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Supporter Spotlight: The 500 for 500 Team

Between the 7th February and 4th April 2021, Ruth, Gideon and 46 of their friends and family challenged themselves to run or walk 500km in eight weeks for Women for Women International, to match the half a million women we have supported since 1993 across eight conflict affected countries.

Together, they raised an amazing £7,121 for women survivors of war, and we could not be more grateful!

We are in awe of how dedicated our supporters can be, and how successful they are in bringing people together to create real change in the lives of the women we serve.

We asked Ruth to share what inspired her and the team to come together and complete this challenge in support of women survivors of war.

Here is what she had to say.

One of the reasons I chose to support Women for Women International is because their intervention has been demonstrated as being effective in a randomised control trial (RCT) – the gold standard of experimentation. 

When we try to have a positive impact around the world, particularly in places we can’t see or have never been to, let alone lived in, we want to make sure that what we're doing is actually helping others, rather than having either no impact or at worst, an unintended detrimental impact. 

Reading the study results, as well as the stories of the programme graduates, it’s clear what an incredible impact the Stronger Women, Stronger Nations 12-month programme has on not only the individual women’s lives, but on those around them too. 

During emergencies like COVID-19, women and girls are often impacted the most, making the work Women for Women International does more important than ever right now. I wanted to go beyond sponsoring a sister (a great sponsorship scheme, and a very tangible way to literally change a woman’s life) and do more to raise awareness about Women for Women International’s work to maximise my impact. That’s when I thought of fundraising and raising awareness at the same time. 

Amazingly, we had 23 teams sign up and power through the challenge from across the world!

Ruth Waxman Barth

I’ve never been someone to want to do an exercise-related challenge alone, so I put some feelers out amongst family, friends and my lovely team at work to see if others wanted to get involved. It’s been pretty cold and tough during winter in the UK’s third lockdown, so doing a challenge that encouraged participants to regularly get out of the house, to see us into spring, felt like something that might appeal to others.

And so the #500for500 challenge was born: 500km, for the 500,000 woman empowered by Women for Women International’s work to date, in eight weeks, to give me time to raise awareness around each of the eight conflict-affected countries that Women for Women International works in.

When we think about the world's greatest problems, it feels hard to imagine how we, as individuals, can have an impact. One step at a time though, each person's efforts through this challenge empowered 25 women survivors of war to lift themselves, their families and their communities up, with life-saving health, economic and social training. If that’s not motivation, then what is!

Ruth Waxman Barth

I’d also love for others reading this to get inspired to start their own #500for500 challenges to continue to spread the support and awareness.

Ruth Waxman Barth
Gideon Waxman Barth

I’m excited to be supporting a brilliant charity, and it is great to do something positive and active during lockdown.

Gideon Waxman Barth
Miriam Westbrook

The organisation does so much demonstrable good for some of the most vulnerable women in the world and I'm glad to have the opportunity to support them.

Miriam Westbrook
Tanya and Jacob Frankel-Waxman

Gender equality is a topic close to our hearts. The opportunity to get fit and improve our own health was an added bonus!

Tanya and Jacob Frankel-Waxman

Supporting and promoting the liberation of women across the world has been proven time and time again to be a critical building block to securing a more sustainable future for everyone. At a time when the fallout from the pandemic is having a regressive effect on gender equality, the work of Women for Women International has never felt more important.

Stephanie and Jennifer Lipman
Stephanie and Jennifer Lipman

Taking part in the fantastic 500 for 500 initiative has been a great way to get involved and raise awareness of such a worthy cause.

Stephanie and Jennifer Lipman
Natalie Emden
Natalie Emden

To focus, with each step I took, on women whose lives deserved the life-changing opportunities offered by Women for Women International, was a privilege and pleasure

Natalie Emden
We would love everyone, of all ages and abilities, to take part in the Captain Tom 100. Photo: The Captain Tom Foundation
We would love everyone, of all ages and abilities, to take part in the Captain Tom 100. Photo: The Captain Tom Foundation

Now it's your turn!

You too can challenge yourself, your friends, and family from Friday 30th April to Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May 2021 by taking part in the Captain Tom 100. Friday 30th April 2021 would have been Captain Sir Tom’s 101st birthday and in celebration of his insurmountable spirit, the hope and joy he brought to millions, and his sense of fun – we are excited to be taking part in the Captain Tom 100!

Join us today – all you need to do is dream up your Captain Tom 100.

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