Females of the globe unite

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IWL scholarship recipients Naomi Mbise and Julia Raszka have experienced a profound influence on the Cal Lutheran group.

Image: Obinna Anyanwu

Underneath standard conditions, recipients of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America faculty scholarships for intercontinental women of all ages meet up with as soon as a year in Chicago to network and share ideas. Everybody has a system to help their property nations, explained Naomi Mbise, a third-12 months Cal Lutheran college student from Tanzania.

The cancellation of new gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped ELCA Worldwide Girls Leaders (IWL) from forging bonds. Mbise, for illustration, is partnering with two 2021 graduates on a proposal to support reduced-money girls in Cameroon and Tanzania end higher faculty and pursue their dreams.

“I really don’t know how we fashioned a link, but we just nevertheless did,” claimed Mbise, referring to her “sisters” from Cameroon who attended St. Olaf and Concordia faculties as aspect of the scholarship method. Even although their dwelling region and Tanzania are countless numbers of miles aside, she explained, “we all share the passion that we want to see women of all ages in our societies remaining in a position to access formal training and to have opportunities for global education and learning, as we did.”

In the previous 4 a long time, Cal Lutheran has welcomed young ladies from Palestine, Tanzania and Poland below the IWL system, which is one particular of the positive aspects of the university’s affiliation with the ELCA. The Chicago-primarily based team identifies scholarship candidates by Lutheran churches in lower-profits nations. Right after a competitive software process, the ELCA contributes $20,000 for each student every single year, furthermore some charges for guides, visas and flights home.

Even with a considerable equilibrium remaining for pupils, which include foods and housing, said Dane Rowley, Cal Lutheran’s director of international admission, the university’s financial commitment is nevertheless bigger.

The IWL program delivers “a layer of assist for pupils that no other scholarship method offers,” Rowley explained. 

Tamar Haddad ’21, the first IWL scholar at Cal Lutheran, is a Palestinian from Jerusalem who graduated with a diploma in new music. With her can-do, entrepreneurial spirit, she has modeled in numerous ways what the IWL system is about.

Whilst a university student, Haddad wrote and released a guide, The Long run of Palestine: How Discrimination Hinders Change. She participated in Model United Nations and spoke at the UN Fee on the Status of Women. Functioning with Cal Lutheran’s Hub101, she launched a leadership schooling method for Palestinian youths.

She now operates in Ferndale, Washington, as a Lutheran youth minister and children’s choir director. She travels each individual year to educate leadership competencies to large school college students in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. 

Haddad and Mbise turned speedy pals, then roommates, in 2019. Mibse is pursuing degrees in political science and theology and Christian leadership, and co-started an African Learners Affiliation on campus. A third scholarship recipient, Julia Raszka of Poland, is a initial-calendar year pupil majoring in theater and psychology. The university designs to carry an IWL scholar every two several years to keep up the peer mentorship.

Considering that childhood, Raszka needed to be an artist on a phase. In southern Poland, she sang with a gospel choir and performed piano and clarinet before exploring a community in musical theater. Via her Lutheran church, she learned of the chance to attend an ELCA university in the United States on a total scholarship. That was exciting news even however the title of the program produced her question if it was the proper suit.

Eventually, she identified she’d begun producing leadership techniques as a phase manager and performer, and the Young Everyday living club has requested her to direct Bible analyze. She hopes to use her musical theater techniques on returning to Poland, most likely by coaching young performers and producing performs of her very own.

Cal Lutheran’s interim pastor, the Rev. Mark Holmerud, mentioned Mbise and Raszka have had a profound impression.

“They are building connections with folks who have no thought what lifestyle is like exterior of California, and considerably a lot less the United States,” he claimed.

Pay a visit to elca.org/Our-Do the job/Global-Mission/International-Leaders for information and facts on the IWL method. For specifics about worldwide admission to Cal Lutheran, check out CalLutheran.edu/admission/worldwide.html.

Kevin Matthews is a previous editor of CLU Magazine.