RANCHO SANTA FE — A recent event raised both awareness and funds as guests learned about Visions Global Empowerment and its efforts to bridge the gap between education and gender equality around the world. The event theme of “Her Story Matters” attracted guest speakers and community members in Rancho Santa Fe.
Visions board member and Rancho Santa Fe resident Tamara Lafarga-Joseph, along with her husband Roger Joseph, hosted the event at their residence on Nov. 5.
“Our goal was to educate guests to the daily hardships of children in numerous countries and invite them to travel with a cause when we visit these countries,” Lafarga-Joseph said. “The plight of the most impoverished children in India, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Nicaragua.”
Visions assists in various ways including its educational reach into these countries by offering tools to overcome challenges.
“We can all play a part in uplifting these children,” Lafarga-Joseph said.
Founded in 2003, Visions is headquartered in Los Angeles.
Along with guests, many board members and advisory board members were also in attendance. Musical entertainment was provided, as well as libations, appetizers and desserts.
Guest speakers at the event included Visions founder Dr. Meera Pathmarajah, whose parents traveled from Northern Sri Lanka. She provided guests with a deep insight into the fractured educational opportunities for youth in this area.
Also speaking was Visions advisory board member Dr. Catherine Clark, who specializes in audiology. She talked about her work to launch a hearing assessment center in Ethiopia.
On hand was Robert Friedman, who talked about the founding of a residential school for disadvantaged girls in Nicaragua.
And Visions Executive Director Gregory Buie explained to guests the goal of Visions and how it works with communities in need.
“Worldwide, millions of children face immense daily hardships that prevent them from accessing a quality education or living to their full potential,” Buie said. “Girls in particular, especially in developing countries, often face greater exclusion and hardship due to cultural and social factors that prioritize the well-being of boys and encourage girls to play more traditional roles of homemaker, mother and day laborer.”
Buie went on to say that the root to breaking the cycle of hardship and poverty lies in educating women. It’s all about empowering them with the tools that Visions can provide.
Buie said these different tools include providing low-caste youth in India with an after-school program or assisting displaced and orphaned youth in Sri Lanka through leadership and life skills training.
He also pointed out that through Visions deaf women in Ethiopia are being afforded a livelihoods training and development initiative, while children of migrant coffee workers in Nicaragua are gaining access to an e-learning program platform.
“Visions is driven by an army of volunteers who are working hard to do their part of creating opportunities and ensure a brighter future for women and girls globally,” Buie said. “We all have something to offer. We can all make a difference. We invite you to get involved.”
To learn more about Visions Global Empowerment, visit www.VisionsGlobalEmpowerment.org.