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...
Mar 24, 2015

Gratitude and Goodwill: We women Campaign Wrap-up

Volunteer teaam
Volunteer teaam

We women foundation has a lot to celebrate. Our most recent online campaign,Educate One, Empower Thousands, was the most successful campaign in our organization’s history. With your support, we raised a total of €14,650! This amount is 83.7% more than what we raised for our programs during last year’s campaign. We are still waiting to hear back from additional corporate donors, and expect that the coming weeks will put us over our initial target of €20,000. Lots of donations were made through GlobalGiving, so we would like to thank our followers on this platform for their support.

We wish to extend a special thanks to our corporate sponsors to date,Shannon Passero and Cleaner Climate, for their generous donations and enthusiasm for our cause. We also wish to express our gratitude to Carol Grodzins, who won our prize for being the highest donor during the crucial final week of our campaign. Finally, we are so grateful to all of our networks, friends, and family members who graciously offered their time, money, and support—without people like you, this campaign would not have been possible.

One of the aspects of this campaign that made it extra unique and meaningful was that volunteers all over the world helped us to actively spread awareness regarding women’s issues in Myanmar by hosting screenings of our original documentary:Emerging Women of Burma. Jane’s Kitchen held the first event of the campaign here in Chiang Mai on November 23. Additional screenings were hosted by one of Burma’s most popular art galleries—Pansodan Scene in Yangon, as well as by Leigh McMaster in Auckland, New Zealand, Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin (USA), and  Nick McGrath of Rear Windows in Bangkok.

 

We women foundation has also been increasing our presence on the web. We reached 2,000 “likes” on Facebook early on in the campaign, and currently stand at 2,230. On Twitter, we gained 35 new followers during the campaign, and presently stand at 770. We expect these numbers to steadily incline, and are pleased that so many other NGOs, news outlets, and individuals are interested in our organization’s activities and the news stories that we find relevant.

All of these accomplishments have further increased our optimism regarding the future of our organization and, more broadly, the future of women’s leadership in Burma.

Message Carol
Message Carol
Thank you!
Thank you!
Feb 4, 2015

Gratitude and Goodwill: Our Campaign Wrap-up

Graduation party for We women students
Graduation party for We women students

We women foundation has a lot to celebrate. Our most recent online campaign, "Educate One, Empower Thousands", was the most successful campaign in our organization’s history. With your support, we raised a total of €14,650! This amount is 83.7% more than what we raised for our programs during last year’s campaign. We are still waiting to hear back from additional corporate donors, and expect that the coming weeks will put us over our initial target of €20,000.

We wish to extend a special thanks to our corporate sponsors to date, Shannon Passero and Cleaner Climate, for their generous donations and enthusiasm for our cause. We also wish to express our gratitude to Carol Grodzins, who won our prize for being the highest donor during the crucial final week of our campaign. Finally, we are so grateful to all of our networks, friends, and family members who graciously offered their time, money, and support—without people like you, this campaign would not have been possible.

One of the aspects of this campaign that made it extra unique and meaningful was that volunteers all over the world helped us to actively spread awareness regarding women’s issues in Myanmar by hosting screenings of our original documentary: Emerging Women of Burma. Jane’s Kitchen held the first event of the campaign here in Chiang Mai on November 23. Additional screenings were hosted by one of Burma’s most popular art galleries—Pansodan Scene in Yangon, as well as by Leigh McMaster in Auckland, New Zealand, Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin (USA), and Nick McGrath of Rear Windows in Bangkok.

We women foundation has also been increasing our presence on the web. We reached 2,000 “likes” on Facebook early on in the campaign, and currently stand at 2,230. On Twitter, we gained 35 new followers during the campaign, and presently have a total of 770. We expect these numbers to steadily incline, and are pleased that so many other NGOs, news outlets, and individuals are interested in our organization’s activities and the news stories that we find relevant.

All of these accomplishments have further increased our optimism regarding the future of our organization and, more broadly, the future of women’s leadership in Burma.

From Carol Grodzins
From Carol Grodzins
Phong Wan, studying Politics, Philosophy and Econ
Phong Wan, studying Politics, Philosophy and Econ
We women team at our 1st screening of the campaign
We women team at our 1st screening of the campaign
Strategic Planning Meeting, 2015: Maria and Num Ay
Strategic Planning Meeting, 2015: Maria and Num Ay
Lawnt Ying, social science at Chiang Mai Univ.
Lawnt Ying, social science at Chiang Mai Univ.
Dec 23, 2014

Student & Alumni Updates from A Future to Build

Filming our newest campaign promo!
Filming our newest campaign promo!

We women foundation's 2013-2014 campaign, A Future to Build: Burma by Women, is focused on raising funds for higher education for the women of Burma. Many minority women in Burma are passionate about taking part in the struggle for human rights, but without higher education, they are often pushed back into traditional roles that do not permit them the freedom and mobility to contribute to Burma's economic, social, and political future. Higher education enables qualified scholarship recipients to eventually attain leadership positions where they can influence change, drive social reform, and most importantly--empower thousands more to do the same.

