I want to acknowledge women that embody the mutual cycles of empowerment that SWSG aspires to develop in each of its participants. Women that see a problem and initiate a solution.  We all have ideas and opinions: “You know what would make a great iPhone app?”… “I really wish someone could restore that old library”… “You know what the government SHOULD do!?”, but this series of blogs will emphasize women that truly put those positive thoughts into action.
What are we waiting for?  There are so many women that serve as a source of inspiration to the rest of us incessant brainstormers and encourage us to halt our “shoulda/coulda/woulda” attitude and start empowering others!
Kristen Kosinski is from my town (and, as any proud Pittsburgh native would, I nailed down our six degrees of separation to connect her mom to my parents :-))
I have not had the honor of personally meeting Kristen, but I would love to share her story with you.
What started as a trip to Kenya to do research for a documentary quickly turned into a career and life-altering experience.  In the Samburu region, an area where women are often left to fend for themselves, Kristen witnessed the dire need for clean water.  She saw how the constant search for clean water dominated daily life and thus thoroughly stifled any possibility for economic or educational progress.
Seeing a colossal dilemma, Kristen responded by taking action and founding The Samburu Project, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.  According to the organization’s website, since its inception they have raised over $400,000 and have drilled forty wells “bringing clean, safe drinking water to THOUSANDS of people.”
Not only did she introduce an immediate solution (clean water) to a rampant problem (inaccessible, tainted water), but she empowers women by educating them in how to create an income and ultimately provide for themselves and their families.
Kristen is now the organization’s Executive Director and Chair.  She is a very strong woman in action, and the amazing thing is that the ultimate impact of her effort is never-ending.  Providing clean water and the foundations for self-sufficiency allows for a better future for every life in the Samburu region.  These are cycles of mutual empowerment at their best!
As the self-elected president of the “shoulda/coulda/woulda” club, I declare all hats off to you, Kristen!  You are a true inspiration.  Readers, please refer to www.thesamburuproject.org for more information about the organization and how to contribute to their amazing efforts.