Paola Gianturco and Kavita Ramdas discuss Women Who Light The Dark at The Commonwealth Club of California.
Inspirational Stories and Images of Women Who Are Changing the World.
Across the world, local women are helping one another tackle the problems that darken their lives - domestic violence, sex trafficking, war, poverty, illiteracy, discrimination, inequality, malnutrition and disease.
Through interviews with 129 women in 15 countries, photojournalist Gianturco discovered that though they may lack material resources, these women possess a wealth of an even more precious resource: imagination. Join Gianturco and Global Fund for Women President Ramdas for an inspiring evening of stories and images depicting women's powerful efforts to change the world- The Commonwealth Club of California
Rebecca started her career in television in 1979, writing news for San Francisco's KPIX-TV. She eventually joined KRON-TV, where she first produced the 11pm news, then later, hit the streets as a General Assignment reporter.
Cut to 1988, when Rebecca decided to try her hand at radio. Rebecca's radio career blossomed at KCBS.
Like everyone else in the KCBS newsroom, Rebecca's work has been recognized locally and nationally, with The National Headliner Award, honors from the Northern California Radio & Television News Director Association, the Associated Press Television & Radio Association, and the John Swett Award for Media Excellence, among others.
Paola Gianturco is the author/photographer of four illustrated books. Exhibitions include the UN and Field Museum . Media coverage includes "Marie Claire," "NYT," "Washington Post," Oprah, CNN, and NPR.
Gianturco has co-taught executive institutes at Stanford University.
Kavita N. Ramdas has won numerous awards for her vision and advancement of an inclusive philanthropy in which donors and grantees are treated as equal partners. In 2005, Kavita traveled to Ghana to receive the Women of Substance Award from the African Women's Development Fund, for her significant contribution to women's rights in Africa. Also in 2005, Kavita received the Juliette Gordon Low Award for her significant contributions to advancing women's human rights and for being exemplary role model for girls and women. In 2004, Financial Women's Association named Kavita Woman of the Year for the Public Sector; and Women and Philanthropy gave her the LEAD (Leadership for Equity and Diversity) Award for her championship and commitment to funding the global human rights of women and girls. KQED public television recognized her as a 2004 Bay Area Local Hero.
She serves on the Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts. She is a member of the Advisory Council to the Ethical Globalization Initiative, a venture of Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She also serves on the Council of Advisors on Gender Equity to the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and the Women's Rights Prize of the Gruber Foundation.
Good evening and welcome to tonight's meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California. I amRebecca Corral, News Anchor for KCBS Radio in San Francisco. You will find the CommonwealthClub on the internet at www.commonwealthclub.org.This evening's program "Women who light the dark" is presented in association with the Global Fundfor Women. Tonight, we welcome two extraordinary women who are lighting the dark for remarkablewomen all over the world. Kavita Ramdas has served as President and CEO of the Global Fund forWomen since 1996. She currently provides leadership and direction for the largest grant makingfoundation in the world focused exclusively on supporting human rights for women all over the world.During Ramdas's tenure Global Fund assets have increased from $6 million to $21 million; grantmaking has risen to more than $7 million per year and the number of countries in which the GlobalFund has bestowed grants has nearly tripled. Ms. Ramdas has also overseen the Global Fund's first everendowment campaign and the creation of the groundbreaking "Now or Never Fund" to ensure women'sparticipation on critical international issues. Ms. Ramdas received her Masters of Public Affairs,International Development Studies, from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public andInternational Affairs in 1988 and her Bachelors from Mount Holyoke College in 1985.Over the past 12 years, Paola Gianturco has documented women's lives in 40 countries. "Women wholight the dark" will be her fourth photographic book about the Indomitable People allover the world.Before becoming a photojournalist, she spend 34 years in business. She co-developed and taughtSummer Executive Institutes on Women and Leadership for Stanford University's Institute forResearch on Women and Gender and at Mills College. Gianturco's books have been praised by amongothers, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Her exhibits have shown on both coasts, set invenues such as the United Nations, the U.S. Senate Rotunda and the Museum of the African Diasporain San Francisco. We will hear from each of them