The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) Gala this past week was a uniting experience for African Women. The unity that permeated the room was empowering to everyone. People gathered to not only raise money, but to share their ideas while having the time of their lives.

 

African singer Maame Afon Yelbert-Obeng appeared and brought together the whole room through song spreading the words: “we are one-we are together-we are one.” This song sent chills of happiness throughout people as they danced holding hands and singing loud. There was that sense that “nothing else matters right now” filling the air. No matter what voice, what size, what height, everyone’s the same. As the song went on, the louder and happier everyone got, which made the moment that much more memorable.

 

(MUI Daily News/Temima Shames)

(MUI Daily News/Temima Shames)

Not only was the singing phenomenal and inspirational, but the speakers as well had such an impact on the entire evening. African Speaker Bisi Adele-Fayemi was the founder of the organization AWDF. She spoke about how the organization got started and how incredibly proud she is of how far they have come in their journey. AWDF originally started because we live in a world where there is social injustice for women and less respect given to women for absolutely no real reason. AWDF’s goal was to create an organization that can guide women in Africa to fight for their rights and gender equality. In order to do so, these women need the resources — such as skills, information, and opportunities — that AWDF aims to provide.

 

It is one thing to have a thought or dream, but it’s another to take that dream and make it reality. Over the past 15 years, AWDF took their dream and turned it into a very successful reality. Their drive to make the world a better place and to help others truly fell onto all the other people there. Influential Speaker Leymah Gbowee also took time to imply that one person can make a difference alone, but everyone together as one can make an even greater difference. She emphasized that unity throughout women is the key to success.

 

(MUI Daily News/Temima Shames)

(MUI Daily News/Temima Shames)

The biggest aspect of the gala was the announcement of a campaign called Sheroes by AWDF in honor of 15 years since the creation of this life-changing organization. Sheroes is a CD/DVD that was created by a group of inspirational African women who display aural and visual odyssey through song, poetry, and film. It spreads a wide variety of women’s creativity in ways that are truly unbelievable. These women took precious time and put their hearts into what they contributed. Anyone can just write words with no meaning, but what makes Sheroes so special is that the words mean something to each contributor whether it is in song, poetry, or film. Each and every entry is different and unique to them. All of the proceeds raised from Sheroes goes back to benefit the organization and the world changing cause they represent.

 

You can find more information about Sheroes and AWDF at: awdf.org/passionate-legacies-awdf-15