Margarita Ruiz is a 20-year-old indigenous woman with a two-year-old son. She lives in a rural community in Chiapas, Mexico, in a culture where women are expected to stay home, have many children and keep the fire lit at all times. Women are afraid to follow their dreams and to take part in anything outside their family or home, for fear of not only being considered a bad wife, but as someone who has abandoned their culture.
It was within this context that Margarita began to take part in THP workshops. She talked about her fears and learned the meaning of words like respect, confidence, dignity, emotion and appreciation - words that used to be unknown to her. She and other women in her community began to organize and to launch projects, such as family vegetable gardens. Margarita is a member of a women's textiles cooperative. With THP's support, she led the women to create a new vision for their cooperative. They have developed new designs, created a website and virtual store, and are actively promoting their embroideries.
Margarita says, "you can be sure that in Chiapas, we will end hunger - step by step and quickly - and yet, at the same time, with respect, dignity, trust, confidence, emotion and appreciation."
Margarita's story shows us how people's lives are transformed through their participation with THP, and how their leadership is creating lasting change in their communities and in our world.
I share Margarita's story with you as the holiday season approaches, so you can feel connected to her and the more than 360,000 trained volunteers like her who are striving to ensure a better future for all of humanity.
President and CEO
- Watch video excerpt of Margarita's speech at the 2009 Fall Event Weekend.
- Read Margarita's full speech.
- Read more highlights from the 2009 Fall Event Weekend.
THP Results from the Field: Did You Know?
Last month, we promised you some more results from our programs on the ground! Here are more highlights...in just the last six months:
- 292,637 kg of food was distributed from our epicenter food banks in Africa.
- 38,428 trees and 39 acres of woodlots were planted in THP partner communities to improve environmental sustainability.
- THP partners ensured access to clean water through 42 new water sources.
THP Elects New Board Chair
After ten years as Chair of our Global Board of Directors, Dr. Peter Bourne announced his retirement from THP's Global Board. The Global Board elected a new chair, Mr. Steven Sherwood. Mr. Sherwood has been on THP's Global Board for more than seven years and is one of THP's highest level investors. Read more.
Global THP Leaders Want to Speak to You!
Don't let 2009 end without hearing directly from some of THP's global leaders. Join us for one or more of the following 30-minute conference calls to hear firsthand about some of THP's stunning accomplishments this year and what's now possible for 2010 and beyond.
- Monday, November 23 - 8:00 p.m. (EST) featuring John Coonrod, Vice President, Strategy and Impact
- Tuesday, December 8 - 12:00 p.m. (EST) featuring Irene Wasike Muwanguzi, Country Director, THP-Uganda
- Wednesday, December 16 - 8:00 pm. (EST) featuring Lorena Vázquez Ordaz, Country Director, THP-Mexico
All calls will take place at the following number: (212) 798-0808 (Access Code: 6490-4371#).
RSVP: Joanna Ryder at email@example.com
Holiday Shopping for THP
Don't forget to shop with THP's business partners to ensure that the holiday shopping you do anyway benefits THP! Give a young person a Markmakers card, which they can "spend" on THP or an "I'm Tired of World Hunger" bracelet. Find out more about these opportunities and others from our business partners.
A group of committed investors has agreed to match every dollar you give up to $300,000. Take advantage of this opportunity!
What inspired you most about the work of THP in 2009? Do you have a favorite photo or story? Or did you have the opportunity to see our work on the ground and meet someone or see something that inspired you?
We want to hear from you!
Email Jenna Recuber at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Making a Difference
When Derare Hirpha (Ethiopia) was young, she was abducted, forced to marry her abductor and lost all hopes of an education. Thanks to THP, Derare has returned to reading and writing, is learning business management, generating her own income and owns various assets.
Quote of the Month
"Thank you for allowing me to show my daughter what volunteering is all about and why it is so very important. I KNOW we all learned a lot today and will view what we have differently!"
New York, NY