Rooted in the Church of the Brethren, GWP seeks to educate about wealth, power and oppression, encouraging one another to live more simply, being mindful of our luxuries, and join in empowerment with women around the world, sharing resources with women’s initiatives. Read more about GWP and our founding in 1978.

Women throughout the world face challenges that are incomprehensible for many of us. Some walk many hours every day just to get water for their families. Others spend their nights hiding from bomb attacks in caves with their children. Many suffer repeated physical and emotional abuse with few opportunities to receive help.

Gender equality is a human right. Women are entitled to live with dignity and with freedom from want and from fear. Gender equality is also a precondition for advancing development and reducing poverty: Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities, and they improve prospects for the next generation. – See more at: http://www.unfpa.org/gender-equality#sthash.8scAlaow.dpuf

Each of us is incredibly powerful. We each have the ability to change our lives and influence the lives of others within and beyond our own time.

Global Women’s Project invites all women to live in solidarity with women around the world and seeks to empower women and girls in their own communities in living a life of dignity and respect.

Global Women’s Project is meeting this weekend, Sept. 25th-27, in Elgin Illinois for our semi-annual in person meeting.We are discussing the work of GWP and offering shared discernment of our woman’s projects around the world as well as within the United States. We covet your thoughts as we review project updates, discuss donations and the stewardship of what has been generously contributed  to GWP. If you are in the area, we will be worshipping with the Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren on Sunday and would love to see you there!

Gratitude is said to be the “highest” possible emotion we can experience, it is an experience of love. The Global Women’s Project Steering Committee experiences gratitude for your care and support. We dwell in it and allow it to nourish our spirits.


Carol Leland

GWP Steering Committee Member

This time of year, children all over the country are going back to school.

And while I am getting my own daughters ready by waking them up earlier, buying school supplies, and meeting their new teachers, I can’t help but be thankful for this wonderful opportunity and privilege they have.
One in ten children worldwide do not have access to primary school.
While it is known that education transforms and breaks the cycle of poverty, there are many barriers to school enrollment and completion:
Unaffordable costs – Even when primary education is free, costs like school uniforms, supplies, textbooks, teacher salaries, and school maintenance often prevents regular attendance.
Shortage of classrooms – In some rural areas children travel two or three hours to attend school in overcrowded classrooms that barely meet minimal standards of learning.
Humanitarian emergencies, especially conflicts – 40 percent of out-of-school children live in conflict-affected poor countries but only 2 percent of humanitarian aid goes to education. Education can save lives in emergency situations, and a safe school environment can give a much needed sense of normalcy and stability in a crisis.
Gender discrimination – Many countries undervalue girls’ education. As a result, two-thirds of illiterate adults are women. Girls face more hurdles to school attendance, like household chores, child marriage, early pregnancy, unsafe travel conditions and lack of sanitary facilities in schools. While the gender gap is closing in primary education, there has been limited progress in secondary schools.
Child labor – Poverty and vulnerability pushes many children into the work force, often exposing them to the worst forms of labor. Some manage to continue their education, but the double responsibility is to their disadvantage and prohibits their chance to leave the cycle of poverty.
As education has been proven to be a major force of development to break the cycle of poverty, many projects that Global Women’s Project supports help with education in order to improve lives. Education for girls is especially important. An educated mother will make sure her children will go and stay in school. Through your generous gifts, GWP works to make education for girls a priority.

On a different note, we will have our semi-annual GWP Steering Committee meeting from the 25th till the 27th of September 2015 in Elgin, IL. On Sunday, the 27th,  we will be celebrating worship with the Highland Church of the Brethren and would love for you to join us.
Anke Pietsch
GWP Steering Committee
“Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more!”
How many of you have sung these words as part of the “Magic Penny” song at a summer camp? This catchy tune has been on repeat in my mind lately as I think about Global Women’s Project and the generosity of our donors.

Did you know that in addition to funding our regular partner projects, sometimes we give special one-time grants? If our donations exceed the amount we need to fund our educational resources and our regular projects in Indiana, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan, then we seek out other organizations doing meaningful work for women around the world that we might support with a donation. We’ve recently given donations to the Center for Caring Empowerment and Peace Initiative (CCEPI) in Nigeria and Cultural Academy for Peace in India. While these are currently one-time gifts, they have the potential to turn into new partner projects for us in the future.

You give generously to GWP, GWP gives to women-led projects doing powerful work in their communities, and then women around the world end up having more – more education, more opportunities, and more empowering lives.
Emily Matteson
GWP Steering Committee

How do you help a former captive reclaim her life? 

As a mental health therapist, I have asked myself this question over and over as the headlines chronicled the story of the girls captured by Boko Haram. It is the finite question that victims of all forms of trauma must enter into for healing.

What is trauma? Trauma is a medical term and it refers to an injury or wound. In Greek, trauma means wound, injury, and it comes from the verb “titrosko” – to pierce. Thus, the original meaning of trauma is the mark, the injury that is left as a result of the skin being pierced.

