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Vital Voices Global Partnership

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, International, International Development, International Human Rights, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: Vital Voices Global Partnership believes in the transformative value of women's participation in society. We invest in emerging women leaders -- pioneers of economic, political, and social advancement in their countries -- and build the capabilities, connections, and credibility they need to unlock their potential as catalysts of global progress.

Programs: Signature fellowships:vital voices' signature fellowships are programs that build women leaders' capacity through group training, mentoring and targeted follow-on support, and peer-to-peer exchanges and networking. Throughout these programs, vital voices fellows crystallize their vision for change to make an impact in their communities and beyond. Vvlead fellowship: in 2014, vital voices kicked off the second year of a three-year fellowship program with initial funding from the uk government's department for international development. Vvlead fellows, who work across sectors to end violence against women, end forced/early marriage, and increase women's economic empowerment, participated in online and in-person interventions. These included peer learning exchanges, trainings, networking opportunities, challenge grant opportunities, and peer mentorship, all of which are based on the results of a needs assessment that fellows completed when chosen for the program. In 2014, vital voices selected its second cohort of fellows, increasing the total number of fellows to 206, with participants ranging in age from 21 to 82 from over 55 countries in the global south. As part of the core vvlead program, vital voices managed an online learning platform and organized in-person programming for 8-9 fellows in ghana in march, mexico in june, and nepal in august, and for 62 fellows in south africa in november. Each in-person program engaged fellows from across the globe to participate in activities to connect, learn, and collaborate. These four-day programs included fellow-, consultant- and staff-led trainings; facilitated networking and action planning sessions; incorporated site visits; and fostered group dialogue about critical issues facing women leaders across the globe. Vv grow fellowship: the vv grow fellowship is a highly competitive one-year accelerator program for women who own small-and medium-sized businesses in latin america and the caribbean, the middle east and north africa, and sub-saharan africa. The program includes customized business skills training, technical assistance, leadership development, and access to networks to grow their businesses and increase their leadership impact. Through global and regional online and in-person interventions, fellows focus on strategy and long-term business value paired with action-oriented plans. They amplify their role as leaders in their businesses and their communities to ultimately create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce wider social benefits. In 2014 vital voices partnered with women who own small-and medium-sized businesses through the vv grow fellowship to help them achieve their business growth goals, and a total of 64 women from 31 countries in the 2014 cohort graduated from the program. Vital voices and a team of consultants and external experts refined a global training curriculum developed in 2013 for the 2014-2015 vv grow fellowship, which was then tailored to achieve learning objectives based on the diverse needs across regions. The curriculum included modules on executive financial management, leadership, networking, business planning, and understanding your market. The 2014-2015 fellowship involved an intensive participant selection process; online training; three regional, in-person trainings; and individualized growth services and support to address the unique needs of each fellow's business. In october 2014, three four-day regional, in-person trainings were held in amman, jordan; buenos aires, argentina; and dar es salaam, tanzania, where 20-23 fellows worked with expert trainers and vital voices staff to build their knowledge, skills, and networks and make progress toward their growth goals. With the support of vital voices staff and trainers, fellows established one- to five-year business growth goals and action plans to achieve them. Through the growth service and support phase, vital voices staff connected fellows to resources and support to meet their unique needs and achieve their business growth goals. Vv grow mentoring: the vv grow mentoring program pairs women owners of small-and medium-sized businesses with corporate executive mentors. For six months, mentors and mentees work together to define and make progress toward short-term business growth goals. The program incorporates mentoring best practices from partner organizations in 10 countries and facilitates individualized business advice, confidence building, and networking opportunities. Through the program, the mentees amplify their role as leaders in their businesses and communities to ultimately create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth and produce wider social benefits. In 2014, the citi foundation and the walmart foundation funded the completion of program pilots in five countries that began in 2013: argentina, egypt, el salvador, kenya, and nicaragua. A total of 157 mentees, all women business owners, were paired with corporate executive mentors for a six-month, one-on-one mentoring relationship. Global freedom exchange: the second annual global freedom exchange, a vital voices and hilton worldwide partnership, provided a dynamic educational and mentoring opportunity for emerging and established women leaders who are on the forefront of global efforts to prevent and respond to child trafficking. The global freedom exchange brought together a select group of 18 women ngo leaders from 10 countries around the world to participate in a two-week fellowship program. The program took place in november and spanned three us metropolitan areas: washington, dc, new york city, and dallas, texas. Activities included opportunities to meet with government officials, to discuss best practices with ngo leaders, to provide donors with knowledge about funding needs and the best mechanisms for support, and to learn about collaborative approaches to working with local law enforcement. This program provided participants with specific knowledge, skills, and relationships that benefitted their professional development, their respective ngos, and the communities they serve. The program also provided sub-grants to support the work of five fellows in their home countries.

