Program areas at Women for Women International
Training and related programs - our core work is centered on our holistic, rights-based program to address the needs of marginalized Women in conflict-affected countries around the world. Our year-long bundled investment in Women includes informational training; skill-building in numeracy, business skills and a chosen vocational skill; resource provision in the form of a monthly cash stipend, asset transfers for vocational activities, savings channel provision, and referrals to health and legal services; and connections to local Women's networks and global supporters as well as connections to other Women, by creating a safe and comfortable space where Women, learn, share and support one another to initiate change in their lives. This bundled approach supports the most marginalized Women to make progress in four key areas of social and economic empowerment: earn and save; health and wellness; rights and decision making; social networks and safety nets. Women learn numeracy and basic business skills they can use to start self-managed businesses. We provide hands-on professional and vocational training in 1 of 5 income generation sectors: agriculture, livestock, food processing, trade and services, or handicrafts and manufacturing. Women learn how saving money is essential to escape the cycle of poverty and discuss different ways to save, whether in savings groups or formally through banks or credit unions. Our program provides each participant a training stipend of $10 per month, which can cover training-related expenses, contribute to household needs, such as education for girls, and help Women start to build savings. We also encourage Women to pool their knowledge, skills and resources and provide them with information on establishing group businesses and cooperatives, and connect Women to microcredit providers. Because access to information about health is a primary step in building confidence and increasing use of health services, we provide information on the prevention, treatment, and management of key health concerns, including communicable diseases, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, mental health and stress, hygiene, and environmental health. We work to make it easier for our participants to access such health services, particularly in remote areas, through mapping providers, creating partnerships with health care facilities, providing referrals and negotiating lower rates for care. Women learn about gender equality and their fundamental rights. They learn about asset management and household decision making. Our curriculum discusses the importance of civic participation and voting, as well as teaching critical skills such as negotiation and conflict management. Women learn what they can do as individuals and as a group to exercise their own rights in their families and communities. They are encouraged to educate other Women about what they learn. The program helps Women learn how to work together to advocate for and make transformative change in their homes and communities. As a woman moves through the program in classes of 25, she shares ideas, resources, and information. She forms close bonds with other Women, building strong support networks. In communities affected by conflict, these networks are particularly important as they give a woman a place to go for help and sometimes survival. Women use their networks to solve problems and often build businesses together.by engaging with men and community structures, we address discriminatory norms and practices and enhance the opportunities for Women to determine the course of their lives and reach their full potential. We aim to sensitize men to issues of sexual and gender-based violence, the value of Women's work, reproductive health, girls' education, and Women's participation in community activities. In each country, men's engagement activities and training content are tailored to the cultural and religious context. We connect graduated Women with advanced training to help them grow and scale promising individual and group businesses, particularly in more complex and lucrative sectors. We use a grassroots community advocacy approach to train Women graduates as "change agents and equipping them with the skills and opportunities to advocate for Women's rights, violence prevention and economic opportunities. Our work shows that even the most traumatized woman, when supported by her peers and given the right resources and opportunities, can build her self-confidence, gain financial knowledge to manage entrepreneurial activities that yield better profit, contribute to household decisions, and defend her rights.
Media, communications and outreach - the media, communications, and outreach program cultivates relationships with allied organizations, partners, and media outlets to raise awareness about the critical development needs of marginalized Women survivors of war and conflict and to bring attention to their resilience and the important progress and impact of our training programs. The program employs outreach strategies to increase awareness and educate audiences about key issues including the critical role social empowerment plays in advancing Women's economic and political empowerment around the globe. The program's public education and outreach efforts seek to build support and awareness for the work through a variety of strategic activities including: supporting executive communications, initiating engagement campaigns on social media, publishing monthly digital newsletters, and convening special events and meetings. In addition, the program produces materials and publishes reports that provide updates and in-depth analysis on the opportunities and strategies for increasing positive outcomes for Women. The publications include: annual reports, country briefs, and issue papers, in addition to digital updates on the website. Through online, offline, and engagement activities, the program strives to inform and educate the public and current supporters about the important development gains and progress that can be attained by investing in Women. Engaging program participants and graduates to share their stories, the program brings inspiring evidence and powerful messages from Women empowered to improve their lives, their families, and their communities. Collectively, the program's efforts seek to underscore the important role of holistic training programs, increase support for International development approaches that serve Women, and increase awareness about the need to adopt policies that empower Women in the rebuilding of countries and regions impacted by war and conflict.