Hear our Voices: a Virtual Event
Join us for our virtual fundraising event on June 9th 2021, from 1-1:30pm EST.
Click here to RSVP.
“What do you want to call it?” they asked me.
This was 8 years ago, my first time in America sitting in a house belonging to a sweet lady, who had chosen to offer me a home when I was a thousand miles away from mine. After hearing me share my vision for a girls’ organization in Malawi, she invited a few friends over, and there they were, listening to me. Then they asked me to give my vision a name.
I was scared.
Naming things makes them real. What if it wasn’t good enough? What if nobody accepted it?
But I had earlier vowed never to let fear stop me. So, I asked for their help. Until now these girls have been told to be silent as their stories would bring shame to them and their families, and this silence paved way to years of oppression. I told them the name needed to portray breaking the silence, to show the awakening happening in every girl who never knew sharing her story would open doors of opportunities and bring healing, that using her Voice would bring her transformation. To insist she will be heard. Her voice, her story, her way to freedom.
Voices Awake was birthed that late afternoon as an answer to the question. It became an accepted name in our community – and it’s not only a name, it’s a place, a home, a space of equipping, empowering and educating girls. It’s been 8 years of me sharing our stories, but every time I asked for support for this girls’ program, I promised that one day you will hear the girls share their stories.
The time has now come.
My perfect plan was bringing girls to America with me on my fundraising trips. They would share their stories, how they found themselves at Voices Awake and how your support has impacted their lives. I would also share about our growth, but the pandemic has put a halt to that plan as it has to so many other plans.
What the pandemic has taught us is not quitting, but coming up with other plans. When schools were closed and we couldn’t afford virtual learning, we had to create learning packages. When we couldn’t bring 70 girls to one place for their feeding program, we had to provide food packages. Now that a lot of parents have lost jobs due to the pandemic and can’t afford to pay school fees for their ward, we have increased the numbers of our beneficiaries so that no child drops out of school or stays a day without food. Our counseling sessions have tripled, and we are creating jobs. You see, instead of quitting we have just become more creative and now more determined for you to hear the girls share these stories themselves.
We are going to do this through a Voices Awake “Hear Our Voices” virtual event.
The girls and I are ready and excited to share our stories. But we need you to be there.
My first request is for you to sign up to our first ever Voices Awake “Hear Our Voices” event on Wednesday, June 9, 1:00-1:30 PM EST.
I promise, it will be 30 minutes of inspirational stories and updates, you will learn about our culture and be proud of the changes your support is creating on the ground.
We also have an exciting giving challenge. If you make a pledge or gift on or before June 9th, the FIRST $12,000 will be MATCHED dollar for dollar by 5 generous donors.
All the gifts collected from this event are going towards building 2 homes for our employees who live in the girls’ home. We believe these homes will enable our staff to live private lives, practice self-care, and not be separated from their families and friends as they serve the girls. We do not want our staff to be limited by the boundaries that have been set to keep the girls in the home safe. We want to care for our staff as they care for the girls, and one way of doing this is allowing them to have lives separate from work, which does not happen when one lives with the girls in the home.
We have never done anything like this before, but we believe in miracles. Voices Awake is our miracle, one that has been made possible because you believed, and you have always shown up for us.
We need you to show up for us again now.
Vanessa Mwangala Founder & Executive Director
RSVP for the event here.
Make your matched donation here, before or on June 9th.