Buzz Women was founded in 2012 by Dave Jongeneelen and Uthara Narayanan.
Devamma, a participant of our first training group in 2012, became our guide. Her courage, vulnerability & determination showed us the way forward.
Devamma - Head of Strategy
Devamma was among the first participants of our training back in 2012. When Uthara, co-founder and national coordinator in India, met Devamma back then she said she was in a lot of debt. She asked Uthara if she could borrow 50 euro's from her. Uthara did not give her the money, but told her to come join the training program instead. Since then, through her journey, Devamma has guided us the way forward.
First she got rid of her debts and proved to us that you need more than finances to overcome poverty.
She started a bank and showed us that progress, once triggered, is unstoppable. And that when women come together to learn and support each other, everything is possible.
She saved 365 rupees and brought it to us to train another woman. It was the start of our Self-Shakti Fund, a membership model that allows us to become financially sustainable within the upcoming years.
Uthara Narayanan - Co-founder
I grew up surrounded by strong women. Together with my father they raised me to always be independent. Whether it was my mother or my grandmother, the stories of their lives and the difficulties they have been through, have always had a deep impact on me. And I channel this impact to find productive solutions for an issue that haunts me since the time of my graduation - How do people come out of poverty?
My parents raised me to believe in giving back to the community and in the power of people. This is the primary source of my inspiration.
But my biggest source of inspiration will always be the countless women I work with. They reinforce my need to continue putting my efforts every day; They are amazing people who rarely have the opportunities to improve their lives.
I see many success stories and stories of how women have transformed lives through our training programs and interventions and it strengthens my belief that if given an opportunity to learn women will transform their lives from that learning. It also makes me want to go to work every day and teach these women to help themselves.
I dream of a country full of women who believe in themselves and who believe they are worth all the amazing opportunities and I hope Buzz Women can help achieve this even if it is by a small degree.
Dave Jongeneelen - Co-founder
“It must have been in 2007. I was visiting a warm and dusty village in the middle of The Gambia to facilitate a leadership program with local leaders and international managers. During one of the breaks, a large group of people from the village gathered around us. They were so curious about what we were doing, that we hosted the workshop again during our break. That was the moment I asked myself: ‘how could we best reach people in remote areas? In particular women, who are at the heart of the community.’
The beauty of Buzz Women is its simplicity and powerfulness. We bring opportunities and choices right to their doorsteps, and we let them run with it. They tackle everything with full force, and seeing this makes attending one of the training sessions simply fantastic. Witnessing their intensity, curiosity, and pride, but also watching their self-confidence blossom and the appearance of a sudden twinkle in their eyes. The fact that they take charge of their own development is what makes this process so valuable and successful.
Uthara talks about the essence of Buzz Women