Not all women around the world have many opportunities offered to them. Not all women are safe from harm, sickness, exploitation… Not all women have the help they need around the globe. Women for Women International works hard night and day to provide women with all the tools and resources they need in order to grow, to heal, to be safe.
From Women for Women International’s Website
Women for Women International works with socially excluded women in eight countries where war and conflict have devastated lives and communities. Each woman we serve has her own story–some of loved ones murdered, and others of physical and emotional trauma. Most have endured a struggle for survival.
Women who enroll in our one-year program learn job skills and receive business training so they can earn a living. They come to understand their rights and how to fight for those rights in their homes, their communities and their nations. They learn how to become leaders.
Women for Women International (WfWI) believes that lasting change can only be achieved when women have access to both knowledge and resources.
Since our founding in 1993, we have directly helped more than 407,000 women survivors of war and conflict and have distributed more than $114 million in funds. Our research uncovered a ripple effect – each woman who graduates has an impact on the lives of those in her family and community.
Opening Doors With Integrated Training
Our yearlong social and economic empowerment program provides marginalized women with the opportunity, often for the first time in their lives, to come together in classes of 25 women to build support networks, to share experiences, to learn critical skills, and to access new resources.
Women learn basic business skills and a vocational skill with earning power in their local markets. They begin to save and receive support to establish cooperatives, associations, or village savings and loan associations (VSLAs). They help each other find solutions to common challenges.
Women learn how to manage their health, including reproductive health and stress management, and the importance of good hygiene and nutrition for their families. They are connected with local healthcare providers.
Women learn their fundamental rights and those recognized in their countries, and are encouraged to educate other women. They learn the importance of civic participation, voting, and negotiation.
Creating Opportunity After Graduation
For women who have completed our yearlong training, we further support their economic empowerment by connecting them to financial services, advanced business and vocational trainings, and support networks to increase their ability to earn, save, and access capital.
For example, in Kosovo, our Women’s Opportunity Center supports job placement while in Rwanda, cooperatives formed by our graduates can access advanced business training and a marketplace to sell goods and products at our Women’s Opportunity Center.
Engaging Men as Allies
We have also learned that engaging men is instrumental in changing social and cultural norms that constrain women’s autonomy and decision-making. Since 2001, we have trained more than 7,500 men to become allies and champions of the empowerment of women and girls.
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