Women for Women International

Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies.
Mar 4, 2014

Meet Tabu

Meet Tabu, a participant in WfWI - South Sudan's program based in Yei. She will be graduating from WfWI's holistic, 12-month training program this month, where she will have gained knowledge of her rights, basic business skills and vocational training in a skill such as a baking, so that when she graduates she will be able to provide a living for herself and her family.

My name is Tabu and I am 25 years old. I live in Kiniba village in Yei River County, Central Equatoria, South Sudan. I attended school but unfortunately I dropped out in primary five, since my father could not afford to pay school fees. I started brewing beverages to earn income and in the process of selling them I met a man who married at the age of 16 years. We have 3 children.

Domestic violence: My husband beat me whenever he was drunk. As much as I tried to advocate for my rights family and friends did not listen to me. I tried talking to my husband when he was not drunk, but he did not listen.

Enrolment and impact of WfWI program – I was happy to hear about the program by Women for Women International and got enrolled for training that commenced in April 2013. I was feeling powerless and felt that this program would empower me to know my rights and more so face the challenges I was facing of domestic violence. I was very excited to receive the participant ID card from WfWI. However my husband was annoyed at me for attending the trainings and tore the ID card and battered me in the process. I shared this with staff of WfWI who were supportive to me. I realized that the training was important for me and with that made a decision to leave my husband. I went back to my parent’s home and I am now happy to attend the trainings without interferences from my husband.

The trainings helped me to face the challenges in my home and felt empowered to make a decision to leave abusive husband. I have also learnt about saving as a way of and sustaining an income through business.  I started the business in July after saving the training stipend for three months and now makes a profit  so I have saved 300 SSP (about 100 USD) out of my business. The business helped me to support my children in school and also my mother. In the trainings I learned saving skills, business and how to plan and manage my house hold income

I never borrowed money for starting the business but only used my sister’s household utensils to start the business. I rent the room for 20ssp per month. My immediate plans are to support my children in school and buy mobile phone for communication. 

 

Mar 3, 2014

Meet Noor

Meet WfWI Afghanistan participant Noor. Noor, a mother of 9 (4 girls, 5 boys), Noor doesn't let the lessons she learns in WfWI's 12 month, holistic program stop with her. She passes them on to her children. Read on to learn more about what she learned and how she is teaching it to her children, especially her daughters. 

Afghan women are determined for their daughters to have more and better choices in their lives. Noor was just 12 years old when she was married to a man 28 years her senior. Today, at age 35, she has nine children. Four are daughters, and Noor is determined they will have a different kind of future. Through Women for Women International’s vocational training program Noor has learned skills that will help her earn extra income, which she plans to use to pay for her daughters’ school expenses.

Women receive letters and financial support from their sponsors. They meet in groups of 20 for rights awareness training facilitated by local women. They learn to read and write. Some are trained as health and traditional birth attendants. Women entrepreneurs can learn vocational and business skills and have access to small loans which they pay back as their projects grow.

Like Noor, most women begin the program illiterate and with no way to earn money. These obstacles, along with traditional views about gender roles, keep women from realizing their full potential.

In the evenings when the housework is complete, Noor shares with her daughters what she has learned through her trainings – not just work skills and literacy, but also about the rights of women as documented in their nation’s constitution.

Though progress is slow and difficult, Noor is dreaming, “I wish for my daughter to finish school and then marry a man she loves.” Some women have already made life-changing decisions. Raissa negotiated with her daughter’s future in-laws that they will allow her to complete her education. “I think my daughter will have a happy life in the future.”

Mar 3, 2014

Meet Roseline

Roseline in front of her house.
Roseline in front of her house.

Participants in WfWI - Nigeria's holistic, 12-month training program learn more than just a vocational skill like farming or poultry raising. They learn basic numeracy, the in's and out's of how to run a small business and how to manage household funds. When participants graduate, not only are they able to earn an income by raising chickens or growing crops, they are able to invest that income in building a better life for themselves and their families. Read on to meet Roseline, a WfWI - Nigeria graduate and learn how she is building a new life for herself using some of the skills she learned from WfWI. 

Roseline is from Nrobo, Nigeria. Her father died while her mother was three months pregnant for her.  Her mother sent her brothers to school, but neither Roseline nor her sisters recieved an education as her mother felt it was a waste for girls to go to school. Roseline eventually married and had one child, but her husband eventually left her. She currently cares for her daughter, and two of her husband's sons. Before WfWI, she struggled to support her family.

Training on “Understanding Financial Household Management, Household Savings, Goal Setting and Opportunities for Income Generation” motivated her to be serious with her farm. She is also able to supplement her farm income with other endevours like selling oranges, frying garri out of cassava, and harvesting and selling of palm products.

She commended her facilitator on the way she treated the topic on “women’s right and law, women and household decision making as well as ownership and inheritance”. She saved her sponsorship funds and other money from her daily and monthly income to be able to achieve her goal of building a house.

When she realized that women can own land, Roseline went to her husband’s people and asked for a piece of land.  Her request was granted; a piece of land was given to her and out of her savings and other money she borrowed started building a mud house of 3 bedrooms with a veranda.

Says Roseline, “Women for women has made me proud, I am a changed person”.

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