Woodland Women Wishers - clue#2
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The Circle of Empowerment
The Woodland Women Wishers decided, “creativity is not the finding of a thing but making something out of it after it is found”. A circle of women created by team members, positioned from left to right, Patsy Kelly, Myrna Penney, Marg Mitchell, and Maxine Holbrough, helped take us back to our motherhood and childhood memories of building with Lego. We chuckled as we reminisced the pain of stepping bare foot on a Lego piece, hearing the crunch of a special piece of Lego under our shoes or a piece of Lego being sucked up by the vacuum hose. The creative juices were flowing as we designed the figures with diverse outfits, various shapes, and sizes including a figure on a wheelchair created by a grandchild.
The title of our project is, “The Circle of Empowerment”. As our Creation evolved, each team member inspired the other team members to be creative. The circle of women figures around Canada and the home in the middle, represents the Women’s Institute (WI) members following their motto “For Home and Country”. Members are always there to help one another. A leaning shoulder is always available if the need arises even without the asking. The members help one another by empowering each other to do their best.
Adelaide Hoodless was the spark that lit the fire for the development and implementation of “short courses”. This spark was ignited for Adelaide Hoodless due to her discovery that pasteurization of milk could have prevented the death of her child. Milk heated to a temperature of 71.7 degrees Celsius for a minimum of fifteen seconds and cooled immediately killed pathogens. The short courses were offered and funded by the government to expand and enhance women’s knowledge on various topics such as domestic sciences, housekeeping, butter making, literature, and leisure activities. The courses provided the opportunity for women to improve their situation economically, socially and within the family and community.
The women were encouraged to seek public roles throughout 1919 to 1929, where their voices could be heard and have an impact on decision making. Their voices would be a valued addition as school board trustees or other political positions. Many WI members knit socks that were sent overseas for the soldiers in the World Wars. In addition, many WI branches donated money to the Red Cross. All WI meetings, fundraising activities, learning different domestic skills and knowledge promoted women’s empowerment, “For Home and Country”.
Past and present WI members helped many neighbouring families by providing food, full course meals, baby sitting services, and doing laundry. Today the WI Rose Program provides WI members with educational topics on business, food and nutrition, leisure, and social opportunities to the rural and urban populations. Our local WI branch members, look forward to the yearly bus trips when we learn about local businesses, historical sites, socializing and having fun together.
Our local WI branch supports many local groups financially. In addition, financial support is provided for the WI Women’s Empowerment Fund, designating the funds to improve water purification, sanitation, and education. Other programs our WI branch supports, include the programs at our local secondary and elementary schools, local community pantry, Christmas Bureau and the local hospitals requiring equipment replacement. All these activities allow the WI members to help one another and community members. It is a group that works and learns together, empowering members to use their abilities or develop new abilities. Many members learned to use zoom as a meeting platform during a time when the pandemic limited communications with WI branch members.
Creativity was ignited during this Lego creation fun activity. Could this creativity be expanded and applied to our monthly programs, activities, and member’s and non member’s needs and wants? “The Circle of Empowerment” inspired the beginnings of the WI and that has been instrumental in the expansion of the WI throughout Ontario, Canada, the World, and the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW).
- Submission part of the WISH challenge for WI's 125th anniversary
- Date of Publication
- Apr 2022
- Geographic Coverage
Latitude: 43.97948 Longitude: -80.72205
- Maxine Innes Holbrough
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- Federated Women's Institutes of OntarioEmail:email@example.com
Agency street/mail address:552 Ridge Road
Stoney Creek, ON L8J 2Y6