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2017 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

55 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to listen to the founder, Karen Sugar speak and knew immediately that this was organization that I wanted to be involved with. The stories of the women that have been touched by WGEF are incredibly inspiring. Karen and the WGEF team have been very welcoming and I am extremely excited to be involved with an organization that is driven by their passion and hard work. There is no doubt in my mind that this organization will continue to transform the lives of many individuals in Gulu, Uganda.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a proud volunteer for WGEF for nearly five years. I have had the opportunity to see the organization's missions and values transform the lives of women in Northern Uganda. From surveys to face-to-face interactions with the women who benefit from the organization I can see a true sense of empowerment in the women. This transformation has spread to the families and communities surrounding the women-allowing for the voices of women to be heard. As a result of this empowerment and their financial improvements, women are being treated to equally to men and are having the ability to provide food, medications, and education for their families.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began my internship with WGEF as a basic class project and fell in love with the organization. I have been interning ever since (over two years now). WGEF is what a grassroots organization is made out to be. While many nonprofits go in with a detailed plan of problems and solutions, WGEF serves the women in Northern Uganda by listening to what their needs and interests are. The director, Karen Sugar, has inspired me by her commitment and dedication to this mission.

Blake B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In my experience with various fundraising efforts, Women's Global Empowerment Fund has been well-run, efficient, and effective. I helped with fundraising campaigns for core initiatives and was always confident with how the money would be spent. The organization's staff members are passionate for the causes and work well within a growing organization given limited resources.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with the Women's Global Empowerment Fund was one of the most amazing and inspirational experiences I have had. As an intern, I was able to see first hand the difference WGEF makes in the lives of women in Uganda. The dedication and passion for the women is apparent in every program and every action of the organization. I am proud to say that I have had a chance to make a difference for women by working with this great organization!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The WGEF has been an amazing organization to work with. I have already learned a lot about empowering women and making significant differences in the lives of women in Uganda. I have enjoyed my work and look forward to more projects and achieving the goals of the organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with Women's Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF) earlier this year. I was immediately welcomed into the organization and feel I have been given meaningful tasks and am a part of the team. I was initially drawn to volunteer with WGEF because their mission of achieving women's empowerment through microfinance was in alignment with my interest in feminist and gender studies. I am inspired by WGEF's commitment to making systemic social and economic change for women in Gulu, Uganda. The voices of participants in the organization are always considered when making decisions about programing. Ugandan women advocated for the issues they saw in their community and WGEF was responsive in creating programs to meet those needs. In particular WGEF has a literacy program, an agriculture program and recently began a drama festival where women use theater as a vehicle to express criticism of the patriarchal status quo. It has been a wonderful experience serving on the resource development committee board and I look forward to my continued involvement with Women's Global Empowerment Fund. -Laura

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women's Global Empowerment Fund does amazing work in post-conflict Nothern Uganda, alleviating poverty by giving women access to education and helping fight for agricultural rights. Their dedication to this country is unparalleled, and the women they serve have seen positive changes in their community that will never be undone. Microfinance loans and literacy programs have been tremendously successful in giving these women the tools they need to earn a sustainable income.

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7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women's Global Empowerment Fund helps empower underserved women of Uganda with microfinance and education. The mission is inspiring and the results are incredible! I am thrilled to have become a part of this organization and to help create positive change for women.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have now been volunteering with Women's Global Empowerment Fund for over a year, and in that time have been able to see the impact this organization makes, both for women in Gulu, and here in the States. The bond between the women participating in the program and the people "across the pond" raising funds and awareness is overwhelming. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet the inspirational men and women involved in WGEF!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for WGEF I have been incredibly impressed by the (direct) positive impacts that microfinance has on the lives of the women in the program. I myself am constantly motivated and inspired by this revolutionary concept and the way that WGEF has personalized and improved upon the experience from client to volunteer. For example, their literacy program and peer counseling program have created new dimensions to improve the lives of their clients beyond just the financial aspect.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I help to plan events to raise funds for WGEF. Last fall we had the great pleasure to welcome one of our clients and our Program Director for a visit to Denver from Gulu, Uganda. Our client, Grace, spoke eloquently of how she had been able to start five businesses with her loans from WGEF. These businesses now employ other women, and the income allows her to provide three meals a day for her family and to cover the school fees for each of her four children. In addition, her husband now includes her in family decisions, and she even recently won a political office to represent women in her community. She credits the skills she has learned through her involvement with WGEF with her ability to display this kind of leadership. This is just one of the many success stories of WGEF. This organization has done so much with relatively limited resources. The loans and services provided by WGEF truly are transforming lives in a previously war torn area.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work as pro bono legal counsel to WGEF and have been involved, outside of work, with fundraising and spreading the word about this great organization. Having spoken to, and seen correspondence from, women who have been able to improve their lives, not only from the loans they get, but from the mentoring program and literacy program that WGEF runs, I am really proud to be part of the "team".

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Women's Global Empowerment Fund for about one year. It is a wonderful organization run by a truly dedicated and inspirational leader, Karen Sugar. The work of the WGEF helps thousands of women in Uganda, giving them the resources and opportunities to sustain themselves and their families. WGEF has positively changed the lives of so many people, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help in any way I can.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the short time I have worked with WGEF, I have been personally inspired by the work that they are able to accomplish. Karen Sugar and the staff of WGEF has been able to change the everyday lives of women and their families in a way that many of us take for granted.

I originally began with WGEF as a way to receive credit for a class through volunteering. I stayed because I believe in the mission of WGEF. A world wide issue has been brought to a local level in the small way one can change a life. I have also reviewed other microfinance models and it cannot be unsaid that the Credit Plus model is superior among the rest.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WGEF is an incredible organization I have seeing lives change as a result of the work done. It is such a joy to watch an insecure, poor woman be given a chance, and to see her be transformed into a confident, economically stable woman.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been helping WGEF for three years. This organization is fully committed in creating a systemic change in the lives of the people in Gulu. I have studied many micro-credit organizations and WGEF's micro-credit plus system is the best. An organization well worth servinvg.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After spending almost a year studying community development in East Africa, my view of the kind of work that was effective, sustainable and empowering became very narrow. WGEF is one of these inspiring organizations that keeps me motivated and optimistic about non-profit aid and our ability to impact the lives of others across the globe. Karen, the ED, and the others that work for WGEF really put their ears to the ground, and have created a program in response to the needs of the community. The women in Uganda who participate take pride and ownership in their own growth, success and ability to provide for their families and communities in way they never could before. In this way, it really is the Women's Global EMPOWERMENT Fund.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WGEF is an organization I have been hearing great things about for quite some time. After having the chance to look into their program, meet with the Karen (the founder), and see what a difference WGEF makes in women's lives every day, I am both thrilled and blessed to be a part of the organization. The fact that a small loan can change women's lives completely is staggering. Though women in Uganda are in abject poverty, their strength, determination, and support of one another is inspiring.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After a friend told me wonderful things about Women's Global Empowerment Fund, I decided to accept her invitation to join the Resource Development Committee. I have been impressed by the mission, the staff, the results, the other volunteers and the passionate founder and director, Karen Sugar. It's amazing to me that our average loan of only $57 can help lift a woman in Uganda out of the cycle of extreme poverty when she joins with other woman to start a business. It's unbelievable to me that out of the 1,300 loans we have given out so far, ALL of them have been repaid without default! This program is working, and it's working well. It's changing lives in post-conflict Uganda, and I'm proud to be a part of it.