Women helping women achieve economic & gender equality in Rajasthan, India.
“For as long as I can remember, I knew my life’s purpose was 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.”
– Nioma, Founder of Women Serve “
Founder of Women Serve
Nioma Sadler, founder of WomenServe, did not set out in life to create a band of women helping women. Nor did she see the impact she would manifest for women and girls in India.
As a child, Nioma did not have a typical upbringing. Her non-traditional parents did not endorse formal education. Nioma was “life schooled” as she calls it. But, she craved knowledge. So she buried herself in books and stories of powerful and courageous women. Those women shaped who she would one day become.
As a girl, such stories taught, encouraged, and inspired her. So as a woman, she is committed to telling the stories of the very women she was inspired to help one day, bringing the beauty and power of storytelling full circle.
The story of WomenServe begins when Nioma traveled to Rajasthan as the Goodwill Ambassador for Traditional Medicinals tea company in 2006. The Senna that is used for their best selling “Smooth Move” tea is farmed in Rajasthan. And while visiting to check on the farming of the Senna crops, Nioma would sit with women in their kitchens over tea. While visiting, she would listen to their tales of the oppression that still exists in rural India.
She began documenting the stories women would share with her, but her heart called out to do more…that is when WomenServe was born.
The Impact of Women Helping women
In Rajasthan, 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.
Through the maintenance and building of village water containment units, WomenServe has been able to provide water to roughly 28,000 people.
Through education initiatives, 5 primary schools in rural India have been built and employ female teachers.
Through health and hygiene initiatives, female health workers have been trained to provide basic health services there.
Through artisan initiatives, 108 women now have the skills necessary to sell their own hand-sewn goods and begin earning an income for the first time in her life.
WomenServe is about holding women’s and girls’ stories sacred and sharing them to create change, raise awareness, and progress towards a more equal and empowered reality for women across the globe.
“I make an automatic monthly donation to WomenServe because I have seen first hand the tremendous change access to a convenient clean source of water can make in the life of those living in the Western Rajasthan Desert. Recurring donations help provide efficiency with a steady flow of income, essential for budgeting, program implementation, and hiring staff. Being able to anticipate cash flow in advance helps WomenServe to succeed in its goal of increasing access to water, education, health, and economic development in the area where their work is focused.
“Growing up in a third world country, I have seen firsthand the oppression women and girls face just because they were born female. Giving these women and girls a chance to be educated and financially independent helps them grow as individuals and creates opportunities for future generations. The impact of a small donation can change the world. I feel honored to be part of that change.”