activating the network:the programs that activate the vital voices network facilitate ongoing engagement with the women leaders with whom vital voices partners and support their deep-rooted commitment to "paying it forward. " these programs promote advocacy, foster an enabling environment for women's leadership, and ignite and organize top leaders around key issues. Supporting public advocacy regional competitiveness (sparc): in 2014, vital voices conducted the sparc program, the third year of a 4-year economic advocacy program. The sparc program works with partner businesswomen associations to advocate for an enabling economic environment for women. In 2014, vital voices provided expert consultations, advocacy and capacity-building support, and financial support to help qualified africa businesswomen's network partners strengthen advocacy skills and implement robust advocacy campaigns. Fortune/u. S. State department global women's mentoring partnership: through a partnership with the u. S. Department of state and fortune's most powerful women, vital voices gathered 23 emerging leaders from 17 countries across the globe to come to the united states for a month-long mentoring program. The program connected participants with fortune's most powerful women and their executive teams as mentors and included leadership and communication trainings, discussions with american women leaders about their personal and professional journeys, and networking events. In october, vital voices organized the international alumnae component in amman, jordan. The three-day training for 12 alumnae was designed to increase their capacity, equip them with new contacts, and strengthen the network of alumnae in the middle east and north africa region. Vital voices maintained the alumnae network through online and social media communication and engagement, connecting alumnae with grant opportunities and inviting alumnae to participate in other vital voices programs. Vital voices also deepened ties with former program participants by connecting them with other leaders in the vital voices network and advising them on their various projects and initiatives. Global ambassadors program: the global ambassadors program (gap) is a multi-year partnership with bank of america, in which women leaders who are at a tipping point of their professional, business, and leadership paths (mentees) receive mentorship, training, and opportunities for visibility from global ambassadors (mentors) who are global leaders in the business, nonprofit, government and social enterprise sectors. In 2014, vital voices organized the program in mexico, northern ireland, and poland. Each program engaged eight to nine mentees who received strategic support and guidance from their global ambassador mentors to identify action steps and to achieve professional goals. These week-long programs included one-on-one and group mentoring sessions and public forums to provide visibility on critical issues impeding women's economic advancement. Trainings ranged from communications to strategic planning, and financial management and fund-raising to crisis management and work/life balance. The global ambassadors program held in mexico in march focused on furthering the economic empowerment of women business leaders in the latin america and the caribbean region, from corporate executives to entrepreneurs who lead small and medium-sized enterprises (smes). The challenges facing the region include balancing macroeconomic policies, structural reforms, and responding to changes in the chinese and us economies. The global ambassadors program held in belfast, northern ireland, in may commemorated the 15th anniversary of the 1998 good friday peace accords and the vital voices conference where former first lady hillary clinton called for women's engagement as a means of affecting peace and prosperity. Mentees were invited from countries classified as being "post-conflict," "in-conflict," or "fragile states" to discuss how the peace process can further the economic empowerment of women business leaders and increase women's economic opportunities. Topics included best practices, lessons learned, and experiences of the transition from conflict to peace to prosperity. The global ambassadors program held in warsaw, poland, in september focused on addressing the ongoing needs and challenges facing women leaders engaged in business, social enterprise, and ngos in the eastern europe region - including poland, russia, and ukraine - as they navigate through the current political instability in this region. Qatar program: with support from humanity united, vital voices implemented a program in qatar to better inform and equip qatari women to assume leadership and advocacy roles prior to the unprecedented expansion and development leading up to the world cup in qatar in 2022. Vital voices worked with the mena businesswomen's network (mena bwn), which was established by vital voices in 2012, and other vital voices network members to convene a leadership circle of 15 influential women in qatar whose interests included human rights and human trafficking. The leadership circle recommended students researching and working on qatari women's engagement and empowerment, migrant worker welfare issues, and other social issues to participate in a one-day leadership training in november, during which 20 young qatari women were introduced to vital voices' leadership principles and to leadership circle and mena bwn members. Gender based violence emergency response and protection initiative: publicly launched in march 2014, the gender based violence emergency response and protection initiative is designed to address extreme forms of gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices around the world. With support from the us department of state's bureau of democracy, human rights & labor, the program aims to achieve the following three objectives: 1) provide emergency assistance to those facing extreme acts of gender-based violence (gbv) including harmful traditional practices; 2) provide advocacy, support, prevention, and technical assistance to gbv survivors and those working to address gender-based violence; 3) provide a focal point to improving gbv regional and international network coordination. The emergency assistance provides short-term grants for expenses that include medical expenses, psychosocial support or counseling, emergency shelter, relocation expenses, and livelihood. The gbv initiative has provided vital voices' extensive network of women leaders with information about the emergency assistance and how to refer survivors. In 2014, vital voices re-engaged members of the network by incorporating them and their organizations into the advisory council for the initiative, adding their organizations to the broader global network of gbv service providers maintained by vital voices. Preventing sexual violence initiative summit: in june 2014, vital voices brought ten network leaders from around the world to attend the global summit to end sexual violence in conflict, sponsored by the united kingdom's foreign and commonwealth office's preventing sexual violence initiative. The opportunity allowed vital voices to re-engage women and men leaders of the network around a global convening of activists working to end violence against women in conflict. Over the course of three days, the ten women and men attended sessions of their choosing, including the following topics: the documentation and investigation of sexual violence; women, peace, and security; survivor-centric responses; legislative frameworks; improving evidence collection; accountability; international protocols; prosecuting sexual violence; men and boys as victims; actions for enabling human rights defenders; reparations; and the role of faith leaders in tackling sexual violence. During the week, additional events were held as an opportunity to highlight more grassroots organizations and activists, giving the opportunity for two women leaders with the vital voices delegation to discuss their strategies for tackling sexual violence in south africa and liberia. The convening also provided the opportunity for some members of the vital voices delegation to engage with members of the us government, including private meetings with the ambassador for global women's issues, as well as media opportunities for other network members. Annpower: vital voices, in partnership with ann inc. , selected fifty young women from across the u. S. To participate in a training and mentorship program held in washington, dc for three days. Selected participants, who are rising juniors and seniors in high school, worked together to develop community projects and were advised by established women leaders from across the world. Vital voices managed the recruitment and application process, implemented the leadership training curriculum and encouraged ongoing mentoring relationships and peer connections amongst the

