July 14, 2016
On June 8th, Voss Foundation’s Sixth Annual Women Helping Women (WHW) Boston Luncheon and African Bazaar raised awareness and over $22,000 to support our mission to provide access to water, sanitation, and hygiene as a means to enable community-driven development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Seventy-five supporters came to the Boston College Club, located in the heart of the financial district, to shop, enjoy lunch, and celebrate global female empowerment.
Upon arrival, guests enjoyed cocktails featuring VOSS flavored sparkling and sustainably farmed wines from Rutherford Ranch, while shopping our African Bazaar. The Bazaar includes artisanal items like jewelry, scarves, baskets, and toys purchased directly from communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Liberia, Swaziland, and Uganda where Voss Foundation works. Guests were encouraged to shop ‘for themselves and for others’ as each piece taken home would serve as a reminder of the women and girls they helped support and the wells, handwashing stations and latrines they helped build.
WHDH-TV Reporter, Kimberly Bookman, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. She detailed her connection to the cause, having covered Boston’s recent findings of high levels of lead in water samples from several Boston public schools and her personal passion for conserving water. Bookman lauded the event’s honoree, Dr. Nawal M. Nour, a practicing Obstetrician/Gynecologist and Founder & Director of African Women’s Health Center at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, for her commitment to raising awareness for health and policy issues regarding female genital cutting (FGC). She has traveled the country to speak in numerous academic and national conferences regarding the medical management of women who have undergone this practice. Dr. Nour also conducts workshops to educate African refugees and immigrants on the medical complications and legal issues of this practice..
Voss Foundation Program Director Caitlin Rackish emphasized how much the WHW campaign has achieved in a short amount of time. Then, VOSS Water CEO Jack Belsito spoke about the relationship between the corporation and the Voss Foundation.
Finally, Dr. Nour moved the room by sharing some about the transformative work of the African Women’s Health Center. She explained the importance of water to the human body, and then detailed how water impacts women and girls from pregnancy on.
The luncheon and bazaar would not have been possible without support from our sponsors Martignetti, Katherine Kung, Izabelle’s, and Boston Common Magazine, and VOSS Water, to whom we are so grateful. We are also grateful to the committee members: VOSS Group CEO Jack Belsito, Diane Currier, Amy Donahue, and Melanie Fraser Hart, joined by Rachel Glazer, Katherine Kung, Elizabeth Leatherman, Amy Nachbar, Danielle Phillips, Dianne Williams, and Boston Common magazine Marketing Director Amy Fischer.
Women Helping Women (WHW) is a Voss Foundation global, grassroots initiative that has raised over $789,000 in Europe and the United States since 2009 to fund over 32 water access points and 291 sanitation facilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Swaziland, and Uganda. In addition to Women Helping Women Boston, 2016 WHW events will take place in the Hamptons and New York.