War. The penchant of some people to dominate others by violent means is an ancient habit that glorifies warriors and makes many people rich. Victims of war are an afterthought.
But not to Women for Women International. Since 1993, the organization has assisted more than 478,000 marginalized women in nine countries affected by war and conflict, helping them rebuild their lives from the ground up. In classes of 24, the women form tight support groups that help break the isolation caused by war, poverty, and insecurity.
Women in the program learn marketable job skills such as poultry farming, brick-making and tailoring, and receive business training to promote stable incomes so they can support themselves and their families. Women are taught to establish cooperatives, associations, and village savings and loan associations (VSLAs), so their communities can maximize their earnings, save and flourish together.
Lasting change comes when women cultivate the skills and resources to build self-confidence, understand their rights, earn an income, and gain the respect of their families and communities.
Along with economic skills, Women for Women believes lasting change comes when women cultivate the skills and resources to build self-confidence, understand their rights, earn an income, and gain the respect of their families and communities. The organization works to ensure that women in conflict affected countries are trained to stand on their own two feet by a combination of economic and social empowerment skills that complement each other.
Here are the stories of three women who have gone through the program:
Euphrasie of Rwanda
Valbona of Kosovo
Zainab of Nigeria
Learn about the conditions affecting women and their children in these countries damaged by war and served by Women for Women: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Democratic Republic of Congo, northern Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Rwanda,
Women for Women enjoys the support of several private businesses, including those selling coffee, jewelry and clothes. The products are available at Macy’s, Anthropologies and others establishments.
To learn about internships and career opportunities with Women for Women, click here.