January 28th, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — January 24, 2014



New “Global Women Empowerment” Club at RFH Spreads Awareness and Offers Hope to Those in Developing Countries


Upcoming Fundraisers Include a Screening

of the Film “Girl Rising” on February 4

At a recent meeting are, from left, Hope Haywood with President of Change a Life Uganda Jean Semler, Alexandra Siwulec, and Christie Ferraris. Haywood and Siwulec are Co-Presidents of Global Women Empowerment, and Ferraris is the Club’s Advisor.

Rumson — Spreading awareness of issues affecting women around the globe and making a difference in their lives is the mission of “Global Women Empowerment,” a new club at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

Three women in developing countries have already benefitted from activities organized by the club, which was founded by RFH juniors Hope Haywood and Alexandra Siwulec along with Advisor and RFH Social Studies teacher Christie Ferraris.

Their kickoff fundraiser, a screening of the film “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity,” raised $149. The funds were loaned to two female entrepreneurs in developing countries through KIVA, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect individuals through lending in order to alleviate poverty.

Recently the club raised $1,054 by selling bracelets with the message “Education is Empowerment.” These funds were used to allow Daisy, a teenager living in Uganda, to attend high school for one year.

The Global Women Empowerment Club plans to sponsor Daisy once again next year through Change A Life Uganda. According to the organization’s web site, more than half the population of Uganda, Africa, is under the age of 15. For many of these children, who have lost either one or both of their parents to HIV/AIDS, a quality education is not an option. With education as the cornerstone of their mission, Change A Life Uganda provides quality school-based programs for these children.

The club’s upcoming fundraisers include a bake sale to benefit female victims of the November 2013 typhoon that impacted the Philippines, as well as a film screening of “Girl Rising.”

The screening of “Girl Rising,” is co-sponsored by the RFH Character Education Club, Environmental Club, and the Film Club, and is open to the general public. It will be held in the RFH auditorium on February 4 at 7 p.m. at a cost of $5.00 per person. The proceeds will benefit three non-profit organizations — Angels in Africa, Mending the Sacred Hoop, and Appalachian Women’s Fund.

  • Angels in Africa is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing basic necessities to the people of Africa.
  • Mending the Sacred Hoop is an organization working to end domestic violence against Native American women.
  • The Appalachian Women’s Fund helps support programs for women and girls by working with local nonprofit agencies.

Worldwide, 33 million fewer girls than boys attend primary school. Filmed in locations around the globe, “Girl Rising” is a critically-acclaimed documentary that tells the highly personal stories of nine such girls who face arranged marriages, child slavery, and other hardships.

“Global Women Empowerment hopes to continue its success in fundraising, spreading awareness, and empowering women as the year progresses,” said Siwulec. “We are so grateful for all of the support we have received from the RFH students and community.”



Mary Ann Kampfe, RFHRHS Public Relations

mkampfe@rumsonfairhaven.org or 908-347-8885