–Collective statement from the first graduates of The Glow Effect Centre
In 2015, Founder of The Glow Effect, LLC and leadership coach, Saren Stiegel, envisioned a way to channel the abundance of skills, knowledge and energy of professional women to ignite women’s leadership globally. She aimed to create an exchange where professional women would partner with a developing community to empower its women and begin a track of sustainable development.
As fate would have it, the president of the Association of Rural Women Professional (ARWP), Jackline Nanyunja, reached out to Saren to request her as a keynote speaker for a leadership forum in her rural village of Kasaali, Uganda and to discuss collaboration possibilities for a center for women and girls.
Following the 300-people forum, Saren and ARWP confirmed the women’s center would be well-received, so they traversed the community interviewing women about their wants and needs.
This idea gave rise to a partnership agreement between the newly-formed non-profit, The Glow Exchange, and ARWP for the building of The Glow Effect Centre for Women and Girls. By bringing together professional women willing to engage in meaningful work with the women in Kasaali, both communities would satisfy individual goals and make global impact.
Every Saturday for the following four months, ten women from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Uganda gathered on a video conference to co-create an empowerment curriculum based on the needs of the community. Each of these women rallied their communities, raising over $33,000 for the Centre. In August 2015, our first Glow Exchange team met our Ugandan partners ARWP in Kasaali.
With every hour of learning, the Kasaali women developed their skills, cultivated their voice, and discovered their strengths. ARWP was left with eagerness and courage to begin the Centre’s first program. Our Glow Exchangers experienced their capacity for impact on a whole new level. As a result, they have gone on to start businesses like ACT Just, Boston’s first non-profit law firm, and One Centered Life, a women’s organization in Pittsburgh.
–Christie Reppart, Glow Exchanger