Even during a year in which the United States suffered through 16 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each, you, our members, showed up each month to support Dining for Women. Thanks to your record-breaking donations, in 2017 we were able to fund grants and partnerships that directly impacted the lives of nearly 40,000 women and girls in 18 countries around the world.
In January, we kicked off 2018 with a celebration as the original DFW chapter raised glasses of champagne to commemorate its 15th anniversary. This coming May, members from around the country will gather in Washington, DC to celebrate the milestone of 15 years of DFW. The Knowledge is Power conference will bring us together to connect with one another and to meet some of our outstanding grant recipients. Workshops and panel discussions with experts from the U.S. Institute of Peace and UNICEF (to name just a few!) will help us understand the current landscape facing women and girls around the world.
There is much work yet to be done in our quest for gender equality. We want to grow our ranks of global citizens to raise both awareness of the challenges facing women and girls in the developing world and funds for the transformative programs funded by our grants and partnerships. We have more than 30 brand new chapters getting ready to launch in the next few months, and our Regional Leaders are planning exciting events around the country that will attract new members in 2018. Dining for Women is poised to grow.
The coming year is also filled with exciting engagement opportunities for our members. In February, 14 excited DFW members will set off for an amazing trip to Rwanda. We look forward to hearing their inspiring stories of women and girls being impacted by programs funded by DFW grants.
On International Women’s Day (March 8), DFW will join with Oxfam to host our “Biggest Chapter Meeting of the Year” via live webcast. We hope that as many of you as possible will gather with your chapters to learn more about the impact that the U.S. foreign aid budget has on women and girls in the developing world.
We enter 2018 with much optimism and celebration. It is going to be an exciting and engaging year for the members of DFW.
Hope to see you in DC!
DFW Board Chair