Te Ira Waahine, Waikato Women’s Fund is one way of contributing to the future of women and girls in this beautiful region we live in.
As I sit down to write this post on ‘why I am a donor to Te Ira Waahine, Waikato Women’s Fund’, I am tossed by a storm of feeling. This is not easy to articulate, though the choice to be a donor was really easy. Writing and gifting are labours of love.
I am a mother of four daughters; three are adults now and I would ask that their world be a little kinder than it is sometimes. For our daughter, Rose, who died at 3 ½ months, I wanted a world that valued girls and women graciously, thoughtfully, enormously. I do this, in part, to honour the gift of her short lifetime.
And too, I have four sisters, a loving mother and a loving mother-in-law. Three of them are gone now. They gifted me pieces of wisdom, good food, friendship, nurture, laughter and joy (and occasionally heartache).
I have wonderful women friends and have worked with uncountable good women – women with skills, knowledge and compassion, who have shared all of those generously. (Being on the establishment committee of the Women’s Fund has grown that group – isn’t that a happy thing! A community of women grows through this Fund.)
Many of the wonderful women in my life are Maaori, and I acknowledge their patience and their grace as I travel the journey of honouring our Tiriti as part of the great journey of Aotearoa. I acknowledge especially those women who hold mana whenua in these lands of Waikato.
The great diversity of women takes some thinking too – Pasifika friends and colleagues, refugee women, amazing women met while travelling, women living with illness, grief, disability, women living their daily lives. Sometimes there are hard things in the lives and communities of women.
My life has been relatively privileged and, frankly, I have more resources than I ever imagined I might have. To share those resources and to argue for a world equitably nurturing and enabling for the fabulous diversity of women seems important. I am no great fan of the Lady Bountiful model of charity as our main way of redistributing resources, but I am a fan of using lots of ways available to us now to gift, to share, to respond to the women around us.
Te Ira Waahine, Waikato Women’s Fund is one way of contributing to the future of women and girls in this beautiful region we live in. It honours the community of women in our lives. It is practical and symbolic – a way of saying we value girls and women. I give gladly.