Meet Rowena. A teacher since 2011 at Kempsey High School and also fitness enthusiast, Rowena noticed a void in programs in her community that girls could call uniquely their own. Passionate about creating a space for these girls, Rowena decided to start up Strong Girl Fitness: an inclusive program specifically for girls. This program includes training such as running, gymnastics and calisthenics through to weightlifting and power lifting. There is also a strong focus on positive body image, building community and creating a healthy lifestyle. Rowena set the motto as Strength, Courage, Choices, because if girls have strength then they will have the courage to make good choices. Throughout this program the students who have attended have gained confidence, health, increased school attendance and have gone on to achieve sporting and academic accomplishments. Since starting the program three years ago, Rowena has encouraged and empowered dozens of girls and in 2015 won Australian Women's Weekly, Woman of the Future award. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Tanya. A trained nurse who grew up in Fiji, Tanya first visited Cambodia in 2007 where she left a portion of her heart. After several mission trips to Cambodia, Tanya's mission vision was born in the form of Restore One Charity. "The word RESTORE is a perfect description for what is achieved in the broken communities of Cambodia and Myanmar." Tanya and her team at Restore One are supporting one village to not simply build a school and leave; they are working with the people to ensure every area of their village is developing. The school they have opened gives children an education for hope and freedom. By building up and educating the youth they are able to set them on a path where they can find a good job. Opening in November 2014, the school has 200 students with another classroom for educating the 10 deaf students of the village also being developed. In the community, villagers are educated about domestic violence and hygiene. They have also opened Restore one Cafe in downtown Phnom Penh which helps support the village's efforts. A visitors and training centre is also a place where locals can work or be trained to develop skills to enhance their village.
Tanya loves what she does and beams with delight when asked about her project. Being only two years old, it's still new, but Restore One is already changing lives! Tanya encourages everyone to do something that excites you. Restore One is something that is empowering and changing lives, one person at a time. She is excited and passionate about this project. She is a Strong Woman.