Tostan begun by Molly Melching in 1975, Tostan is one of the real sustainable success stories in eradicating the practice of FGC/M in Western Africa. Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program (CEP) respectfully engages communities by working in local ethnic languages and using traditional West African methods of learning. CEP facilitates community ownership over the development process, allowing communities to fulfill their own potential. Our partnership with Tostan began in 2012 and we continue to be passionate about community empowerment. Melinda Gates selected Tostan as one of the 5 Best Charities That Benefit Women And Girls. Read Molly’s memoir (forward by Hillary Clinton) However Long The Night and prepare to be inspired.
Bloody Good Period: We first met Gabby in 2017 at London’s WOW Festival and immediately fell in love with her drive and her cause. Bloody Good Period (BGP) was started by Gabby Edlin who recognized that something needed to be done about the low, often nonexistent, much needed supplies of feminine hygene products at local food banks and asylum seeker drop-in centres. What started as a whip-round on Facebook is now the leading charity fighting to end period poverty. VERVE has partnered with BGP hosting many fundraising & awareness campaigns - from our always sold out My Bloody Galentine brunches to our EPIC feminist halloween party… They are our life long blood sisters ;)
Buy From A Black Woman: Nikki Porcher is the woman behind Buy From A Black Woman an Atlanta, Georgia based not for profit that was built to support black women business owners and create micro-loans for Black women aspiring entrepreneurs. Nikki first came into our lives through a chance encounter with Claire Ryder one of our US VERVE Operatives who passed on Nikki’s story. Nikki’s passion for BFABW (and everything else!) is infectious and inspired us to host a global VERVE Think Tank in Philadelphia & London raising funds and awareness for this amazing charity.
Women’s March on London: After the shock subsided and the rage ensued, we reached out to Women’s March on London and the ‘mother-ship’ Women’s March on how we could support and participate in both events. We were official sponsors for both Marches and VERVE members marched in over 11 countries and 29 cities. Our founder and Chief Feminist Operative - AQP marched with London’s mayor Sadiq Khan! We continue to partner with WML on activism & awareness building actions because it’s important.
YouTube: Our first venture into VTT Workplace was a collaboration with YouTube/Google headquarters in London. We hosted two VTT’s with the women of YouTube. The conversation was curated around feminism in the creative industries and what a feminist internet would like. After two powerful VERVE Think Tanks we knew we wanted to introduce our VTTs into the workplace.
VMLY&R is one of the leading ‘global full-service marketing agencies’ with over 190 locations. In 2018 they generously allowed us to test the waters for our VTT Workplace initiative. We created 4 custom VTT’s for their Kansas City office that illicted meaningful conversations ranging from global intersectional feminist issues to how the power of sharing one’s personnal story is life changing for both the teller and the listener and why diversity and inclusion are critical to achieving true equality in the workplace. The success of these beta VTTW in 2018 is what convinced us that businesses are hungry for new, effective and sustainable ways to improve the quality of their employee’s lives both in and out of the office. Because we are all people before we are employees.
The Guilty Feminist: ‘Im a feminist but…” is the well known tagline of Deborah Francis-White - one of our favourite feminists. Deborah has taken the word ‘feminism’ and added a modern update to what it means to be one. Our founder and Chief Feminist Operative had a glorious cameo on Deborah’s world famous podcast - ‘The Guilty Feminist’ - Have a listen here: The Guilty Feminist Podcast : Episode 53. It's A Man's World with Gemma Arterton
Fistula Foundation does one thing and they do it well: treat obstetric fistula. Obstetric Fistula is a birth injury condition defined by the Fistula Foundation as “a hole between the vagina and/or rectum and the bladder. This is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman with no control over their urination or bowels permanently. Fistula Foundation has been a long-time partner of VERVE and one of our most memorable fundraising campaigns was to help build a Fistula hospital in Kenya back in 2015.
