Tellus Viva empowers women to achieve their basic human rights in a sustainable society
Already as a child, in the sixties, I reacted to the pollution in my environment and to injustices in the world. My commitment continued. As my four children had grown up a longing to contribute to the world emerged.
I created the Tellus Viva Foundation in 2007. At that time, I was more of a naive “idealist” and my knowledge of philanthropy was limited. Initially donations were made to larger non-governmental organizations.
In 2010 the management changed radically. Specific projects from different NGOs and grassroot organizations were selected. Since 2017 we also have a special project supporting a hospital in Zambia.
For further development Tellus Viva ended its collaboration with a charity service. The new board handles the operational work and keeps a direct contact with the organizations that the foundation supports.
It has been a long journey, and it is still ongoing, learning more about the work and myself.
Reading, searching, exchanging about philanthropy. Reflecting on the subject of altruism, my motives and intentions.
It has been hard at times, discovering that some have abused the trust and taken advantage.
In her book “The Blue Sweater” Jacqueline Novogratz describes the encounter with a Buddhist munk, who said to her…
” If you move through the world only with your intellect, then you walk on only one leg.
If you move through the world only with your compassion, then you walk on only one leg.
But if you move through the world with both your intellect and compassion, then you have wisdom ”
These words remind me of the importance to keep mind and heart connected.
In 2011 my son Victor died in a train accident in India. In my deep grief, running the foundation became even more important and I took over as chairwoman of the board.
For me the initials ”TV” stand for both “Tellus Viva” and “To Victor” – “You are no longer where you were, but you are everywhere that I am” (Victor Hugo)
“ Life’s most persistent and urgent question is – What are we doing for others? ”
GIRLS AND WOMEN
The United Nations Global Goal 5 – ”Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world”.
In parts of the World, girls and women are considered less worthy. They are discriminated at home, in school, at work, in their communities. That discrimination aggravates all aspects of poverty. Women and girls are worst affected when basic services, like education and healthcare are not available.
If governments do not provide essential services that support families
then women and girls spend more time doing unpaid work.
Investing in girls and women increases economic development and can have transformational impact. Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation.
Tellus Viva wishes to empower women, in communities they are marginalized and disadvantaged, so that they gain positions of power, money and ownership.
“ If you educate a man, you educate an individual
– if you educate a woman you educate a nation ”
CLIMATE AND SUSTAINABILITY
Nowadays there are daily alarm reports on the climate crisis.
Climate change is a global challenge that does not respect national borders.
Natural disasters due to climate change mostly affect the already poor and vulnerable.
Developing countries are some of the most vulnerable.
They are the least able to recover from climate stresses and their economic growth is highly affected.
The combination of entrepreneurship and environmental awareness is an inspiring model. It can be used in agro-ecology, to encourage the sustainable use of natural resources and strengthen the resilience of rural populations to the effects of climate change.
Another model is training women to be able to install and maintain solar units.