Archive for the ‘Org spotlight’ Category

Org Spotlight: Women Rehabilitation Development International Foundation

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014



Women Rehabilitation Development International Foundation (WRDIF) is an organization based in Sudan that focuses on providing services to women throughout Africa. Three specific target countries of WRDIF are South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya. WRDIF was formed in 2011 by the organization’s Executive President, Karak Mayik Denyok Miankol.

Karak, a South Sudanese born woman, was displaced to Khartoum in during the Civil war in 1993. While there she began volunteering and developing different projects to empower women. It was while there that she worked with Diar for Rehabilitation and Development Association (DRDA), a program that helped Sudanese children and women who had been displaced by the war. DRDA was also the organization that the WRDIF evolved from.

At WRDIF their mission is “to ensure that women’s rights, gender equality, and environmental social and economic justice are at the heart of policies, programs and practices at all levels”. WRDIF works to fuflill this mission through implementation of five distinct programs:

  1. Sisterhood Programme
  2. Income Generation Programme
  3. Adult Literacy
  4. Child Protection
  5. Humanitarian Assistance

A common thread throughout all five programs is the incorporation of one of the organization’s foremost goals, which is to provide a safe and enriching environment for the women it reaches. This is accomplished through actions to improve their self-confidence, cultural awareness, and overall wellness.

WRDIF strives to maintain sustainability by implementing evaluation measures to track observable outcomes. They both provide one-on-one consultations with the women currently within their programs, as well as track progress of graduates at 12 and 24 month intervals. Quarterly reports, economic surveys, and beneficiary feedback are other methods WRDIF utilizes to evaluate their success.

The program becomes cyclical, for at the completion many women who have benefited choose to give back, either monetarily or through in-kind services. WRDIF is also able to highlight their success stories as motivational tools for the next group of incoming participants.

Org Spotlight: U-TOUCH

Monday, October 20th, 2014


UTouch sign 1 (1)



New U-TOUCH Women’s Empowermen​t (WE) program inUganda

U-TOUCH stands for Universal Technology Outreach Community Hubs. The organization aims to help people create opportunity for themselves and their communities with marketable skills for the workforce, beyond completing school. U-TOUCH stemmed from the idea that “Brilliance is equally distributed….Opportunity is not.” With this in mind, U-TOUCH hired its first woman trainer at the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) and completed its first program targeted at women’s empowerment.

utouch2Gloria, a Kenyan national currently studying at the University of California in Riverside, taught the women’s workshop pilot this summer and told the following:

“U-TOUCH did something in Gulu that had never been done before. It provided a safe space for women to share their issues and struggles and ultimately a space that welcomed self-expression, growth and understanding. As a class we tackled issues of self-esteem, building a positive body image, ways to over-come gender based violence and learned leaderships skills as well as how to start and manage a small business. Through the three week training, twenty women embarked on a journey that inspired them to push past their circumstances and insecurities and dared them to be fearless. At the end of the training twenty women received their certificates of completion with confidence, pride, knowledge and a fearless attitude ready to take on the world.”utouch1

The need for a program like WE became apparent from the first day U-TOUCH opened its doors. Executive Director, Deb Plotkin recalls her surprise when 75 men and only one woman came to the first day of class. She recalls, “I told the men that if they wanted to come back tomorrow, they had better bring a woman. And I said to the woman, come back tomorrow with all of your friends.” And from that point on, U-TOUCH classes have been gender balanced.

Now, men and women of the communities are engaged in constructive conversations about the roles and rights of women.

Org Spotlight: Sisters’ Shelter Somaya

Monday, October 13th, 2014

SistersShelterSomayaSisters’ Shelter Somaya

A Muslim Women’s Organization in Sweden, Sisters’ Shelter Somaya focuses on helping women who have been affected by violence. They have an anonymous hotline that allows women to call in anytime to request physical help and emotional support.

Sisters’ Shelter Somaya also operates shelters for women and girls who have been victims of violence. It is a safe space for Muslim women and girls to come if they have been physically or verbally abused, harassed, or threatened. In addition to their personal accommodations, the shelter will also offer advice on what rights these women have and where to go for further legal advice in cases where the women wish to take further action.

Everyone who works at this center has vowed to uphold confidentiality so that the women who call or come in can feel safe in the knowledge that they will not be targeted for their choice to seek help. In operation for over a decade, this non profit organization prides itself on the compassionate and nonjudgmental services it offers.

Org Spotlight: Dream Foundation Trust

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

DMT3 1Dream Foundation Trust

The Dream Foundation Trust is a Pakistan based organization focused on enriching the community through development, relief, education, awareness and mentoring.

Humaira Bachal, founder of The Dream Foundation Trust, started out as one of the few girls attending school in her community. At twelve years old, she recognized the injustice, of how few girls had the oppportunity to achieve and education, and wanted to combat it. She began finding time to share her lessons with the girls within her community, using any space she could find.

Eventually her hard work was noticed by ARM Youth Welfare Society and they helped her receive outside support. With the financial help she was able to open the Dream Model Street School and launch the Dream Foundation Trust.