followed by questions from our CommonwealthClub audience. Please join me in welcoming Kavita Ramdas.Good evening, namaste. I am honored to be with you all this evening and I thank Rebecca for thatwonderful introduction. I am particularly pleased to be here to be together with someone whose work Iadmire so deeply and whose images have helped bring alive the efforts of women that the Global Fundfor Women has been privileged to know and work with and support for many, many years. But whosestories are often far too rarely shared on the front pages of newspapers. So I have a particular sense ofan indebtedness to Paola because it is fact true that the pictures speaks for a thousand words and nomatter how many words we are able to share with all of you many of whom have supported theGlobal Fund for many years and many of whom might be new to the Global Fund but are strongmembers of this community in San Francisco and who care about what happens in the rest of theworld. There is something still extraordinarily moving about actually seeing the faces of the womenwhose work and whose life we are so privileged to be a part of.I want to take a moment by thanking our friends here at the Commonwealth Club for their warmwelcome. The President Gloria Duffy has been a long supporter of our work in many different waysand Chantal, whose tireless efforts have actually made sure that all of this happened this evening. Sothank you Chantal. I also want to take a minute to recognize the incredible team of support althoughmine is the face that stands at podiums and may grace some newspaper articles; the stars of the GlobalFund are often people who you don't know as well and tonight we have two of them here in theaudience with us. Nancy Deyo, our Senior Advisor for Communications and Jennifer Wanous, ourEvents Coordinator whom I would really both like to appreciate and say how much this incrediblecampaign would not have been possible without them or indeed without Leanne Grossman, ourDirector of Communications. So a warm word of appreciation.I want to use my few minutes here to acknowledge and to share with you a little bit about the GlobalFund for Women, this year celebrating our 20th year of existence and next year celebrating 20 years ofgrant making in support of Women's Human Rights around the World. We are a network of womenand men who care deeply and passionately about making this world a different place, who do notbelieve that there is any such thing as women's issues or men's issues, but rather that all of us, womenand men, have the right and indeed the responsibility to be engaged, committed and active citizens forchange on this planet, to make it sustainable, livable and a better planet for all of us. So hence our workas an organization that makes investments in women led initiatives around the world is fueled by asense that when 51 percent of the world's population has been consistently left out of critical decisionmaking, on issues from everything of what happens at home and in the family and how many childrenare born and what their roles are within the household, to the most significant decisions that are atwork, about war and peace, about our environment, about health and disease. When we leave out 51percent of the world's population on those decisions, we run the risk as indeed we saw at first hand inAfghanistan a failing to address some of the most important issues of our time, and certainly failingto involve the critical human resources that are needed to bring to bear if we are to change some ofthose problems.Our organization was established in 1987 by three extraordinary women who wanted to do two things,who wanted to change the notion that philanthropy is only something that you can do once you becomeBill Gates or Nelson Rockefeller, and to suggest that each one of us has the responsibility and indeedthe privilege of being able to do with our resources, by pooling those resources together, making that apart of transforming the world in terms of resource mobilization. It also was an organization that sawwhat extraordinary things women were doing in every part of the world, initiatives that you will nowsee as Paola shares with you her stories, 18 global fund grantees are profiled in this extraordinary book"Women Who Light the Dark" and our efforts as an organization for the last 20 years have truly beento get resources that we mobilize here, primarily in the wealthiest part of the world here in the UnitedStates, but we also have donors in other parts of the world and try to get those resources into theirhands of women who bring remarkable resources of creativity and passion and commitment andimagination to their work but very rarely have access to the financial resources they need to actuallytranslate that vision into a reality.The role that we have played in transforming their access to seed money is now perhaps a little bitlegendary, we accept applications in any language in our 20 years of history, we have made over $58million worth of grants to 3500 women's organizations in a 166 plus countries. These statistics whilethey sound