MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

MADRE's mission is to advance women's human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women face. MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which people have a meaningful say in policies that affect their lives. MADRE's vision is enacted with an understanding of the inter-relationships between the various issues we address and by a commitment to working in partnership with women at the local, regional and international levels who share our go...
Apr 5, 2012

A New Ultrasound Machine for Palestinian Midwives!

We just received an update from our sister organization, Midwives for Peace! They sent us news about their recent meeting, which brought together 15 Palestinian and Israeli midwives to exchange their knowledge and expertise.

This was a special meeting, thanks to the support you provide through MADRE. They brought Halla, one of their members from the West Bank, a new ultrasound machine!

Halla is preparing to open a new birthing center soon, and this ultrasound machine will be crucial to making sure that mothers in the West Bank can give birth safely. The Israeli military has destroyed or barricaded thousands of roads there, making it difficult for Palestinian women who are in labor to reach hospitals. Halla’s birthing center will be a vital alternative.

“We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said the midwives. “It feels so good to know we have partners who care and work hard for us…You are in our minds and in our hearts!”

Apr 4, 2012

Reflecting a Brighter Future for Colombian Youth

We just received a shipment of beautiful mosaic mirrors skillfully crafted by participants of Taller de Vida’s arts therapy program.

Taller de Vida provides services for impoverished Colombian children at risk of being recruited as child soldiers. Taller de Vida’s programs offer children the social and psychological support they need to create alternatives to a life of combat and violence.

Through art therapy, academic tutoring and counseling, Colombian youth are given the opportunity to channel the trauma of displacement and war into healthy self-expression.  For many children, Taller de Vida is a safe space—a haven of creativity, friendship and support.

The mirrors, pictured below, are a testament to the therapeutic power of art in the face of adversity.

Julian*expressed his gratitude for these essential services when he told MADRE: “Going to Taller de Vida means getting a chance to LIVE, to know ourselves, to realize that it doesn’t stop with us not going to war but that we must do something for our country.”

*Not his real name.

Mar 23, 2012

Crafting a Way Out of Poverty and Violence

“Marie”* was just 19 years old when her father died in Haiti’s devastating earthquake. Left to fend for herself without stable source of income, she struggled to make ends meet. Basic resources like food, water and shelter were often out of reach .

Marie soon found herself engaging in “survival sex,” or, the act of exchanging sex for food, money and other crucial resources to sustain herself. These men she met frequently use violence to force themselves on her, and they often refuse to wear condoms or pay her.

She is afraid of getting pregnant or contracting a disease, but she does not have the money to go to medical clinics. Sometimes she dreams of the happy days before the earthquake, when she hung out with her friends and attended school regularly.  Now, she sees little option other than survival sex. 

Marie is not the only young woman facing this crisis. So KOFAVIV began designing workshops to provide an alternative for women and girls. The workshops not only provides a safe space for women and girls to stay during the day, but also offers food and skills training. They include instruction in activities such as how to craft jewelry and clothes, how to make hair pomade, and how to paint nails.

Women are taught skills that can provide them with income and clear alternatives to survival sex. The workshops train girls to become leaders and teach them how to reach out to other women in similar circumstances. This program has proved to be extremely effective, and nearly 70 girls have taken part to date.

Much of this vital work continues because of the tireless dedication of the KOFAVIV’s outreach workers—and because of you. You can make sure that KOFAVIV’s essential outreach work continues to change lives. 

*Not her real name.

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