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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

womens global empowerment fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The mission of WGEF is to provide opportunities to women 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 18,000 loans with zero defaults *Over 4500 participants in our literacy program *Over 500 women trained and serving in leadership positions across the region *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

142 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having interned with WGEF for six months and volunteered with them for several weeks in Uganda, I can say with confidence that this organization is truly outstanding. Unlike so many organizations these days, they are committed to the communities they serve. Staff develops long-standing relationships with clientele, and their strategy is holistic in its approach to health, social justice, financial wellness, etc. Also unlike many larger nonprofits, they make a concerted effort to channel the vast majority of funds directly to programming. The women they work with are making huge strides in their ability to provide for their families and give back to their communities. An incredible model of the ways in which empowering women can begin to shape a brighter future for an entire community!

1 Lisa Goldstone H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an incredible organization that shines light on critical women's issues within an impoverished country and seeks to bring a long lasting solution. Karen, who founded WGE has such profound passion for the great work her and her team are creating by enriching the lives and villages that WGE supports.

2 199-4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Womens Global Empowerment Fund through its program Access to Justice has helped community resolve issues beyond their means and a case in point was a just recently concluded case for fund mismanagement where the group's money was recovered successfully and shared among the members.
I thank Womens Global so much for the continuous support to help our community.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Akello Harriet, a volunteer. I'm impressed at what Women's Global Empowerment Fund is doing to the lives of the beneficiaries; it has made women stand up for what belongs to them and stand against any violation of their rights through the Access to Justice program and Women Assemblies. Women no longer fear to speak out their problems since they are provided with the necessary information.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

They are truly transforming lives in the hard to reach rural areas, a dollar at a time consistently

mjpowl

Board Member

Rating: 5

There has rarely been a more important time to support women and women's empowerment issues and Women's Global Empowerment Fund has been working to affect social change for the past 12 years. I've been extremely fortunate to be a part of this amazing organization for those 12 years and the leadership of Karen Sugar, the Executive Director, has been inspiring and uplifting. Our clients at WGEF have gone from being marginalized to being business and social leaders with some holding positions of power in local governments. When you support Women's Global Empowerment Fund you support thousands of women and their families working hard to affect change on a local and global scale.

Previous Stories

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m blessed to work with WGEF. I have seen mothers ably providing all the basic needs to their families, girls’ performance in class greatly improved, more women activist, and justice being granted to many. All these were possible because of the micro credit, Health period initiative, Adult literacy and access to justice programs that WGEF are supporting in Uganda especially Northern region.

Thank you WGEF for the support to us.

Previous Stories
1

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I got to know about this not for profit organisation five years ago, because they have projects in my community, i have know women who are in Adult learning classes and get loans for business and farming at a very subsidized rate.
But what stands out is their Access to justice program.
There was a land wrangle case between a school and the community in my area, WGEF through it access to justice came in as a mediator with her team of counselors, mediated the case which court through the Cultural Leader "the rwot" had referred them for mediation support to WGEF.
Now the community and the school is leaving harmoniously and in peace.
this is a remarkable Organisation who is changing lives in this region.

Thank you.

Aloyo Toffister

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Its a wonderful opportunity for me to work with WGEF. Its a great honor for us to have you work in northern Uganda. we are so grateful for your effort in changing the life of our mothers in such a wonderful way.
Thanks a lot for the wonderful work and please be with us, for we still need your help in walking away from poverty with dignity..
Thanks Women's Global Empowerment Fund.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud that i had the opportunity to work with women Global Empowerment Fund and amazingly experienced their good work in the community changing lives of those who had lost hope. equipping them with business skills, leadership skills, saving skills, micro-loan program,women assembly ( a plat from for the community to freely express their concerns and challenges) on air (radio) and access to justice that carries along counselling. The organisation has not forgotten the young girl child in the school through her Health period Initiative program where young girls are given free sanitary towels to keep them in school.
thank you for the tremendous work and i wish, more organisations were like Women Global Empowerment Fund. Please, come lets join hands and support just like this organisation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing organization with an amazing leader at its front. Karen Sugar is absolutely dedicated to these ladies who are absolutely dedicated to their futures. My experience volunteering with the organization showed me the power of using your voice to give one to others. These women are doing incredible things!