extraordinary are just a drop in the ocean when you think about all the need that there is outthere, each year the global fund receives more than 3500 proposals and is really only able to fund 650or so as we did last year. We made $8 million worth of grants last year. And they were made possibleby people like yourselves and people like Paola, who began her relationship with the Global Fund forWomen as many people do, by being an individual donor and then deepened her relationship bywanting to find out what was it that these amazing groups at the Global Fund for Women actually did,how did they use these resources? And as she herself will share with you there is may be nothing thatreally compares to being able to actually visit and see for yourself what these small amounts of moneycan truly do to transform not just the particular communities that we have been able to work witharound the world, but to create the ripples of change that have a potential to transform our world.With that I am so honored to share with all of you this evening what we have been privileged to knowfrom many years, this remarkable woman who lights up the dark with her work and with her imagesand with her stories, Paola, thank you.Thank you Kavita Ramdas, for your comments tonight, you are listening to the Commonwealth Club ofCalifornia, radio program we are here tonight with photojournalist Paola Gianturco and Global Fundfor Women's President and CEO Kavita Ramdas. Our focus is Ms. Gianturco's new book of movingimages and stories titled "Women Who Light the Dark". And now, we will dim the lights and meetphotojournalist Paola Gianturco.All over the world local women are helping each other. They are helping to tackle the most intractableproblems that once that make women's lives dark. They may have nothing nothing by way ofmaterial resources but they have imagination and their imaginations lights the dark. They are usingcreative arts and creative strategies and they are succeeding. I first began meeting these women when Iwas documenting women's lives in 12, in 40 countries, everywhere there were women that work, doingwonderful things. The idea of a book began percolating. I thought in a world so full of bad news may begood news would be heartening. And I thought at a time when the International Women's Movement isfacing huge challenges it would be a good reminder to realize how much good work is happeningeverywhere and because women's groups never have enough funding I thought may be it would helpinspire people to participate with them.A woman in Rwanda urged me on, she said "Show people what we are doing, show people that we arecapable of helping ourselves, show them that we are worthy of respect and show them how to marchwith us." She convinced me. I began shooting again 2001. My journey took me to 15 countries on fivecontinents. I interviewed and photographed 129 women and I am going to introduce to you to some ofthem right now.Let us start by telling you two stories about women who are working with AIDS in Africa. Zimbabwehas collapsed economically, as you probably know, unemployment is 80 percent, life expectancy is 36,it's the lowest in the world, inflation is now 7000 percent. Traditional healers tell men who are HIVpositive that they would be cured if they have sex with virgins like these. A high school Englishteacher Betty Makoni, this is she on her mountain, listened to the girls experiences during the meetingsafter school and she and six high school English students started the Girl Child Network in 1999. Theorganization has made child rape a national issue in Zimbabwe. The movement is led by little girls,there are 20,000 of them in the Girl Child Network half of them half are estimated to have beenraped. They are all six to 16 and these are the members of their Executive Council.Their weapon is poetry. Remember I said imagination lights the dark, poetry. These girls write poemsabout their experiences and they recite them in town meetings; that's the Shona tradition, entirecommunities outraged, mobilized into action. One high school girl wrote this poem about her teacher."I don't know whether to call him my teacherOr Monica's husbandOr Prisca's sugar daddyIn 3A1 he kissed TeclarIn 4A1 he impregnated DaisyIn 2A2 he fondled Lucia's breastsIn his storeroom I can't sayOnly the books are witnesses"The teacher was fired. No rapist is too powerful to be separate and isolated from these girls attention,even the founders of a religious movement. The work is risky. But the girls have somehow wonsupport from people in government, from politicians, from academicians, from business people, as wellas men and boys and women and girls. They celebrate their successes. When I left Zimbabwe I wassure, I am still sure that they are actually going to bring an end to child rape.Dr. Grace Fombad lives in Cameroon. She founded the Cameroon Medical Women's Association.There families live on $5 a month, but antiretroviral drugs that are necessary to treat AIDS costs $6 amonth. As recently as the year 2000, HIV AIDS was un-discussed in Cameroon and yet the North WestProvince had