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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Women's Global Empowerment Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The mission of WGEF is to provide opportunities to women in thru economic, social and political programs; creating opportunities while strengthening families and communities. Our goal is to work for social justice, increased human security and women's empowerment.

Results: *Over 10,000 loans with zero defaults *Over 3500 participants in our literacy program *16 women have run for political office; 11 succeeding *Access to Justice team, 22 trained Peer Counselors working in the community to assist with issues around accessing justice, navigating challenges and finding solutions. *Recently opened Gulu Women's Resource Centre *Our latest health initiative, Health Periods Initiative, addresses the issue of menstrual health, and the challenges women face with regards to access, hygiene and socio-cultural stigma. The Healthy Periods Initiative – improving health, creating livelihoods.

Target demographics: Women and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of women and families create sustainable livelihoods and futures.

Geographic areas served: Northern Uganda

Programs: Microfinance, Literacy, Leadership Development and Health Initiatives

Community Stories

126 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Erin F.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

There has never been a more important time to support women in the Global South. I've had the privilege to visit Uganda and meet with the dynamic, passionate women (and men!) of WGEF who work tirelessly to build innovative, productive programming, provide access to education, health and legal rights, and more that help not only build economic growth, but more importantly, empower women, children, and all of the members of this great community. This nonprofit is on the ground, working hard day after day, and effecting true change.

mjpowl

Board Member

Rating: 5

Women's Global Empowerment Fund has been helping the women and families of Gulu, northern Uganda for well over 10 years. I've been blessed to have been involved with WGEF since inception and it's amazing to witness the empowering and positive changes to our clients, their families, and to the community as a whole. Women's empowerment has never been more important than it is today and WGEF and our supporters work passionately to ensure that women have the foundation and support they need to thrive.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

When you realize that a small contribution can make such a huge difference to others, it's very hard to ignore impact we're able to make.

I had the pleasure of joining Women's Global Empowerment Fund in 2007 and I've witnessed how our efforts and our focus on women's empowerment have positively shaped the lives of 1000s of women and their families in a post-conflict region.

Women who were once marginalized are now successful business people who provide for themselves and their families while creating stronger socio-economic ties within their community.

Women's Global Empowerment Fund is a shining example of microfinance in action!

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OliviaS

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

WGEF is an amazing organization that focuses on supporting and empowering women through microfinance and other activities to ultimately improve the communities in which they live.

As a returned Peace Corps Volunteer I always get excited to learn about organizations that work with women, train them, and impart skills in addition to other resources. I found during my two-year service that this type of work is the most effective and most sustainable for the people living in the areas served. WGEF does exactly that. I am excited to continue learning about WGEF's work and finding ways to support them and the women and communities they serve.

KingaP

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing organization with a brilliant local staff in northern Uganda. I had a chance to visit the Gulu office and loved the passion of the local staff. Because programs are managed by locals who know the language and understand the culture it allows projects to be sustainable and effective. Their literacy and micro finance program was the subject of a study by Oxford students that showed effectiveness of having these two programs together and the positive impact it has. Will continue to support for years to come.

Attached is a photo from a women's assembly hour where women voiced their opinions about issues in the community in healthy debates.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

WGEF does an amazing job of implementing a full service micro finance program that actually works. Through a combination of literacy training, menstrual health initiatives, business training and fair lending practices this organization has given women the opportunities and education we take for granted to pull themselves out of the cycle of poverty. The local women of this program are not reliant on aid, but rather are now in a position to help provide much needed supplies to the refugees fleeing South Sudan. I cannot recommend this organization enough!

Lucy Brown

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

WGEF makes a difference in the lives of women all across the globe, every day. While WGEF's main impact is in northern Uganda, WGEF has personally affected my life as a young woman in America. I had the privilege to intern with WGEF as an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado Denver. WGEF taught me that everyone has a powerful vision of what their life can become. With just a little encouragement and an opportunity to realize this vision, it can come true. After working with WGEF and witnessing so many phenomenal women rise above life's obstacles, I was inspired to go to law school to fight for social and environmental justice. I just completed my program with a certificate in environmental law and will serve as a clerk at the Hawai'i Supreme Court. I truly would not be the woman I am today without WGEF and its Founder and Director, Karen Sugar. For that I am forever grateful.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Women's Global is an innovative, grassroots nonprofit that believes in the power of women to make change in their communities. The women served through WGEF programming in northern Uganda have a strong voice and influence in the services offered. Women join as peer counselors and local leaders to pass along what they've learned to other community members.

