May 11
May 11, 2014

Five Stories of Successful Women and Inspiring Mothers


Throughout the Clinton Foundation, we recognize the invaluable contributions mothers make globally and strive to extend their participation to all aspects of society. Recent tragedies, such as the kidnapping of over 300 girls in Nigeria, remind us of how essential this work is, and of how far we have to go in many countries.

But amid these stories of violence and inequality against girls and women around the world, today we want to celebrate the gains women and girls have made across the Clinton Foundation's programs – from a female smallholder farmer in Malawi working to provide for her family to a mother of two in Florida who is working to inspire children to live healthier. By building on what works, we can ensure that our future holds more stories like the ones below.

The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership’s Chakipi Acceso Network provides women in Peru with sales skills and training for packaged foods, personal care items, pharmaceuticals, solar lamps, and clean cookstoves.  The Chakipi entrepreneurs then sell these products to others within their communities – providing essential, life-changing goods that are otherwise hard or impossible to access. Over the next few years, the Enterprise Partnership expects to provide 3,000 women in Peru with training through Chakipi. Nelly Violeta Ortiz, a mother of four, is the sole provider of her household. Despite the challenges she has faced over the years, since joining the Chakipi network, Nelly continues to be positive now that she is able to provide for her family.  Her positive attitude has contributed to her amount of sales, helping her earn “Top Seller of the Month” in August 2013. 

“[Through Chakipi] I started selling juices and quinoa for breakfast, which provided me with some money to support my four children. I have also learned to organize my time better and my quality of life and that of my family has improved a lot.” - Nelly Violeta Ortiz   

Lilian Solorzano of Miami, Florida, works with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to inspire young people in the United States to develop lifelong healthy habits and eliminate childhood obesity. After an overuse injury, doctors told Lilian that she would never run again. With determination and training, she defied the odds and ran her first half marathon years later. In October of 2013, she ran the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money and awareness for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

“The fight against childhood obesity is far from simple and involves a collective effort, but with real passion and steadfast determination, anything is possible.” – Lilian Solorzano

The Clinton Development Initiative’s Anchor Farm Project provides training, fertilizer, and seeds to farmers in Malawi, including more than 11,000 women. The Anchor Farm Project is made up of farmer clubs that work together to expand the success of the project and support each other, and includes several all-female farmer clubs.

Rosemary Laurent is a member of the Takondwa Club in the Mchinji District. A mother of six – four boys and two girls – her dedication to supporting her family propels her involvement in the farmers’ club.

“Women should not solely rely on their husbands for their livelihood. They should join farmer groups and learn a lot from these groups, access credit facilities and engage in farming business. That way a woman and her family progress faster.” – Rosemary Laurent

Dedication to the support and progress of her family also drives Alice Rabison – a mother of four and the chairperson of Sakhuta women’s club in Mkanda. But she also sees her role as a mother in a wider context – that her children are the future of her country.

“We should love all children and educate them well so that they become reliable citizens of their countries.” – Alice Rabison

Haile Thomas Inspiring Quote - 2013 Health Matters Conference

Haile Thomas is a 14-year-old girl from Tucson, Arizona, with a passion for cooking. She works with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to empower kids with the skills and confidence to prepare healthy meals for themselves and their families. Haile became interested in cooking when she was five – an interest that was encouraged by her mother. Together, Haile and her mom founded the HAPPY organization to help families live healthier.

“My mom and I co-founded the HAPPY organization. HAPPY stands for Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth. And through this program, we plan to improve the health and well-being of youth and their families.”  - Haile Thomas

We hope you’ll join us sharing these stories and celebrate the women and girls in your life who are breaking ceilings. Learn more about our No Ceilings project and how you can help us close the gaps that remain.