the highest prevalence in the country. Grace's younger brother died before he was 30 andshe vowed because her of all her medical training couldn't cure him, that she would worked veryhard, she hoped at least to prevent people from being infected. As a result of her work, women nursesand nutritionists and community health workers, trained teenagers to be peer counselors, they trainedcommunity educators who speak 30 local languages. They trained traditional healers like this one whonow know not to try to treat AIDS like this. They sent them to hospitals and they trained traditionalrulers like this man, who was a spokesman for an organization called Funds Against AIDS. Altogetherthe Cameroon Medical Women's have trained more trained more than a million people. The infectionrate has dropped enough that they can turn their attention to helping teach survivors how to live withAIDS and sending orphans to school.In Vietnam women are working on domestic violence. Nguyen Van Anh was a reporter for The Voiceof Vietnam. The subject of domestic violence was as taboo in this culture as AIDS was in Cameroon.What happened at home was private. Women were expected to obey their husbands. But so manywomen told Van Anh that they had been beaten, that she decided to provide the first hotline in Hanoi tooffer emotional and psychological support to victims of domestic violence. Now exactly the sameamount of domestic violence occurs in Vietnam as everywhere else. It's estimated worldwide that onein every three women is beaten. But that wasn't discussed. No one knew that until the line waslaunched and it was swarmed. In 2001 Van Anh started an NGO, a nongovernmental organization, totrain counselors like this woman to help victims. Over the next four years they counseled 300,000people. Today there are hotlines in 22 countries field 5,000 calls a day and they provide online help toVietnamese people in the United States, the UK, France and Canada. Last year in Hanoi when I wasthere, they were testing pilot testing a new project, a new support program. Women who were first sotraumatized that they wouldn't allow themselves to be touched turned on the music and joined linedances. They used stuffed animals to tell stories, they offer to kind of fig leaf that allowed them to seemnot to be telling their own story. Here they are laughing because the counselor animal reprimanded thehusband animal. They play word games and they support each other. As woman began to regainconfidence they began to have something that they haven't had for a long time; fun. Today there are sixsharing together clubs and more are planned.Things are changing in Morocco. Since 1957 the Moudawana, the family code, defined women's rules.For 20 years feminists like this woman had worked to change this code. But Islamists, like thisMember of Parliament, argued that the code was based in Quranic Law and couldn't be changed. Andthen in 2004 a new young king, Mohammed the Sixth, who is here with his wife and his baby,announced that there would be 11 sweeping changes to the Moudawana. Let me give you an exampleof some of those changes. Now men in Morocco can marry one wife, not four. Women must agree tobe married and divorced. Daughters must inherit the same amount as sons, not half. And now courtsdecide which parent gets custody of the children in case of divorce. The problem is illiterate womenhad no idea that the law had changed.Naima Zitan founded an organization called the "Theatre Aquarium" aquarium, because she wantedher theatre to be like a fish bowl, where you watched life happening. She wrote an engaging slapstickplay, a comedy, to teach illiterate women about the new law. She hired televisions stars and shearranged to make performances available in places where there were more than 85 percent of thepopulation illiterate. That meant factories and slums and prisons. Now obviously illiterate women can'tread ads that say, "Come to a play." So Naima Omaki, who is here in the brown coat, goes into theslums and knocks on doors and invites people to come. She is sort of like the Music Man; she is reallyremarkable to watch. I traveled with her for a couple of days and she was inviting people. When shehas done, the house is full; there is not an empty seat in the house. The audience, needless to say, lovesthe play. Women who are amazed and very excited about their new rights and after every performanceNaima Omaki goes into the crowd and asks, "What did you learn? What was new to you?" Peoplelearned a lot.In Argentina and Slovakia women are finding freedom despite profound discrimination. Argentina wasthe first country in Latin America to accept same sex civil unions. But there is enduring fear amonglesbians particularly those over 40, who grew up there during the 1970's and 1980's when differencewas punished by death. As recently as 10 years ago they were still prosecuted machismo is endemic.Three friends, Fabiana TuÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â±ez, Marta Montesano and Ada Rico founded La Casa del Encuentro, a safehaven for lesbian women open to all women. It offers