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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!

2 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.

4 Audra K.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I interned at WGEF last summer in Gulu, Uganda. Not only did it change my life, but it significantly helped those in the community. Women's lives, as well as the lives of their families were bettered in every way. Children were always in school, and women finally had autonomy over their lives. The non-profit worked in a very efficient way where every employee was involved from the field work to working with corporate partners. An amazing crew of employees and an amazing set of clients!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with WGEF for over two years now and am excited about how Women's Global Fund continues to directly empower women. The new Healthy Period Initiative (HPI) provides women with resources needed for their health while also enabling women to start the business. Women in Uganda come to WGEF with their business ideas and leave empowered. I love being part of this non profit which promotes leadership roles for amazing women!

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a new board member, I see the positive impact WGEF makes in the lives of women. I volunteered in Tanzania three years ago, and while I was teaching women I felt the impact wasn't enough because women didn't the ability to be financially stable on their own. WGEF starts planting the seeds for big changes through small loans to women. Women become empowered and positivity spreads!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Women's Global Empowerment Fund is doing amazing humanitarian work for women and families in Uganda; the organization has empowered many women and families through micro-lending that has funded new businesses, allowing families to earn income. That financial empowerment has lead to local women becoming involved with the political system, resulting in women running for and winning local elected positions. Women becoming part of the political landscape and having a say in the local government goes well beyond the "empowering" financial benefits that come from a micro-loan. WGEF has fulfilled (and will continue to fulfill) a truly beneficial mission.

Kelly199

Board Member

Rating: 5

Being on the board of WGEF has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. The women we work with in Uganda are unbelievably inspiring, hard-working, and determined. I feel very fortunate to be involved with an organization that impacts lives so deeply.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WGEF is an exceptional organization for so many reasons. The model of micro-finance paired with literacy, leadership, and health training is effective and addresses more than just the "symptoms" of poverty. This model also allows women to decide HOW they are going to improve their lives by giving them the tools to feel empowered and important. This is the model that should be followed by every organization helping underserved communities - to let the PEOPLE speak for themselves. As an intern and volunteer of WGEF for many years, I was inspired to attend law school to address these and similar issues. WGEF touches on so many lives, both in northern Uganda and abroad, and has taught me the power of empowerment and togetherness.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women's Global Empowerment Fund is a meaningful, thoughtful and multi-faceted approach to alleviating poverty and inequality and assisting in sustainable development. I've had the privilege to work alongside Founder and Director Karen Sugar, both as an intern and volunteer, and in doing so, I've witnessed the transformative effects of microfinance paired with educational and health programs. The women of Gulu are inspiring, intelligent and hard-working, and they act as a constant source of inspiration. Additionally, I've personally gained confidence through my experiences and opportunities with WGEF. This organization, in every way, is fighting for a healthy, thriving humanity and I can think of no greater cause. Thank you WGEF and Karen!

mmuggs

Board Member

Rating: 5

Women's Global Empowerment fund is doing such important and impactful work. Their efforts in giving women access to small loans is matched with their programs in literacy, political rights for women in Uganda, health and many other meaningful programs. It's apparent that WGEF is making a major difference in women's lives based on the consistent, positive responses from women in the program. And, this year 10 women associated with WGEF ran for some type of political office, with 6 winning. This is a true testament to what power women can have when they have resources and support.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a new board member for the Women's Global Empowerment Fund I am completely blown away by what they are accomplishing with a small budget. WGEF funds women's micro loans, literacy programs, job training and other incredible services for women in Uganda. They have an amazing record of empowering women through loans that are not defaulted on and are truly changing lives. They also have a very impressive percentage of funds that go toward programming, which shows the determination of the small staff they have to change women's lives.

Comments ( 1 )

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empowerment 08/19/2014

Thank you MMuggs! So glad to be on this journey with you!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The fall of 2015 I was finally able to travel to WGEF's Gulu-based office, and I believe the way to convey my experience is through a journal entry I wrote while I was still in Uganda:

October 3, 2015
Today is the drama festival. I am so excited to finally experience the dances, traditions, and pride of so many women I met earlier this week. After watching their various plays and performances, one particularly struck me. The group presenting called themselves, “Women are the pillar,” and they were performing a drama supporting women in government. Their drama began with a scene where everyone was registering to vote, and soon afterwards, a female candidate was nominated for office. During the campaign rally, the male candidate promised clean water, education, and money. However, the female candidate promised education for girls so they can grow up to be leaders - she promised to be the voice of the women and girls of the Gulu district. At the end of the drama, the female candidate won. The other women on stage sing out, “Advocate for women to participate in leadership and vote!” I felt so invigorated after watching their drama. It made me happy to see the women actively involved and excited about women in civic participation.

At the end of the festival, I was in such a happy place. Sylvia, one of the women actively involved in WGEF initiatives, grabbed my hand and asked me to dance. We wandered into a group of cheering, joyful women and began to sway. Another group of women soon followed us, and they began shaking their hips and grabbed my hands high into the air. We laughed together and enjoyed the calm moment. I can honestly say I have never felt such acceptance in such a foreign place. Eventually, it was time to say goodbye. The women held me and told me to come back.

I want to come back. I want to come back to their courage, love, and resilience. Although I wasn’t here long, I have a lifetime of memories and amazing, inspiring experiences. Gulu will always have a special place in my heart.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women's Global Empowerment Fund has shaped the way I act and perceive the world around me. I initially met Karen when I was only a sophomore in high school, and now I am a junior in college and I'm still gravitated towards the organization. I feel as though many non-profits aimed at improving the livelihood of individuals ignore the political aspect of change, but not WGEF. WGEF recognizes the importance of being involved with the local government and encourages her clients to not only start businesses, but also to start becoming politically active. I had the pleasure of meeting one of WGEF's clients when I first started volunteering, and now she has ran multiple times for government. I am in awe of the passion and strength Karen has brought to Gulu through WGEF, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the organization.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

WGEF, lead by Executive Director/Founder Karen Sugar, is a superb example of taking the complicated system and culture of oppression and undermining it by empowering women through leadership, art, literacy, education, citizen journalism, and financial stability.