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La Leche League International
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Donation for ID Groups

Shirley Phillips
LLLI Deputy Director
Cecily Harkins
International Division Treasurer
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 39 No. 1, February-March 2003, pp. 20-21.

Martha Quinn, LLL Leader with the Hollywood/Silver Lake Group in Los Angeles, California, USA, and one of Music Television’s (MTV) original video jockeys, appeared on the celebrity edition of NBC’s game show “The Weakest Link” on October 29, 2001. Martha chose LLLI as her designated charity and as a result of her appearance, LLLI received $10,000 (US).

The news of Martha’s appearance on NBC’s “The Weakest Link” was indeed most exciting. Even more exciting was Martha’s generosity in naming La Leche League International as her charity. Based upon Martha’s wishes in designating the donation for LLLI, the decision was made to direct the donation funds to the International Division (ID). A working group of ID staff with LLLI Deputy Director, Shirley Phillips, as facilitator was formed to distribute the funds.

The International Division consists of 13 established Areas and five Future Areas. Established Areas have a sufficient presence of Leaders, members, and Groups in the country to sustain themselves locally. Future Areas are newer, smaller, isolated geographic designations that are not yet sufficiently large to stand alone. Often, a Future Area consists of only one Leader in a country or on an island.

Funds from the donation were awarded to 35 Groups in these five Future Areas— Africa/Middle East, Asia, Europe, South America and Central America/Spanish Caribbean. The donation also supported four publication projects and a Leader/Leader Applicant workshop in Budapest, Hungary. Here are some of the plans Leaders in Future Areas have for using the donation funds.

Future Areas of Africa/Middle East

LLL of South Africa, a country with a population of 43 million and 11 different languages, is printing double-sided tear-off sheets in English and Afrikaans. Funds generated by the sale of the tear-off sheets will be used to fund the first printing of a translation of Breastfeeding Pure & Simple and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and, maybe eventually, The Breastfeeding Answer Book.

LLL Israel is printing pamphlets in Hebrew that cover many basic topics including sore nipples, human milk storage, and thrush. Funds generated by the sale of the first pamphlet will be used to fund printings of the other pamphlets, and later, help toward translation and printing of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and The Breastfeeding Answer Book in Hebrew.

Future Areas in Asia

This area plans to translate and publish needed LLLI pamphlets and articles from Leaven.
Melanie Wilson of Mongolia, China writes:

I have long wanted to expand the scope of our Group to include non-English speaking Mongolians, but we lacked the resources to have translated materials photocopied and widely distributed. Breastfeeding is encouraged here, but the support is minimal for women experiencing problems. I often get calls that require the use of a translator. We plan to translate and distribute some LLL information.

LLL Japan will complete the translation and distribution of the Japanese Leader’s Handbook.
Rachna Dhir, from Bangalore, India and Erica El-hady, from Shanghai, China, have ordered LLL books and pamphlets for their new Groups.

Future Areas in Europe

Groups from Slovenia, Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Georgian Republic benefited from the donation. Maya Sartania of Tbilisis, Georgia is using her funds to print four LLLI pamphlets that have already been translated. Tanja Potocnik of Koper, Slovenia will provide a locally produced breastfeeding newsletter in the Slovene language. Christine Athey of Prague, Czech Republic started a new bilingual Group (French/English). Sales of the English books will then allow her to purchase the French books her Group needs.

Since high exchange rates make payment of Leader and Group dues difficult and some cannot send money out of their countries, a number of Leaders have opted to use part of their donation fund to pay Leader and Group dues and Leader Applicant fees. They will also subscribe to Leaven and New Beginnings.

Future Areas in South America

Graziana de Bozzo, writes:

I am pleased to say that the first investment we took upon ourselves was to pay the Leader Applicant fee for the first Applicant of this Group. We gave her the Leader’s Handbook in Spanish on compact disc and have confirmed that she is well on her way preparing herself with diligence and commitment in the process of accreditation. Our second investment was to purchase seven new books in Spanish to form our Group Library. We’ve also been able to photocopy appropriate materials to promote and support breastfeeding, reaching out to the mothers in our community and the health professionals. We’ve chosen topics related to primary care with the purpose of obtaining a more holistic support of mothers, babies, families, and communities. Finally, we’ve paid the costs related to a weekly radio show that we have been hosting to promote breastfeeding and LLL philosophy.

Some Leaders are using the donation funds for creative ideas that will increase revenue to support LLL work. Eugenia Ramirez and Vivian Montero, Medellin, Colombia are buying material to make cloth breast models to sell as a fundraiser.

Martha’s generosity in designating LLLI as the recipient of the NBC donation was the beginning of many wonderful opportunities for Leaders and Groups to expand the capacity of LLL to reach more mothers and babies. The creativity and stewardship of the Leaders receiving funds from the donation is inspiring. Think of the difference donations, large or small, could make throughout LLL—for an isolated Leader, for the new Group in the next town, in another Area, or around the world.

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