The first and seventh anniversary of Women on Wings in India

For the first time we celebrated the anniversary of Women on Wings in India. This September, Women on Wings will have existed 7 years! To celebrate this, we organized a round table meeting with different stakeholders in India like foundations, corporates and some of our business partners with whom we co-create jobs for rural women. The round table was hosted by Mr. Alphonsus Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and took place at his residence, New Delhi on Wednesday 10 September. Theme of the round table was “CSR and the role of Women on Wings”.

Modi Government for women empowerment and developing rural villages
The Ambassador welcomed our guests and emphasized the role of Women on Wings regarding the inequality between man and woman in India. Creating jobs and income for a woman in rural India has such a big social impact. The new Modi government has put women empowerment and rural development high on its agenda. The government has started many new programs in these areas and is serious in making into a success. Mr. Alphonsus rephrased one of Mr. Modi’s election quotes into: “Also for women the good days are coming”. Referring to the work of Women on Wings.

Impacting lives of 25,000 rural families after 5 years collaborating
Ellen Tacoma, co-founder Women on Wings, introduced Women on Wings to the audience. Dilip Barooha, CEO of Fabric Plus, one of our business partners, shared our joint journey of 5 years in collaborating and co-creating an impact on the lives of 25,000 rural families in Assam. Thanks to the income they get for working in silk rearing for Fabric Plus, their lives have improved significantly.

Catalysing social and environmental progress
Peter ter Weeme, Principal Junxion Strategy, told the audience all about how to catalyze social and environmental progress. The world is in imbalance. Peter: “The earth’s top 300 wealthy people own as much as 3 billion at the bottom of the period.” Junxion has long been recognized for thinking at the forefront of sustainability and social impact and helps executive teams unite strategy, responsibility and results.

Joining hands with National Skill Development Cooperation
Another highlight during the round table was the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation with the National Skill Development Cooperation (NSDC). We will join hands in connecting skill development to job creating business models and vice versa. We expect a lot of synergy from this partnership. Mr. Jaikant Singh of NSDC: “This partnership will accelerate what we are doing both. We can contribute to each other’s goal.”

‘Law of Sinterklaas’: wish list
Women on Wings works with its business partners through interactive workshops. So also in this round table session, we took time for an interactive moment. We introduced the Dutch ‘Law of Sinterklaas’. Sinterklaas is the Dutch counterpart of Santa Claus. Children make wish lists for Sinterklaas, so he knows what present they wish for. Women on Wings wishes for more business partners and more funding partners in India. So, we asked all participants to support us and share appropriate contacts with us. A very dynamic discussion took place and the outcome were a lot of new leads. Great result.

Lesson in history at residence
After closing the round table, the Ambassador invited us for drinks and snacks. Mr. Stoelinga took all guests to the library in the residence and shared the history of the remarkable Lutyens bungalow which once was owned by M.A. Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. In this library the partition of Pakistan and India was signed in 1947.

Expanded Women on Wings team ready to take up the challenge
After the lively networking reception we closed the festivities of our 7th anniversary in India with a dinner with all Indian team members and co-founder Ellen Tacoma. We had expanded our team in the last months with 2 new fulltime consultants. It was really great to see and hear how all team members felt connected and part of the Women on Wings team. With this great and motivated team we will definitely achieve our goal.

Ronald van het Hof

Photography: Marcel van Mourik