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In this edition: We announce the selected programs for the 2nd half of 2015, announce a new regional leader, fill you in on important program news and introduce you to RIPPLE Africa, our featured program for May.
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Chapter Leader Newsletter

We are 438 chapters and 8261 members strong!

2015 grants announced

We are excited to announce the selection of featured programs for the remainder of 2015. The selections land heavily on the side of women's health, with four of the six programs focusing on on women's reproductive and mental health. The latter is an area often overlooked but important as women struggle to build lives in conflict zones and unstable regions. 

In addition to six featured programs, the Program Selection Committee also chose a new group of Sustained Programs for the second half of 2015 through 2018. 
 
Read about all the programs in this blog post
Download the new program flyer
Download a press release you can customize for your area

(NOTE: The press release template is two pages, but only the first page should be sent in your initial contact. If a media outlet requests additional information specifically about the programs, you can provide the second page. Two page press releases are frowned upon.)

By Beth Ellen Holimon
DFW, Executive Director

Two weeks ago, I joined Program Director Dr. Veena Khandke in her office for one of the two biggest days each year we have at Dining for Women. Veena had a stack of files in front of her, one hand gripping them while she called the executive director of Muditar, an organization in Myanmar that supports Pa-O tribal villages through sustainable development.  “Are you sitting down?” she asked.  Then, “I would like to congratulate you!  Your “Safeguarding Maternal and Infant Health” program will be featured by Dining For Women in July 2015 and we are committing $36,107 to you!”

Read Beth Ellen's full blog post

More news about programs and grants

2014 was a great year for Dining for Women. We had record donations, connected with outstanding programs and laid the groundwork for growth in our reach and global footprint. Here's a video look back at the incredible work you made possible last year!
There are just a few days remaining in this current grant application cycle. We are accepting Letters of Intent submitted through our online form for the first half of 2016 programs until April 24

May Featured Program

RIPPLE Africa, Malawi

Cooking should be one of those activities that makes us feel safe and secure. What’s more comforting than home fires? But in much of the developing world, indoor cooking over open flames results in dangerous household air pollution. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.3 million die each year from its complications.

RIPPLE Africa has developed a low-tech, sustainable and efficient stone cookstove that burns significantly less wood and uses bricks that retain heat as the cooking surface. This is safer than open flames, reduces the indoor air pollution and saves women significant time spent gathering wood for cooking fires. That time can now be used on educational or economic activities in the home.


— About the Changu Changu Moto program
Hangout with RIPPLE Africa on May 8 at 2 p.m. - Register to get updates and live link via email
Donate
Download the Chapter Leader Talking Points
Leadership
NEW REGIONAL CO-LEADER: Ruth Bates has accepted the role of co-leader in the Northeast Region, working alongside Leslye Heilig. Ruth is well known to Dining for Women. She has been leading the virtual chapter since January 2012.  Ruth joined Dining for Women in January 2011 when her friend Jeannette Artini let her know there was a new chapter starting on her side of town.  She quickly determined DFW was exactly her thing.  And since then, Ruth has volunteered in various roles including as a member of the website team and a New York chapter mentor.

Ruth’s background is in civil and environmental engineering, with a diverse job background including Harris Corporation, IBM, and Arcadis.  Ruth has been the treasurer of several local organizations.  She currently owns her own computer consulting business.  Ruth is so happy to be part of an outstanding organization which advocates for women and girls around the world.
Fundraising
WHO MADE YOU THE WOMAN YOU ARE?: On Mother's Day, we take the opportunity to honor all the women who mentored, supported and taught us. Mothers, sisters, aunts, teachers and grandmothers all can fulfill that role. We'll be rolling out our Mother's Day fundraising campaign and inviting you to make a donation in honor of that woman. We've also invited our programs to provide stories that illustrate the strength of the mother-daughter relationship in the work they do throughout the world. Watch for more on how you can recognize your mom or mentor on this important day!
Program News
AFTER EBOLA: Many of Dining for Women’s grantees are programs - like Project Muso - in West Africa. For the past year, the burdens of recovery from war, inadequate infrastructure and the struggle for education, health care and, in many cases, survival have been overshadowed by the fight against Ebola. In a three-part series, Dining for Women takes a closer look at this disease. This month, we focus on the basics of the disease and its impact and how Africa is trying to recover. In May, we take a look at how a past Dining for Women grantee played a critical role in containing the outbreak. Finally, in June, we look at the current state of this outbreak.
A NEW CNN HERO: Maggie Doyne, the founder and executive director of BlinkNow, one of our 2014 featured programs, has been selected as a CNN Hero. Maggie was a 19-year-old college student when she fell in love with Nepal and vowed to do something for the women and children there. With money saved from babysitting, she started the Kopila Valley Women's Center and School. We are proud to be a partner in how she's changing the world. Watch CNN video on Maggie!
PROGAM TWEETS: Like a lot of us, you may be confused by Twitter. But for many internationally, Twitter is the preferred communication method. That's one reason why you find a lot of information about our programs is posted on Twitter. To help you stay in touch (without having to figure out Twitter for yourself), we've got a page with a dynamic feed of tweets from our programs. Check it out.
Travel
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TRIP: Our 18 travelers have arrived in the Dominican Republic for the week-long service visit to the Mariposa DR Foundation. Follow their experiences through their blog posts all week. 
Virtual Events
ON-DEMAND/MamaBaby Haiti View our conversation with Leah Rashidyan, program director of MBH's Well Women in Northern Haiti program. She joined us to talk about how this program plans to fight cervical cancer in the country with the highest incidences in the world. Education and regular visits to the WWNH clinic will be key to diagnosis and treatment. 
VIRTUAL CHAPTER:  We're giving the virtual chapter the summer off. After several years in the same format and with its founding leader moving up to regional leadership, we're taking a break and gathering your ideas to help us redevelop the online meeting concept. If you have any experience with virtual events and would like to contribute your expertise to the new and improved Virtual Chapter, please contact Wendy Frattolin, member and volunteer director. She welcomes any input on the future direction of this member engagement initiative. Look for a new, improved Virtual Chapter this fall.
Staying connected
DFW YOUR WAY: Have you discovered our customized emails yet? Dining for Women is building up our blog and online content throughout the month. Have a topic you are particularly interested in? You tell us what it is and we send you an email when content is posted that matches your interests. It's easy and it's totally in your control. The easiest way to activate this is to scroll down to the very bottom of this email and click on update subscription preferences. Then you can select from any of the 11 interest-based emails we have set up. You'll only get an email when there is new content to share. But if you select more than one content area, you will get a different email for each one. We're excited to have this capability and hope that you'll encourage your members to give it a try as well. 
WHAT UNSUBSCRIBE MEANS: We all get a lot of email. The temptation is great to dump it all! But wait. As a Dining for Women chapter leader, this is our only method to communicate with you directly and we need you to stay plugged into important news and information. Unsubscribing is global change. When you unsubscribe, we are legally prohibited from emailing you anything. And we will not be able to add you back into the list if you change your mind (you will have to resubscribe on your own). Please help us out by passing this onto your members!
The Last Word
BANNER CHAPTER:  San Jose-2's Chapter Leader Polly Ferguson sent this photo taken during a recent meeting when they had 22 of 25 members in attendance. The chapter has been going strong for five years, raised $2200+ for the 13th Month Campaign last year, and continues to be engaged, energized and committed to supporting the mission and programs. Great job, Polly and all the San Jose-ers!
Communication Services provided by Laura Haight, president of Portfolio. We welcome all suggestions, comments and proposed content. Please submit using our communication form (you can attach photos and documents there as well). 
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