Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika: Marta Drury

I receive so much more from my work than I am able to give back. I live with gratitude that I get to do such transcendent and meaningful work."

— Marta Drury

Marta Drury, who believes in the power of women to lead sustainable peacekeeping, provides support from her own personal resources to grassroots organizations throughout the world. She tells the stories of women who are making a difference, and created The Resourceful Women Awards, which honor and reward women who work at the frontlines. Marta is an outspoken member of Responsible Wealth, a national network of wealthy Americans who believe it is wrong to give tax breaks to the rich.

When Marta Drury was six years old, her father bought his first truck. In the mornings he was a mailman and in the afternoons he collected garbage. "My parents' bedroom was the office for the first four or five years, as they took a one-truck business to an international conglomerate," Marta recalls. While growing up, Marta worked in the family business and went on to receive a master's degree in special education. But when her daughter arrived, the single-mother did not want to spend her energy teaching, and instead supported herself with a variety of small businesses. When she was in her 40s, Marta inherited her parents' wealth and plunged into a lifetime of commitment to women's peace organizations. In many cases, her investment has begun a long-term peace-building process. For example, in March 2004, a mob of ethnic Albanians attacked Serbian communities in Kosova, killing 28 people and burning hundreds of homes. An ethnic Albanian activist who was receiving grant money from Heart and Hand Fund helped Serbian victims recover. Not only did the funds allow women and their families to rebuild their homes, the process began healing relationships between individual Serbians and ethnic Albanians. "In my experience," says Marta, "this happens first among women. I feel that most international funders ignore the work of women activists and underestimate its significance, even though it is women activists who rush in to provide emergency humanitarian aid and organize their communities. In the Balkans, it is women who cross borders to support one another in spite of civil wars. After the war, the same women who have worked on the frontlines are usually shut out of the decision-making that affects the reconstruction of the country. At the same time, the men who were holding the guns a few weeks earlier are invited to sit at those same tables."

Heart and Hand Fund Responsible Wealth Global Fund for Women