sanctuary, it offers community and dignity; andit offers classes in philosophy and painting and tango. Members that advocate for women's rights bywriting and performing plays in the streets of Buenos Aires; here they are rehearsing. At first theywondered how they would be received, but Ada told me, men come close, women come close, theyapplaud for us, they tell us we are strong.In Slovakia, it's the Roma women who were discriminated against. They were insulted when peoplecall them "gypsies" some of you know that's the Egyptians word that means vagrant. But insult is notthe biggest part of the problem. For hundreds of years the Roma have been sterilized and banished andrelocated and killed. And yet this ethnic group is as diverse as any other. It includes Charlie Chaplinand Pablo Picasso. The Slovak-Czech Women's Fund is one of 17 Funds that the Global Fund forWomen has helped to start, to encourage grassroots philanthropy. Local women run these autonomousfunds and they select the projects to support. For example the Slovak-Czech Women's Fund givesmoney to an organization called "Hope with Children." It runs a pre-school for children like this andthen a program for children of alcoholic parents. "Hope for children" was founded by a wonderfulwoman named Jolana Naterova. She spend her youth trying to pretend that she was white and then shesaw children like this one rummaging in a dumpster and realized that she had to work on behalf of herown people. Here she has put on a blonde wig, not because she is pretending but because she is gettingdressed to play the role of Angel in her pre-school's Christmas play. I decided she is an angel all year around.Women teachers in Brazil and India are educating children who would otherwise surely never escapepoverty. In Salvador, Bahia Brazil, Rita ConceiÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â§ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£o, runs an after school program called Bahia Street.She grew up in the favelas in the shanty towns. Girls like Rita grow up to be able to do oneof two jobs. The best option is to be able to clean houses. The other option is to be a prostitute. Ritawanted more for them. It turns out that Brazilian Public Schools don't offer anybody very much.Teachers are so low paid that they often don't even come to class. The students do, even if there isnothing to do except hang out of the windows. Often I will tell you why the students go, by the way.If they do, their parents get an allowance for books and school uniforms often used for something else.Students who finish the eighth grade may not know how to read or write. Bahia Street gives the littlegirls the academics that they miss in public schools. They also get classes in ballet and cartoonanimation which helps teach discipline. When I was there, the math students were doing a math fashionshow. This is the minus sign model. This little girl began posing the minute I picked my camera. Shedreams, she said of becoming an internationally famous model who is known and loved by everyonebecause she is brilliant and beautiful. The big news when I was there was that Juliana had just beenaccepted to join a course to prepare to take the college entrance exams and Daza had just been acceptedto university.An Indian teacher, let me just interrupt myself to find out if Inderjit Khurana is here tonight. She washoping to come. Is she here? Maybe she will come later, in which case I will introduce you. InderjitKhurana decided that if children could not go to school, she would take schools to the children. In Indiaas you know, rural people take the trains to the city to look for work. Most don't find jobs, they live inshanties that surround the train platform, little girls like Rama in Orissa may sell used newspapers, mayshine shoes; I rode for two days on the trains with her. She was sweeping the trains for tips. Childrenwho do these kinds of jobs are destined for molestation and disease and drugs and prostitution. In 1985,Inderjit first went to the train platforms with her chalk boards and chalk. At first she taught 11 childrenone morning, a week. But in six months she was teaching 114 children every morning. The railwayofficials tried to stop her. They said this was a misuse of government property. But she won that battleand now if you visit Bhubaneshwar you will see little knots of children like this one, studying on thetrain platforms. The children learned the three hours in three languages while the trains hiss passed oneither side of them. The teacher used puppet shows and games to engage the children. They serveporridge every morning. It may be the only meal that children get that day. Once a week, a doctorcomes to be sure that the students are healthy. Saturday is hygiene day and the children are learned tobathe in the drinking fountain, on the train platform, lots of little streakers on that train platform,Saturday morning. The result over the past 20 years, 5,000 students have transferred into the publicschool system at the fourth grade level, academically qualified at the fourth grade level.In Kenya