Archive for the ‘Org spotlight’ Category

Org Spotlight: Maasai Women Development Organization

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Maasai Women Development Organization


Started in 2000 by Ndinini Kimesera Sikar, Maria Keheta, and Josephine Gabriel Simon, the Maasai Women Development Organization (MWEDO) envisions Masaii women in Tanzania to have an “Improved sustainable livelihood”. The three founders are Masaii women themselves and as a result of their own experiences, they conglomerated to form an organization that would have the capacity to support and encourage other relegated women to have access to education, health, and economic rights. The organization works to empower Maasai women via economic and social initiatives of increased accessibility towards education, health assistance, and enterprise development. Currently, the organization has a relationship with 5,000 grassroots women from Arusha and the Manyara regions of Tanzania.

In 2011, MWEDO started its Secondary School with more than 100 students attending. the central goal of the school is to allow girls to reach empowerment by means of education. With the ultimate goal of making education accessible to marginalized communities, the school boards most of its students because of the distance and remoteness of their homes to the school, which makes obtaining and education more of a reality.

An extension of its Secondary School program, MWEDO created the Education Access Program which provides adult women with the opportunity to obtain literacy. The women who are being targeted in this initiative did not have the ability to have access to formal education as children. The Adult Literacy Education has  evolved into a pivotal empowerment tool for the women as they learn more about leadership skills. The organization hopes that as a result of this program, women will be able to contribute into the decision making skills of their own lives and demonstrate their demands to the local and national government.

mwedoIn addition to their focus on education as a tool for empowerment, MWEDO also works to help women gain knowledge and become aware of maternal health, HIV and AIDS, as well as prevention and care. Maasai women and girls are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infections due to lack of information, knowledge including women disempowerment. MWEDO has therefore worked in this area to raise awareness through information dissemination and empowered women in the fight against HIV and AIDS infections.It has successfully been implementing HIV/AIDS Awareness, Prevention, Care and Nutrition activities since 2003, MWEDO works with a team of community volunteers who complement our efforts in different communities

By means of raising awareness of health, education, and economic right, the Maasai Women Development Organization continues to promote these vital attributes so that their mission of female empowerment can be fulfilled to all Maasai women in Tanzania.

Org Spotlight: Mukhtar Mai Women’s Organization

Monday, April 13th, 2015


MMWOMukhtar Mai Women’s Organization is was established in 2002 in Pakistan with the mission of bringing about a positive change in the treatment of women in society and working to eliminate all violence against women by promoting education, advocacy, and empowerment. The founder, Mukhtar Mai began this organization in 2002 after she survived a gang rape and then rather, than committing suicide as custom would predict, she spoke up, and pursued the case, which was picked up by both domestic and international media.

Muktar Mai Women’s Organization is centralized around the belief that it is not only imperative, but also feasible that through advocacy, women can be treated equally and not be subjected to violence and discrimination. The organization has created several projects that work to fulfill its mission and perpetuate equality and female empowerment. The foundation of these empowerment projects is the Muktar Mai Girls’ Model School, which works to provide women and girls accessibility towards education. The organization believes that when women and girls have access to education, there is an increase in the acquisition of civil, political, social, and economic rights. Ultimately, education is the most vital step towards female empowerment. In 2003, Muktar Mai opened her first school where she enrolled herself and two other students in her family house. Now, the school is able to provide girls with a free education, books, supplies, and uniforms to more than 550 girls.

In addition to promoting empowerment via education, the organization established the Mukhtar Mai Women’s Shelter home in 2006 as a refuge for women who have faced violence. The organization works to assist the women in the creation of a healthy, safe, and empowered life. This home has aided hundreds of women who have been subjected to violence, rape, honor crimes, child marriages, acid throwing, and many other forms of violence and discrimination.

The Muktar Mai Women’s Organization’s continues its mission of advocating for female and male equality and spreading awareness.


Org Spotlight: Aware Girls

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Aware Girls

awaregirlsAware Girls is young women led Organization that is working for women empowerment, gender equality, and peace in Pakistan. Their goal is to strengthen the leadership capacity of young women enabling them to act as agents of social change and women empowerment in their communities.

The Ultimate vision ofAware Girls is a world where women rights are equally respected, have control over their own lives and have equal access to Education, Employment, Governance, Justice, Legal Support, Financial Resources, Recreation, Health specifically Sexual and Reproductive Health and Social Services.The mission of Aware Girls is to empower young women, advocate for equal rights of young women, and to strengthen their capacity enabling them to act as agents of women empowerment and Social Change.