strategic investments:vital voices' strategic investments programs catalyze the visions of women leaders. By making strategic investments in them through targeted technical support, building their credibility and visibility in the community and globally, and curating a system of support from champions in the vital voices network, the strategic investments programs provide deep, individualized investment in women leaders who possess a clearly articulated and bold vision. Justice institutes: since 2010, vital voices has been investing in human rights leaders by co-implementing the institute model, which brings together judges, prosecutors, police officers, and representatives of both governmental and non-governmental victim services providers for multi-disciplinary trainings in their home countries. The innovative and interactive training model focuses on the investigation and prosecution of crimes of violence against women and facilitates the creation of a holistic and victim-centered response to such crimes. It is one comprehensive resource that vital voices is able to offer to women in our network who are tackling sexual violence and human trafficking in their home communities. In 2014, as part of the gender-based violence emergency response and protection initiative, vital voices - with support from the avon foundation for women - implemented the institute model in partnership with network members in nepal and mexico. A us-based delegation worked alongside five local trainers to carry out the four-day multi-disciplinary training for 50-60 participants in kathmandu in august and guadalajara in september. In 2014 vital voices also wrapped up a four-year partnership with women leaders in cameroon, which successfully implemented the model to improve the criminal justice system's response to human trafficking. Global leadership awards honoree program: the global leadership honoree program provides customized and tailored support that includes networking opportunities, capacity building, and high profile thought leadership events to give greater credibility and visibility to the honorees for the nine days they are in washington, dc. Each year, vital voices hosts the global leadership awards, honoring unsung heroes and courageous leaders working to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity and protect human rights in communities around the world. In 2014, vital voices honored five such leaders at an evening program attended by over 2,000 guests. In addition to recognizing these leaders at the event, vital voices hosted a week-long honoree program in washington, dc focused on supporting the honorees to build their capacity, credibility and connections. Throughout the program, vital voices introduced the honorees to key stakeholders and facilitated individualized opportunities to help develop new connections and strengthen their networks of support. Further, the honorees participated in moderated public discussions to showcase their work; engaged in training with the vital voices strategic communications team on topics including public speaking skills, on-camera communication techniques, messaging, speech-writing and social networking; and honed their leadership and mentorship skills through work with 50 emerging young women leaders participating in the annpower vital voices initiative. Finally, the work of each honoree was featured using film, photography and social media platforms to raise their respective public profiles and build awareness and visibility for the leaders and their work. Dvf awards: vital voices partners with the diller-von furstenberg family foundation to honor extraordinary women in the vital voices network who are initiating positive changes in their communities. Vital voices provides support to the honorees and manages a grant award that enables the honorees to implement critical programming. In 2014, the honorees were noha khatieb and liron peleg-hadomi, who were jointly awarded for their work bridging the gap between jewish and arab communities in israel, and kah walla, an entrepreneur and political leader in cameroon.

