A Woman Is … a Leader
Written by Plant With Purpose on July 26, 2016 in A Woman Is
By Regina Gutierrez
The heart of a woman is universal. A supporter who visited Plant With Purpose’s program in Haiti once shared, “It was amazing to hear the women pray. They were praying for the same things I pray for at home: for her children to be safe, to make wise decisions, to do well in school. Despite living in different countries, we’re not so different after all.”
Today we continue a series called, “A Woman Is…” focusing on the character qualities that women around the world exhibit. Plant With Purpose’s program is empowering women to invest in their families, communities, and countries. Read on to see how Rebecca is a leader in Tanzania.
Whether it is recognized or not, women are the leaders we look up to when times get rough. A woman’s support generates hope in the future and strengthens families and communities around the world. Through patience and compassion, women continue to acquire leadership roles and are the exemplary models future generations seek to become.
In Tanzania, unstable economic conditions and limited sources of income have created many challenges for rural families. Limited and unstable diets, social tensions, and environmental degradation are only a few of the many factors that have positioned Tanzania’s rural population in extreme poverty. Life for women can be particularly difficult since their education has never been a priority and women’s authority is limited, making it much more difficult for them to acquire the skills necessary to sustain their families, provide them with a healthy lifestyle, and fight the cycle of poverty.
Since partnering with Plant With Purpose, women in Tanzania are improving their economic status and the environment by investing in business, animals, and trees. Before joining Plant With Purpose, Rebecca Mishael, a 39 years old mother of five children who lives in Malindi, faced food insecurity and watched as the environment and living conditions around her deteriorated through poor farming systems. After receiving training in organic agriculture and environmental conservation with other community members, Rebecca initiated the formation and became the leader of a savings-and-loan group.
Since, she has stunned neighbors with her successful production of diverse vegetables, establishment of a half-acre acacia forest in a poor and rocky soil that will be harvested for fuelwood, and forming a tree nursery that provides additional income through the sales of seedlings. Rebecca’s family now eats a more balanced diet and invests in their future by creating a healthier farm ecosystem, building emergency cash reserves, and fostering better relationships with neighbors.
Her leadership has also grown alongside her relationship with God, as she cultivates better connections with her church and her neighbors. Rebecca’s perseverance and drive to learn is expanding her leadership as a woman as she becomes an inspiration for her community and children.
The changes Plant With Purpose fuels would not be possible without the leadership and involvement of women who provide guidance to their children and neighbors in partnering communities. Rebecca Mishael is the kind of woman that leads us towards a healthier and more sustainable world, especially in Tanzania where life is unpredictable and full of obstacles. Women like Rebecca lead us to dream more, discover more, and become more. Women like Rebecca show us that by providing the appropriate tools, women have the potential of becoming the leaders we need in the world.
Participation in Plant With Purpose’s program is attractive to women. Savings-and-loan groups offer community. Farmer Field Schools are improving family farms often cultivated by women. Bible studies foster connections. In fact, 67 percent of program participants are women.