Today, we want to celebrate one of our amazing supporters, Mira Borggreen. From sponsoring a sister to attending #SheInspiresMeLive 2.0, to spreading the word about Women for Women International’s vital work, Mira embodies what it means to be part of our global sisterhood. We asked Mira to share her experience of being part of our global community.
Looking back, I now see that several of the women who inspire me are somehow all connected to Women for Women International. So I guess it was only a matter of time before I would get involved too since I always look for opportunities to help other women rise and expand my sisterhood!
I first heard about Women for Women International when Hillary Clinton was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour at the Women for Women International Annual Luncheon in 2017. I am the founder of Danes for Hillary - a Danish grassroots organisation that supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. One of the reasons I support Hillary is her steadfast support for women and girls’ rights.
Last spring, I went to see Gillian Anderson’s play All About Eve in London. I had no idea she was a Women for Women International Ambassador, but I saw on Instagram that she had set up an amazing opportunity to donate to Women for Women International at the play.
In August of last year, she posted on Instagram that everyone who signed up to sponsor a sister would receive a free copy of her and Jennifer Nadel’s book “We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere” I already had the book but I saw it as the perfect opportunity to sign up to sponsor a sister - and gift the book to my best friend.
My sponsored sister’s name is Marzia. She lives in Afghanistan and I write her a letter every month via Women for Women International’s online supporter area. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to respond yet, but I still love the opportunity to connect with her. It helps strengthen our connection and makes the sponsorship feel more like an actual friendship, which is why my letters have gone from starting with ‘Hello’ in the beginning to ‘Dear Marzia’ now!
Hopefully, she’ll be able to respond to me some day but I understand that there may be underlying reasons why she can’t and just knowing she receives my letters of encouragement and support makes me happy.
Sadly, COVID-19 has interrupted her training at Women for Women International due to lockdown causing the programme to be temporarily suspended - but to me being a sister means being a sister especially when something like COVID-19 hits. To make sure Marzia was not cut off from the programme prematurely due to something she has no control over, I chose to extend my sponsorship to cover her training until it is reopened and she can graduate.
I encourage anyone else who sponsors a sister to consider if they have the means and opportunity to do the same thing.
The connections with amazing women through Women for Women International do not stop at sponsorship. This summer, in particular through attending #SheInspiresMe LIVE 2.0 I felt like I truly became part of the Women for Women International global sisterhood.
I have been working from home for a big part of the last seven months due to COVID-19. In June of this year, I had just started going back to the office again but I kept more or less to myself when I got home to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19 since I am part of the vulnerable group. Therefore, I was so excited when I saw that #SheInspiresMe LIVE 2.0 would be held as an online festival.
I had the most amazing and uplifting day on June 20th getting to know the Women for Women International community, listening to the incredible panels with all female speakers, and engaging with other attendees in the comments.
I was so inspired and looking back, #SheInspiresMe LIVE 2.0. has been one of the highlights of my 2020! It was such a clever way to use digital platforms to unite women and supporters from around the world. Many of us do not live in London or Washington D.C. where many events are held, so online events like #SheInspiresMe LIVE 2.0, the exclusive makeup masterclass with Sofia Tilbury and Niomi Smart, and Brita’s conversation with Clarissa Ward help unite us and create a strong sense of sisterhood!
After #SheInspiresMe LIVE 2.0 I reached out to some of the amazing women at the Women for Women International UK branch, including Executive Director Brita Fernandez Schmidt. Brita is honestly one of the most positive and lovely people! Her Instagram feed lights up my days with inspiration, positivity, and so many book recommendations - I’m pretty much set for the next year!
All in all, I can honestly say getting involved in the Women for Women International global community has helped me stay positive and hopeful during 2020!
P.S. Every year in March, I gather a group of my amazing female friends for a birthday lunch. The lunch was held the weekend before Denmark closed down due to COVID-19 in the spring. This year I asked my friends to share their messages of sisterhood and support on #MessageToMySister cards, a campaign Women for Women International ran during International Women’s Day. Next year I will show them the #HopeInSisterhood film with Brita and Amela and encourage them to sponsor a sister!
GIVE THE GIFT OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Sponsor a sister during the month of October and we will send you two tulip bulbs to symbolise the connection between you and your sponsored sister.
Women for Women International was founded in 1993 by Zainab Salbi and Amjad Atallah to offer financial and emotional support to women displaced by the Bosnian War.
In 2016, the Žene za Žene International Association of Sarajevo was established as an autonomous, locally registered sister organisation to continue its work independently.
In these uncertain times, the importance of community, hope and friendship has never been more important. These values are the heart of our work and our commitment to growing a truly global community.
"Building a personal connection with my sponsor sister, Amela, became a source of strength for me." Our Executive Director, Brita Fernandez Schmidt shares the story of meeting her first sponsor sister and the very real impact of our programme.