I'm really excited about the growth of WGEF's Healthy Periods Initiative, which brings much needed sanitary items to marginalized women - young girls, refugees, and residents of the local women's prison. The project doubles as a micro-enterprise for local entrepreneurs and brings an essential resource for the dignity of all women.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Women's Global continues to do amazing work in Gulu, northern Uganda. Karen and her team have an inspiring commitment to providing resources and access to leadership opportunities for women and families. In the recent Ugandan elections, 6 women from the program were elected to district or division office - lifting their voices! New parternships have allowed WGEF to grow their programs and provide the additional resources that women have requested. We're excited about the new opportunities in 2016 and beyond!

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Anena M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WGEF your generous support has and shall always bring peace and great smiles to Northern Uganda especially the vulnerable women and their family at large. Through micro loans, Adult literacy, menstrual health education, advocacy programs that you support, I’m proud to say that my communities have great hopes in their lives because you made it possible for them.

Wgef Staff

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel so fortunate to work wit WGEF that i thoroughly enjoy, love, passionate and wanted to let you know that you're a big part of that.

Your enthusiasm and generous support towards Ugandan women, particularly northern Uganda in Gulu district makes it a pleasure for me to come to work every day.

one day i was listening to a women at my neighborhood complaining how unfortunate she is that she can't even provide a meal for her children on a daily basis because she has no stable source of income.
i couldn't help but think about how fortunate i am and my other fellow women being supported by WGEF that WE don't feel that way.

WGEF presence has made thousands of households earn a living and we are blessed to have such a good hearted community partner.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Knowing how difficult it is for our Sister in Northern Uganda for the past years, we strive to create a positive environment filled with love and support. It is through the generosity of our partner WGEF that help us brighten Women’s future.
I’m very fortunate to be part of this great contribution to my own community

1 Bukenya M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working with WGEF from day one in Northern Uganda has been one of the most rewarding experiences and opportunity in my life. The women we work with in Uganda are , resilient, hard-working, and determined the work their way out of poverty. When provided with the right tools Women not only change their lives but the community befits, having an educated, healthy confident population is key to social transformation
WGEF provides women with real tools to change their lives. I'm very fortunate to be involved with Women's Global Empowerment Fund.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WGEF is providing the best example of democratising aid, reaching out to rural Northern Uganda and providing a vehicle for women to determine their goals and aspirations makes it uniques. providing microfinance together with social programming is revolutionary. I have seen women in Gulu whose self esteem, confidence, and their general well-being improved as a result of WGEF's intervention in Northern Uganda.

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Dara D.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WGEF is a beautiful foundation that strives to not just improve the lives of women, but give them the means and confidence to use the skills that they already possess. The organization helps to alleviate poverty while empowering women to use their voice and recreate paths in a beautiful attempt to reform their lives. The women in this organization are determined, passionate and strong —I’m blessed to be a part of the experience and I have faith in a new world.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was given the opportunity to visit Gulu and work with WGEF on their Literacy program. The aim was to evaluate the impact of the program on the lives of the beneficiaries. I observed the classes, interacted with women about their experiences and received great feedback. WGEF is doing an amazing job in transforming their lives, giving them confidence and the skills to for a better future. The success of the program and its significance in these women's eyes can be judged by the fact that 7/10 women I spoke to wanted to enrol in the program again and most women wanted the program to be extended. One of the biggest issue for program extension is the availability of teachers and resources. Any donation would go a long way in improving the longevity of the program.

