To provide women survivors of war, civil strife, and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies.
About the Organization:
Women for Women International supports women in war-torn regions of the world with financial and emotional aid, human rights education, job-skills training, and small-business assistance. Many of the women have endured physical abuse, widowhood, and forced migration, and often find themselves in the role of sole provider for their families with no marketable skills or status in their communities. The organization serves women in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Sudan. In 2006, with the support of 25,000 sponsors, it distributed more than $3.3 million in direct aid and $5 million in microcredit loans to women in those countries.
Through its Sponsorship program, the organization provides direct financial aid to help women deal with the immediate effects of war and conflict; the program also includes a letter exchange with sponsors that gives women emotional support and a chance to tell their stories. The Renewing Women's Life Skills (ReneWLS) program provides women with rights awareness, leadership education, and vocational and technical skills training. The job-skills training program is designed to strengthen existing skills, introduce new skills in traditional and non-traditional fields, and help women become financially independent. Last but not least, the comprehensive business services program assists women looking to start and manage their own microenterprises with capital and/or microcredit lending programs.
The Women for Women International site provides information about the countries in which the organization works and the status of women in each; links to its own research and publications, newsletters, and journal; an FAQ; and a promotional video. The site also offers a "virtual" bazaar featuring unique handcrafted products made by graduates of the organization's vocational training programs. A portion of each sale is returned directly to the artisan, helping her to rebuild her life, family, and community.
Women for Women International is supported primarily by gifts from individuals. In 2006, gifts from individuals comprised 63 percent of its funding, with 26 percent coming from institutional donors and 11 percent from microcredit interest and other earned income.