October 30, 2015
Voss Foundation is happy to introduce Robert (Tenny) and Kim Field to our supporters as two of our 2015 2015 Women Helping Women Honorees.
Tenny are Kim are ardent supporters of Voss Foundation. Tenny has served on Voss Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2013. Kim has been on the Women Helping Women New York committee for the last 4 years, and has also provided multi-media support to Voss Foundation through her video production business, Castle Court Images. Last October, Tenny and Kim decided to launch a personal giving campaign to raise funds for the water and sanitation facilities for the dormitories and teachers’ houses at the Good Future & Hope’s (GF&H) new primary school in Uganda. Kim and Tenny’s project was completed in May 2015, and the school opened in June of 2015 with 60 students and six teachers.
At the launch of their personal giving campaign last year, a private event at the legendary Explorers Club in New York, Kim eloquently shared why she and Tenny support Voss Foundation.
“Four years ago, Kara Gerson, a friend of mine and then Executive Director of Voss Foundation, asked me to help put together a video for the 2nd annual Women Helping Women Luncheon… [Looking through hundreds of photos and hours of video of clean water projects] was like watching an uncut documentary… I looked at videos of The Hope Mission School in Paynesville, Liberia who, thanks to Voss Foundation’s Women Helping Women Initiative and partner on the ground FACE Africa, now have handwashing stations, six latrines, and a well at the school. These are basic things that we use every single day without even thinking about it. Can you imagine your childrens’ schools with no bathrooms? No toilets? Nowhere to wash their hands? Can you imagine your homes without these basic necessities? That’s what it was like in these rural Sub-Saharan African communities before Voss Foundation and their local partners started to work with them to meet their water, sanitation, and hygiene needs…
I watched videos where the opening ceremony of a well put smiles on so many faces young and old, and video of an elder in the community who cried explaining that she never thought she would live to see clean running water coming out of a well in the middle of her village. Well to me there is nothing better than that…
One photo [from a community where a project had yet to be implemented] has always stuck out to me – especially after giving birth to our daughter. The photo was of a women walking up a steep hill carrying a young baby in a sling on her back and similtaniously carrying a huge heavy bucket walking back home. Her home was likely miles away.
Knowing the feeling of not being hydrated enough at times during pregnancy, even with running water in my apartment, I can’t imagine the physical and emotional stress that these women are under walking in the heat in strenuous conditions to collect water and carry it home over their heads or on their backs. Then, once the baby is born, having to make this trip together with baby on their backs, and with no guarantee that the water is even safe to drink. I just can’t imagine…
I have learned from attending the Women Helping Women Annual Luncheons for the last 4 years, that when a community has the infrastructure for clean water, it not only leads to a healthier community, it also leads to hospitals and new schools to be built, and businesses created. Clean Water is the foundation. If I can help 1 mom, 1 baby or 1 young girl have the opportunity to have a healthy life, healthy childhood, healthy pregnancy, healthy labor and delivery due to clean water, I will feel fulfilled.
Tenny and I are honored to be working with Voss Foundation, and have been able to – together with the help of our friends and family – bring clean running water and sanitation facilities to the student dormitories and faculty housing at GF&H’s Primary School in Uganda. It’s unusual that a couple can find a common philanthropy that we both feel connected to and Tenny and I are proud to say that we have found that in Voss Foundation.”