global engagement and public awareness

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I was at the Women's Conference in Beijing in 1995 when Hillary Clinton spoke those oft quoted words "women's rights are human rights; human rights are women's rights." From a federal initiative to assist women worldwide, Vital Voices, in 15 years, has become a well known and highly respected NGO with a strong presence in 144 countries. I have participated in Vital Voices sponsored breakfast briefings, panel discussions, the Annual Galas, and most recently a reception honoring the new President of Malawi, HE Joyce Banda, who has worked diligently to elevate women from poverty and remedy inequities. I took part in their regional program in Ukraine in 2007 and in late February of this year i was privileged to be a Global Ambassador at the Haiti National Women's Platform Conference in Petonville, Haiti. The Platform was presented to President Martelly and significant successes have resulted. Through Vital Voices, vital women's voices are being heard and changes made. Connie Morella



Rating: 5

As an undergrad student, I've had various experiences with unpaid internships. Often, I've found that when an internship is unpaid, the organization won't give me much to do, or will assign me unimportant tasks. At Vital Voices, this is not the case at all. Every day, I get to contribute in a meaningful way to major team projects that need the extra womanpower to get finished. It's incredibly rewarding to help in this way, and it's also inspiring to work in an office with other young men and women who are so passionate about cultivating women leaders. Vital Voices staff are not only passionate, they are also extremely professional and efficient and they expect their volunteers to be as well. Working with Vital Voices has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I would recommend volunteering with them to anyone!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've heard first time about Vital Voices over a year ago. Since then, I've been following the organization's work and I have attended a couple of events. The last one was the 2012 Global Leadership Awards! It was a great and very successful event. VV honored and celebrated amazing women leaders from all over the world. Women who fight for democracy in their countries, who fight for human rights and the goal of their lives is to make a change and have a strong Voice in the world.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My first exposure to Vital Voices, the 2012 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards, opened my eyes to the incredible work being done there. Not only does VV bring awareness to specific, current, and important issues of our day affecting women, but they also actively pursue to recognize and honor those women who've committed their lives to those causes. Shining a light on people and places that the world oftentimes unfortunately glosses over, they are truely giving voice to those whose messages are most vital in our world. Kudos to VV