Tag Archives: Women Cradle of Abundance

Doing Their Part in Coach Class

A renowned but humble malaria fighter is today’s lead story in the science section of the New York Times.  Unlike many of his NGO peers, Rear Adm. R. Timothy Ziemer flies coach  instead of business and takes meetings with village chiefs as well as with the high-muckety-muck do-gooders.

2014 elsie and danielHis story echoes that of a friend from my church, Daniel Shungu,  founder of the United Front Against Riverblindness.    He dedicated his later years to fight riverblindness and works in a self-effacing but efficient fashion. He left yesterday (in coach, sloughing off concerns for his safety re the Ebola epidemic) for a meeting in Geneva and then for village visits in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He’ll be back in time for Karrin Allyson’s  November 9  “Chansons pour le Congo,” jazz concert fundraiser for UFAR and Women, Cradle of Abundance. (The latter charity is shepherded in this country by Prof. Elsie McKee, shown here with Shungu.)

Also yesterday I heard Don Stryker, facilities director at Princeton Friends School, share news of his daughter, Ella Watson-Stryker. She is in Liberia, on her third trip to West Africa to help with the Ebola epidemic and writes in the Guardian about why she keeps coming back.

 I came back for my colleagues who are tired, heartbroken and angry and need someone to take their place when they are too exhausted to continue. I came back because of the children dying alone in boxes, and for the elders who, having survived war, now watch their communities being consumed by a virus that has no cure. I came back for the patients who survive. And most of all I came back for our Guinean, Sierra Leonean, and Liberian staff who are fighting the long fight with a level of courage and compassion that exceeds anything I have ever seen. If they can keep going for months on end, then I can come back to help them.

Meanwhile a Liberian native, Judy Stryker (no relation), spoke to the United Methodist Women at Princeton United Methodist Church about the charity WOMASSI, and the women are rallying to help her collect health care supplies (rubber gloves, sanitizer, etc) that she personally mails to Liberia.

We each have a part, especially those who fly in coach class.


Zastra is the new store for Aruna Arya. Congratulations, Aruna! Her previous store, Miss Simoni, was on a lower level on Nassau Street. Aruna has been an enthusiastic supporter of UFAR and Women, Cradle of Abundance.
At 28 Palmer Square East, it will be a terrific location for a fine designer and energetic retailer.

Jazz for Congo Charities

karrin AllisonThe Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the worst places in the world to be a woman. But as peace talks begin there, a concert in Princeton offers a glimmer of hope to women in the DRC. Karrin Allyson, a Grammy award-nominated artist, presents jazz ranging from John Coltrane to Elton John in “A Song for Congo” on Thursday, November 14, at 7 p.m. The concert, which takes place at a private Princeton clubhouse, benefits charities in the DRC, including Women, Cradle of Abundance, and UFAR, United Front Against Riverblindness. Refreshments will be served. Tickets are $60, $30 for students, and $250 for sponsors and may be reserved at http://www.womancradleofabundance.org/getinvolved.

Based in the capital city of Kinshasa, Woman, Cradle of Abundance provides a community where women gather to share their stories and envision breaking the cycle of poverty and violence. Founded in 1999 by an ecumenical group of Congolese women. it supports a sewing school where girls learn a marketable trade, enabling them to earn a living wage, support a family, and educate their children. Other projects include education in reading and writing as well as economic literacy, micro-finance opportunities for women, school uniforms and tuition fees for destitute children. medical care and support for women and children living with HIV / AIDS, and counseling for survivors of rape and forced prostitution.

Founded by Lawrenceville resident Daniel Shungu, UFAR is the African-inspired, nonprofit charitable organization that aims – in partnership with other organizations — to eradicate onchocerciasis, a major public health problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Though the medicine for riverblindness is provided free by Merck & Co., distributing it to remote villages costs 58 cents per person per year for 10 years. One-third of the 60 million people in that country are at risk for getting riverblindness, which starts with a rash and leads to sight loss, forcing children to leave school to care for parents.

It’s a rare opportunity to hear the Karrin Allyson, whose latest album, Yuletide Hideway, was just released. The New York Times said she was “a complete artist — one of the jazz world’s finest.”