local women have joined the forces to get pure water that won't make their family sick.Collecting water, as you may know, is the work of women and girls in rural Kenya. Fount water whichmay come from puddles is almost always polluted, but there is no alternative. There is no nationalwater infrastructure. As a child Norma Adhiambo couldn't go to school because she had to walk sevenhours a day to find water for her family. Her mother needed it to cook vegetables and rice and bread.Families' trade-off school for starvation. When she was 21, Norma co-founded a nonprofit that todayincludes 43 local women's groups that have helped their communities get 73 wells drilled, wells likethis and 13 wells improved. The first time water is pumped from those wells, there is some greatcelebration. This is Norma in blue print dress, leading dancing, singing and praying. These womenthink creatively. They sell water. Five to 15 gallons costs five cents, may be two cents if you can'tafford it. Somehow over time they are able to pay back the drillers for drilling the wells on theinstallment plan. After the well has been paid for, they use the income to buy chickens and goats. Theybuy seeds so they can start businesses, maybe growing rice, maybe growing corn. Sometimes they getwells drilled on the schoolyard. The schools don't have plumbing, but now the kids can wash theirhands. And even better; girls instead of missing the school to collect the water now pump it at schooland carry it home after class.Women in Cambodia are thwarting sex traffickers. Many women are recruited by sex traffickers as thiswoman was. They promise a good job. What they don't say is that a good job may mean being lockedin a brothel in Bangkok. A good job is really what you need if your factory is closing, becauseproduction is moving to China, or if you are among the quarter of all Cambodia families that areheaded by single mothers. Although there are some women that are trafficked out of the country, in factmany of them work in Phnom Penh, where 20 percent of all tourism is sex tourism. A doctor, PenRicksy was one of the women who founded an organization called Strey Khmer, it means CambodianWomen. She wanted to help their world sisters become financially self sufficient. Women need to bestrong and healthy and they need to be trained and skilled if they are going to be less vulnerable to sextraffickers. Strey Khmer gives micro credit loans so that woman can grow mushrooms, they can raisepigs, they can even buy a water pump so they can flood the fields and grow rice. Strey Khmer trainsmidwives, since 30 percent of all births take place at home in Cambodia; there is a great demand fortheir services. But there is also a need for doctors. So three times a week Pen Ricksy goes into thevillages and conducts a mobile clinic, where for three hours she examines 150 patients 150. I havenever seen anything like it.In Nicaragua signs like this say mujeres trabajando "women working." Trainees atMujeres Constructuras are learning how to become welders and carpenters and electricians. These arejobs that women ordinarily don't have access to, opportunities they don't usually have access to andsalary levels they don't usually don't have access to. Nery Gonzales told me that after Hurricane Mitch,she had built six houses for single mothers and then, because she was a single mother she built one forherself. She said, "I was so poor. I didn't even have a spoon. But I was so happy I didn't even care."In Nepal Sangita Nirola have founded a nonprofit that's named Swati, Swati is the Hindu goddess ofthe female energy. Swati empowers Nepalese women to be entrepreneurs. Sangita started with arevolutionary idea. She realized that women in Katmandu were afraid to ride in taxis that were drivenby men. She said, "Why can we train women to drive taxicabs?" I photographed the newest graduatesas they were receiving their new commercial driver's licensees; they wore by the way wearing navyblue uniforms that were sewn by a woman who was becoming a driver too. She had a side business;tailoring.This is Lucky Chhetri. She founded Empowering Women of Nepal. She lives in the Himalayas, so sheknew that women could lead treks as well as men. I documented the graduation of her trainees I willtell you something, that graduation took place on Annapurna. I ask myself, what on earth I was doingat age 67, climbing up one of the steepest mountains in the world, but I will always be proud of havingdone it. This was my view as we started off, you can't help but notice that the 27 trainees are ahead ofme. I am looking at their back. They are picking flowers and identifying flora and fauna, and talking toeach other about geology and things that trekking guides talk about. And then they kind of vaporized inthe mist. They waited for me sometimes as long as two hours. After the graduation, Lucky told methat once one of the trainee's fathers had thanked her. And this is what he said. He said, "Her mothergave her birth, but you gave her life." Her comment seemed perfect to me. I was exhausted and stiff,but I don't think I have ever