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a volunteer and recent board member for the past 10 years, I have witnessed WGEF flourish into an inspiring organization making real impacts on women’s lives. Their Credit Plus microfinance and literacy initiative have reached thousands of women and touched the lives of their families, communities, and beyond. I have also been fortunate enough to become involved with their Healthy Period Initiative (HPI) Global, which has made positive strides and contributions towards menstrual equity in Uganda. The WGEF team, clients, and volunteers are some of the most passionate and dedicated people I know; they have personally touch my life and I highly respect them and WGEF and their work.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The mission and efforts of Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF) have cultivated economic, social, and political empowerment amongst women and families living across Uganda. My involvement with WGEF has almost reached 10 years now, and one of the most powerful memories from this time has been traveling with the WGEF team to Uganda in 2015 and engaging with all their remarkable clients, staff, and families during the annual drama festival. WGEF and Karen Sugar's life-long commitment to human rights and social justice continuously has (and will continue) to inspire me to support our worldwide sisterhood’s fight to be heard, respected, secure, and dream.

jduggy

Board Member

Rating: 5

The dedication, passion, and determination that goes into Women’s Global every single day is inspiring. I’ve seen first-hand, on the ground in Northern Uganda, the impact the organization’s work is having on individuals and communities. It’s truly life-changing, and the best part is that the work is designed to give women, families, and communities the agency and autonomy to create and sustain the change themselves—a unique model with incredible outcomes.

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5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In fall of 2015, I had the honor and privilege of accompanying Women's Global Empowerment Fund on a trip to Gulu District in Northern Uganda to observe field visits, meet some of WGEF's most inspiring clients, and attend the annual drama festival, which is WGEF's innovative and original capstone program to elevate women's' voices—to a place of social, political, and economic empowerment—through indigenous song, dance, and storytelling.

I became acquainted with WGEF when I covered the organization for Denver's city magazine after our readers voted it (as they have multiple times) Denver's top humanitarian organization. Since then, I've found myself at fundraisers, performances, and collaborations that highlight the organization's work. In other words, I was familiar with WGEF's mission and accomplishments. But not until I witnessed the following in Uganda, did I truly, truly get it:

“I was blind…but now I can see.” It was a short statement, but spoken slowly, with intention, directed toward WGEF founder Karen Sugar. A group of women in a rural village in Northern Uganda—participants in WGEF's literacy trainings—had gathered beneath the shade of a hulking jackfruit tree to greet a small WGEF team during their field visit. The woman stood as she spoke. She walked to a blackboard propped against the tree, picked up a piece of chalk, and carefully wrote her entire name across the smudged slate. Sugar watched from a wooden bench in the dusty clearing as her tears fell. That tiny moment was what her life’s work is all about.

In the grand scheme of our trip, it was the smallest of moments. But it was so big. It made such an impact on me as a moment of such raw honesty and joy. This is what WGEF does: It creates humanity in a space where it had once been extinguished.

I could go on about our visit to the brand new market in Gulu Town, and the WGEF clients we met selling vegetables there. I could talk about the gracious chicken feast that one women's group prepared for us when we visited their village and dairy collaborative, or the endless fields of beans and millet and tilapia ponds that one client led us through—agricultural projects she launched with loans from WGEF. I could recount how mesmerized I was by the drama festival, and the passion and creativity the women put into their performances to convey the theme of "women and gender equity in civic participation"—a topic that couldn't be more relevant in a year when 10 WGEF clients pursued political office. I could talk about WGEF's dedicated, relentlessly hard-working staff who pour their hearts and souls into serving their clients and giving women a voice in their communities, sometimes under the most trying circumstances.

I could go on and on about all of these things. But I'll leave it here, with my sincerest thank you to Karen Sugar and Women's Global Empowerment Fund for sharing their work—and for caring enough to do it.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Women's Global Empowerment Fund catalyzes grassroots level solutions to some of the biggest problems facing women in northern Uganda by putting resources directly in their hands. WGEF's focus on providing economic, social and political opportunities for local women contributes to sustainable local livelihoods and healthier, more resilient communities. I couldn't be more excited about or in awe of the amazing work this organization accomplishes on the ground!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women's Global Empowerment Fund is a wonderful organization with dedicated and passionate staff. Its mission is inspirational to women worldwide and there is true altruism in the work that is done by the WGEF team. I am lucky to have been involved with this team and I know that their great work will continue; I look forward to seeing their future accomplishments.

1 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.

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

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1

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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