Almost every day at AJWS, I hear about inspiring signs of progress and amazing victories that we are achieving together as an organization across the world.
With 450 grantee organizations across 19 countries, we focus on so many vital issues that I know you care about. That’s why we’ve created a new series to help you stay up-to-date on the progress we’re making and the larger global issues at hand.
I am therefore proud to share our first “Stories of Hope” with you, a collection of salient updates on where your support is making the most impact across the world. We will be sharing these stories with you on a quarterly basis to bring you the latest on our mission to bring equity and justice to the most vulnerable people on the planet.
It would be a privilege to meet with you and discuss these stories and many others in person! Please feel free to email me on this or any other matter.
Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous start to the New Year.
Director, Midwest Region
Around the Globe
Just this month, the Indian Supreme Court struck down Section 377 of the Constitution, a colonial-era law that criminalized consensual sex between same sex adults. AJWS is proud to support so many of the organizations that have been leading the charge for equality in India, including several involved in the case. Now, all LGBTI people in India’s population of 1.3 billion are freer to be who they are and love whom they love—openly, safely and with pride.
AJWS grantee La Unidad Ecológica Salvadoreña (UNES) is protecting endangered mangrove forests in El Salvador, ensuring that this delicate ecosystem is preserved for future generations. This work is tremendously important as local rural communities depend on the mangroves and the creatures that thrive in them for food and their livelihood. This 1-minute video shows their work in action.
Though she is only 23 years old, Manju Kumari is already an elected leader in her rural village in India. She is one of an increasing number of women in her country who are filling political positions and challenging gender inequality and discrimination—and winning. Take 4 minutes to watch this inspiring video, which follows Manju as she leads her community and inspires girls along the way.
Guatemala’s High Court found 4 out of 5 former high-level military officers guilty of the forced disappearance of 14-year-old Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, whose family has been pursuing justice for nearly 40 years. The officers were sentenced to 25 years in prison and the court ordered the military to continue the search for Marco. AJWS partners Unidad de Defensores y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Guatemala (UDEFEGUA) and Prensa Comunitaria supported the family on this long road to justice, and will continue to fight the corruption, impunity and political unrest that have been escalating in the country.