On December 12, 2010, we conducted our annual board meeting by teleconference with Melanthia Peterman, the secretary, and I, Cheryl Hatch, the president in Seattle. Alice Anderson joined us from Corvallis, Oregon. Samanda Dorger was absent and I presented the treasurer’s report on her behalf.

Proceedings:

I called the meeting called to order at 12:05 p.m. We approved the Aug. 1, 2010 meeting minutes.

Old Business:

Oct. 12 fundraiser in Corvallis brought in $940.

Hatch hired Bev Brassfield, a Corvallis bookkeeper, to handle the record keeping for the account, starting with our current fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2010.

New Business:

Marathel Guinsayao is moving into her second semester of second year at Western Mindanao State University.

Leah’s mom had a stroke and has been unable to gather and update on Marathel. She plans to travel to visit her before Christmas and pay her board fees and collect her most recent grade reports.

Isis Initiative has until June to find a new candidate to send to university. If we miss the June deadline, our next deadline will be September 2011.

We plan to focus our efforts at LaSalle University Ozamis City. We were excited to offer a scholarship to Marthel, who is attending university on the Zamboanga Peninsula, near her family’s mountain farm. We have discovered that maintaining communications and monitoring her progress is difficult from a distance. We have chosen to recruit scholarship applicants who are interested in attending La Salle University Ozamis, the university Leah Mamhot attended and from which she received her diploma in 2007.

We discussed the possible uses for the raw video of Hatch’s trip to the Philippines for Leah’s graduation in 2007. We plan to turn it into a educational DVD and a potential fund-raising tool. Anderson suggested having a student volunteer cut the video and produce a short (three to four minutes) promotional piece. I will explore the possiblity of finding a student a University of Alaska Fairbanks, where I’m currently serving as the Snedden Chair in the Department of Journalism.

Website development: Isis board members will keep control of web maintenance until we have more material to showcase. At that point, Isis Initiative will revisit outsourcing development.

Fund-raising

My brother, J Hatch, has donated proceeds of sales from his CD. You can download songs at his website. (If you launch the music player after entering the site, you can listen to three cool original tunes while you browse.)  We will begin planning next Corvallis concert and intend for it to become an annual fund-raising event. The J Hatch Trio performance in 2011 will be the third annual concert. The trio played at Block 15 on Mardi Gras night 2009 and at the home of Beth Rietveld and Sam Stern on October 16, 2010.

Newsletter

Peterman will create our first newsletter and have it ready to mail to our donors and supporters in January 2011.

Our meeting adjourned at 12:50 p.m.

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Ashley A. loves Egypt as much as I do. She’s already visited Egypt once and longs to return.

She’s a student in the JRN 421 (Journalism in Perspective) class I’m teaching at University of Alaska Fairbanks. One day in class, I told the story of how I adored Mighty Isis as a young girl. For me, she represented a powerful and beautiful woman, the perfect role model. And, I, too, love all things Egyptian: the history, the culture, the art, the mythology.

When I named my nonprofit Isis Initiative, Inc., I had the mythology of Isis, the Egyptian goddess, in mind: a powerful woman who gathered what had been broken and scattered (the body parts of her murdered husband, Osiris) and breathed new life into them. I thought Isis was the perfect symbol for an organization created by a former war photographer to help fund scholarships for women who had the desire but not the resources to pursue a college education. When I started my blog, Mighty Isis: the Adventures of a Social Entrepreneur, I had Mighty Isis, the cartoon heroine in mind.

I love the sound of “Mighty Isis.” The assonance of the long ‘i.’ To this day, it sounds like an incantation, a magic spell.

I remain deeply moved that Ashley was willing to share her prized comic book, the number one of The Mighty Isis series, with me. Her father had bought it for her because he knew of her love for Egypt.

 

Hi Cheryl,

How are you? I think you called up this afternoon but I wasn’t able to answer it because I have classes and I left my mobile phone in my bag.

My mother is OK but her BP is unstable. There are times that her blood pressure is high and there are times that her BP is normal so her Doctor won’t allow her to go home so that her BP would be monitored every now and then. She wanted to go home and rest there because she doesn’t like to stay in the hospital.   The doctor required her to have brain scan to know if her brain has blood clot.

