A tribute by Pooja Eppanapally, Investment Manager at WoWE

A tribute by Pooja Eppanapally, Investment Manager at WoWE 150 150 Megan

Women’s History Month

Celebrating Women Changemakers in our Lives, Communities, and Organizations

Celebrating Women Changemakers

My name is Pooja Eppanapally, and I am Women of the World Endowment’s Investment Manager. This Women’s History Month, I would like to celebrate my late grandmother, Shankaramma Eppanapally, or as I call her, “Nanamma.” In her memory, I am donating to World Central Kitchen, an organization that is addressing the recent humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Married at a young age, Nanamma did not have an opportunity to complete her education like many other Indian women of her time. She raised my father and his five siblings in a rural village where her family was discriminated against, having been viewed as outsiders. She struggled as a single mother for a period of time, but always found the capacity to shower her children with love and pave the way for a secure future.

When her children grew up and moved to the United States, she came along to help raise her grandchildren. She did not speak English, but she was an extremely intelligent and observant woman, and she picked up bits of the language over the years. When my young cousin cut her hand, Nanamma called 911 and was able to message the situation in broken English and got an ambulance to come to the house.

She had the incomparable ability to break down cultural and language barriers using her infectious smile and energy to draw others in. At my own Sweet 16, she stole the spotlight by dominating the dance floor, entrancing everyone with her skillful footwork. She was just one of those people you fell in love with the second you met her.

Sadly, my grandmother fell ill with COVID-19 and passed away on January 26, 2021. Despite having left this world, my grandmother’s personal journey and boundless love have impacted me and those she’s touched in an immeasurable way. I will always remember her as the embodiment of resilience, vibrancy, and warmth. I hope to pass on these qualities and inspire the next generation of women Changemakers.

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Women of the World Endowment is an investment non-profit focused on centralizing women as economic, environmental, and social changemakers while delivering market-rate, risk-adjusted returns and impact at scale. Every day, WoWE invests in, advances, and amplifies women changemakers. We thank Pooja and all of the WoWE community who celebrate women changemakers.

Women’s leadership on the frontlines of our homes, healthcare, businesses, and country leadership has been exceptional in the context of the accelerating challenges the world faces, while at the same time testing women as they have borne the brunt of lay-offs, childcare, and more.  We can collectively acknowledge that we ALL stand on the shoulders of Women Changemakers.

During Women’s History Month we are taking a personal approach to celebrating the rich contributions of women in our lives, communities, and economies. We hope you will join us in honoring the women who have made it possible to be the change we want to see in the world –  those we work with, those who inspire us, and those who have championed our success.

Throughout the month we will continue to share stories and celebrate the extraordinary contributions of women changemakers who have and continue to effect lasting positive change.  If you would like to share your story and the organizations you are donating to with the WoWE community please send a note to Jennifer Brooker and we will amplify. If you would like to learn more about how to engage with WoWE  and support women Changemakers, click here.

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