
Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA) clubs and members can help fund the 2017-2019 President’s Appeal by sending donations to SIA Headquarters with the completed federation financial transaction form.

To read more about the 2017-2019 President’s Appeal: Women, Water & Leadership:
https://www.soroptimistinternational.org/campaigns/women-water-and-leadership-

And so as we enter the biggest “giving” month of the year, I wish you, your families and friends, a happy, healthy holiday season and hope for peace in the world.

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and there is more…..

The following multicultural events and celebrations are among those that will happen this year:

  • Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
  • Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
  • St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
  • Hanukkah (Jewish)
  • Christmas Day (Christian)
  • Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
  • Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
  • Kwanzaa (African American)
  • Omisoka (Japanese)
  • Yule (Pagan)
  • Saturnalia (Pagan)

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T’is the Season to be Thankful!

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“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.

Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling.”

It’s the beginning of November….Halloween is over….and although some stores show signs of Thanksgiving, most are already promoting the Christmas season.  Do we ever stop to take a breath?  Do we ever slow down to smell the roses, or smile at a stranger or reflect on our lives or are we so caught up in the “hustle and bustle” of daily living that we forget to do little things for ourselves…and others?

Did you know that aside from Thanksgiving, November is a very important month?

November 11th is Veteran’s Day.  My father was a veteran.  Do you have or did you have a veteran in your family?  If you did, take a few minutes to talk with them (if they are still around) or at least think about them and send them love no matter where they are.

A little history: Veteran’s Day is a public holiday held on the anniversary of the end of World War I (November 11) to honor US veterans and victims of all wars. It replaced Armistice Day in 1954.

“While many realize that Veterans Day, which always falls on November 11, is a day to honor our Veterans, few realize the historical significance behind the day. Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day and marked the end of hostilities of World War I that occurred at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.”

November 15th is the deadline for Live Your Dream applications to be turned in…and we begin our quest for (yes…5 this year) amazing women who are going to school and often working to honor.

November 20th is UN Rights of the Child Day. “United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.

November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights.

Mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals as well as young people and children themselves can play an important part in making Universal Children’s Day relevant for their societies, communities and nations.

Universal Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children.” (source: http://www.un.org/en/events/childrenday/).

November 23rd is Thanksgiving.

November 25th is UN End Violence Against Women Day.  From the UN website:

“Why This International Day?

  • Violence against women is a human rights violation.
  • Violence against women is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women.
  • Violence against women impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security.
  • Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential.
  • Violence against women continues to be a global pandemic.

One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide is the substantial funding shortfall. As a result, resources for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls are severely lacking. Frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes a specific target on ending violence against women and girls, offer huge promise, but must be adequately funded in order to bring real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.

From 25 November through 10 DecemberHuman Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence aim to raise public awareness and mobilizing people everywhere to bring about change. This year, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to “Orange the world,” using the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence. Organize events to orange streets, schools and landmarks!”

I encourage you to wear orange…or make an orange ribbon and wear it from November 25 through December 10 to show your support and raise awareness.

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And so I leave you today with a Image result for thankful quotesfew quotes….

Terry

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