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.