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City Women vision going far beyond Toowoomba

  • Written by  Ian Anderson
Nikoletta Tóth-Surányi hopes to start City Women Hungary Photo: Provided

This year, City Women marks 10 years of working to make Toowoomba a better place to live for girls and women.

And now the vision is beginning to spread not just to other Australian cities, but internationally as well.

“I’m not actively seeking to start City Women in other cities,” said founder and director Letitia Shelton.

“However, as I travel and share what’s happening with girls in our nation and share our City Women story, the Christian women are responding.”

“They can see that the church must be the answer to the problems our girls are facing. The church has the biggest message of hope!”

In recent months, City Women organisations have started in Brisbane, Illawarra and the Gold Coast.

In each of these places, Letitia said that Christian women are feeling the pain in their cities.

“They can see the suffering and long to respond with compassion and be part of the solution,” she said.

“Also, I’m seeing a dissatisfaction in women who have just sat in church for years. They want to break out into the community and make a difference.”

“We all want to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves.”

This passion crosses cultural boundaries and international borders.

After searching online for Christian magazines for girls, Hungarian Nikoletta Tóth-Surányi stumbled across Bella Magazine, an initiative of City Women Toowoomba.

“As a child of God, I strongly believe I have a responsibility for the well-being of not only my family, but of our Hungarian daughters,” said Nikoletta.

After connecting with Letitia, Nikoletta set out to establish City Women Hungary.

“We desire to mobilise the women of God in Hungary to work together to support and encourage hurting women in our community and our country through different programs,” said Nikoletta

As well as seeing the vision grow beyond Toowoomba, Letitia said City Women is looking to also expand its local initiatives in 2015.

“This year we are starting a new ministry called Mission Australia COACH, originally from Melbourne,” she said.

“It is a long term mentoring program where volunteer mentors from within the community are trained to support disadvantaged families in creating a brighter, more positive future for themselves.”

Along with this new program, Letitia said they would love to see the grandparents program expand as well.

“We are in desperate need of more grandparents,” she said. “They play such an important role in the girls we work with and have proven to be very effective in seeing so many lives change.”

City Women grandparents can play a number of roles in the lives of young women, from having lunch with them once a week, to attending camps and discipleship groups.

“The grandparents provide that sense of family and belonging,” said Letitia. “They don’t have to say much, just be there and love.”

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