felt so completely alive.My final story is about women in the United States; Mobility international USA hosts 30 delegatesfrom all over the world in Eugene, Oregon for a three week leadership training program. In their owncountries, the delegates each lead organizations that help disabled people, mostly women. Theythemselves are blind and deaf, both, some. Some have polio, some have injuries, some haveamputations and other disabilities that require crutches and canes and wheel-chairs. This is SusanSygall; she was injured in an automobile accident when she was 19. So she herself is in a wheel-chair.She and other recreational activists at Mobility International USA help women do things they neverimagined never imagined that they could do. They go camping, they go swimming. None of them hadever been swimming before. They go whitewater rafting and they master a ropes challenge course.They learn self-defense women in wheelchairs are particularly vulnerable to attackers, you know.They go to the beach; none of them had ever been to beach. The get media training and they learn howto get funding for their organizations. Mabatong is President of an organization that workswith the visually impaired. At home, her sons help her walk to the village. She is completely blind; shecan't get there alone. In Oregon, when I talked to her, she couldn't believe that she had just climbed atree. She said, "When I get back to Lesotho, I am going to teach other blind people how to climb trees."Thanks to American Women 30 disabled women, newly very confident leaders, left Oregon havingdiscovered that they could do just about anything. That's the last of the slides, if I could have the lightsI just want to make a few closing comments.As you heard 18 of the 23 organizations in the book are grantees. They get funding from the GlobalFund for Women. As Kavita said I have long been a supporter of this organization a dozen years.When my first book was published in the year 2000 some of those royalties went to the Global Fundfor Women. This time with "Women who light the dark", which is book number four, all a 100percent of my author royalties are going to the Global Fund for Women.I want to tell you why I made that decision. I not only like what they do, I like how they do it. And Iwill just give you some fast examples. If you ran a group some where in the world and you wanted toapply for a grant, all you would have to do is write a one page letter in your own handwriting in yourown language. The Global Fund for Women does all of the vetting of the applications. This seemed tome to be a wonderful idea. Why should those women who have a good idea have to go through all thered tape and of all the bureaucracy that is represented by the usual grant applications? Another thing; Ilike the fact that this organization which is as Kavita said, "Now the largest organization in the worldthat gives money to to on the ground grassroots groups are lead by women and are working onhuman rights." They could, you would think, rest on their laurels and they are not. They are, as yousaw within Slovakia, starting local funds encouraging grass roots philanthropy wonderful idea. Ofcourse women can help each other if they just have a way to do it.So there were many reasons that I liked the way this works this group works. And the last one I willtalk about is equality. In a truly just world all of us would be treated exactly the same way. And theGlobal Fund does that with its beneficiaries, with its donors, with its staff, with its executives. Awoman in Bangladesh scrimped and saved and finally came up with $1 that she wanted to donate to theGlobal Fund. And when she gave it to them her name was listed in alphabetical order and exactly thesame size type as women from this country who had give them in thousands. Great; I think the Worldshould work that way. People ask me, what are my dreams for this project? And I will tell you. I wouldbe so happy if this book and my work helps people understand each other more completely, so that wecan all work together to tackle the problems that face women allover the world and their families.www.womenwholightthedark.com which is the project website has a section on it called "Shine YOURLight." It includes all kinds of ideas or ways that you might like to explore to learn more about womenall over the world through their own products, through their books, through their music, through theirmovies, though their fashion; it's made by a women's group in Damascus; through their food. Andthere is another part of that section of the site that talks about all of the ways that you can participatewith women and support them, everything from taking to volunteer vacation to giving a donation to theGlobal Fund for Women and other organizations that help women in this country and throughoutCalifornia and throughout San Francisco. So take a look at the site. I hope that you will join us. Isuspect some of you already have and that more of you will, because surely surely it will take all ofus working together to create new hope and possibilities for our world.Thank you.