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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Community Reviews

Rating: 3 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

does the CEO really have to pay herself $220,000 a year. I have to question this. Wouldn't most contributors like to set up an organization that pays themselves $220,000 annually? That allows for a more than adequate lifestyle.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

I worked for Women for Women International for 9 months. I first work as an (unpaid) intern in the Sponsorship Department and then as Data Entry clerk. The Sponsorship Team consists of 4 paid employees and the brunt of the work falls on unpaid interns and volunteers. These unpaid workers are responsible for keeping track of and sending sponsorship packets (information about with whom sponsors are matched and updates on their "sisters") and forwarding correspondence between sponsors and the women they are sponsoring. There are not nearly enough employees to perform this work and the fact that this organization uses unpaid labor as a crutch to cut administrative costs is truly disappointing. Letters and photos between sponsors and their "sisters" pile up and those working and WFWI are told to SHRED these heartfelt letters and family photos when they have not been forwarded in time. It would be in Women for Women's best interest to invest in their workforce so they are not breaking their word to those who keep their organization running rather than paying their founder and CEO exhorbitant amounts of money and relying on unpaid labor to cover up their shoddy business practices. Following the internship I worked in Data Entry where the Director of our department avoided contact with the Data Entry clerks after we emailed asking for a meeting to discuss the fact that no one had been paid properly for overtime worked. The Director claimed she was "out of town" for a while (though we saw her in the office) and three months later we received flowers as opposed to the requested meeting. While I don't deny that women have been helped by this organization, I was appalled by what goes on behind the scenes and hope that Zainab Salbi will eventually spend more time at her headquarters so she can become aware of the issues faced by her employees.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from CharityNavigator