Women For Women International

Rating: 2.92 stars   24 reviews

Issues: International, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: 4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 200 Washington DC 20008 USA

Mission: Women for Women International helps women in war-torn regions rebuild their lives by giving them financial and emotional support, job skills training, rights education, access to capital and assistance for small business development.
Programs: Women for Women International is currently active in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and Sudan. Since 1993, we have provided nearly $32 million in direct aid and loans and assisted more than 93,000 women. Using a multi-phased program, we provide women with direct aid, emotional support, rights awareness education, leadership training, vocational skills training and income generation support. We also offer microcredit loans (based on the Grameen Bank model) in Afghanistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our program is comprised of the following elements: Sponsorship/Direct Aid: A woman is matched with a sponsor, who provides monthly financial support as well as emotional support through the exchange of letters. Participants mainly use the financial support to fulfill their basic needs (paying rent, buying food, paying school fees, etc) or save it to invest in an income generating project following their graduation from the program. Vocational Skills and Rights Awareness Training: Women enroll in rights awareness and leadership classes, while also receiving vocational training in traditional and non-traditional skills. Rights awareness and leadership classes cover topics such as Women and Health, Women in the Economy, and Women in Politics. Each main topic features classes on specific issues such as HIV/AIDS prevention, nutrition, the importance of saving, basic business skills, information on how to register to vote, and their rights under local law and the United Nations Convention to End Discrimination Against Women. Vocational skills trainings offered include, but are not limited to: literacy, weaving, carpentry, food preparation, animal husbandry, and shoe making. Classes offered vary by location, local market research and the interests of participants. Income-Generation Support: After completing the vocational skills and rights awareness training, women receive income-generation support. Some of the support available includes: microcredit loans, assistance in facilitating a group venture, the ability to sell merchandise at a Women for Women International cooperative store, and advanced small business trainings.
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