1 Jennifer99

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The most inspiring aspect of my time working with WGEF was witnessing, once again, the direct impact on the community and the lives of those in the program. It isn’t just the women who benefit from being part of WGEF, it directly spreads to their families and into the community. And with the opening of WGEF’s Gulu Women’s Resource Centre, it has taken one more step in providing a holistic approach to meeting the needs of women on a larger scale. After five years of watching and supporting WGEF, I can say without hesitation that there is no better example on how a NGO should operate; by putting the clients in a position to improve their lives on their own terms. For anyone that is thinking of supporting WGEF through their labor or financial input, know that you are taking part in an organization that is changing lives through a small operating budget, a selfless, passionate and dedicated staff and in a community ripe for advancement and innovation.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege to travel to Gulu, Uganda in 2011 to work with WGEF. During my 3 weeks of work with current and past clients of WFEG and their staff I saw firsthand how this program is creating substantial change and opportunities for women. The most outstanding results I saw were: families eating more meals, children in school, collective community support, and an increase of female leadership in the community. One aspect of WGEF's program that I personally saw as an empowerment of the women is the literacy program. The effect of this education trickles down to the children and the community. Education, in my opinion, is a very important tool to assist people out of poverty. My hope is to continue to work with and support WGEF for years to come so that more women can join the program and the community in Gulu can continue to prosper by the sheer dedication and heart by the people themselves. I hope others will be in the position to do the same, knowing that the support and work is changing lives as we speak.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At the beginning of August, I had the incredible opportunity to join the founder of Women's Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF), who also happens to be my wonderful mom, for a trip to Gulu, Uganda, where the organization is based. This trip was especially exciting for me because it was my first time visiting Uganda and seeing first hand the implementation of WGEF's mission and commitment to the women of Gulu. While I have been my mom's biggest fan and supporter of the organization from the start, being on the ground in Gulu, visiting their office, the Women's Resource Center, (finally!) meeting the in-country staff and visiting with clients in the field was beyond any expectations I had prior to traveling. The relationships WGEF has created and fostered through the years is evident in their continued success to support their staff, clients, their families and fellow community members through microloans, the literacy program, the peer counseling program, access justice program and most recently the period initiative - providing clean, easy-to use sanitary napkins to the girls and women of Gulu and surrounding towns. The opportunity to engage with staff, clients and the Gulu community just fueled my commitment to continue to support WGEF and what they have set out to do. The future is very bright for this organization. I am already looking forward to my next opportunity to visit the WGEF family in Gulu!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Building this world is not an easy task, changing people's lives also is a collective responsibility. WGEF has done all these two difficult but important tasks through empowering women in my community. The programs like HPI,Micro credit loan, literacy, access to justice,used as a tool to empower women is revolutionary and changing our community.
THANK YOU WGEF

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

WGEF has is helping so many women in the Northern Uganda by providing access to critical
informations, ICT skills trainings and Civic responsibilities through giving a space for sharings on issues that affects their community. The Women's Assembly programe has made the community to send their voices to the different stake holders and the responsible are now trying to make attempts in responding to issues. Thanks to women's Global and Radio rupiny for this great opportunity.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The of kind of work you do is what the needs to make this world a better place to live for all humans.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In October of 2017, I had the pleasure of accompanying the WGEFund team in Gulu, Uganda, as the photographer on behalf of Urban Decay and UltraViolet Edge during the opening of the Women's Center. Karen was extremely thorough in the explanation and execution of her programs, and it was such an honor to document the journey. It was both moving and uplifting to hear the stories about the incredibly positive impact WGEFund has had on the communities there, straight from the mouths of the very women that the program works so hard to serve. I enjoy hearing about the progress of WGEFund and the constant growth of their reach, and I hope to work with them again soon!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of traveling to Gulu, Uganda last October. I came as a journalist for Marie Claire magazine, where I am a senior editor, to report a story on the work the WGEF is doing there. During my time in Gulu, I got to meet all the movers and shakers that make it all happen, and I was so inspired by the amazing people who are making a huge impact in the community. When you empower women to become leaders, it truly makes a huge difference and it was clear to me that WGEF is accomplishing that in a huge way. If you'd like to read my story and learn more, here is a link: http://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/news/a25301/who-we-love-urban-decay/ Thank you!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a single mom 3 kids , living with family I need help for kids xmS

3 Jaclyn J.

Former staff

Rating: 5

The Women's Global Empowerment Fund is truly a one of a kind organization dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable populations in Northern Uganda. I just finished a summer internship with the Fund this week. During my time, I had the privilege of working with the incredible team of compassionate individuals who run the organization and set it apart from other microfinance programs. The small staff of employees and volunteers go above and beyond their expected duties, making every effort to connect with their clients on a personal level. This enables them to fully understand the complexities of their clients' poverty and to create holistic solutions. For instance, in addition to microfinance loans and business training, the Fund has created several additional programs such as their Access to Justice Initiative and Healthy Periods Initiative to address problems with women's menstrual health and access to legal rights. While both of these initiatives are still in their early stages and need additional funding, their efforts are already successfully addressing some of the non-monetary issues that prevent individuals and families from escaping poverty in Northern Uganda. The Women's Global Empowerment Fund is creating incredible change in Uganda and I am very lucky I had the opportunity to be a part of it.