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Jun 19, 2020

We are still here: adapting with our local partner

Our partners around the world are adapting their work and services to best support the women and girls they work with, now and after the pandemic.

The Coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected our work and the work of our partners- in particular, those with a focus on vocational training for the hospitality industry. Local partners like FPTI in the Philippines and Tewa Training Centre in Kenya, are facing substantial difficulties as the future of the industry becomes increasingly unstable.

In Kenya, 1.5 million people work in the hospitality and tourism industry, which represents 10% of the working population. The collapse of the industry has had a massive impact on the ability of individuals to access work opportunities. Our partner Tewa, based in one of the poorest districts in Kenya, works to provide vocational training for women helping prepare them for work in the hospitality industry.

Currently, as the hospitality and tourism industry becomes increasingly unstable we are supporting our partner organisations to adapt their approach, so the women they support can be more resilient to market change. By combining their current training with business skills courses and an increased mentoring programme, we are helping them prepare to work in a post Coronavirus world. Our main objective is ensuring our projects are sustainable and beneficial to participants.

Our local partners are also in urgent need of financial support to keep the women and girls they work with safe, healthy and learning during the Coronavirus pandemic. We are helping our partners to provide emergency food packages and financial support, laptops and devices for online learning as well as emotional support. Offering an invaluable lifeline to the women and girls who need it most.

Coronavirus might be transforming how we work, but it is not transforming our fundamental goals of helping to empower women and girls across the world. And thanks to your generosity we can continue to support and ampliphy the work of our partners around the world.

Jun 3, 2020

Update from DRC

It is at times like these that we can see the vital importance of training nurses and the value of scholarships so that nurses can be trained. The nurses you have helped train are fighting the Coronavirus pandemic in DRC.

As the Coronavirus spreads around the world, the key role nurses play in our healthcare systems is now more visible than ever. And as we understand the invaluable work of nurses, we must also recognise the essential role of training nurses. Skilled nurses play a key part in responding to health crises such as the Coronavirus and in achieving sustainable development.

There is a global shortage of health workers, in particular nurses and midwives, who represent more than 50% of the current shortage in health workers. The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care.

Many countries are facing the current global pandemic, not just without equipment and PPE, but also without well-trained medical personnel. Ensuring nurses have the education, training and resources necessary to carry out their work is therefore essential to the wellbeing of the world. 

In the words of Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director general of the WHO: “We simply cannot achieve universal health coverage and the health-related targets in the SDGs unless we empower and equip nurses and midwives, and harness their power.”

ISSI: nursing the DRC back to health

Nursing is a profession which is too often undervalued, but it is nurses who underpin the healthcare workforce worldwide. Our local partner ISSI nursing school is raising the status and profile of nursing in the DRC, demonstrating what more can be achieved by a strengthened nursing profession and training highly skilled nurses.

ISSI graduates are so appreciated by hospitals that they have raised the average salary of nurses by 200% in the last 20 years. ISSI nurses have also helped to share knowledge and transform practice of good hygiene and patient care in the hospitals they work in.

Currently, many ISSI graduates and saving lives on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis, working at the ISSI reference hospital: Monkole Hospital. ISSI nurses are playing a KEY role in overcoming this deadly virus in the DRC as it will require mostly nursing care. It is at times like these that we can see the vital importance of training nurses and the value of scholarships so that nurses can be trained.

Thank you for your support!

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Feb 20, 2020

"I could not believe I could now go to school again"

With one of the biggest gender gaps in the world, Nigerian girls face great challenges on their paths through education and formal employment. The normalization of gender-based violence and the patrilineal structure of families means that there is an unequal distribution of resources, especially regarding education. Wonder recognizes this issue and challenges it by providing scholarships for marginalized girls in order to offer them a chance to build a successful career and gain confidence.

Wavecrest is a college that these scholarships are provided for and it focuses on vocational training in the hospitality industry, the most promising sector of the Nigerian economy. Ogechi is one of the students at Wavecrest and her story shows the resilience and willpower the students at Wavecrest bring with them. Despite several difficult setbacks, Ogechi, was able to grow into a confident and hopeful woman, who can set an example for many other girls who come from a similar background. Ogechi's story is an example of how scholarship can change a person's life:

I was just 13 years when my mother died. She lost all my siblings either during childbirth or before they were born and so I was the only child. Those few years I spent with my Mum where my greatest treasures. She loved me a lot and she did show it. Mummy’s death left me with Dad who could barely sustain the family with his farming occupation. I got wiser and took over Mummy’s business of petty trading all through secondary school. But I could not get much as most of my day was spent in school. By the end of my secondary school, Dad remarried and I thought it was time to move on. I did other odd jobs working as a salesgirl in an electrical company but still convinced that I needed to do more.

I decided to call a distant aunt in the faraway city of Lagos asking her to allow me to live with her and to work while I save for my school fees. My aunt persuaded me to assist her in her roadside shop as a sales girl until we could get a better job. We sold plantain and airtime for phones. She did not pay me and with time she gave me more tasks and I realised that it would not be possible to leave the job. I watched many teenagers my age going to school and I kept up the dream of going back to school.

Meanwhile, afternoons were the least busy time so I could have a few hours of solitude to myself. I studied in the afternoon when the sun was at its peak with only a table umbrella shading me from the sun. I love reading, but I was particularly interested in Mathematics. I used my old school books and I was very grateful for a neighbour who lent me her novels to read when she noticed my interest.

After some months working in my aunt’s shop, one of my customers spotted me studying and engaged me in a conversation, wanting to know what my study plans were. I wanted to be a lawyer. She was intrigued by how I made use of every opportunity to study under the sun and with very poor candle lights in the evening. She decided to pay for me to register for the national exam that qualifies you to enter the university. I couldn’t believe I could now go to school again… sooner than I imagined! She adopted me as her ward. I now have a guardian!

I took the national exams but didn’t have a fantastic grade to study Law. In the interim, my guardian introduced Wavecrest College of Hospitality to me. She said Wavecrest offered the possibility of hospitality studies that gives one immediate employment after school. I took the entrance exams and gained admission to Wavecrest.

When I was with my Daddy I could not do housework, I could not cook or even clean the house… I didn’t know how to. The months I stayed with my aunt were no better as I spent most of the time in her shop and only came home late in the evening to catch some hours of sleep.

Coming to Wavecrest, I discovered something new… Hospitality! I have learnt how to take care of the home and have an eye for details. During my holidays I spent a few days with my aunt and she was very happy to see the quality and the types of pastries I could make. She was impressed that I was able to clean the house better than ever before. I have now understood that hospitality is more than cooking. I have come to experience a place where teachers have time and genuine care for their students. I am 19 years old now and I have made up my mind to continue with Hospitality studies in Wavecrest. When I start working, I would like to help my father and my stepsisters in their studies. I am only praying that I can have support to see me through the rest of my studies.

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