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5 Women Change Agents Who Have Taken the Nonprofit Route

‘A women is a full circle. With her is the ability to create, nurture, and transform’- Diane Mariechild

With the zeal to not just ideate new solutions but implement those with persistent efforts and hard work, these women leaders have been game changers, making commendable impact through their respective causes. It’s time we celebrate such women leaders, learn from them, and become change agents in our own communities.

From building a million dollar company to starting a nonprofit, woman power has proved time and again that nothing is IMPOSSIBLE for HER. Here are 5 exceptional women leaders with a mighty heart who have passionately started a revolution of CHANGE!


1.Akilah Institute for Women-  A ‘stubborn determination’ and ‘boundless energy’ can lead to massive change and make anything possible even in a war torn East Africa. Elizabeth Dearborn Davis went to Rwanda when she was just 22 and took the commitment of making a difference in the lives of African women. She started this unique model which imparts market relevant education to young women so that they can get respectable jobs and experience the joy of economic independence. Graduates from Akilah earn on average 12x the national median income.

2. Women for Women International- Twentythree-year-old Zainab Salbi, an Iraqi-American humanitarian and entrepreneur started this wonderful organization in 1993 to support women in countries affected by war and conflict. WfWI equips women with life, business, and vocational skills. Salbi has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (2007) and has been rewarded with the Clinton Global Initiative Leader (2010) award. WfWI has directed more than $118 million in aid towards uplifting women and empowering them to strengthen themselves, their families, and communities.

Here’s a short video on what they do. Click on the link to watch.

3. Keep a Breast Foundation- Shaney Jo Darden took a commitment to spread awareness about breast cancer when her friend was diagnosed with it. The foundation has made tremendous efforts in spreading the message through art, sports, and educative workshops. It hosts traveling education booths at music tours,  promotes fundraising through its DIY Action program, and organizes innovative fun events to involve people in this mission.

4. Special Olympics- The power of sport in healing and infusing the spirit to live despite all the struggles is phenomenal. Why should any disability prevent one from enjoying such a dynamic activity as sports?

Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw the mistreatment of people and children with intellectual disabilities and resolved to take action. Since 1968, Special Olympics has received acceptance and transformed millions of lives around the world. It has provided training to more than 4.5 million athletes across 170 countries and is now the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. It provides year-round athletic training fostering the spirit of competition enabling children to develop confidence and find joy.

5. Camp Kesem- Iris Rave, a lifelong camper, started the first Camp Kesem initiative at Stanford University with four student leaders in 2000. Her mission is to empower children whose parents have cancer with confidence and a strong support system enabling them to lead life happily. They chose kesem, Hebrew for “magic,” because they wanted to bring magic to families affected by cancer. The organization empowered 6,642 student leaders in 2016 providing transformative camp experiences for more than 11,352 children. The camp is free of charge for every child!

Every moment is purpose driven in the lives of these women! If you are inspired, contribute for a cause closest to your heart.


About the author:

Venkat Dulipalli is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of VolunteerMark

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