Delivering a speech in front of your country’s president, starting a business as a teenager, and developing a new life after moving country – these are some of the amazing achievements of remarkable women across the ORT network which we are celebrating today to mark International Women’s Day 2020.
We know that the women and girls across our network have the strength and skill to have a positive impact on the world around them. ORT has been empowering people and strengthening communities since 1880, and we provide our students and teachers with the knowledge and expertise to fulfil their potential.
Here, Galia, Faina and Tatiana explain in their own words what IWD means to them, how ORT has empowered them as women, and the impact that education has had on them:
Student, Colegio Israelita de México ORT (CIM-ORT), Mexico City
“We are fierce and strong, our passions are brighter than our fears. We are outstanding, unique and we will always be.
“Education has made me stronger, I believe there is nothing more empowering than knowledge and action, nothing more empowering than knowing that in the face of adversity we have the tools, the strength, the skill to move forward, to overcome.
“ORT has given so many opportunities that opened my eyes and made me a truly strong woman. Only 24.3% of all national parliamentarians were women as of February 2019, a slow increase from 11.3% in 1995. But I had the opportunity to deliver a speech about the importance of education to my whole country, standing right beside my president.
“I have had the opportunity to travel around the world, discovering my passions. To work and learn in one of the most advanced laboratories in the whole world. To meet and befriend people with different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. To understand that we, as women, can do anything.
“Thank you ORT for moving forward, for empowering every day.”
Student, Rabin High School, Kiryat Yam, Israel
Faina (pictured above right) is a 16-year-old who made Aliyah to Israel – from Belarus – in 2014 with her parents. She has served on her school council and in addition to her school work also studies at the Open University
“International Women’s Day is an important day that shows the change women have made for themselves. This day is something that we have earned ourselves.
“Only 70 years ago, we did not have equal rights and equal opportunities like today. We had to challenge ourselves and our society in order to be in the same level as men and to justify our right of being equal.
“I believe that is the essence of this day and I am less connected to celebrating womanhood in this day. I don’t feel different from boys regarding my opportunities in life. I think that if someone is very goal-oriented in pursuing her dream and does not give up, she will get there no matter what.
“I am thankful to World ORT for the opportunities they give me that make my learning very special. For example, I had the honor to represent Israel and World ORT Kadima Mada at the Scholas seminar in Argentina and to participate the Taub Young Entrepreneur Program (YEP).
“Scholas was a great experience, I had an opportunity to meet students from all over the world and learn about different cultures and perspectives. I learned how to be an ambassador of my country. In the YEP program I learned about coming up with new ideas and solving problems. In both programs I learned how to present myself in English in front of many people and I gained important tools for the future.”
Graduate, Kiev ORT Educational Complex No 141, Ukraine
“Set up my own business at 16? Done! Sounds unreal, right? I want to tell you my success story.
“Last year I graduated from Kiev ORT Educational Complex №141. Currently, I am the co-owner and a coach at the Cayman Karate Club in Kiev.
“My path to karate started 10 years ago. As soon as I entered the sports hall for the first time, I immediately realized that it was my path. Every time I came from school, I did my homework and immediately ran to karate training. Sometimes my coach asked me to help train children, and it really captured my attention. From the 9th grade I already began to think about the possibility of coaching professionally.
“My partner Nicholas and I gave birth to an idea of creating our own karate club. And here, as never before, economic lessons I attended at the school were useful. I wrote a real business plan and it was successful. In September 2018, while studying in the 11th grade, the first training at the “Cayman” took place. We also launched our own website, which I developed during school web design lessons. I am infinitely grateful to my web design teacher for her help and support. I also took care of social media pages.
“At first, there were five children in my club, but over the months our family grew and now we train 15 small ‘Caymans’. Our fighters demonstrate good results. Currently, we have six regional championship prize-winners, two city champions of Kiev, four national champions of Ukraine. I am proud of my sport-children and grateful for their trust.
“My choice is not easy, for some people it may be unclear, but so desirable and a dream. I can say with confidence – this is my business, the job from which I get the most pleasure! And the substantial part of my success I owe to my school – Kiev ORT Educational Complex. Here I expanded my outlook, got many opportunities and the belief that anything is possible.”