2007 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence in Service—Disadvantaged Women and Children

Quota International of Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota

Embracing the saying, “There’s no place like home,” Bismarck-Mandan Quotarians worked together to provide comfortable quarters for those who need it most in their community: homeless women and their children. The cities of Bismarck and Mandan have facilities to house abused women and homeless men, but both have had to turn away women who needed a bed for the night. Last year, a local organization, the Ruth Meiers Hospitality House (RMHH), was finally promised county funds to finance two three-bedroom, one-bath apartments. This unfurnished housing provided a much-needed dwelling but was without the comforts of home that women in trying circumstances needed.

Enter Quota International of Bismarck-Mandan. The club elected to furnish an entire apartment with their own donated furniture as well as items purchased with club funds. Over 20 members offered a sofa bed, love seat, tables, chairs, dishes, bedding, rugs, bookcases, lamps, decorations, and much more, and the club purchased bunk beds, twin beds, mattresses, and window shades. On August 15, RMHH signed a lease and the Quotarians were given the key to the apartment. Within hours, they’d transformed the shelter into a home.

Upon learning of the Quotarians’ work, a local church group was inspired to furnish RMHH’s second apartment. Within days of becoming available, both units were filled with women and children who enjoyed a restful stay as they transitioned to independent lives—residents have had a 100 percent success rate at finding employment and securing their own places to stay.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.

Quota International of Manila, The Philippines

Hundreds of families in Manila can look forward to a brighter future, thanks to the livelihood training that Quota International of Manila’s award-winning project provided in depressed communities. Women in these areas are caught in a cycle of poverty, barely able to feed their children, much less provide for education. Unable to afford day care and seeking flexible schedules so they can tend to their families, they often do odd jobs in wealthy households, making just $4.U.S. per day. To create better lives for themselves and futures for their children, these women seek opportunities to be self-employed, but often lack the training.

Manila Quotarians have made entrepreneurialism possible by providing a range of skills training sessions and materials for women to start their own businesses. Their first, Ganda Mo Hanapbuhay Ko (“Your Beauty is Our Livelihood), was a five-day course in basic cosmetology; the second, a course in therapeutic massage and natural healing. The courses concluded with a graduation day where women received starter kits, so they could begin their own businesses and offered their services free of charge to the community. Both were so successful that the club held the workshops a second time, and also added a third workshop to its offerings: more than 40 women attended a workshop on meat processing, where they also learned packaging and marketing skills.

By the end of the year, more than 200 women had gone through the training, and program follow-up indicated a remarkable success rate—and remarkable possibilities in the futures for participants and their families.

Click image to enlarge.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.

To return to the 2007 Excellence Award Winners main page, click here.

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