Rivers at the national CARE conference
We had an amazing day at the national CARE conference at GW University in D.C! We learned all about the great work that CARE does to make a difference for more than 50 million people around the globe and we also were inspired by all the fabulous speakers.
In the morning, we learned about the Women’s Economic Equality Act, (a law that CARE Advocates helped to pass through Congress with bi-partisan support in 2018) through the story of Sandra Xiquan, a farmer from rural Guatemala. Many of the Rivers teams understood Sandra directly as she told her story in Spanish. Others of us had to wait for the translation but we all felt the joy and pride that came through her words as she described how, with support from CARE, she was able to stop her job as a maid, buy land and so successfully farm it that she now owns several more plots of land. As she said, now she can give her children clothes and breakfast and now she has “wings to fly.” Her story will help us to make the importance of maintaining the federal foreign assistance budget come alive to the Senators and Congress people that we talk to tomorrow.
At lunch, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia, gave us her perspective of progress made for gender equality in the fifty years since she first began her career in public service as well as her views on the work that remains and each of our roles in that work. It was an extraordinary opportunity to hear the life experiences and to be gifted with advice from this wise world leader.
Finally, we heard celebrity CARE ambassadors and actresses Holland Roden (Teen Wolf), Bellamy Young (Scandal) and Danielle Savre (Station 19) speak on their involvement in CARE and trips to Rwanda and refugee camps in Lebanon. As the day wrapped up, Holland and Danielle not only were willing to stop for selfies but they stayed and talked with our Rivers team for fifteen minutes – sharing more about how they connect with the news, how important activism is in their lives, and how they prepared for their advocacy experiences on the Hill with Congress members. They were super encouraging and proud of Rivers students for getting involved in advocacy at such a young age. We loved talking to them!