To support the many women who participate in WGEF programs, please consider a contribution on Colorado Gives Day. You can schedule your gift now for Colorado’s annual day of giving on December 6, 2016. Be inspired by more stories from WGEF clients here.
Let me begin with a quote by an inspiring woman:
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” That is a wonderful quote by the late Shirley Chisholm, first African American woman elected to the US Congress. While I love this quote, I question, what if you don’t have a ‘folding chair’?
It’s hard to believe, but WGEF has been providing women the ‘folding chair’ necessary to recover and rebuild their lives and communities for 9 years. It has been a slow, yet intentional journey, with one objective: to provide women the resources necessary to lead dignified lives while determining life outcomes.
To say we started with challenges is a grand understatement! Working in a post conflict region, still tender and unstable was challenging, but also a unique opportunity to help women rebuild, recover and re-tool their lives and communities. The odds may have been against us, but I can firmly state that our clients, program, and staff have prevailed.
2016 has been a building year for WGEF, with the Healthy Periods Initiative (HPI) becoming operational, addressing the challenges of menstrual health for women and girls. The Access to Justice and Peer Counseling teams are maturing, providing critical and lifesaving support to women and families, and the opening of the Gulu Women’s Resource Centre (GWRC), providing up to date information, resources and support to women and families, while providing public space enabling members of the community to meet, discuss, and create solutions to challenges.
On another front, WGEF has partnered with Sonje Ayiti to implement a women’s bakery project in Haiti. In January, I traveled to Cap Hatien to train 12 women and create the foundation of this new and exciting project. After spending a few days visiting, learning and listening, I realized that we would have to build the infrastructure, a modern, functioning kitchen, to support the initiative. As always, WGEF is committed to setting the project up for success, focusing on enabling the members to truly create a viable business. This ‘pilot project’ is exciting and we look forward to reporting many inspired developments and successes.
WGEF is excited about the future and what is possible, but cannot do this without our partners, supporters and donors. We hope you are inspired and proud of what we have accomplished together over these last 9 years; only together can we create real and meaningful opportunities.
Thank you for your support, encouragement and commitment to justice and equality.
Akello Concy 31 years, married with 4 children, I joined the WGEF Loan program in 2010 when I was starting my new life from IDP Camp to resettle in my Village. We hardly had no where to start from, no shelter, no food, and no income at all. Only what I had was hope and resilient. I joined WGEF in 2010 and was given training and an agro loan of $ 90 to open my land, I started with vegetables growing on a small scale, Now I grow 5 hectares of vegetables and sweet potato’s which I sell ant my stall in the market fresh from my garden.
My business feeds my family, my children are healthy and all go to school. I’m the peer counselor from my village, I advise my fellow women who are faced with challenges in life this brings joy and pride inside me “EVERY WOMAN CAN SUPPORT A FELLOW WOMAN IN SO MANY WAYS ANYWHERE” Being a leader at the grassroots level gives me the opportunity to represent issues affecting women in my village I’m so happy that I can stand and speak in front of a gathering that includes men with confidence. This is a dream coming true
Thank you WGEF for supporting Women in Uganda — Akello Concy
To support the many women, like Concy, who participate in WGEF programs, please consider a contribution on Colorado Gives Day. You can schedule your gift now for Colorado’s annual day of giving on Dec. 6, 2016.
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Access to Justice Initiative Update
WGEF’s Access to Justice Initiative seeks to address violence against women, gender bias, inequality and gaps in the justice chain for women, this initiative strives to provide the critical information and resources, enabling women to know their legal and human rights within the justice system.
This week, WGEF staff conducted a 2-day refresher training to better equip 10 champions to address the issues they face. These challenges include navigating the legal system, domestic violence, and accessing land rights. The training provides skills in self-care, debate, adequate reporting, listening, and how to work with victims. The participants also focus on prevention and how to share what they’ve learned with other community members.
My tears of joy rolled down, my heart beat Firstar as I visited Florence today. Her warm welcome and embracing me with a real hug was enough to explain her feeling, she said:
Florence is among many amazing women that we support. I stayed in their village for 3 days, trained them in business skills and provided them with micro loans for their agro business. Then she had no food, no business and livestock but she had her family land. After harvests now she has 6 hectares of sim sim, 2 hectares of cassava 10 goats, 19 chickens. She is able to educate her children. I’m very lucky to have worked with Florence and many other women on their journey to get out poverty and I do this with a team of committed individuals, here in Gulu and with you, this achievement is for all of us.