We women foundation

We women is a foundation that strives to achieve equality for various groups of people in the world. The foundation assists women, refugees, ethnic minorities, and disadvantaged groups with their questions, struggles and needs, as they are formulated within their own terms. Academic research is the first step in this process because it helps to gain insight into local beliefs, practices and ambitions. The key areas of We women's engagement include personal growth, social inclusion, (mental) health, education, and the encouragement of creative initiatives, with the ultimate goal of achieving equality for all. The We women foundation has been based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, since 2010, where we...

We women foundation
186/1 Photharam Soi 4
T. Chang Puak
Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50200
Thailand
+66 (0)81874058
http://wewomenfoundation.org/

Board of Directors

Ursula Cats, Arjan Toorman, Cindy Wilkinson, Kieja Janssen, Caroline Seagle, Nadia Moussaid

Project Leaders

We women foundation
Maria Diaz Ezquerro

Mission

We women is a foundation that strives to achieve equality for various groups of people in the world. The foundation assists women, refugees, ethnic minorities, and disadvantaged groups with their questions, struggles and needs, as they are formulated within their own terms. Academic research is the first step in this process because it helps to gain insight into local beliefs, practices and ambitions. The key areas of We women's engagement include personal growth, social inclusion, (mental) health, education, and the encouragement of creative initiatives, with the ultimate goal of achieving equality for all. The We women foundation has been based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, since 2010, where we have been developing and implementing the We women from Burma Project. This project promotes the education and well-being of unrecognized refugee women from Burma. The Foundation targets women whose passions, goals and motivations implicate them as future leaders of Burma. We women provides a much needed service to women from Burma by offering them the opportunity to succeed in higher education. Each year the We women foundation supports a select number of qualified women as they prepare themselves for leadership in their country and communities. We women assists students as they prepare themselves for university by advising them during the application process and throughout their job search. During each woman's period of study, the We women foundation provides scholarship funding for their university tuition, as well as academic tutoring and coaching. In order to provide long-term support, We women assists its alumni in their search for positions as they enter the professional world. The long-term aim of the We women from Burma project is to assist unrecognized refugee women into obtaining higher positions within policy making or influential organizations so that they then can empower other women and their communities, on their own terms.In order to realise our long-term objective, the We women foundation intends to make higher education accessible for the future female leaders of Burma. In addition, we assist them where possible in the process of professional development. To this end we have developed a number of short-term goals: To ensure prospective students have the necessary qualifications and documentation to be admitted to a university of their choice, so they can make well informed and realistic decisions about their future education. To grant scholarships to the most promising students, so they can successfully enroll at the university of their choice and not experience financial restraints while completing their degrees. To support and coach students during their studies at university, so they can successfully complete their degree and gain all the theoretical knowledge they need for their future careers. To create opportunities for students to gain practical working experience in an internship setting, so they can put their education and theoretical knowledge into practice, build their credentials and further develop practical expertise. To assist alumni in obtaining key positions in policy making and influential organizations. To research community needs in order to improve existing programs and create new programs with research results. To provide a gender program that addresses gender issues in the community in order to promote gender equality and create a platform for women leaders. These goals are collectively addressed by our programs, which jointly make up the We women from Burma project.