We went to MU Hospital ( a private hospital ) this morning during my vacant time I don’t know yet the result because her Doctor in the hospital where she is confine wasn’t there yet. My mother is confine in a government hospital because it’s cheaper compared to a private hospital. But brain scan is expensive I paid almost Php. 5,000.00. Her medicines are expensive too for she has mild stroke. Her left body is paralyzed but we’re very optimistic that she will go back to normal.

I used my savings from my salary here in La Salle. But it’s OK I could still find a job and save money. The most important thing is the life of my mother. Benjie and Josephine are staying in the hospital. Last night I slept there and went home at 4:00 A.M. to get the food for Benjie and Josephine to lessen the expenses because it’s too expensive to buy food in the restaurant. Joven and her mother cook the food if I sleep in the hospital. But if I sleep in our house I cook the food and bring them to the hospital and goes to school.   Take care Cheryl because you just had your eye surgery..I love you and I miss you.. God Bless..   Love, Leah

A Letter from Leah

October 19, 2010

Hi Cheryl,
How are you there in Alaska? I know you’re so busy with your new job. We are fine here especially my mother.
I got my salary for my 2 months substitution in the public school last third week of September. I received Php. 30,319.00 it’s a check and I went to Land Bank to incash it. I paid all my debts since April when I had no job. I’m so happy because we have water already in our lavatory, CR and a shower it was installed two days after I got my salary so when you are here there’s no problem with water anymore. That’s my project with my salary. There’s also a faucet between our house and Joel’s house and that’s for them but they will pay one half of my water bill. I bought all the materials so that they have water also.
I love you and I miss you so much…
Love,
Leah

Party On

October 10, 2010

J arrived today, welcomed by me and grey skies at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. And so much laughter. It’s one of the best things about hanging with my brother: he’s funny and quick-witted.

We went straight to Taste of India for lunch, shopping for beer and snacks at the Metropolitan Market, then we settled in to watch the SF Giants v. Atlanta Braves.

We just returned from a walk round Green Lake. Tomorrow we head for Corvallis.

J has been a great patron of Isis Initiative, Inc.  Join us on Oct. 16 for our fundraiser and performance by the J Hatch Trio.

Thank you to Beth Rietveld and Sam Stern for hosting the party.

My friend, Kathleen Hennessy, reminded me of the deadline (today, Oct. 1, 2010, naturally) for submission of photo essays for the social activist award from PhotoPhilanthropy. This is brilliant idea and a great organization “promotes and connects photographers with non-profit organizations around the world to tell the stories that drive action for social change.”

I spent yesterday and today putting together a photo essay, Leah’s Dream. It features photographs from my visit to witness Leah’s graduation from La Salle University in Osamis City in 2007.

Leah Mamhot spends time with her classmates before her last final exam at La Salle University in Ozamis City on Mindanao in the Philippines. Leah graduated in elementary education in 2007 and now works as a teacher near her village, Sinacaban, on Mindanao.

PhotoPhilanthropy offers a number of awards in different categories. I entered in the category for professional photographers and first prize is $15,000. Imagine how many scholarships and how much good work we could do with that money.

And it’s a win-win scenario. My photography and the work of Isis Initiative, Inc. will be featured on PhotoPhilanthropy’s website.

Thank you to Kathleen and PhotoPhilanthropy and to all the featured photographers for the work they do to contribute to social change. And thank you for the opportunity to share our work and commitment to provide access to higher education for women who have the desire but not the resources to get a college degree.

Still Waiting

September 14, 2010

Leah still has not received payment for the two months she covered for a teacher on maternity leave. Here’s what she wrote me in an e-mail I received today:

“I went to the Division office in Oroquieta City because my assets and liabilities has no sworn statement from the lawyer. They can’t process my salary so I went to the Public Attorney’s Office because it’s free unlike in a private lawyer. The Division office told me to leave my cellphone number so that they could inform me if there are some discripancy of my papers but they didn’t, when I texted them asking if I could get my salary that was the time they told me Oh, should come here because there’s no sworn statement in your assets and liabilities. They promise they will just text me when to get my salary.”

To make ends meet, Leah sold her pig for income. Now she’s got another job substitute teaching at a private school. She still wants to get a job in a public school.

“There’s no news yet about the job in a public school. I hope soon..

I love you and I miss you…Take care and God Bless….Love, Leah”