THE Women Next Door: Building Communities – Changing Lives

“Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”

“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. On this day, March 8th, women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political” according the United Nations.

“Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”

~official 2019 UN theme

GloberWeb’s mission is to inspire creativity and innovation to help expats thrive in their new home. That is why, in honor of International Women’s Day, we want to highlight some outstanding achievements by amazing women who have been able to “think equal, build smart, innovate for change” in our community. Inspired by their expat life, they are turning challenges into opportunities to bring positive influence on society. Their perseverance and courage to build sustainable solutions are extraordinary and an inspiration to all of us.

Clothing Auction Network – Sustainable Fashion

~by Rebecca Archer

Clothing Auction Network

“The Clothing Auction Network began in 2014 with a small group of expat women in my living room and has grown to over 500 members spread across Beijing who gather regularly in people’s homes. We bring our unwanted clothing, and then auction it starting from 10rmb. All money raised goes to charity. The Network is built on three pillars:

  • Community – we have seen so many friendships made because of the regular informal get togethers over wine, food and clothes in private homes where laughter and openness create a really wonderful intimacy;
  • Charity – last year alone we raised over 120,000rmb for a number of different charities nominated by the event host;
  • Sustainable Fashion – fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. We try to do our part through building a sharing-economy of “sisters'” second-hand clothes.

The number one reason for the success of this initiative is the community. We now hold roughly 4-5 events per month in Beijing. Meeting in homes gives us intimacy that can’t be replicated if meeting in restaurants, bars or more formal gatherings. The relationships are cemented through our WeChat community. Someone may post a photo of themselves wearing a dress they won, and then the donor of that item might respond with an awesome story about a time they wore the dress – it’s like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Plus we go home with awesome, interesting, cheap clothes and charity benefits! It’s a win-win.

Having a community of women who feel connected to each other, and the fact that we are changing consumer habits, are the driving forces for me to keep this movement going, and I am so lucky to have a wonderful team of women who are just as passionate about the concept as I am. Together we work through the challenges and are looking at how we can support others to spread this concept globally.” ~to join or learn more, contact Rebecca via WeChat ID: becstarnz

Viva – Professional Women’s Association

~by Kelly & Cindy / Jasmine & Sarah

VIVA Mentor WalksViva, Beijing’s Professional Women’s Association was established over 10 years ago by Jasmine Keel and Sarah Cooper, two friends that saw a gap they believe needed to be filled with the creation of an association dedicated to the development of professional women in the city.

Viva was built on three pillars, to Learn, Connect and Inspire, which today continue to be the foundation for all programming, projects and partnerships. The association has focused on hosting monthly events that cover a diverse range of topics from female executives working in STEM to women in the Chinese film industry. The events have always been an opportunity to gather and share ideas and experiences.

Viva strives to support its members through unique initiatives such as the Mentorship Program. The association also supports the local community by being one of the Mentor Walks hosts, along with special projects such as the event series held in March for International Women’s Day.

Over the years, Viva’s member base has evolved and the association has responded by changing and adapting to ensure its continued relevance while staying true to its mission and core values.

Viva is run by a dedicated board of volunteers led by Kelly Brantner and Cindy Jensen that believe in what Jasmine and Sarah started and the important role that the association continues to play in the local community for professional women subsequently influencing the society at large.” ~to join or learn more, visit Viva here

Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC)

~by Ching Tien

“I grew up in Beijing and attended a privileged girls only school where the daughters of Mao and Deng attended. After the Cultural Revolution I was sent to Gansu Province – the poorest province in China to work in a factory instead of finishing my education. I witnessed the extreme poverty and how women and girls were being treated during that time. After 20 years living in Canada and watching my own children grow up with all the opportunities, I realized the importance of education.

Educated women have educated children, and educating women is educating a nation. I founded Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC) in 2005 with the idea of helping young women and girls from under served rural regions of Gansu Province to receive education. In 14 years EGRC has provided financial sponsorship and emotional support to 1,062 young women with their high school and university education. These students have achieved over 99% graduation rate. Now these young women, sponsored by EGRC have not only changed their lives, they are paying it forward by lifting their families out of poverty, and helping even more girls receive education.” ~learn more about EGRC here

We are proud to support these incredible initiatives that change our society and the world for the better. started as a community project to help expats discover and enjoy their new home-away-from-home. Together, we immerse in local culture, stay healthy, learn, meet new people and have fun.  Along the way, we discovered that venturing into activities and workshops has even deeper benefit for people. It is a way to foster creativity, boost innovation and imagination.

We are motivated by the opportunity to provide the community with tools for creativity which, we believe, will result in many more grass-roots initiatives that will keep moving the society forward as these strong women above have done so.

Let’s continue to build our community and inspire each other.

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