From rural villages to the national parliament where women hold two-thirds of the seats, women, like my namesake Denise are leading the rebuilding of Rwanda. The challenge of creating a lasting peace following the devastating 1994 Genocide depends greatly on the actions of women who made up the majority of survivors. It’s the story of women like Denise that inspired me to support Women For Women International.
Before she became a participant on the Women for Women International – Rwanda programme, Denise’s life was blighted by conflict. She and her family lived in poverty. But thanks to the WFWI programme, she has hope for the future and a belief that she too will empower other women to follow in her footsteps.
Women For Women International’s year-long programme equips women to earn money, regain their confidence and actively participate in their communities. When a woman joins the programme, she comes together with 24 other women, forming a tight support group that helps to break the isolation caused by war and insecurity.
She learns a marketable job skill – such as tailoring, bread-making or poultry-keeping, as well as business training to turn her chosen skill into a stable income. She starts to save her money, and receives support to establish cooperatives, associations, or village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) so that she and other women in her community can make the most of their earnings.
She also learns practical knowledge about her health, including reproductive health, stress management and the importance of good hygiene and nutrition so she can protect herself and her family from preventable disease. She is out in contact with local healthcare providers.
She also learns about her rights on key issues like voting, access to land, divorce, custody of her children and domestic abuse. As a result, she feels more empowered and better able to stand up for them. This also means she can share her knowledge with others in her community.
Since its inception, Women For Women International has supported 447,000 women in war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and South Sudan. I’m sponsoring Beatrice, a mother of 7 children from Afghanistan.
One woman can change anything. Many women can change everything.
How You Can Make A Difference
Here are four ways you can help Women For Women International to further their work:
Join the sisterhood by visiting www.womenforwomen.org.uk/sisters to receive regular does of inspiration, exclusive invitations to events and opportunities to discuss issues that affect women all over the world.
For just $22 a month, you could sponsor a woman through a year-long training programme that will give her the skills to transform her life.
Buy Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity, the WfWI cookbook, and host a Share dinner. For a Share event toolkit, email email@example.com.
Join The Conversation
Question: Does your business support a charity and if so, why did you choose this one? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share how you’re going to use this in the comments box below.
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- Business Review – April 2017
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Work With Me
I’m Denyse Whillier, a Sussex and London based business coach and consultant. I work with responsible businesses to build profitable and successful brands of the future. To do so, I draw on Built To Succeed™, my proven success system, developed during my 8 years in the trenches as a CEO.
I’d love to start a conversation about whether we’re a good fit to work together. Simply use this link to arrange an informal Skype coffee chat. There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether 1:1 business coaching (or business consultancy) would be right for you.
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