For as long as I can remember, I knew my life's purpose: to help women and girls achieve their full potential. What I didn't know was how my unusual upbringing, and challenging life experiences would prepare me to do this work.
I am Nioma Sadler, and WomenServe is the realization of my dream to amplify the stories of women and girls around the world. By telling their stories and joining forces with other organizations, we work collaboratively to help all women and girls attain gender equality.
Being a woman can be hard. I learned this firsthand through my experience growing up in a rural area without access to formal education. Later, my travels to Rajasthan, India as the Goodwill Ambassador for Traditional Medicinals tea company, opened my eyes to the fact that women and girls there - and around the world - face many common challenges. In Rajasthan, for example, women are largely married between the ages of 12 to 18 and are expected to walk up to 10 hours a day carrying water on their heads, leaving them little time for anything else.
I founded WomenServe in 2016 as a nonprofit based in Sonoma, California, to improve the lives of the women I met in Rajasthan, and women all over the world who face similar challenges. Our work focuses on removing barriers to empowerment, such as providing basic needs like water and health care. In doing so, these women can take back their health and their time and use it to pursue education or income generation, and have valuable time for themselves, their families and their communities.
We are proud of what we have accomplished and confident about the future. So far we've contributed to the construction of 9 large community ponds and more than 500 Taankas (rainwater catchment tanks) which provide water to 12,000 people. With our guidance, 5 primary schools in rural India have been built and employ female teachers, while female health workers have been trained to provide basic health services there.
WomenServe is about telling women's and girls' stories to create change, raise awareness, and progress towards equality. We believe a woman's voice is her most powerful tool, so we are capturing her embedded wisdom by recording her stories and taking action to empower women across the globe.