Programs

Pre-university program The aim of the pre-university program is to support women to build their academic skills and knowledge in preparation for obtaining a grant and admission to the university of their choice. We women aims to provide a supportive environment, helping students to achieve their individual goals. Focus is on tailor made support for the women. This is provided through various activities, based on English learning, coaching, and exposure to their own qualities and external environment. With the latter we help the students become more aware of their role in the community and the way that their study and experience can add to and strengthen this role. The program is made up of the following activities: Academic English class - A core component of this program is providing English preparation to our students, and they need to be able to read, speak and write English at an advanced academic level. Academic English tutoring - English language is measured by the TOEFL test, as many universities use this test to determine if students will have a sufficient level of English in order to complete their curriculum successfully, and they require a base score for admissions. Workshop and training - As the education system in Burma is severely underdeveloped, many of our participants have insufficiently developed critical thinking capacities. Since critical thinking is essential in higher education, the program provides workshops and discussion groups about various topics and focuses on issues such as debating, leadership responsibilities and academic writing. Coaching - All participants attend personal coaching sessions, which offer practical and emotional support and identifying personal goals and aspirations. The women then choose a university and a course that match their goals and plans. The sessions also deal with personal limitations and challenges, so that possible obstacles are recognised and dealt with in a timely manner and have as little impact on the development process of the participants as possible. Support in job search - in order to ensure that the participants can focus entirely on their preparation for university, We women supports the women that do not have a stable income by introducing them to ethical and responsible employers. The working schedules of these employers enable our participants to focus on their academic obligations. Student support desk - when students encounter practical obstacles to achieving their aims, they are assisted in whatever way possible by the We women foundation. Scholarship Grant program The Scholarship Grant program is aimed at giving a scholarship for a university program to the most promising and talented women. Together with the advisory board, we assess the candidates that submit an application. During the assessment process we consider the background and capacities of the women, but also their ambitions to take an active role in improving the lives of people from and in Burma. It is our aim to award ten scholarships each year. The costs that are covered by the scholarship are: Tuition fees University related fees, e.g. books, fieldtrips, internet access Legal and official documents - we help to arrange the passports and official school diploma transcripts required by participants in order that they may attend university. Overall living expenses - the basic costs of living are covered such as rent, food, local travel costs and healthcare We try to cover as many costs as possible, as this allows our students to focus completely on their education, and this is important, as despite the preparation offered by the Pre-university program, our students need their full focus to be able to keep up with the pace and level of education in international universities. In-university program The primary goal of the in-university program is to provide support to ensure that our participants get the most out of their university experience, and to ensure that they graduate. Our focus is on providing for the individual support of each participant, ensuring that any problems, academic or emotional, are dealt with as quickly as possible. This is achieved through several individually tailored activities: Personalized coaching sessions - the frequency and content of these coaching sessions will depend on the needs of each student. Topics covered include how they are adjusting to life at university, any issues they might be having or challenges they have encountered, practical matters such as their budget, and the review of any issues that stand out from their progress reports. Academic topics will also be covered to confirm that students understand and are learning from their lessons and assignments. Peer Supervision - Peer groups focus on discussing issues amongst fellow students. Students help one another by analyzing issues and presenting advice. Of course it is up to the students themselves whether they choose to act on the advice they have received. Regular narrative reports from the students - each student must submit a narrative report to the organization every 3 months, in which they reflect on their studies and experiences. These reports give the students an opportunity to voice any issues they might have concerning their studies, and it acts as a monitoring tool for the foundation, as the reports are used for evaluation purposes. Online student social network - The We women social network is an online forum designed to provide an open space for students in university to share their concerns, experiences and advice. With minor input from We women, this forum is primarily sustained through peer participation. Student resources -Staff often flag up useful online academic resources, which are then communicated to the students, and are designed to help them with their academic studies. We women also has a number of useful academic resources in our office, that students are free to use or borrow. An annual student conference - Each fall, scholarship recipients from Burma are invited to attend the annual student conference in Thailand. This is an opportunity to network with other students and organizations, and to stay informed of the many valuable resources available to them. Workshops - In-university students are invited to attend any of the regular workshops held by We women, covering topics such as stress or time management, or research or writing skills. Internship program The internship program is designed to provide We women students with practical work experience in their field of interest. The students will take part in an internship placement either during or after their graduate studies, to supplement their theoretical studies with hands-on learning. The interns will be placed in an organization to gain relevant skills and knowledge, to help propel them into suitable careers. These goals are achieved through the following activities: Internship search - We women holds a database with carefully researched internship opportunities, and through our partner organizations we have access to placements in the fields of education, social policy and relations, civil society development and health promotion. Placement - Each internship placement will be unique to the interests and needs of the student. Through personalized coaching sessions, pre-application forms and guidance notes we determine the needs and goals of our students, and then encourage them to apply to suitable and reputable institutions. Monitoring - During each internship we require that students keep us informed with progress reports and evaluation forms, so that we can monitor each experience and address any issues that may arise during the course of the placement, ensuring that our students our getting the most out of their internships, and acquiring the skills and knowledge that they need. Post-evaluation - We ask the students to provide post-evaluation information. In this way we can constantly improve the program and forge lasting relationships with the right organizations. Alumni Program Our Alumni Program is currently in development, as our first alumni will be graduating this year. The main goal of this program will be to provide support to our university graduates in their job search, in order to help propel them into leadership roles, and to round off the holistic service we provide, helping women through their education and onto their chosen career path. This program will comprise of several activities: Career Advice Service - we will support our graduates in their job search, advising them on relevant job opportunities and reputable organizations. Grant Search Support - we will help the women who are intending to set up their own organizations in searching for the necessary grants and donations which will allow them to achieve this. Networking assistance - we will aid our graduates in their networking, by allowing them access to our own partner organizations, colleagues, and professional networks which may lead to internships, job opportunities or collaborations. Gender Program This program will be launched in the summer of 2012, and its main goal is to create gender advocates and community trainers. It will focus on the intense training of eight individuals, four women and four men, led by a female and a male facilitator. We will encourage participants to come up with their own ways of addressing gender issues within their communities. They will lead their own discussions, deciding on what the issues are, what their feelings are, and what the needs of the community are in relation to gender issues. We will then support our participants in creating their own training projects that they can incorporate within their communities, in order to spread the ideals of gender equality, activate people on gender issues and raise awareness of these issues from the grassroots level up.

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