When I see with the eyes of my opened heart what changes are rippling through the lives of our artisan partners; when I listen to women speak of their newly earned respect/powers/income/choice; when I watch them rise and lead—I know with clarity that this Movement we together began is working in all the ways I had dared to hope. And in the next moment…I want to do more.
After ten years of learning the ways and means of women who in all manner of diminished circumstance are willing to bind themselves to one another and to their wildest hope and in doing so, change the landscape of their entire community, perhaps the entire world—I am ready to do more.
So is our robust Ibu team and board and the wave of support which is crashing around us, which is you. Next year is our tenth year going, and in the pause which comes with reaching that first rung on the ladder, we are looking to the next ten years; looking up, that is, to a whole new sky.
What if we were—together—to double the impact we've already felt and seen?
Together, in the past three years of the Ibu Foundation's life, we've supported 27 women's groups to restore or build workspace, survive Covid and natural disasters, and learn new skills. What if we could double that, strengthening the capacity of over 50 new groups?
In those three years, you've given a million dollars to these works. What if we could double that amount brought in over the next two years?
Our Marketplace has collaborated with over 100 women's artisan groups. What if we could engage and grow 200 women's artisan groups?
What if we impacted not 100,000 but 200,000 women with our daily work, support, friendship, design collaboration, and commerce? For each woman earning income, statistics assure us, at least ten family members' lives are improved. We're talking of 2,000,000 people rising out of poverty by the gift of women's hands—and, in doing so, understanding the power and place of women very differently.
Dream with me. Our Ten Year Initiative is just out the door. This two year campaign to generate $2 million will galvanize this home-grown movement and take it into the next level.
I'm thrilled with the budget we've crafted for this $2,000,000. 81% of the contributions will go directly to artisan support. This impossibly high mark is due to the Movement also receiving income generated by sales which cover the operations of our retail marketplace. It's a beautiful investment.
I didn't set out in this work to be the one asking for money. It's the last thing I want to do, frankly. What I set out to do is start a movement elevating the women of the world—women on the edge of change—and to support them in that change. The money is simply the muscle in the movement, the way we all can put our shoulder to the task and move this world toward a fair and equitable beauty. I'm simply asking you to be that muscle. Because I have seen its power to move women forward.
This is not just a year-end donation I'm talking about. I'm asking you to consider something more expansive—a transformative gift—one which could be pledged and offered in this calendar year and the next, uniting you and the women of the world in an alliance of hope. Will you consider that kind of support? I ask shamelessly, on behalf of Meroni, Beatrice, Cesi, Samina, Arushi, Ruth, Zhanyl, Razaan, Dayanne, Bhagya, Juanita, Priscilla, Hassana, Teta, Rangina, Mamta, Rania, Jane, Wafae, Yildiz… and the millions of women whose hands are ready to reshape the world. Because… who will make the changes—the essential shape-shifting changes necessary to save this broken, fragile world—if not these women; if not us?
All the best,