Sisterhood, Success, Sponsorship: Women for Women International
We are energetically able to support each other in unlimited ways right now, and one means of doing that is through conscious
We have the ability to lift up our global sisters and improve their lives in practical ways while connecting with the power of sisterhood and success. And the right organizations are the perfect channels for this intention!
Women for Women International is an NGO
(non-governmental organization) that helps women in war-torn countries rebuild
their lives in practical, sustainable ways.
For over 20 years, they have impacted and improved the lives of 420,000 women – and counting!!
As an Ambassador for Women for Women International, I
am committed to raising global awareness and inspiring actions in others (like
yourself!) that will result in practical changes in women’s lives. You have to check out their amazing results below!
What Women for Women International Does
More than 20 years ago, our founders were inspired to help women facing
violence, marginalization, and poverty as a result of war and conflict.
We opened our doors in 1993 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and today, we
also work directly with women in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Sudan.
Through our program, the most
marginalized women find inspiration and strength to transform their lives.
Over the course of a year, women come together in classes of 25 to learn critical skills and access new resources. With a curriculum that meets them where they are, women begin their journey to achieve these four outcomes:
Earn and save money – 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 after graduation.
Develop health and well-being – Women learn how to manage their health, including reproductive health and stress management. They also learn about the importance of good hygiene and nutrition for their families. They are connected with local healthcare providers.
Influence decisions in their homes and communities – 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.
Connect to networks for support and advocacy – Women build support networks. They share ideas and resources, invest in business together, and help each other find solutions to common challenges.
Beyond the classroom, women become catalysts for progress and change, creating ripple effects in their families and their communities. For instance, women increase their average daily income from $0.41 when they enroll in our yearlong program to $1.98 two years after completing our program. The overwhelming majority invest their savings in growing their small business and in their children.
YOU As A Catalyst For Her Success
Every woman is her own heroine. Every female can be powerful, happy, and successful by creating the best possible life for herself and her family. Every person has gifts to share and ways to serve her local community. And we can make this philosophy a true reality by actively participating in global sisterhood!
You can change the life of a woman in meaningful, practical ways that will get you moving towards your dreams, too. If she can make this commitment to her life, what can you do to create what you want for yourself, your children, and your community?
The ultimate gift is that YOU become a catalyst for her, which then ripples out to her family and community.
You become a catalyst for change in a long-term way that improves the lives of many. And she also becomes a catalyst for you and what you can achieve in your life.
I connected with my first sister in Rwanda just as she began enrollment in the year-long program. She shared her dreams and goals for improving her life, including the possibilities for her child, and we regularly exchange correspondence as a form of encouragement for both of us. This program is definitely a two-way street, let me tell ya! ;) She inspires me to no end with her resilience, strength, and courage; I hope I can offer a fraction of that energy back to her.
As you read more stories below and connect with Women for Women’s work, I hope it motives you to participate in improving the lives of our sisters around the world. Please know that women are eagerly waiting to enroll in this program – we just need more sponsors like you who care deeply about women supporting other women!
These results speak for themselves!
More Specifics Results After Completing The Program Include These Four Key Outcomes:
Below are images from If You Knew Me You Would Care, a Women for Women International coffee table book:
"(The creators of this book)...take us beyond the tragedy of war and the stigma of victimhood to reach the unique story of each woman. The interviews and images captured in this book are a powerful reminder of the enduring dignity of these women and to the importance of Women for Women International's work on their behalf."
~ Angelina Jolie
Beatrice is a widow raising five children, including two girls and three boys. “I heard about Women for Women from my sister who graduated from the program six years ago. She encouraged me to join, and to make sure that I participated fully, in order to reap the full benefit of the program.”
Beatrice has a plot of land that she farms, which provides the main source of food for her family. “I only sell produce after taking care of my family’s needs. Before the program, I did not have any other source of income, and my circumstances were very difficult. Things got worse when a man in my village contested my ownership of the piece of land,” says Beatrice.
“Through the trainings, I summoned up the courage to settle the matter of land ownership.” Beatrice took her case to the local court. “I made my case, and presented my ownership documents for the land as proof that I was the rightful owner. That very day the case was resolved and the land was confirmed as mine. The man who tried to contest my land was told to stay away from it. I found my courage and my voice, and today, I remain the owner of the land.”
Beatrice grows palm trees and other crops on her land, and she plans to continue to use what she harvests to support her family. “I am happy that I have gotten back both my land and the palms that grow on it. They will continue to feed my family and help me to earn some money,” says Beatrice.
“I wanted to enroll in the Women for Women program after I heard an announcement made in church. I wanted to learn how to calculate profits and losses, and how to better manage my business.”
have helped Unis achieve both of these.
“Now I can calculate my profits, and follow all the money for goods taken on credit. I saved $200 with a goal of building a permanent house, but one of my sons damaged someone’s motorcycle. I had to use the money to repair it for the owner, but I am still confident that I will save more and build a better house for myself and my family.”
Regina enrolled in the program in April 2013 and has not only benefited from it personally, but has helped to make important changes in her community.
“The lessons on health and wellness opened my eyes to the importance
of cleanliness in keeping me and those around me healthy. Before the training I
was not aware of basic hygiene and would only quickly rinse utensils before
serving food. I realized this was a risk for my family, as the utensils would
not be clean and would put my family at risk of disease,” says Regina.
