Women's Global Empowerment Fund

The mission of Women's Global Empowerment Fund is to reach poor and underserved women in northern Uganda thru microfinance loans and educational programs, creating opportunities while strengthening families and communities. Our strategy is to provide women with the framesork necessary to create viable opportunities for themselves and their families. Our goal is poverty reduction, human security enhancement & women's empowerment.
Nov 7, 2016

Gulu Update: Fall 2016

Gulu Women
Gulu Women's Resource Centre

Fall is a busy, meaningful and productive time for WGEF and our clients. The farmers have harvested their fields and are selling their products nationwide and into S. Sudan. We have several women who have created a distribution business enabling our farmers to sell and distribute food focused on economy, fair trade and efficacy.  

In October, WGEF openend Gulu Women's Resource Centre: 

To address the issues of stubborn poverty and the challenges women face regarding access to and information on: health, justice & human rights, gender based violence, economic empowerment, education and activism, Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF) is launching the Gulu Women’s Resource Center (GWRC). GWRC is a one-stop center that will provide essential support, information and education to women and girls in northern Uganda.

The goal of this initiative is to create a community space providing women current and critical information, community meeting space, and computer and life skill trainings. It is through information and education that self esteem and empowerment is facilitated, enabling women to stand up and lead themselves out of the vicious cycle of poverty that is often presented before them.

Please see the photos of the opening celebration!

Also, in October, we hosted our 9th annual drama festival, Amplifying Women's Voices. The topic this year was 'Reproductive Health Care Is Our Right'! This topic is chosen by our client leaders every year, and as usual the topic is an important issue and challenge for women and girls in northern Uganda. The Festival is an all day celebration, featuring dramas, plays, monologues, songs and dances, celebrating the local Acholi culture while addressing sensitive and relevant issues. 

We had an outstanding turnout, with hundreds of community members and elected officials in attendance. This years presentations were really brilliant with new set design, costumes, and substantative and meaningful dialogue. We included school girls who held a debate on menstrual health. 

Our Healthy Periods Initiative (HPI), is now fully operational, after extensive testing, assessment, government approval, we are now up and running! This project is critical to the health and well being of all women and girls. Girls miss an average of 70 days per year because of lack of adequate resources; schools often don't have proper sanitiation or running water and because of poverty, women are forced to use rags, mattress stuffing, newspapers, etc, creating the increased possibility of infections and other health related issues. Please see our website for more information on this transformational and amazing program. 

To date we have given over 2500 loans, enabling women to start a business or build capacity in their exisitng endeavors. Our average loan size is $87, with about 1/3 of loans being used for agriculture projects. The business and ag projects are becoming larger and more sophisticated as the region fully recovers and women have access to capital, and other important social programs. This year we were able to provide 411 women with literacy opprtunities. 

We hope you are inspired and continue to support our programs! Thank you for your commitment to women's empowerment! 

Peace, 

Karen

Opening Celebration!
Opening Celebration!
Preparing a large shipment of food for S. Sudan
Preparing a large shipment of food for S. Sudan
the HPI lab - inspiration
the HPI lab - inspiration
Product production and participants - Lucky Girls
Product production and participants - Lucky Girls
Drama Festival Photo
Drama Festival Photo

Links:

Jul 5, 2016

Building Capacity In 2016...

In 2016, we are continuing to provide two levels on literacy trainings for our clients; this year our goal is offer the opportunity to 400+ women. 

Over the last 8 years, we have seen over 1100 women participate in our literacy program and the impact is undeniable. Women report they experience increased self esteem, are now able to communicate better in community and official settings, advocate for themselves, and help their children with their homework. 

Basic education is a human right, not a luxury only for some; WGEF intends to grow and continue the program. This is only possible with the help of our donors. LIteracy participants attend classes twice weekly for 8 months; we have 7 teachers and 3 assists retained, with WGEF peer counselors also working with students. We have 5 literacy centers covering the norther region. 

"I used to be blind, but now I can see" Anek, WGEF litereacy participant. Many of our clients missed out on the opportunity to learn basic reading and writing skills during the long civil conflict; now women are rebuilding and recoering their lives and communities. This is only possible with a focus on basic literacy skills and continuing opporutnities. 

With the help of Global Giving donors, we will continue to build capacity and offier access to education and opportunities. 

Peace, 

Karen

Jun 7, 2016

Rebuilding families and communities...

The Healthy Periods Initiative group photo
The Healthy Periods Initiative group photo

Greetings, 

In 2016 our goal is to build capacity in our microfinance and literacy programs. As the region continues to recover and build we are moving forward with the opening of Gulu Women's Resource Center (GWRC), a one stop center providing support, information and referral services to women, families and the region. This center will house our Access to Justice team, Citizen Journalists, and our Peer Counselors. GWRC will provide the community with public space, enabling community members to gather, discuss and find solutions to challenges and inequalities. 

Our Healthy Periods Initiative (HPI) seeks to address the challenges and injustice around mentrual health. We have created a microfinance and health initiative around the creation of a sanitary product which will be affordable, accessible, and relevant for women and girls. Our pilot project is underway (see photos) with the goal of being fully operational by mid-summer. Our pilot project group is made up of young mother; 16-18 women in need of economic opportunity and support. This project has incredible social and economic implications, and is one of our most important new projects. 

This year WGEF will provide over 400 women the opportunity to participate in our literacy program. To date we have had over 1150 women go thru our program and we seeking to double our offering this year. Literacy and basic education is a human right, this is not 'charity' but a life changing program that addresses the right of all people to an education. 

First quarter of 2016 saw WGEF provide 812 new loans, including 317 agro loans; these loans enable women and families to lead dignified, productive and creative lives. Our robust agriculture program is addressing food insecurity in a meaningful and highly impactul way. 

While microfinance is the cornerstone of our program, we believe it is only one component in addressing the complexities of poverty and injustice. In the latest national elections WGEF had 10 clients contesting for elected offie with 5 of them winning! What makes our program unique is our focus on literacy, leadership development, and a 'rights based' approach to development. We hope you are inspired and continue to support WGEF! 

Thank you for your commitment to women's empowerment...

Karen

In the HPI lab, May 2016
In the HPI lab, May 2016
The new home of GWRC
The new home of GWRC
WGEF client at her business
WGEF client at her business
"I was blind, but now I can see" literacy impact
"I was blind, but now I can see" literacy impact
10 WGEF clients ran for elected office in 2016!
10 WGEF clients ran for elected office in 2016!

Links:

 
   

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