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Pope Francis

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Recognizing organizations that empower women and fight hunger

2015-03-07

Life is already difficult for much of the population in places like the Middle East and Central America. Often, the situation is even worse for women.

Fortunately, programs and initiatives have sprung up throughout the world that don't just help women—they empower them.

Caritas Internationalis and Voices of Faith recognized groups from Nicaragua and Lebanon and gave them the "Women, Sowers of Development” award. 

The winners were announced several days before the International Women's Day. On March 8, dynamic women from throughout the world will gather at the Vatican for a storytelling event sponsored by the Holy See.

Groups from all corners of the earth had entered the contest.

CHANTAL GÖTZ
Founder, Voices of Faith Initiative
"At the end, we came down from the 68, we came down to 14 in all different languages, from all different countries.”

Ultimately, one Caritas group received an award, along with another that isn't affiliated with the charity.

Caritas Nicaragua was recognized for its program that helps rural women grow more food for consumption and sale. It provides them with seeds, training, and systems to improve the efficiency of their work.

Basmeh Zeitooneh is a group that assists refugee women in Lebanon. The association runs a program where Syrian and Palestinian women can embroider and produce other goods for sale. They aim to make women self-sufficient.

The award also came with a 10,000 Euro prize. The reason for the prize, beyond recognizing good deeds, is practical. 

CHANTAL GÖTZ
Founder, Voices of Faith Initiative
"We have so many good ideas, but how are we going to make sure we hear them? FLASH  People can send in their ideas, and it's really based on best practices coming from female ideas.”

Caritas Internationalis is a global confederation of Catholic charities. Voices of Faith exists to improve the lives of women through storytelling.

Women from places like Argentina, India, and Germany, are coming to the Vatican on March 8 to discuss their experiences and how they are working to improve the lives of other women.


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