A SheWinS Story: Rising Above Challenges
Dear Supporters of Women’s Empowerment,
Bad things happen to good people, but it’s how we respond that truly defines us. Meet Cindy Burns, the resilient force behind SheWinS, a program dedicated to empowering girls and keeping them in school.
In the span of just three months, Cindy faced unimaginable setbacks. In November, all her computers and tech equipment were stolen. Then, in December, her longest-serving employee vanished with the company truck and all the carpentry tools. In January she had a stroke. Despite these challenges, Cindy refuses to give up on the girls she’s been supporting for fifteen years.
How You Can Help:
1. Donate to Rebuild: Your donation will go directly towards helping Cindy hire extra help to keep the program running and rebuild what was lost. Every dollar makes a difference in the lives of these girls.
2. Spread the Word: Share Cindy’s story and the SheWinS program with your friends, family, and colleagues. Together, we can rally support and ensure that these girls continue to receive the opportunities they deserve.
3. Support Resilience: Cindy’s determination is an inspiration to us all. Let’s stand with her and show that when challenges arise, the community comes together to lift each other up.
Cindy Burns and the girls of SheWinS need our support now more than ever. Let’s come together to ensure that despite the setbacks, they continue to thrive and succeed.
Thank you for being a part of this journey.
SheWinS is a Vermont-registered nonprofit organization that offers an after-school soccer program dedicated to empowering, mentoring, and encouraging individual development of the young girls in Memel. Founded in 2008, SheWinS collaborates with the Memel Primary School, located in the center of town. While the main focus is on the primary school girls, there is also a competitive track and field team that includes both boys and girls.
SheWinS invests in local girls and provides them with the confidence and resources to establish healthy lifestyles and identities of leadership and strength. Since SheWinS began, nearly all primary-school-aged girls have been enrolled in the program.
The girls have become more alert and confident in class. Academic performance has improved, especially in English and reading, and all girls develop healthier eating and lifestyle habits. The program contributes to real individual and community empowerment as well as opportunities for social mobility.
While the first and longest-running program is soccer, SheWinS also hosts other programs in math and reading, art and music, dance and yoga. A library of over 5,000 books has been built, the best public school library in the Free State.
The track and field team is competitive both within the Free State and on national levels, sending a few students to the highest level of competition each year. Along with Memel Primary, SheWinS has consistently taken top places and has been close to breaking records at the Harrismith Drakensberg Regionals and Eastern Free State Finals in Bethlehem.
SheWinS is run every year by volunteer coaches. Our volunteers are typically American women who commit to spending three months in South Africa. They work as coaches and mentors and are encouraged to take on independent projects. Room and board, in-country transportation, and daily living expenses are covered by the organization. All of our athletic programs are managed by a local head coach along with the volunteer American coaches.
Volunteering with SheWinS is an exciting and challenging experience. Volunteers are given independence and creative leeway as they conceptualize, design, plan, and execute their projects in collaboration with Memel Primary School. SheWinS is ultimately made powerful by the initiative of passionate volunteers who bring their energy, skills, and an attitude of service to everything they do.
The SheWinS program is generously funded by a network of private donors. Their faithful support keeps the program thriving and enables it to continue growing, while the talents and fresh perspectives of an active rotation of volunteers ensure that the activities are impactful on the ground.
SheWinS is working with Naropa University to provide class credits and educational opportunities that fit their programs. SheWinS has also developed ties with www.womenswilderness.org.
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved in SheWinS, please contact Cindy Burns at email@example.com