We’re celebrating women today!

Written by Plant With Purpose on March 8, 2012 in General

Did you know that it’s International Women’s Day?

For most women around the world, the mere fact that they were born female places them under an incredible burden.  Women are more likely to be impoverished, have less access to health care and education, and are the first victims and often the easiest targets in conflict areas. 

At Plant With Purpose, we say that the poor are one of the world’s greatest untapped resources.  We think that’s even more true of poor women.  Across our programs we’ve seen time and again the remarkable impact and influence women can have on their communities. 

In fact, studies have found that an increase of a woman’s income by just $10 achieves the same improvements in children’s nutrition and health as an increase to a man’s income of $110.

Click here to view the entire “Female Face of Farming” infographic from Farming First.

Today we’d like to introduce you to a woman who is transforming the lives of those around her. Meet Teodora Sánchez from the small village of Loma Verde in the Dominican Republic. Teodora and her husband, Agustín, have four children and five grandchildren. Though few women in the Dominican Republic work outside the home, Teodora is acting out her call to be both a pastor and an activist in her community. She is learning to utilize her God-given talents to transform her community.

At first Teodora started small. She attended a couple environmental workshops organized by Plant With Purpose. In those first meetings, she discovered “The Bible teaches us that we need to take care of Creation. God made it for us but we need to exercise stewardship over it. We cannot destroy it. We need to take care of the plants, the water, and the air.”

From there the seed of environmental stewardship grew. She attended more workshops, applied sustainable agriculture techniques at home, and began to encourage her family, friends, and neighbors to care for their land. She now leads a group of more than 80 volunteers who gather to participate in community cleanups and plant trees in critically deforested areas.

Teodora’s passion and leadership is literally transforming her entire region—seedlings  sprout as signs of hope, rivers run with water anew, and crops creep up across once barren land. The landscape is becoming more pleasing to look at, but also more fruitful and productive, meaning desperate families—the men, women, and children Teodora ministers to as a pastor—will have more food to eat, more money to spend on health and education, more opportunities to succeed now, and more hope for the future.

And all of this because Plant With Purpose empowered one woman from one family in one village.

And so this International Women’s Day we celebrate Teodora and the hundreds of other women across our programs who are acting as catalysts for change in their communities. We celebrate the strength and power and beauty of women, and we rejoice in the hope of holistic transformation for men, women, and children alike.

Happy Women’s Day! 

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