Passionate MEDA supporter anticipates all-women field experience

MEDA field experiences offer supporters the opportunity to meet people changed by our business-minded approach to poverty and to learn how MEDA’s work enriches lives. This fall, however, we’re adding a new twist to our traditional field experiences. MEDA staffers Ruth Leaman and Bethany Nussbaum will lead an all-women field experience trip to Eastern Africa in October to visit our Ethiopian EDGET (Ethiopians Driving Growth through Entrepreneurship and Trade) project.

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Charlotte Rosenberger, one of the women taking part in the Women Empowering Women Field Experience, had a key role in shaping the 10-day trip. “I’m looking forward to the adventure of traveling with strong, mature women and sharing in the communal leadership together.”
The party will see MEDA project farmers in action. Charlotte grew up on a farm in southeast Iowa and has a special place in her heart for working with the soil. She and her husband have made a point of taking good care of the earth. “We’ve restored the soils and the environment into a healthy, economically sustainable farm.” Charlotte is hoping to share some of what she’s learned with women farmers she meets.

Empowering women is important to Charlotte. “It’s a proven fact—when women are empowered, they work together and bring the whole village with them. They are more respected by their husbands and more equal.” Charlotte sees the trip’s band of women as a village, traveling together and sharing their gifts with one another. The visitors will see MEDA’s current projects and meet women participants. “MEDA’s work with women will help improve human rights and increase incomes.”

There is great energy in the group: This will be a new kind of trip for both MEDA and the travelers. “There is a sense of adventure—of coming together and seeing what we have to share—and an openness to learn from African women. Together, we will have greater gifts to share than our own individual gifts.” Charlotte hopes the women’s visit will demonstrate their support for community empowerment of local villages, and that they will witness the benefits for local women working in the projects.