Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) is an independent Quaker not-for-profit organization sharing the abundance of God’s love by working for equity through partnerships around the world. RSWR gives grants to groups of marginalized women in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and India to fund individual micro-enterprise projects. Right Sharing’s work is grounded in a sense of stewardship for the world’s material, human, and spiritual resources. Website: rswr.org.
Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) works to redistribute resources to women’s groups in India, Kenya, and Sierra Leone.
In 2020, the board began strategic planning by exploring the legacy of empire and colonialism in RSWR’s work at home and with partner countries. With the guidance of Lisa Graustein, a New England Yearly Meeting Friend with experience in noticing patterns of oppression and faithfulness, RSWR staff and board members examined: “What are our values and core beliefs? What have our actions been? In what ways might our core values be in conflict with the way we facilitate our programs?” Through self-inquiry exercises, staff, field representatives, and board members are noticing invisible cultural habits and finding new ways of moving forward together.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit RSWR partner countries very hard. RSWR projects carried on by being as flexible as possible. As partner women’s businesses were affected by lockdowns and economic restrictions, RSWR donors responded with food aid for all 2018- and 2019-funded groups to carry them through the quarantine months. Later, additional funding was provided to women’s groups that needed help restarting their businesses after the lockdown was lifted. COVID-19 training was added to the business training offerings in all partner countries.
RSWR hired a new assistant field representative in Sierra Leone, a position that will allow more time for monitoring and supporting funded groups.
Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR), while continuing to provide business grants to women’s groups during the global economic downturn, has pivoted to respond to the changing needs caused by the pandemic. When lockdowns were instituted in partner countries, field representatives partnered with the board and donors to send emergency food aid to more than 2,500 women. Additionally, masks and sanitary supplies were sent to remote villages in response to local needs.
In October 2019, RSWR celebrated a historic moment with its first Field Representative Consultation. Field representatives from India, Kenya, and Sierra Leone were able to attend a board meeting and meet with the board and staff in Indianapolis, Ind. They also visited several monthly meetings and individual Friends on both American coasts and in the Midwest. The consultation provided a valuable opportunity for field representatives to share best practices, challenges, and successes from each of their distinct countries, and to envision the future of RSWR programs.
This year RSWR is visiting Friends virtually. General secretary Jacqueline Stillwell is offering a “Power of Enough” workshop, as well as sharing information about RSWR programs overseas.