Org Spotlight: The Women’s Collective

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

womenscollectiveThe Women’s Collective 

The Women’s Collective is a DC based community health and human service agency that focuses on women and girls. It is community and family centered in its aim to provide care and support for HIV/AIDs testing, education and comfort.  Their mission is to empower women and girls in understanding and accessing quality healthcare.

The Women’s Collective was founded by Patricia Nalls, a woman who lost her husband and daughter to AIDs and who was also HIV positive. She desired a space for women when she discovered that the majority of support was catered to gay men. In 1990 she started a secret phone line for women (secret because of the stigmas attached to HIV/AIDS). The Women’s Collective may have started as a single woman’s mission, but it has grown into a collective of women working together to empower themselves and enrich the lives of others.

Org Spotlight: Women’s Institute of Secondary Education and Research (WISER)

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Women’s Institute of Secondary Education and Research (WISER)

WISER is a Kenyan NGO in partnership with Duke University. Formed in 2007, WISER got its start when Dr. Sherryl Broverman of Duke University was invited to a rural community in Muhuru Bay to research obstacles to girls’ education. WISER was developed as a means to combat the barriers that many rural Kenyan girls face in achieving secondary education.

The mission of WISER is to improve educational, economic and health outcomes for girls, particularly those orphaned by AIDS, while promoting communitywide enhancements in health and development.

The first graduating class received their KCSE, exam results in February of 2014. in the last 20 years, no girl had continued onto university from Muhuru Bay, but with a 100% pass rating on Kenya’s national examination the girls exceeded all expectations. 61% of WISER girls (17)qualified for university with 13 receiving full scholarships. After the release of the academic results, WISER is now ranked among the Top 100 Private Secondary Schools (for girls and boys) in all of Kenya, ranking No. 1 in Migori County.

Org Spotlight: Women’s Media Watch Jamaica

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Women’s Media Watch Jamaica 

Women’s Media Watch Jamaica is a Jamaican nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing gender-based violence and promoting gender equality in society and in the media. As media exerts a powerful influence over society, WMW asserts that a gendered analysis of media is critical in the reduction of gender inequality and gender violence. WMW collaborates on a national and international level with organizations including UNIFEM, UNESCO and the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC). Notable accomplishments of this powerful organization include pioneering a training program f0r male leaders, training over 1,500 professionals on gender and media, conducting national research on violence in the media, advocating for legislative reform, and presenting internationally at venues including the NGO Forum, 4th World Conference. WMW works, advocates and trains people of all ages and genders in both rural and urban areas of Jamaica

Org Spotlight: Legal Momentum

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Legal Momentum

Legal Momentum is an innovative organization that works to advance the wellbeing and security of vulnerable women in America. It is the country’s oldest legal defense and education fund devoted to women and girls. All of Legal Momentum’s work deeply embedded in the fight for gender equality and challenging gender bias. The organization works in five key interest areas:

  • Poverty - LM works to advance policy that will reduce poverty amongst women and children.
  • Violence - LM was an important advocate in the passage of VAWA and provides addition protections and supportive services for victims of violence.
  • Workplace Rights - LM works to advance workplace equality free from discrimination and harassment.
  • Courts/The Justice System - LM provides legal resources and expertise to women in a variety of issue areas (discrimination, gender bias, and more.)
  • Education and Training Equity - LM works to advance job training/education equity to allow women equal opportunity to advance skills and job prospects.

Legal Momentum provides ample opportunities for involvement in the cause including volunteering, internships and special events across the country.

Org Spotlight: Caribbean Women’s Health Association Inc.

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The Caribbean Women’s Health Association 

The Caribbean Women’s Health Organization is an service provider and advocacy group for urban Caribbean women living in the United States. CWHA seeks to “break the cycle of poverty through building diverse partnerships and grassroots leadership initiatives.” Recognizing the multifaceted nature of poverty and health, CWHA addresses several issue areas  - Medicaid/health insurance, maternal and child health, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS case management and education, immigration and teen programs. CWHA’s tailors services to specific issues faced by Caribbean women to provide programs that are comprehensive and culturally appropriate. Though CWHA is based in New York and primarily provides services to local women, it also engages in both national and international collaboration on health, immigration and social issues relevant to Caribbean women. The organization has been active for over 20 years and is accredited by the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Org Spotlight: Korean Women’s Association United

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Korean Women’s Association United

The Korean Women’s Association United (KWAU) is an NGO fighting to eliminate sex trafficking and to increase women’s empowerment in Korea. KWAU provides services and protection to women and girls who have experienced trafficking/are at risk of being trafficked, advocates for anti-trafficking legislation and fights to ensure that strong anti-trafficking laws are in place to prevent the practice and to ensure that traffickers are punished. KWAU is a powerful collective of lawyers, activists and scholars that collaborates closely with other related organizations including Women Link and the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center. In addition, KWAU tackles major women’s rights and gender issues such as the elimination of the male as head of household system and paternal inheritance. KWAU is the driving organization behind the annual Korean Women’s Day Convention.