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My mother was a philanthropist. She caried out her philanthropy in our community through a practice we call, "isirika."
She supported the education of scores of children and invited many to live with us in our home in order to access schools. She mobilized resources for building the local health clinic and the maternity wing is named in memory of her. But most important, she was endeared by the community for her organizing skills, because she organized the community, and specifically women, to find solutions to anything that was needed.
She did all of this through isirika. That word is in my language, Maragoli, spoken in western Kenya.
So, isirika is a pragmatic way of life that embraces charity, services, and philanthropy all together. The essence of isirika is to make it clear to everybody that you're your sister's keeper -- and yes, you're your brother's keeper. Mutual responsibility for caring for one another. A literal, simple English translation would be equal generosity, but the deep philosophical meaning is caring, together, for one another.
And this is the time for women to give more for women. It is the time to give more for women.
I have, over the years, encountered isirika in many places, but what gives me really the passion today to embrace isirika is the work that I do with women all over the world through the Global Fund for Women, though women's funds and through women's movements globally.
Read the full article on investing in women by Musimbi Kanyoro at TED