Mingo Woman’s Club learns about partnership

The September opening meeting of the GFWC Woman’s Club of Mingo Junction was a covered-dish dinner held at the Mingo Senior Citizens Center where President Sharon Cole-Isner welcomed everyone back from the summer break.

Grace was given by Mary Jane Tiberio, and Roetta Lewis led the group in opening ceremonies.

Liz Crothers introduced the guest speaker, Ellen Swickard, the missionary president of the Steubenville Church of the Nazarene who also is a chemistry teacher at Edison High School.

Swickard’s topic was women in other countries, mainly dealing with the Kenya Gender-Based Violence Partnership of the Nazarene Church International.

Gender-based violence is a pandemic perpetrated against women and children that results in physical, sexual, or psycho-social harm, Swickard said, with 83 percent of women and girls in Kenya reporting one or more episodes of physical abuse in childhood. Seventy-five percent of Kenyan women report having suffered from gender-based domestic violence in the homestead, Swickard said, and the majority of Kenyan women believe it is acceptable for men to beat their spouses. Forty-six percent report at least one incident of sexual abuse as a child; 36 percent of rural women report having experienced female genital mutilation; and 25 percent report losing their virginity by force.

The 2011 drought and subsequent famine have made gender-based violence more widespread in Kenya. A survival strategy for women in the sex trade is to exchange sex for food, shelter or protection, Swickard said.

The Nazarene Compassionate Organization of Kenya and the Servant Forge Foundation, an affiliate organization of Strategic Applications International, in partnership with the UNICEF and International Rescue Committee are developing the Kenya Gender-Based Violence Partnership to respond to the pandemic of gender-based violence in East Africa, she said. The partnership will build its initiative around five pillars that focus on integrated service delivery and sustainable agriculture.

The five components focus on survivor counseling, strengthening families and improving community support and response to GBV.

Swickard distributed bottles of water for the Bottle Aid Campaign, encouraging the Mingo club women and their circle of families and friends to collect money daily in the bottles for 30 days, suggested $1 a day instead of buying a soft drink.

Additional information was given as to where the money should be sent along with the goals of the bottle campaign and the amount they hope to raise. A question-and-answer period followed.

In club business, Stephanie Rouse will be the chairperson for the Halloween parade and party with the specifics to be discussed at the next meeting.

Rouse distributed booklets on the upcoming fundraiser sponsored by GFWC. Orders and money can be brought to the next meeting or by the Oct. 23 deadline.

The Arts Department is requesting any member who has a veteran family member or friend or someone currently serving the country to bring photos in uniform, name tags, unit patch or military pins to be added to the American Mural Project. The project consists of a 120-foot long, 48-feet high, and 6-foot deep mural being constructed on a special building created just for it in Winsted, Conn.

The club agreed to host a spring mystery theater as the main fundraiser. A chairperson is needed.

Three members were to attend the fall conference in Proctorville, Ohio.

Cole-Isner reported on the success of the Princess Aracoma and Little Chief Logan Contest the club sponsored at Mingo Community Days.

Liz Mazik was welcomed as a new member.

Lillian Criss was the door prize winner.

The Community Service Project, International Outreach Committee, were hostesses. Co-Chairman Elizabeth Crothers and Mary Jane Tiberio were assisted by Cheri Carpico. Bernie Carpico also is a member of the committee.

The Home Life Department will be hostesses for the Thursday meeting with Diana Taylor as chairperson.