Headquartered in Washington, DC, WANDA: Women Advancing Nutrition, Dietetics, and Agriculture is a leading a pan-African women’s grassroots movement on a mission to develop the next generation of women and girls as leaders in agriculture, nutrition, and dietetics through education, advocacy, and innovation.
In part two of this feature, WANDA founder Tambra Raye, discusses how businesses can engage in local efforts to make global impact:
In what ways have you demonstrated the “think local, act global” approach?
As the 2014 National Geographic’s Traveler of the Year, I was able to travel and discover Africa’s foodways and to educate students on nutrition. From Ghana to South Africa, I provided training and education to prevent diet-related diseases, the core of my purpose. A fond memory for me was two medical students who shared they were now interested in nutrition after attending my lecture at Cape Coast medical school. For them, my lecture was their first exposure to the nutrition field. Inspiring more women and girls to go into the field of nutrition and appreciate the impact of good nutrition on our health, productivity, and livelihood is reaffirming.
I also did it using food to build a bridge between African Americans and Africans while showing the beauty of the foods. For instance, WANDA will be partnering with Genii Games and NativSol to promote African heritage foods in Africa and the diaspora.
Digital media has created a platform to amplify the message and empower more women to learn about nutrition and improve their health and choose a nutrition profession. For instance #IamWANDA is the hashtag campaign spotlighting stories of women and girls of African descent as leaders from farm to fork.
Additionally, to inspire little girls of African descent to see themselves as superheroes using food to heal their community—bridging Africa and the diaspora—we are producing the first WANDA children’s bilingual book series.
What advice would you give an organization looking to make a global
impact while working locally in the United States?
Begin within intention to believe your cause is part of the global society. How can you become aware of the statistics and incorporate them into your work? Then think about ways that those impacted communities can be found locally, and include them in the problem-solving opportunity.
What advice would you give an individual who doesn’t own a business
or organization, but would like to make a global impact?
Every day people have the opportunity to make an impact such as supporting WANDA and other organizations. Also, daily action steps include: reading the international news to stay abreast of what’s happening around the world; identifying a cause that you believe in; volunteering for a cause making a global impact; traveling to other, less tourist-oriented countries; speaking on issues that may be your cause; joining an online chat on global issues; and attending a local meeting to meet with other diasporans.
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