Many organizations have projects that focus on primary education and basic education, but We women believes that higher education is also important for cultivating personal, professional, and intellectual development so that effective community leaders can emerge. We believe that capacity should be developed within communities to create effective policy, address local needs from within, and manage community development responsibly. All too often, important decisions are left to influential outside entities. We women views higher education as a way to build community capacity, and by educating even a handful of committed members, entire communities can be impacted.

With your support, We women is already witnessing the benefits that higher education brings to our students. Read the inspiring stories of three of our amazing scholarship students below.*

Future Director of We women--Burma: Fighting for equal education in Burma

As the daughter of parents who were both educators by profession, our first student who graduated this year was instilled at a young age with the belief that education and critical thinking are crucial components for the success of a healthy society: 

"They showed me that knowledge and education are crucial to a strong and successful society, and therefore inspired my own passion for education. From my parents I also learnt that strength comes from playing an active role in life, and in bearing responsibility gracefully," she said. 

Following the completion of her degree in History at the acclaimed Mandalay University, she worked as an English teacher near the Chinese border. After six years working at a private school, she was sadly forced to leave Burma and emigrate to Thailand due to the tumultuous political situation which threatened her personal safety. Despite the emotional hardships she faced as a result of leaving her home, her family, and her job behind, she remained determined to contribute to educational efforts within the Shan migrant community in northern Thailand. She assisted  an NGO helping migrant workers by teaching English, Shan, and computer skills. She also worked with a radio station, helping to broadcast programs on education and Shan news to the Shan community. At the time, our student could not be a classroom teacher in Thailand because she did not have refugee status and was therefore residing in Thailand illegally. However, she was resolute in continuing to do the work she is passionate about as a volunteer with migrant laborers, a constituency made up mostly of poor families from Shan state:

"I came to realize that many of these migrants could neither read nor write, and that these deficiencies were a direct result of the poor education system in Burma. This lack of basic knowledge puts migrant workers at a distinct disadvantage, as the only jobs then open to them fall under the ‘Three Ds’ – dangerous, dirty or difficult – jobs in construction or cleaning, which carry very low salaries and often high health risks," she expressed.

"If the workers were better educated, more opportunities would be open to them and they would better be able to support themselves and their families, rising from the vulnerable positions they are currently confined to. Witnessing the inability of some laborers to even sign their own name motivated me to continue my fight for equal education for all."

This student began her MA degree in Educational Administration in 2012 at Assumption University in Bangkok with the support of a We women scholarship. Inspired by her previous work as a teacher as well as a manager at an organization that provides educational opportunities to marginalized communities in Burma, she remains passionate about education and teacher-training. We women foundation is proud to announce that she will be the future Director of We women--Burma once we open a branch inside Myanmar. 

A successful MA thesis defense

In October of this year, a scholarship student from Shan State passed her thesis defense and earned her Master’s degree at Assumption University in Bangkok. 

This student had to work very hard before being admitted to do her final defense. At one stage her adviser told her: “Go and change the structure and get more background information; you still have a lot of work to do.

When our student replied that she wanted to finish within a week, her adviser said “That is impossible.”

After a week, the student went back to her adviser and stated that she had completed her thesis.

“I don´t believe you,” her advisor told her in amazement.

“Believe me, look at my eyes, I hardly slept this week.”

The professor read her work and told her she was astonished and that she could continue on to defend her thesis. Just after she passed her defense, sheapplied for a job as a program developer at an NGO focused on education. Despite the large number of applicants, our student got the job! In a skype meeting, she told the Founder and current Director of We women Ursula Cats that she will build up her skills and gain experience in her current job so that in the future she can build a school for impoverished children back in Shan State. We women foundation is confident that she will excel in her new job and we are determined to help her reach her final goals.

Master's in English Language

Finally, We women foundation wishes to congratulate a third student on graduating with a Master's degree in English Language Teaching from Assumption University in Bangkok. Considering the fact that English will become the official language of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, it will be crucial for highly motivated and well-educated English instructors and curriculum developers like her to play an active role in the Burmese education system. Best of luck to her, and all of our warm congratulations.
 
THANK YOU

As a small NGO, We women foundation could not be successful in the work we are so passionate about without help from friends, donors, and volunteers. We are so grateful to our supporters around the world for publicizing our mission, supporting us with financial contributions, and working side-by-side with us as volunteers. 

Remember, you or your networks can donate to We women foundation via GlobalGiving today.

 *To protect the identity of our students, some of whom are from conflict areas in Burma, we have refrained from using any names.

We women at a conference in BKK
We women at a conference in BKK
Filming our newest campaign promo!
Filming our newest campaign promo!

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