PENELOPE'S STORIES is giving 10% of all sales to Women for Women International.
Like Penelope's Stories, Women for Women International is an organization based on the idea that together we are strong women, and strong women —both individually, but particularly in networks—can help other women become stronger.
“One woman can change anything. Many women can change everything.”Christine Karumba – WFWI's Country Programme Director for DRC
Women for Women brings women together in a safe space to learn life, business, and vocational skills. Once enrolled, each receives a monthly stipend – a vital support that enables her to participate. Women increase their ability to earn an income with new skills that are in-demand. They learn about their legal rights, and they become knowledgeable about health and nutrition. The result: stronger women, stronger families, and stronger communities. This ripple effect is profound. Women for Women International delivers their programs through the generous support of individual, corporate and foundation donors, partners, and governments. Their work is regularly featured in international media, including BBC, CNN, MSNBC, The Guardian, The New York Times, 60 Minutes, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Recognized for their global impact, Women for Women International was honored with the prestigious Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2006, and receives favorable ratings from independent charity groups.
WHAT THEY DO
With more than 20 years of on-the-ground experience working with women in countries affected by conflict, Women for Women International understands that a comprehensive program addressing the social and economic empowerment of marginalized women is the most effective approach.
Opening Doors With Integrated Training
Our yearlong social and economic empowerment program provides marginalized women with the opportunity, often for the first time in their lives, to come together in classes of 25 women to build support networks, to share experiences, to learn critical skills, and to access new resources.
Women learn basic business skills and a vocational skill with earning power in their local markets. They begin to save and receive support to establish cooperatives, associations, or village savings and loan associations (VSLAs). They help each other find solutions to common challenges.
Women learn how to manage their health, including reproductive health and stress management, and the importance of good hygiene and nutrition for their families. They are connected with local healthcare providers.
Women learn their fundamental rights and those recognized in their countries, and are encouraged to educate other women. They learn the importance of civic participation, voting, and negotiation.
Creating Opportunity After Graduation
For women who have completed our yearlong training, we further support their economic empowerment by connecting them to financial services, advanced business and vocational trainings, and support networks to increase their ability to earn, save, and access capital.
For example, in Kosovo, our Women’s Opportunity Center supports job placement while in Rwanda, cooperatives formed by our graduates can access advanced business training and a marketplace to sell goods and products at our Women’s Opportunity Center.
Engaging Men as Allies
We have also learned that engaging men is instrumental in changing social and cultural norms that constrain women’s autonomy and decision-making. Since 2001, we have trained more than 13,500 men to become allies and champions of the empowerment of women and girls. In every facet of our work, partnerships are critical.