Seven Women was founded by Rotarian, and Rotary Foundation Peace Scholar, Stephanie Woollard at the age of just 22. Steph was visiting Nepal when she met seven disabled women making soaps and candles in a small tin shed. In Nepal, disabilities carry a strong social stigma, believed to bring bad fortune. The women were consequently able to sell only a fraction of what they produced at market and lived in dire poverty. Disturbed by the injustice and isolation these women were facing, Steph spent her last $200 of travel money to pay two trainers to help up-skill the women and sell their products abroad. Since then Steph has devoted the past decade to changing the lives of disabled and marginalised women in Nepal as Founder and CEO of ‘Seven Women’. The organisation has trained and employed over 1000 disadvantaged women and has helped more than 5,000 women in remote villages in Nepal offering shelter, medical assistance and education.
Steph has a book called ‘From a Tin Shed to the United Nations’ as well as a Documentary ‘Bringing the Light: The Story of Seven Women’ that Rotary Clubs as well as other organisations can screen to help raise much needed funds to help ‘Seven Women’ continue their amazing work of making a difference.
Steph is a Melbourne-born social entrepreneur, Rotary Foundation Peace Scholar, Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Melbourne, and has created the international aid organisation ‘Seven Women’, tour-company ‘Hands On Development’, and the International Training and Hospitality initiative.
In 2016, Stephanie was recognised at the UN with a prestigious ‘Rotary Responsible Business Award’ – one of only six honourees worldwide to receive the award.
Steph is a close friend of the Darling, has spoken at our club and one of the Darlings has visited the Seven Women centre in Nepal and has participated in the ‘Hands on Development’ Tour.