Women's Leadership Program

Women's Leadership Program
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By Unmesh Sheth 3453 days ago

The Sarah Kailath Women’s Leadership Award was originally started as the ICA Women Fellows’ Fund in 2008 as an extension of ICA’s mission to invest in the development of communities in India through innovative approaches and projects and committed leaders. The fund was renamed this year in memory of Sarah Kailath, a long-time supporter of ICA’s mission and activities. She believed passionately in the importance of giving women more leadership opportunities and along with her family set up a charitable trust in India. The initiative focuses exclusively on helping to build a community of future women leaders from Indian NGOs and assist professionals and volunteers in fields related to issues supported by ICA, including human rights, women’s rights, health, rural empowerment, poverty alleviation, livelihood, environment and others. Fellows are selected through a competitive application process with applicants from all over India, with backgrounds ranging from sustainable development, and public health and others. These women are offered scholarships to attend short-term formalized leadership training at institutions in the San Francisco Bay area. The goals of this initiative is to

  • Identify women activists in India with potential leadership capabilities who could benefit from this training, get a broader perspective and have a greater impact on their communities;
  • Invest in future leadership of women and help expand the capacity and network of emerging leaders;
  • Supplement conventional knowledge about critical issues and techniques with management skills and leadership development.

Suchitra Rao, who had a notable record of effective commitment to the rights of children and women, was the first fellow supported by this fund. She was selected for the Women Leaders of the World program at Santa Clara University in July 2008 and says "I have been fortunate to have this enriching and novel experience and sincerely thank ICA for having made this possible. I am convinced that this is a sure way to impact the change process– by identifying and supporting emerging women leaders and expanding their spheres of influence. I sincerely hope that many more women leaders from various walks of life in India will have the opportunity to benefit from this novel program set in motion by ICA". The future plans include raising enough funds to invest in more women leaders with the potential to make a substantial difference in their communities. Identifying relevant short-term leadership programs in India has also been put in motion. Applications are available online at www.icaonlie,org. If you believe in supporting women who can successfully take a stand on a key social issue of critical importance, coalesce a following around the initiative, and forge ahead in making real changes for people in need, we urge you to generously support this fund. For more information, write to lata_p@hotmail.com.


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