Transforming Lives and Finding Fulfilment: A Journey of Empowering Women
In the realm of timeless wisdom, a Chinese saying has resonated for generations, echoing the sentiment that true happiness emerges from helping others. The adage goes, "If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody." Countless luminaries throughout history, from Leo Tolstoy and the Dalai Lama to Muhammad Yunus and Winston Churchill, have converged on a common truth: happiness finds its roots in the act of helping others.
The core of WOAM lies in the hundreds of remarkable women who have joined me and my co-founders, Valerie Boffy and Karine Moge, on challenging expeditions to some of the world's most breath-taking locations. These women are not just fellow adventurers; they are champions of a cause. They voluntarily fund their travel expenses and actively participate in fundraising for our charity partners.
It has been over a decade since the birth of Women On A Mission (WOAM ) and when I reflect on my journey to date, one word encapsulates the essence of that mission: empowerment. Specifically, empowering women who have faced the most challenging circumstances in war-torn regions. Our team’s commitment to this cause has been unwavering, and the heart of our efforts lies in supporting Women for Women International.
This beautiful organisation's mission resonates deeply with me, and it has become a driving force behind WOAM's endeavours. I firmly believe in the strength of women supporting women and the transformative impact it can have on our world.
These incredible teammates embody the spirit of unity and the collective power of compassion.
Their efforts reach far beyond the borders of our expeditions, as they actively contribute as advocates and role models to making the world a better place for women and girls. Their dedication to our shared cause is a testament to the potential for positive change when individuals come together with a common purpose.
Our decision to support Women for Women International through WOAM has set in motion a chain reaction of positive impact. The women who have joined me on this journey share a common commitment: to support and empower women who have been subjected to violence and abuse. Inequality remains one of the central challenges of our time, with pervasive gender inequality bearing responsibility for the disproportionate impact of armed conflict, sexual violence, and economic crises on women. My WOAM teammates and I hold a deep passion for gender equality and female empowerment, firmly believing that corporations, governments, and society all bear responsibility for bridging the gender gap.
With women constituting half of the world's population and steadily gaining economic power and influence, the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles remains a stark reality. WOAM's advocacy primarily revolves around raising awareness, helping women comprehend their rights, and empowering them to build stronger livelihoods. Throughout our expeditions, my teammates and I have had the privilege of sharing deeply touching moments with women from various corners of the world. The opportunity to make a difference is indeed an honour, and by marrying my passion for adventure with my commitment to helping others, I have discovered a level of fulfilment and happiness that I had not deemed possible.
Ultimately, WOAM aspires to encourage women to step far outside their comfort zones, their homes, and families, for a period, while pushing their limits to rally support for a noble cause. Our team seeks to make new discoveries and grow as individuals. Most importantly, we aim to give back to society.
Violence against women and girls continues to be one of the biggest obstacles to equality, development, peace, and universal human rights. The promise of the Sustainable Development Goals—to leave no one behind—remains unfulfilled without an end to violence against women and girls.
I am deeply committed to playing my part in eradicating this grave human injustice. Violence against women has no place in our modern, international society.
Our first expedition
The first expedition to Everest Base Camp in 2012, a transformative and formative experience, served as the catalyst for WOAM's inception and began my advocacy journey for women. It ignited in me a thirst for growth, meaningful contributions, and exploration. I felt reborn and ready to embrace the thrilling journey ahead.
Our most recent adventure
More than a decade has passed since our inception, and we've recently returned from our 12th expedition, this time to Namibia. There, we achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first all-female team to traverse the formidable Namib Desert on foot, all while continuing our dedicated efforts to raise essential funds and awareness for Women for Women International.
These years of dedication have underscored the profound impact that a small group of committed individuals can have on the world. We have not only transformed the lives of countless women but have also been transformed ourselves. In this ever-evolving journey, we have come to understand that growth and success thrive when we dare to take risks, confront challenges, and speak out against injustice. WOAM's enduring mission to empower women, foster gender equality, and eliminate violence against women and girls remains a beacon of hope in our world. As we continue to embark on new adventures to support the inspiring work of Women for Women International, we draw strength from the belief that a lifetime of happiness can be found in the lifelong pursuit of helping others.
Other Fantastic Supporters
Hear from Kyra Guenther, President of St Andrews Women for Women International Student Society. She shares her experiences and top tips after leading this incredible award-winning Student Society, which has supported women survivors of war for more than 10 years.
Thank you, St Andrews Women for Women International Student Society!
A true member of our global sisterhood, Lootie is currently running around the world in support of the women we serve. In this blog, she shares the reason behind her support and journey and some useful training tips for our #SheInspiresMe Squad.
We asked Ruth to share what inspired her and the team to come together and complete their very own 500 for 500 challenge in support of women survivors of war.