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MATAWI INC
May 26, 2010

matawi is completely devoted to women's empowerment. this non profit was born through the collaboration of american women listening to somali refugee women in the dadaab refugee camp. these refugee women shared the stories of their journeys into the camp and the limitations posed by the educational opportunities in the camps. through the publication of their stories, compiled as a meaningful book of memoirs, matawi launched its scholarship initiative efforts to bring girls out of the camp to be college educated in the united states and in kenya by selling the book and building a community of contributors who are now the foundation of the non-profit's donors. i have met many of the somali refugees in maine and am awed by their courage and creativity. working with matawi has increased their insight and capacity as well as empowered their future opportunities. additionally, matawi is actively involved in local progamming in the state of maine where many somali refugees have resettled. the research branch of the organization is actively studying the refugee communities in dadabb and lewiston maine with hopes to build future understanding and opportunity.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

meeting somali refugees in lewiston, maine as well as traveling to kenya to begin to understand the structure of the refugee crisis there. i have heard and read the stories of the refugee women through their memoirs and films posted on the website.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increasing awareness of the scholarship initiative efforts at colleges in the united states is critical as well as addressing the perception and stereotypes of somali refugees in the united states. continuing to build is the essence of future efforts.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the energy and enthusiasm of the founders and board members to achieve success for women in refugee communities around the diaspora.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic, hopeful, educated, creative, fun, thorough, receptive

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

transform the lives of refugee women trapped in refugee camps across the diaspora by educating and empowering them to have meaningful lives.

Ways to make it better...

can't think of anything to be better...just time needed to keep growing!!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

continuing to build a donor community as funds are competitive for college initiatives

One thing I'd also say is that...

if we imagine what it would be like to have our lives limited by the physical and psychological barriers of a refugee camp, we could only help matawi immediately!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Board Member & i am helping with strategy for fundraising going forward as well as contributing to the database for matawi. also helping with public relations/marketing efforts.