zonta international

17 March 2015. The date of the Zonta International meeting.

Delicious Mexican food at Old Pueblo Grille in the company of accomplished women of many career fields. AAD was so lucky to be invited to their meeting to share our story, get feedback, and discuss options for support. 

I was quite nervous about speaking in front of these powerful women that have paved the way for other women in communities around the world. Here is a little background of Zonta:

Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. With more than 30,000 members belonging to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 67 countries and geographic areas, Zontians all over the world volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship programs aimed at fulfilling Zonta's mission and objects.

The objectives include: 

·         To improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local level through service and advocacy.

·         To work for the advancement of understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of members.

·         To promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

·         To be united internationally to foster high ethical standards, to implement service programs, and to provide mutual support and fellowship for members who serve their communities, their nations and the world.  

2.5 hours flew by while I answered countless questions. We discussed our 3 year program, our need for additional funding and support to begin having a larger impact, real life experiences,  our success stories and what we as a team have learned since becoming a non-profit in the USA (and going through the process of becoming an NGO in Uganda). 

The conversations that stands out to me most from that terrific evening was when one strong, intelligent women asked why our shirts were the specific styles that they were.  {our shirts lack kitenge and other "african" looks that some people think of when they think Africa}

This helped us have a dialogue about how Uganda may be 9,158 miles away (yes I did google that), but that humans are still humans. Our girls still have friendship feuds, relationship issues, and enjoy discussing music, pop culture, and really have any conversation that you have found yourself to have around a dinner table. Yes, Ugandans have traditional wear for traditional events (weddings, funerals, etc). But, doesn't everyone?

We are slowly breaking down barriers and taking part in interesting, thought provoking conversations. I enjoy the questions we receive, because it helps to create understanding. If you have any specific questions please let us know! If we don't know the answer we would love to spend the time figuring it out with you.

Zonta international has invited us back in 2016 to share more stories and we CANNOT wait. 

Special thanks to Nadia Vall [VP on Zonta board in Tucson and founder of Wings for Women ] who reached out to AAD so we could get on the agenda and attend the meeting in person on 17 March 2015.