The Lubbock chapter of Women for Women International, an internationally affiliated organization dedicated to supporting women who are victims of war through financial and emotional support, officially launched Thursday.
Texas Tech launched the local chapter of the organization with an introductory meeting in the Llano Estacado Room of the Student Union Building.
“Our organization will sponsor one or more women,” said Hannah Lilly, a senior nutritional sciences major from Lubbock and president of the Lubbock chapter of Women for Women International. “We will collect $27 a month for a woman to be enrolled in a one-year program that will teach her skills, rights and how to be a productive member of society. We write letters back and forth to them for emotional support, too.”
Funds generated are broken up into providing school tuition for children of sponsored women, clothing, savings, income-generating activities and food, according to the Women for Women International website.
The international organization currently focuses on assisting women in Iraq, Afghanistan, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria and South Sudan
The Lubbock chapter is the first central United States chapter of Women for Women, said Lauren Spangler, a senior music theory major from Albuquerque, N.M.
“It’s exciting to see this particular organization at Tech, because we’re the only central United States chapter,” Spangler said. “All the other chapters are on the east or west coast.”
Funding and awareness events are scheduled throughout the rest of the year, Lilly said.
“We’ll have a bake sale on March 28 and 29 in the free speech area at the Student Union Building,” she said. “We’re going to co-sponsor an awareness event with another women’s organization on campus, the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance. We’ll show, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a movie about women in war.”
A silent auction will be scheduled at an upcoming First Friday Art Trail, Lilly said.
“The silent auction is the biggest community event we have so far,” she said. “Funds raised will go toward the Women for Women chapter in Lubbock.”
In addition to funds raised, Women for Women are looking for local support, Lilly said.
“We’ll see if some local business would be willing to donate some of their profits to our organization,” she said.
Members of Women for Women are looking to reach out into the Lubbock community, said Rahel Tekola, a junior political science major from Richardson and a chairperson for the organization.
“This is an international effort, but we’re looking to make it a domestic effort as well,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll be working with other women organizations in Lubbock.”
Taking advantage of an opportunity with an organization like this is important, said Lanna Sheldon, a senior mass communications major from Evant.
“There are many women on campus who are willing to help out and want to get involved, but don’t know where to start first,” she said. “Our goal right now is to reach more students on campus and help them to get involved, so we can make an impact in women’s lives, not only locally but ideally abroad.”
The next meeting of Women for Women International Lubbock will be at 5:30 p.m. March 1 in the Llano Estacado room in the SUB.