MEDA to launch “Women Empowering Women” groups

March 6, 2016


Lancaster, Pa. – In celebration of International Women’s Day (Tuesday, March 8), MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) will launch two women’s groups in May. The groups, called “Women Empowering Women with MEDA,” will meet quarterly in Lancaster and Souderton, Pennsylvania, and promote the importance of women's economic empowerment as a catalyst for positive change in the world.

Ruth Leaman, regional director of resource development at MEDA, will coordinate the groups.

“Women in developing countries often face social and economic adversities beyond our comprehension, and yet have an amazing drive to rise above these barriers when given the opportunity to do so. After a recent all-women’s trip to a MEDA project in Ethiopia, I noticed a phenomenal connection between the Ethiopian women and those on our trip. We shared a strong bond and there was mutual respect and understanding. The women on the trip have a vision to share these meaningful connections with others,” says Leaman.

Another woman who went on the trip to Ethiopia shared this story:

My forty-something year old son asked me, "Mama, what is the one best thing you walked away with from your MEDA Women Empowering Women trip to Ethiopia?"  I was thinking hard about which of my many memories of that trip I would make the number one. Finally, I came up with, "Well, the best thing that happened from that trip is that we're starting up two Women Empowering Women groups here at home." My son replied, "Wow! So it seems like you're the one who became empowered!"

Women Empowering Women with MEDA will provide an opportunity for women to learn about issues facing women in developing countries, as well as MEDA's projects that empower women to rise above social and cultural barriers toward improved livelihoods. Women who are members of Women Empowering Women with MEDA will have unique and meaningful opportunities to engage with MEDA projects in various countries around the world, including Ghana, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Nicaragua, and Kenya.

The first meetings will take place:

In Lancaster: Thursday, May 5 from 6:30 – 8:00 at The Candy Factory (323 N. Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603)

In Souderton: Thursday, May 12 from 6:30 - 8:00 at The Morgandale Clubhouse (1015 Forty Foot Rd, Lansdale, PA 19446)

The Women Empowering Women with MEDA steering committee includes women who have traveled on a MEDA field experience: Charlotte Rosenberger, Joan Nathan, Chris Hess, Kate Kooker, Lorna Stoltzfus, Lucy Brubaker, and Ruth Leaman.

For more information or to register today, call Allison at 717-560-6546.

About Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA):

MEDA is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty. Founded in 1953 by a group of Mennonite business professionals, we partner with the poor to start or grow small and medium-sized businesses in developing regions around the world. Our expertise includes a full range of economic development tools: financial services, improved technology, business training, better access to markets and equity investment. Our work most often focuses on women, youth and the rural poor. We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to earn a livelihood and that unleashing entrepreneurship is a powerful way to alleviate poverty.