The founder of Aware Girls- Gulalai Ismail was just 16 years old when she first generated the idea of how to empower girls as “Agents of Change”. She is the winner of the various honors and fellowships and has been recognized by Foreign Policy Magazine as a top 100 Leading global Thinkers of 2013.

Org Spotlight: Camfed

Friday, March 27th, 2015


The Campaign for Female Education

Camfed, The Campaign for Female Education, is an international non-profit organization that works to encourage and support education for girls with the ultimate vision of alleviating poverty socio-economic inequalities. The organization was initially established in 1991 when Ann Cotton traveled to Zimbabwe to learn more about the rural schooling practices and enrolment in the area. She discovered that the primary reason for why enrolment rates were so low was because of the overarching theme of poverty. Poverty prevents families from being able to pay for their children’s fees that are associated with school. Families were facing a choice between sending their boys or girls to schools, which typically results in the families choosing their sons because they have a higher chance of earning a higher paying job in the future. So, Cotton began a small grassroots campaign in Cambridge, England, which then evolved into Camfed in 1993.

Camfed supports and endorses the idea that all children should have equal access to education and quality of life. The reasoning behind supporting specifically girls is because as Cotton noted in her travels to Zimbabwe, girls face greater disadvantages such as, early marriage, early pregnancy and HIV and AIDS which poise as obstacles. As an organization oriented on activism, Camfed have developed programs that work to confront and transform the system that continually fails girls.

The organization has focusing on empowering girls and women through the channel of education in poor rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa, where the girls face dire hindrances towards their future due to the complications of wealth disparity. Camfed is transforming these communities by ultimately reinforcing the girls’ educational access. The model produced by Camfed has spread to more than 3.428 communities in Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have directly supported over 1,202,000 students to attend primary and secondary school, and over 3 million children have benefited from an improved learning environment.

Org Spotlight: SWAYAM

Friday, March 20th, 2015



Swayam, meaning “oneself” is an organization based in Kolkata, India working towards ending violence committed against women and children. Swayam’s ultimate vision is that women and children will be able to live in a world where acts of violence will not be taken against them and that they can live their lives with a sense of confidence and security in themselves as empowered individuals. The organization is focused on support towards women who have violence committed against them. Focusing on an all-inclusive approach with women at the focal point, Swayam encourages women to become empowered by reinforcing tools such as, legal aid, child support, vocational training, and shelter, that promote independence and self- confidence. With a goal that looks far ahead into each woman’s future, the organization commits itself to the development of a fully empowered woman. Through its Public Education and Awareness Generation Program, Swayam is working towards creating a collective and focused discussion that will work towards influencing the accepted public opinion on violence against women and children. They are able facilitate this discussion by working with NGOs, educational institutions, judiciary systems, and the public at large. Swayam is working towards confronting norms and influencing policies that impact women in a collective manner with other organizations and movements that stand in solidarity with Swayam. In their fifteen years of existence, they have been working towards their ultimate mission of a violence free world.

Org Spotlight: National Council of Women’s Organizations

Friday, March 13th, 2015

National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO)


The National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) is an umbrella organization for over 200 groups that together represent over 12 million women across the United States of America. It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition that is the only one of its kind.

NCWO grew out of an informal group of women’s organizational leaders after the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1983. Capitalizing on the energy and inspiration following the 1995 Beijing Conference, NCWO has taken an active and powerful role in the policy arena, uniting women’s groups across the country to work together to advance a progressive women’s agenda.

Together, NCWO’s over 200 organizations collaborate to create policy, lead grassroots activism, and address issues that affect women and their families. Topics addressed by this organization include: education, older women, economic equity, corporate accountability, reproductive freedom, and global progress for women’s equality, among others.

The National Council of Women’s Organizations is the leading coalition that makes fighting for women’s rights more effective by working together.

Org Spotlight: Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence

Friday, February 20th, 2015

The Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence 


The Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence is an umbrella nonprofit organization representing Tribal Coalitions working to end sexual and domestic violence against Native people.  ATCEV was formed by Tribal Coalition leaders to deliver a unified voice against violence. Together, the Alliance seeks to strengthen ties and to share knowledge and resources between member coalitions. ATCEV supports and strengthens coalitions through sharing resources including policies, training curricula, outreach strategies and nonprofit development and sustainability. Collectively, ATCEV’s Coalition leaders have over 150 years of experience in victim services and Tribal nonprofit management.

The Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence currently consists of eighteen member coalitions across the country. These coalitions are:

Org Spotlight: Casa Ruby

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Casa Ruby 9be06bcfa8c18eae8a57f217fc620334_400x400

Casa Ruby is the only grassroots multicultural LGBT center that provides bilingual services for DC’s Latino community members.  Focusing on Latina transgender women and immigrants, Casa Ruby addresses the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of DC’s LGBT community. As many LGBT organizations focus their work on lesbians, gays and bisexuals, the specific needs of the transgender community often fall by the wayside. Casa Ruby is a unique organization as it is a particularly welcoming space for transgender and other gender nonconforming people. At Casa Ruby, intersectionality is key. The organization is attuned to the intersection of factors including sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity, legal and socioeconomic status that lead to varying degrees of marginalization .

Casa Ruby was founded as a DC nonprofit in 2004 by Ruby Jade Corado. Ruby, a Salvadoran transgender woman, fled civil war in El Salvador and came to DC at the age of 16. She has spent the last two decades advocating tirelessly for “LGBT human rights, transgender liberation, immigration equality, access to health care, hate crimes/violence [prevention] and many other disparities and issues facing the community that she represents.”  (Who Is Ruby?)

Casa Ruby provides a variety of services at their Columbia Heights drop in center. These include hot meals, clothing exchange, access to a cyber center, support groups, case management, emergency housing referrals, and criminal/immigration legal services counseling. Additionally, Casa Ruby runs comprehensive career and employment services such as education and training, job placement, career development and risk remediation. Each week about 150 community members come to Casa Ruby.

Org Spotlight: My Life My Choice

Friday, February 6th, 2015

My Life My Choice


Founded in 2002, My Life My Choice is an organization fighting against the commercial sexual exploitation of young people in the greater Boston area. Led and fueled by survivors, My Life My Choice’s unique model empowers youth through engagement with a powerful community of advocates who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation personally. Envisioning a world free from the buying and selling of children, the organization works in four main survivor-led arenas:

  1. Survivor mentorship
  2. Prevention education
  3. Professional training for service providers
  4. Advocacy and leadership

In the greater Boston area alone, MLMC has trained 7000+ youth providers, mentored over 300 girls, and trained more than 7000 youth service providers. MLMC’s services for youth are inclusive, comprehensive and gender inclusive as of 2014. Last year, they launched a pilot mentorship program for 12-18 year old boys and transgender youth.  MLMC encourages young survivors to stay engaged with the organization through the MLMC Leadership Corps, fueling the next generation of powerful survivor advocates. The organization has been recognized by the US Department of Justice as a national model for sex trafficking prevention.

My Life My Choice is a member of the Justice Resource Institute and partners closely with other local and national change-makers including the SEEN Coalition (Support to End Exploitation Now)  and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Anti Trafficking Taskforce. In 2011, MLMC was a key voice in the drafting of Massachusetts anti-trafficking legislation that assured that exploited minors specialized survives rather than jail time.

Org Spotlight: Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women

adew_logoThe Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women (ADEW) originally got its start when a group of development professionals launched a micro-finance project for garbage collectors in Zaballeen in the 1980s. During the projects implementation, the developers decided they should expand the project to help marginalized groups in Cairo. They identified low-income women of female-headed households as the vulnerable group they would target. This initial development work turned into ADEW in 1987 when the group of twenty men and women decided to register the Association with the Ministry of Social Affairs as a private, voluntary, non-governmental organization.

Today, ADEW still runs credit programs but now it also offers literacy programs, health services, and legal awareness seminars. Some of ADEW’s achievements include being the first Egyptian nongovernmental organization to identify female heads of households as a target group and the first to establish a micro credit program using a group lending methodology. They were also the first to address the problem of lack of official documentation and work on solving this problem.

ADEW’s mission is to create suitable conditions for Egyptian women on both personal and societal levels. They seek to change the culture of the community and women’s image in society, while also changing laws and policies. Their vision is then to give women, especially female heads of households, their legal, economic, social, political, and cultural rights in order to become full citizens and decision-makers within the family. Through equality with men they hope to give women the same opportunities in order for women to gain the ability to make their own choices.