The Women for Women International programme
Our year-long programme equips women to earn money, regain their confidence and actively participate in their communities. When a woman joins the programme, she comes together with 24 other women, forming a tight support group that helps to break the isolation caused by war and insecurity.
She learns a marketable job skill - such as tailoring, bread-making or poultry-keeping, as well as business training to turn her chosen skill into a stable income so she can support herself and her family. She can begin to save her money, too, and receives support to establish cooperatives, associations, or village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) so she and other women in her community can make the most of their earnings.
She also learns practical knowledge about her health, including reproductive health, stress management and the importance of good hygiene and nutrition so she can protect herself and her family from preventable disease. We make sure she is connected to local healthcare providers.
She also learns about her rights on key issues like voting, access to land, divorce, custody of her children and domestic abuse. Once she learns her rights she is empowered and equipped to stand up for them and can share her knowledge with others in her community.
Creating Opportunity After Graduation
After women have completed our year-long training, we continue to 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 Centre supports women as they look for jobs. In Rwanda, graduates have formed cooperatives so they can access advanced business training and a marketplace to sell their goods and products.
Engaging Men as Allies
We have 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 7,500 men to become allies and champions of the empowerment of women and girls.