MY ONE CENT: ANISSA RASHETA
"We have to show our kids the good in the world and how they can be a part of that."
Anissa Rasheta is a CARE advocate from Arizona, a student, mother and one of CARE Action’s 2016 fellows who participated in an intensive year-long training and advocacy program that included a Learning Tour to Benin. As one of our most effective and engaged advocates, we had to ask, Why Do You Advocate for Foreign Assistance with CARE? Here’s Anissa’s answer:
I volunteer for CARE and advocate to empower women because I feel connected to the women we’re reaching. I returned to school in my thirties and feel I’ve been empowered myself. Advocacy was never part of my life, but one day, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a Girl Rising trailer. I was so moved by that two-minute trailer, I wanted to see the documentary. At the time, you couldn’t see it unless you secured a viewing place. One of our local theaters agreed to host a screening if I pre-sold 100 tickets. I got busy promoting that event based on one Facebook post. It was so inspiring to me to help more girls to be educated. I had just gone back to college and was feeling the need for my own education. One of my friends watched me do ticket sales and asked me to join her for a meeting for CARE. I was immediately hooked because of CARE’s emphasis on empowering women and girls. I was empowering myself and I wanted to pay that forward.
I’m finishing up my degree at Arizona State University. I’m the mother of three. My oldest daughter is graduating from high school. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom and a student and I would love to work in the non-profit world, doing something I’m passionate about. Even if I’m not making much money, any amount is a lot more than zero. I love doing advocacy as a volunteer and feel like it’s important to be part of global citizenship. It makes an impact on everyone as a moral issue and also on the logistics of making our world healthier. My degree is in sociology and I’m interested, emotionally and logically, in how the social world is interconnected. I have a minor in gender studies and recognize the impact gender equity has on creating stable environments that everyone can thrive in. CARE’s mission connects with me because of all of those reasons. I think I’ll be doing this for a while.
Many of us have discovered that we’re not just doing this work because we’re helping women. Advocating for CARE gives us a platform as individuals - especially for someone like me who hasn’t worked in the corporate world or in business. To have this opportunity, to be an adult, to talk to other adults and use my skill sets, which were seriously undermined earlier in my life… It’s been amazing just to have these opportunities, to be in this world and to speak to Members of Congress and learn about advocacy, just for my own personal gain. CARE gives us so many tools that help us both in our own lives and as advocates.
I brought my sister with me to a recent CARE event and she’s a very conservative, Christian, Republican. That’s something CARE does really well – include everyone…Democrats, Republicans…CARE is one place where we can all be activists together. We have a lot of common values and most of us want the same things, the same opportunities for health, food and security. It’s easy to humanize other people when we see their plights and listen to their stories and realize it’s similar to our own in some ways. It’s refreshing.
Our children are watching us and it’s important that they see we care about others as well as ourselves. A lot of U.S. citizens travel the world or serve missions for their church and they’re certainly on the Internet. My 17-year-old daughter has been talking to me more than ever about politics and what’s going on in the world. Social media presents opportunities for conversations about why it matters and how it connects to global security or health. These are the conversations that show our humanity and heart. When you see the news about atrocities happening, we need to keep the balance by also looking at what’s working. We have to show our kids the good in the world and how they can be a part of that.
My One Cent is a new series that highlights the people who make CARE’s work possible. We want to know why people care about foreign assistance, why they share their time and talents with CARE and what leadership really looks like. Not surprisingly, people were eager to share their two cents, but since foreign assistance adds up to only one penny on the federal dollar, and we didn't want to be greedy, we're asking our supporters and advocates simply share ONE cent. Listen to their voices and find out why so many people CARE, and join us too (if you haven’t already)!