By Katie Carey Nivard, Director of Global Partnerships, Mama Hope. 

The start to 2017 rocked our US-based Mama Hope team to the core — during that time we relied heavily on our partners around the globe to help us understand ourselves and our own local communities. We continue to learn so much from their work, fighting for equality and human rights, and feel incredibly fortunate to be applying those learnings to our everyday lives.

Their visions for the futures of their communities and for our world inspired us to be bold — and before we knew it we were referring to 2017 as "The Year of the Woman." To honor our partners and their work on International Women’s Day, we bring you 13 short profiles from incredible women and their words of hope for the future.

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These are just a few in our Mama Hope family who are on on the front lines and have bravely committed their lives to creating social change. Even though we are from different places, speak different languages, practice different faiths and come from different cultures, we all have one thing in common: nothing will stop us from fulfilling our purpose!

May their stories be your stories. May we connect honestly and openly, as together we work towards creating a future we can all believe in.

Read More: 9 Black Activists Who Are Fighting Injustice And Fixing America


Ingrid was inspired by her activist father who gave his life for his community, now runs El Arbol Del Nino, a holistic rights-based education center in Panajachel, Guatemala.


Mercy, who is an East Africa Advocate, is creating girls empowerment clubs at our partner schools in Tanzania.


Alice, who runs Glorious School in Arusha, Tanzania, is not only educating children but also children's mothers so that they can start their own businesses.


Dia works closely with women’s groups in Budondo, Uganda to provide them with counseling, emotional support and health outreach for girls.


Aika, an East Africa Advocate, is working with Femme International to break down stigmas about menstruation in our schools in Tanzania.


Jania, who is our first US-based Global Advocate, is running an entrepreneurship program for girls in the Grier Heights community in Charlotte, NC.


Morgan is a Mama Hope Global Advocate who partnered with Flying Kites in Kenya to strengthen their programs around education and youth health.


Magatte is a TED Global Africa Fellow and a Forbes “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa” is the powerhouse founder of our brand partner Tiossan.


Lauren is the founder of Mama Hope brand partner Wine + Moxxi, spent the first several years of her career working with girls and women across sub-Saharan Africa.


Leila is the founder and director of Flying Kites, an organization that is igniting the potential of vulnerable children in Kenya through high­ quality education and holistic support.


Kilines, who has a PHD from The University of Edinburgh, returned to her home village to found a school that educates the most vulnerable children in the community.


Jennifer is the founder of Soul Carrier, which partners with women artisans in Mexico to produce handbags.


Megha's family founded the Desai Foundation, which is dedicated to building strong health care systems in India and promoting Indian culture and heritage in the US.

Mama Hope’s mission is to unlock human potential by taking a collaborative approach to global development. We provide training and funding to build locally-led, sustainable projects that impact our partner communities worldwide while challenging mainstream perceptions of poverty through our Stop the Pity campaign.


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