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 ...
Sep 27, 2012

Reflections on my visit to Taller de Vida

MADRE staff member Cassandra Atlas reflects on her visit to Taller de Vida:

Our trip to visit sister organization Taller de Vida’s programs in Colombia was my first as a member of MADRE’s staff. If I could take away only one thing, it would be how amazing it was to see the tangible impact of the programs we have in place.

During our afternoon session on the first day of our trip, all of the children we met with had at one time been part of an illegal armed group. Some had only been demobilized for a week or two. Yet every one of them was actively participating in Taller de Vida’s programs, which are made possible in large part by the generous donations from our membership. Every child there was benefitting. Even at only a week out, the level at which these children are able to express what’s happened to them during their time in captivity is so inspiring.

There was one performance in the afternoon where a young girl, through drama and dance, without speaking, reenacted her abduction into an armed group. She played out every moment from her separation from her sister to abduction to her daily life and the abuse she suffered at the hands of other soldiers. It was extraordinarily powerful to watch. She couldn’t have been more than fifteen years old, and yet her ability to emote and communicate was astonishing. It was moving to everyone present – there was no denying that experience.

Things that are very basic – macramé, taking photos, performing plays and dancing– provide these children with emotional rehabilitation and a sense of responsibility, a way to achieve and strive for better. Much of what we heard during our discussions with Taller de Vida was about the way these programs equip children with life skills and coping mechanisms that they do not receive through government-sponsored reintegration and rehabilitation programs.

The government-sponsored programs do not provide these kinds of trainings and emotional recovery, but instead provide a small stipend and simply send kids back out into the world with no support system. In three months the stipend is gone, and the children are left on their own, without the tools, financial resources and life skills to become capable adults. The Taller de Vida programs supported by MADRE run parallel to these government programs and successfully find ways through dialogue, education and art to help these children go on and live incredibly fulfilling, responsible and productive lives.

I think what was most remarkable to me is the way a small group like Taller de Vida is able to provide the kind of social services these kids really need, in ways that have been, and continue to be, lost on the state. The government, rather than learning from the experiences and achievements of Taller de Vida, persists in its refusal to acknowledge that there might be better, more integrative ways for its social services to function.

Acknowledging that Taller de Vida’s programs are working would mean having to acknowledge that the state programs aren’t providing the social and emotional reintegration and rehabilitation its children require and crave. The state needs to learn from these experiences, to use this knowledge to help build alternative, healthy lifestyles for its children and its citizens, rather than continue to provide an inadequate and nominal financial solution. The future trajectory of Colombia as a whole rests on such acknowledgment and action.

Sep 27, 2012

A New Tractor for Women Farmers in Sudan

Just yesterday, Fatima Ahmed, the director of Zenab for Women in Development, our sister organization in Sudan, came to MADRE to share some exciting updates from the Women Farmers Union. And we’d like to share them with you!

The Women Farmers Union, the first of its kind in Sudan, started working with 300 women farmers in six communities in Eastern Sudan. Today, it unites over 3,000 women farmers from over 50 communities—and it continues to expand! By providing seeds, tools and resources, Zenab supports these women so that they can grow the food their families need to survive. 

Last year, we were excited to announce that the Women Farmers Union had purchased their first tractor. Not only did the tractor save time and labor, it improved the chances of a good harvest. 

With so many women farmers and just one tractor, it was hard to meet the need. But just recently, Zenab was able to purchase a second tractor as well as a new disk to help with planting! Already, these new tools helped 1,000 women clean, plow and prepare their fields for a successful harvest. The women are thrilled to have a second tractor! 

Fatima also shared with us that in June, Zenab organized a forum where over 500 women farmers attended. She told us how the women farmers were able to discuss their needs as well as provide recommendations for the Union. 

One of the biggest challenges the women farmers face is unpredictable weather patterns created by climate change. Last year, the women struggled through persistent drought. This year, excessive rain has triggered floods that threaten their harvests and that spread disease through communities. The members of the Women Farmers Union share strategies to deal with the flooding, like planting trees as a natural barrier to protect farmland.

We thank Fatima so much for visiting MADRE and for sharing these exciting updates and accomplishments from the women farmers. We can’t wait for her next visit! 

Sep 10, 2012

A New School Year Begins


It is already September, and our partners at the Indigenous Information Network (IIN) in Kenya are busy preparing for the new school year. The Nanyori Shelter Network, a group of six shelters for young girls that also serve as accredited high schools, is ready to receive 50 new students this year!
These students, the majority of whom have escaped early forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), will benefit from free schooling, shelter, support, vocational training, and health and human rights education. Through education, the IIN aims to end the cycle of poverty, gender inequality, and human rights abuses for Indigenous women and girls in Kenya.
To learn more about MADRE’s work with IIN and the Nanyori Shelter Network, watch this video:

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org. on