Since joining Women for Women International, Regina has been working to improve the health of those in her community.
Regina realized that the well where her family and her community fetches its water was very dirty, and nobody had taken responsibility for it. Concerned about the risk of dirty drinking water, Regina decided to take action. “I engaged other women in the community to help them understand the need for clean water, and we agreed to clean the well and also use water purifiers like chlorine and water guard in our homes for drinking water.”
With the help of other members of her community, she also plans to deepen
their shallow water well and keep it clean. This will help it to retain water
during the dry season as well as to prevent disease. “I will continue
mobilizing other women in the community in utilizing the lessons I have
learned, and I hope many more of them will be part of the training.”
Regina has become a leader in her community, and her actions continue to have a ripple effect in contributing to other women and families in her community.
3 Ways You Can Support Women for Women International
Do you feel compelled to support our sisters around the world in some way?
You can do so easily and for free simply by telling others about the work of Women for Women International.
Or you can participate with an active sponsorship of a sister, a rewarding and life-changing way to know you're making a huge difference in the world!
Join the email list
Stay informed about the organization's
events, updates and success stories throughout the year.
Sign-up at the top of their homepage to receive their newsletter.
Sponsor a Sister
Rewarding, life-changing, inspiring. You’ll be
selectively paired with a woman in one of eight countries, and develop an
ongoing relationship with her as she embarks on this program. Share stories and
smiles; encourage her; and be amazed at how she inspires YOU in your life, too.
For only $30 a month, you send a women to school so she can develop practical skills for earning money, learn about health and wellness, embrace her human rights, and support her leadership in her community.
You'll be alongside your newly sponsored sister every step of the way, with:
- If she provided one, a digital photo of your sister to keep her top of mind and in your heart.
- An introductory letter about your sister and her family.
- Email communications to keep up with your sister’s progress.
- An online account where you can manage your sponsorship, learn more about your sister and send her photos and notes of encouragement.
Women are eagerly waiting to join the Women for Women program, but we need more sponsors!!!
you aren’t able to make a year-long commitment to Sponsor a Sister, any
donation amount benefits women in this program.
Your generosity goes a long way – and is deeply appreciated.
Why I Believe In Women for Women International
One of my earliest formative experiences was the power of giving during the holiday season. My two brothers and I would buy Christmas gifts for kids our own age, wrap them up, and drop them off at a local organization. My heart was full with how doing something so easy for us would result in huge smiles for another on Christmas morning.
Conscious advocacy and volunteering my time has always been an ongoing passion. I’ve donated my time and marketing expertise to help a local hunger non-profit elevate their profile in the community and increase their fundraising efforts. A friend and I volunteered regularly at a soup kitchen on Sunday mornings; we chopped veggies for chili, made sandwiches with donated ingredients, and helped serve meals to a long line of homeless citizens. Through community outreach efforts, I’ve stood in front of groups of young women educating them about sexual violence prevention, and facilitated sensitive conversations about rape, power, and control.
As an ESL teacher, I’ve volunteered in classrooms to
help international adult students learn English, and I have worked with very basic
learners all the way up to more advanced groups. I’ve sat across from women
eagerly learning colors for the first time, as well as the names of rooms in
their houses. I’ve been put on the spot by very curious advanced students wanting
to understand English idioms, such as why “the ball is in your court” or “that’s
the way the cookie crumbles” or what it means “to catch somebody red-handed." You think you know English well - until you teach it! :)
My conscious advocacy turned global in graduate school as I chose my Master’s thesis to focus on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which are eight quantifiable and measurable goals aimed at reducing extreme global poverty.
Every country on the planet and all of the world’s leading institutions have agreed to participate and/or support these eight goals. My deep-dive research, which was conducted back in 2006 and 2007, revealed many amazing projects that are happening around the globe, including the Millennium Villages Project that helps rural villages transition to sustainable, integrated life solutions they can maintain on their own. Currently, 500,000 people in 14 sites across 10 countries are involved in this project.
The Millennium Development Goals are not well known because they’re not ‘sexy’ or driven by a celebrity, but they are transforming the world. Right now. As you sit here reading this, people are receiving mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria; tapping into fresh water for their village; giving birth in healthy conditions, and learning about their human rights for the first time. Amazing, right?
So giving back and helping our global sisters and
brothers in practical ways has always been a priority. Even when life was
incredibly busy and I didn’t have room for one more thing on my plate, I was
searching for an organization that I felt a strong connection to based on this
- Efforts resulted in sustainable, practical life changes;
- Personal connections of some sort were encouraged and developed;
- People who are genuinely interested and committed to improving their lives and creating their dreams are supported.
Women for Women International is an organization that meets
my personal criteria and also supports the efforts of the United Nations
Millennium Development Goals.
Being selected as an Ambassador is an incredible
honor, and deeply inspires me to spread the word about their incredible program.
I'll be sharing more success stories and updates through email and social media, and hopefully inspiring YOU to participate in our global efforts as well. Online events and fundraising goals will also be shared.
We are very lucky to live in a time when we have so much to be grateful for. And we're blessed to be able to support others in improving their lives and creating their dreams, too!