Friday, April 1, 2011

Women for Women

A simple little thing like having an amount equivalent to $1 day taken out of your credit card account can help turn another woman and her family's life around.

Imagine living in a war torn country, caring for your children, trying to run a household while the infrastructure is in ruins, and all you dream about is changing the course of your life.... where do you turn? Women for Women International creates a vehicle for you to directly affect the life of an individual, one distinct woman, your sister. You can literally reach across the planet and give her a hand, a shoulder to lean on, a heart that cares for her, and change the course of her life. It feels impossible to leave your home and go to Bosnia & Herzegovin, Sudan, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Kosovo, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but you can, you can help by enabling other strong women around the world to help them by funding their work in these remote countries where women need us more than ever. It costs as much as one dinner out in a restaurant.... the equivalent of one dinner and you could change the course of an entire family's life! We have the power.

I often find myself feeling overwhelmed with my responsibilities at home and my work, and then I think what it must be like to live in a country that has been destroyed by war. It can take generations to overcome the trauma and financial loss. My mother was raised in Munich during the war and even now at 72 years old she is still haunted by the memories of war, hunger, loss, death, destruction, and fear.

We can help change that future for other women right now, without leaving our homes. You can sponsor a sister in war torn countries through Women to Women. When you do they send you a packet with her picture, her story, her background, and pictures of her children. You write to each other, share your stories from across the world. It is very personal and I have to say that it feels so good to be a part of her story. When she "graduates" from the year long program Women for Women International sends you the update of her journey. They make it such an easy thing to do, and yet it is such a huge thing to share! Go to their website...

What is Sponsorship?

Our sponsorship program supports women survivors of war and conflicts as they progress through a one-year program that helps them rebuild their lives.
Your sponsorship funds are used to help women receive job-skills training, business and money management basics and rights awareness education.
A woman cannot be enrolled in the WfWI program until she has a sponsor; so a sponsor's influence on her life could not be more important.

A Financial Lifeline to a Woman Survivor of War

After an initial enrollment fee of $30, we ask sponsors to make monthly, tax-deductible donations of $27. The money your sponsored sister receives provides her with a stipend that she can use as she chooses; to pay for basic necessities such as food and shelter, cover school fees or invest in income-generating activities.
A survey of WfWI participants showed that funds went toward helping themselves, their children and their future.
  • 25% of their funds went toward tuition for their children,
  • 20% for clothing,
  • 20% for savings,
  • 20% for income-generation activities and
  • 15% for food.
The remainder of your sponsorship donations supports the tools and resources a sister receives as she progresses through the program, such as job-skills trainers, equipment and other vital staff members.
Once your sponsored sister has completed her one-year program, you are automatically matched with a new sister in need of your help.

We'll Keep You Informed of Your Sister's Progress

You'll receive periodic updates on the status of your sister along with stories from other women survivors and sponsorship community. Many sponsors exchange letters with their sisters.
The letter-exchange component of the sponsorship program serves as a source of emotional support and encouragement to the women in WfWI programs. For many women, knowing that someone they have never met is interested in their life and future and willing to provide them support gives them motivation to complete the one-year program.
As a sponsor, you'll also receive:
  • A Welcome Kit that tells you everything you need to know about sponsorship;
  • A newsletter, with quarterly updates on our programs in the field;
  • A sponsor log-in account for a portal where you can obtain updates on your sister and send letters electronically.

1 comment:

  1. I love Women for Women! Each year, usually the first friday of January, I host a party for my friends. I donate to Women for Women, instead of giving my friends presents. How fabulous for us to be able to support each other no matter where in the world we are! So happy you are in my world! Peace my friend!