MEET DR. ABOSEDE LEWU

DOCTOR, EDUCATOR, AND FEMINIST

Dr. Abosede Lewu from Lagos, Nigeria witnessed doctors saving her mother’s life during a life-threatening delivery. Moved by this experience, she committed to becoming a doctor and made it her mission to save lives, prioritizing women’s health education and access to health care.

“I know the responsibilities that come with being a girl and woman in Africa and we are so busy caring for and loving everyone else, we tend to omit or forget to care for ourselves.” — Dr. Abosede Lewu, Project Leader

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World Connect Program Officer Morag Neill-Johnson with Dr. Abosede Lewu in Ajegunle, Nigeria.

After receiving her medical degree, Dr. Lewu founded GirlsAide in 2015, a nonprofit committed to empowering and supporting girls, women and young people with health education and services, in Lagos, Nigeria. Over time, Dr. Lewu observed from her medical practice that the most preventable and yet most deadly disease was cervical cancer. With $15,000 from World Connect over two years, GirlsAide educated 1,200 women on cervical cancer causes, vaccines, and preventative strategies, screened 580 women for free, connected 74 women to primary care physicians for treatment, and treated 16 women immediately for advanced lesions. …


MEET MARISOL PEÑALOZA

FIRECRACKER, LEADER, AND MOTHER

Kallpa Warmi means “power of women” in Kichwa, a Quechuan language. In Southern Ecuador, this is also the name of a women’s cooperative led by Marisol Peñaloza, a 32-year-old entrepreneur living in the community of Sayausí, a predominately indigenous rural community near Cuenca. Marisol has led two World Connect projects over the last two years. The first grant of $500 organized 25 women into a recycled art cooperative business. The second grant of $2,800 launched a catering operation specializing in traditional Ecuadoran cuisine located in Cajas National Park. The cooperative is now 42 women strong.

“ONCE MY FIRST GRANT WAS APPROVED BY WORLD CONNECT I BEGAN TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF AND SO DID MY COMMUNITY.” — MARISOL…


MEET ELVIS NDANSI

VISIONARY, HEALTHCARE CHAMPION, AND FATHER

In early 2007, while working as a nurse in Cameroon, Elvis Ndansi met a distressed mother who came to the health center where he worked to get help for the sick baby she had been carrying on her back for more than five hours. Upon helping the mother untie the baby from her back, Elvis realized the baby had died. “I pretended as if all was okay and rushed the baby to the emergency ward,” Elvis recounted. “I imagine that if I had given her the news immediately, she would have crashed. How could she get such news after walking so far to save the life of her sick child?” …


MEET LUSMILA REINOSO — INNOVATOR, BUSINESSWOMAN, AND MOTHER

Written by: Isabelle Kane, World Connect Summer Intern, Tulane ‘21

Lusmila Reinoso is an Ecuadorian woman and mother living in San Pablito De Agualongo, a small, rural, indigenous community in Ecuador’s northern Pichincha province. She is the manager of a local dairy collection and distribution association called “El Lecherito.” After a World Connect investment of $2,520 in 2016 to construct 20 dollies to aid milk jug transportation for women, local women experienced increased efficiency and reduced pain from carrying 60 lb. milk containers on their backs multiple times per day. More efficient milk transport led to savings elsewhere and Lusmila was able to broaden her economic pursuits. She now owns the largest rose garden in her community, making her an economic powerhouse and influential entrepreneur. …


On July 31, 2018, Anthony Kennedy retired from the U.S. Supreme Court. It is widely believed his retirement will usher in a more conservative era on the court, which could result in more limitations on women’s reproductive health options. Many are concerned about the impending impact of this shift on women in the US, but women around the world are already experiencing consequences from a reduction in funds for sexual and reproductive health. …


The attention to the crisis at the southern U.S. border has vitally focused attention on the symptoms of a global development crisis. But behind the injustices of separating children from their parents are injustices that drove the parents to make their fateful decision to migrate in the first place. Imagine the circumstances it would take for you to willingly leave your family, your friends, and your home. To leave behind your identity, your history, your worldly possessions, and your social capital to search for refuge in a country where you don’t speak the language and where you might be separated from your child upon entry. This is not a decision made lightly by the thousands of individuals from Central America and elsewhere hoping for asylum and a new life in the United States. To understand why this is happening, not only on the southern border of the U.S. …

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World Connect

We invest in locally designed and led projects that drive self-sustaining development in under-resourced areas of the world.

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