Help Refugees: This extraordinary charity is one of today’s fastest growing global network helping refugees and migrants. This grassroots initiative was birthed from a couple of friends doing a collection drive for supplies on Facebook for people in The Jungle in Calais France. “Fast forward three years, and we have helped over 722,500 people, managed over 25,000 volunteers, and we support more than 80 projects across Europe and the Middle East.” VERVE has been to Calais 4 times and will continue to do our part there until it’s no longer needed. Help Refugees and Refugee Community Kitchen have not forgotten about some of the most vulnerable people in the world. #CHOOSELOVE
Refugee Community Kitchen is doing life saving work in both England & France for people living rough. Their kitchen in North London and Calais cook up delicious (we can vouch for that) and nutritious meals for people who need it most. Our volunteer trip to Calais had us working in their kitchen that delivers up to 1200 hot meals a day to migrants and refugees from war torn areas in Iraq, Ethiopia and Syria just to name a few. Last year we raised £800 for our August 2018 trip over supporting Help Refugees & RCK in Calais with 9 fiercely fantastic VERVE women.
PIH : Partners In Health is “is a global health organization committed to providing a preferential option for the poor in health care.” After an inspirational meeting with Jourdan McGinn - Director of Partnership & Policy and her colleague Jonathan Lascher - we felt it was imperative that VERVE do what we can to help PIH continue to be able to do the life saving/changing work they do for women and girls in Sierra Leone. PIH chose to put much of its resources into Sierra Leone because before PIH did the right thing (again) Sierra Leone had the highest maternal mortality death rate in the world! 1/17 women were dying from childbirth. Since setting up their sustainable medical practices they have not had any deaths at their WellBody Clinic in Kono. We were beyond honoured to host Jourdan at our 2018 VERVE Think Tank Global campaign.
Welcome Kitchen + Cinema : If we had a favourite organization to partner with - WKC would be in the top three… ;) Started by friends who met volunteering in the Jungle in Calais, they created Welcome Cinema + Kitchen acknowledging that “integration can be a difficult process. While newcomers to this city are often marginalised socially, Londoners are more likely to read about refugees than engage with the people behind the stories. Welcome Cinema is a move to address this uncertainty, lending a hand to step over the divide”. We love the work that they do because it provides fabulous food, films and friends for the ‘general public’, asylum seekers and refugees. Their monthly film nights at Amnesty International can bring up to 150 people sharing popcorn over a great film. We helped WKC celebrate their 2nd birthday in 2018 and can’t wait to help host a future night of fun and film.
Women For Refugee Women : If you’re a Londoner that is an active participant in women’s rights movements then you most definitely have seen a couple of the brave women taking stage at one of the many marches/protests that has showcased the powerful poetry of women from this amazing organization. Women for Refugee Women does work for and with refugee women with a focus on three things: “Empower: They empower refugee and asylum-seeking women to speak out, become leaders and advocate for change.Influence: They work to ensure that refugee women can speak to the media and at public events, and partner with arts organisations and influential women who help to amplify refugee women’s voices. Campaign: They publish robust research on the experiences of refugee women and work with policy makers to make the case for a fairer asylum process.”
FORWARD : Our most recent partnership is with FORWARD who we hope to do our part in supporting initiatives that match VERVE’s core values: Raising funds and awareness around Intersectional feminist issues like FGM and Child Marriage. FORWARD “is committed to gender equality and safeguarding the rights of African girls and women.” This year, In 2019 we are hosting the first of what we hope is just one of the many events we will participate in with FORWARD. Our admiration and respect for the work they do for women and girls comes from our core…..runs down to our core.
CARE: Did you know that a girl averages walking 5 miles a day for clean water in impoverished countries? When we found out that CARE was doing a campaign around clean water and how it catastrophically affects women and girls - we could not wait to get started on this event. CARE “fights poverty and injustice in the world’s most vulnerable places and support women and girls to overcome inequality and fulfil their potential.” We red over £1,000 during our ‘Walk In Her Shoes’ campaign for CARE. Water is something many of us take for granted and we hope that we can continue to find ways to bring this issue to our communities attention.