Data reports many instances of how those young girls kept hope alive. They maintained hope through social connections to one another. When they were released, many girls would call each other sister even though they weren’t sisters. They had helped each other through, given each other solace, looked out for each other’s safety, shared food.

Trauma is also experiencing the aftermath of earthquakes and the accounts of aftershocks in Nepal which have sent people running into the streets seeking safety.

How does reclaiming one’s life feel in a country devastated by the earth’s quaking?

How is reclaiming one’s life experienced in any situation of trauma, victimization, loss of economic capabilities?

Thousands of articles have been written about trauma survivors and data supports some core understandings:

Reclaiming opportunities for education

Reclaiming stability no matter the environment

Opportunity for sharing their stories

Opportunity to be with others who have a shared experience

The Offering of: Support/Care/Hope

No matter what the traumatic event, we are called to be a community of Support, Care and Hope!!!

Partnering together, Global Women’s Project offers hope in the reclaiming of lives.

Blessings in the journey together,

Carol Leland

GWP Steering Committee

Dear Friends of Global Women’s Project,
Many thanks to those of you who participated in our Mother’s Day Project and donated in honor of someone special to you. It was a very successful year for us. Our total donations for Mother’s Day were $2,340 from a total of 21 donors. Thank you so much! This will help us support and empower women and girls around the world through our partner projects. If you ever think that your donation doesn’t make a difference, please know that it does. Every dollar has an impact.
Honoring – At any time of the year, you are always welcome to give a gift in honor or memory of someone special to you. To learn more about how to do that, click here.
Good news: Because of the wonderful response to the GWP Lenten devotional calendars this year and last year (we distributed 2,000!), we have done a third printing (of 500 calendars) so that they will be available for next year’s Lenten season. Now would be a good time to order a few if you want to help us by distributing them at conferences and gatherings this summer and fall. To order Lenten Calendars, email us at: info@globalwomensproject.org
With Gratitude and Blessings,
Tina Rieman
GWP Steering Committee member


Spring means Mother’s Day is coming soon!  Again this year, GWP offers our annual Mother’s Day Gratitude Project, an opportunity for you to honor a woman you know and love by celebrating and supporting mothers around the world. Rather than buying more material gifts for your loved one, express your gratitude with a gift that helps other women around the world. Your donation allows us to fund projects focused on women’s health, education, and employment. In return, your chosen recipient(s) will receive a lovely, hand-written card indicating that a gift has been made in her honor, with a brief description of GWP.

To participate in the Mother’s Day Gratitude Project, send a donation to:

Global Women’s Project

c/o Emily Matteson

1405 Ashwood Dr.

Modesto, CA 95350

Remember to include your name(s) and recipient’s name and address. You may also make memorial donations, which will be honored on our website: www.globalwomensproject.org. Gratitude cards will be mailed in time for Mother’s Day if you send your request to Emily by May 1, 2015. After the 1st, she will mail them as soon as she receives them.

This Mother’s Day, share a gift in honor of a woman you know and in honor of women in Indiana, Rwanda, Uganda, Southern Sudan and India, who are improving the lives of women in their communities.

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Easter culminated another annual Lenten journey.  We hope that through your Lenten Calendar readings you have gained inspiration, insights and information about the realities for women and girls around the world, about the empowerment projects created in response to those realities, and about your opportunities for personal reflection and action. What inspired you?  What surprised you?  What did you discover from your own activities and “tax collections?” We invite you to share your stories via Facebook, email, letter, or whatever communication medium is important to you. Contributions from your Lenten calendar tally can be sent to:

Global Women’s Project
Church of the Brethren
1451 Dundee Ave.
Elgin, IL 60120



March in Modesto!  Steering Committee members from colder climes were grateful for a chance to warm up in Modesto, California, for our semi-annual meeting.

Our face-to-face gathering time is spent considering our connections with our partner projects, program planning, budgeting, and sharing and reporting from our work assignments. For 2015 we will continue our partnership with the sewing cooperative in South Sudan, Life is Expensive in Rwanda, Uganda’s SITEAW project, and Growing Grounds in Wabash, IN.  We are excited about beginning a new partnership with Cultural Academy for Peace in Kerala, India; a second new project is under consideration.
Connecting with local congregations and communities is an important part of our semi-annual face-to-face gathering.  Tina and Pearl visited with folks at the Empire Church of the Brethren during the Sunday School hour, and then we all participated in the worship service planned by Emily and Erin Matteson at the Modesto Church of the Brethren.  In the afternoon, nearly 35 participants shared a “round-table” exploration of the question, “What is luxury?”
Special thanks to the Modesto and Empire congregations and to our hosts, the Matteson family, Emily, Erin, Hannah and Russ, for a rich and rewarding weekend!
Kim Hill Smith has completed two terms on the Steering Committee, so this was her final meeting with us.  We will miss her wise and gentle presence and her very capable financial leadership!  We are grateful, Kim!


GWP Steering Committee


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