Archive for the ‘Org spotlight’ Category

Org Spotlight: 1 Million Women

Friday, December 5th, 2014

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1 Million Women


1 Million Women is an Australia based organization that focuses on what women can do to fight climate change. Founded by Natalie Isaacs in 2009, 1 Million Women is based on the concept that since women do the majority of household purchasing, women can have a huge impact on energy consumption and waste creation. The organization focuses on the wasteful lifestyles of richer countries, and believes that it is these countries that must take ownership to combat environmental degradations.

1 Million Women focuses on many areas that affect the environment. They advocate for the reduction of consumption, increased recycling, and finding alternative methods to high energy-use  activities (i.e. using public transportation over driving a car to get everywhere). In every instance, they use a million women tag, such as, “if a million women cut household electricity by 20%, we can make 2 coal-fired power stations redundant”. They advocate large change that only requires small actions. If enough people act, even minor changes will make a big difference.

The 1 Million Women site covers climate change news from around the world, and it offers everyday examples of how to reduce your own carbon footprint. 1 Million Women is an organization that combines women’s collaboration and empowerment with simple ways to get involved and fight climate change.

Org Spotlight: SOC Films

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

SOC Films: Stories that matterSharmeen Obaid Chinoy HR

SOC Films is a Karachi based film house specializing in investigative and socially motivated content. With Academy and Emmy award winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy at its helm, SOC Films seeks to set a new standard for groundbreaking cinema that furthers the art of fiction and non-fiction story telling in Pakistan.

From following the lives of child suicide bombers, to bringing to light the plight of Iraqi refugees, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s efforts to highlight the voices of marginalized communities will be echoed and furthered in the work of SOC Films which will continue to produce content that breaks boundaries and challenges audiences. Two such films that SOC Films produced are Humaira: The Game Changer and Humaira: The Dream Catcher. These two films celebrate the achievements of Humaira Bachal, an activist fighting for girls’ education in Pakistan.

Through the induction of its Karachi office, SOC Films intends to groom a new generation of directors, producers and writers who will be equipped with the skills and training to produce quality films for both Pakistani and international audiences.

Org Spotlight: SAHA Global

Friday, November 21st, 2014

SAHA GlobalSAHA Global

Saha Global is an organization that seeks to empower women in rural communities in the Northern region of Ghana and West Africa to solve their village’s need for clean water and electricity by providing leadership opportunities. The word “Saha” means opportunity in Dagboni, which is the local language spoken in Northern Region Ghana. In order to accomplish this mission, Saha recruits leaders from around the globe to come to West Africa through their Global Leadership Program. Participants in the Global Leadership Program train local women to start profitable social-entrepreneurship ventures. The revenue that is earned from these businesses is managed by the women and it stays in the community.

In the beginning Saha was focused primarily on water, but it has expanded its efforts to include access to electricity. People living in rural communities of the Northern Region of Ghana lack access to safe drinking water and are forced to drink from fecal contaminated waters sources. In addition to the absence of safe water, 30% of the people living in the rural communities rely on kerosene lamps for lights because they do not have access to electricity. These lamps are not only hazardous to people’s health, but also release harmful black carbon and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To date, Saha Global has launched 71 clean water businesses and 5 solar electricity businesses, which serve 38,108 people. 100% of these businesses are still in operation today. Their commitment to monitoring, combined with our use of simple and locally available technology, has been the key to their 100% sustainability rate.

Org Spotlight: PRADET

Friday, November 7th, 2014


PRADET (Psychosocial Recovery & Development in East Timor) is an NGO that provides assistance to people who are undergoing issues with trauma and other social problems. The mission of PRADET is to provide psychosocial support to men, women, children and families who suffer from trauma, violence, and mental illness.

The organization also focuses on delivering psycho-social service to the community via counselors positioned locally that have had experience in trauma related to health. The information administered is centralized on enabling the community to be better educated on illness and abuse, while also rehabilitating those in the community who have suffered from trauma induced health issues.  Along with counselling, PRADET is also dedicated to creating an atmosphere that enables people to feel encouraged to reach their potential. PRADET works with its various working partners to create community development programs as well as policy development at both local and national levels. PRADET is the singular organization in East Timor that focuses on delivery training as well as education on the topics of abuse in the larger context of the community.

PRADET views the process of overcoming mental health issues as a “journey of healing and transformation”.   The overall goal that PRADET seeks to accomplish is to empower any person who suffers from a trauma related mental health problem to have the ability to have livelihood and fulfillment in their lives, while also improving the community life of East Timor. The value that PRADET utilizes in its mission is hope.  In its mission, PRADET utilizes hope as an instrument that has the ability to be the facilitator of the rehabilitation process and ultimately change the community.

The process of recovering from trauma and other mental health issues offers individuals the opportunity to participate in the community, while also enhancing community life. By strengthening relationships with their partners, PRADET strives to generate increased initiatives and programs that will be able to alleviate trauma, improve treatment, and enable services that will assist the community of East Timor.

Org Spotlight: Humanas Colombia

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

humanas colombia

Humanas Colombia

Humanas Colombia is an organization that focuses on human rights and justice for women. The organization’s mission is “the promotion and protection of human rights of women, international humanitarian law and gender justice in Colombia and Latin America.  A group of women within social sciences professions strive to promote and implement initiatives that increase knowledge of women’s situations and the obstacles they must overcome in regards to gender inequalities.

Humanas looks at gender justice and how women are affected by and contribute to issues surrounding peace and security. They question the patriarchal order by searching out biases that violate gender equality. Gender based violence comes out of unequal power relations between the sexes. Gender justice attempts to combat the naturalization of violence against women and gives women access to justice for the crimes committed against them.
Humanas’ mission is inspired by the following values:

  • The universal and indivisible human rights as the basis for addressing multiple discriminations affecting women.
  • Democracy building guide egalitarian relationships in ways of thinking, feeling and acting.
  • Diversity, recognition of multiple social realities
  • Cooperation promotes working in partnership with groups of similar interests.
  • Solidarity promotes the defense of the rights of women in all contexts.
  • Transparency characterizes the management of resources, information and accountability.
  • Resilience, as an individual and collective capacity, can face problems, solve them and emerge stronger.

Humanas has developed research, training, and monitoring to advance their goal of justice for women. One specific initiative they have developed, Peace with Women, is dedicated to spreading and recognizing efforts by women to build peace in the midst of war. This project creates a space for women to come together to rebuild the social fabric, strengthen local democracy and peace processes, overcome poverty, undertake processes of truth, justice and reparation and to oppose war and the militarization of their lives. They give women a voice by creating an avenue for them to tell their stories.

The organization’s fundamental premise is for peace building in the country to involve not only the negotiation of the armed conflict, but the construction of new gender pacts that enable social inclusion of women and the full exercise of their rights.

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.