Taking on the World, One Woman at a Time
Tirzah International is a global network of change agents helping women build beautiful lives, families, and communities in the face of injustice.
A network of grassroots movements, Tirzah partners with women leaders in their own nations to combat poverty, exclusion from education, modern-day slavery, HIV/AIDS, and violence against women and girls. Tirzah does this by helping women increase their security by earning more income, by addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds they carry, and by cultivating and equipping advocates who are willing to use their voices, skills, and talents to work for gender equality and justice.
with Beautiful Dreams…
How I Got Involved
It had been a long-time dream of mine to return to Sub-Saharan Africa. I’d lived in the Central African Republic for twenty-seven months right out of college. I saw first-hand how rural women shouldered the burden of not only running their household, caring for children, collecting wood and water, preparing meals, and working in their field (most were peanut farmers), but also engaging in some entrepreneurial endeavor to provide desperately-needed income.
I left the Central African Republic wondering what more could be done to empower women to lead the kinds of changes that would not only change their future, but also the future of their children and the communities in which they lived. Thirty years later, I found myself in a doctoral program studying transformational leadership, with an emphasis on cultural transformation. My research is focused on factors enhancing women’s leadership efficacy in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that’s how I ended up traveling with Tirzah International. As a result, I was able to witness the extraordinary work being done by BCDA and its team of leaders to empower women to lead change where change is needed most—on the northern outskirts of Addis Ababa, where the majority of the growing displaced gathering there are HIV-positive single mothers.
As amazing as the BCDA program leaders are, and as inspiring as the women they empower are, equally extraordinary are the women who traveled to visit them.
As a singer/songwriter, Kimbra is dedicated to advocating for the women of Ethiopia. This was her third trip with Tirzah to visit the work of BCDA. She has made a special connection with this beautiful girl, who is also a visionary artist like herself—a girl with big dreams! Kimbra is committed to supporting her all along the way.
Kitty is a long-time supporter and advocate of Tirzah. She has traveled extensively to visit Tirzah-supported programs around the globe. This was her second trip to Addis Ababa, and included a bittersweet reunion.
Asther, the woman she is pictured with here, was one of the original beneficiaries of BCDA. Asther became a respected leader, mentor, and friend of all. As a result of the program, her son went to university. Asther passed away from a debilitating illness shortly after we returned home.
Jessica is a passionate and committed Tirzah board member. Her story began in Rwanda, and has culminated in several follow-up visits there, as well as many visits to Tirzah’s programs in Kenya and Ethiopia. Her love for the women and their children is palpable. She is a courageous leader committed to empowering women everywhere.