Christine is 32 years old and lives in Gulu Town. She is married with 3 children two of them currently in school. For the past 3 year she was undergoing training with different Financial institutions in preparation to get some Capital (loan) to help her open a restaurant but to her disappointment whenever she finished the trainings, its became so had to get a security to guarantee her loan, simply because of her status in community her and her husband are discriminated because they were former captives during the insurgency often referred to as (Rebels). “It was great joining WGEF program that helped us form a 5 member group, trained for only some weeks and the only security is ourselves in the group, all my members we share common challenges and this has enabled us to come together. We started a group restaurant using a loan of $140 from WGEF. Our business is 1 year now and has expanded, we have employed 2 helpers to help serve our clients better”.
“To explain the benefits is had, but I feel that I can now freely interact with my community by serving them the discrimination is no more just in a short period. 2 of my children go to school and my husband is supportive after having attended WGEF training together, our success in business is changing our community perception towards many of our category making me so proud. At least we have a program that allows us to make our choices, and give us financial support to help us realize our goals”
– Christine Ayaat- Client Gulu
You now its been a good day when Arianna Huffington, media mogul and powerhouse, tweets about your good work. We at Women’s Global Empowerment Fund were lucky enough to catch Huffington’s eye as a part of the Next Ten Challenge. In partnership with Crowdrise, an online crowdfunding platform, the Huffington Post is celebrating its tenth anniversary by highlighting the ten major issues that will shape the next decade. One of those issues is “Empowering Women to End Poverty”. Women’s Global was selected as one of the organization’s making real progress in providing women the tools they need to end poverty in their communities. Read more about the Next Ten Challenge here!
Join Women’s Global Empowerment Fund for our annual Spring Luncheon at RedLine Gallery. Reserve your seat with your donation of $60 here! A special guest will join the luncheon to share her stories as an entrepreneur and community leader in Gulu, Uganda.
Save the Date
Wednesday, May 6 | 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
RedLine Gallery, Denver
Reserve your seat today – space is limited!
Q: What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
A: In its simplest form, it suggests one is able to access resources, make choices, challenge inequality through participation and determine life outcomes. For me the concept gives life to the idea that a woman can be an agent of change, determining her own future.
When I worked in a shelter in Atlanta, I learned that being poor is not just about not having money, it’s about not having choices.
Q: What female figure would you say has inspired you the most?
A: My father was both mother and father to me; he was the most influential person in my life. He taught me to care about others, to follow my heart always, and enjoy life. He also taught me to not be afraid to struggle.
Some of my favorite women, who I have learned from and fuel my passion are Betty Freidan, Gloria Steinem, Marion Wright Edelman, Wangari Maathai, Arduhnti Roy. They are all true warriors for justice and equality.
Q: Where did your passion for women’s empowerment come from?
A: I have spent pretty much my entire life committed to social justice; believing in equality and human rights. While I have spent my life focused on women and believe wholeheartedly that women are natural leaders (and when given opportunities, play an important role in their communities and countries, rising above poverty with dignity), I also know that only when all human beings are imbued with dignity, justice and human rights can we truly say we are empowered.
Q: What has working with Women’s Global Empowerment Fund taught you?
A: I have learned more than I ever thought possible. I have seen the elusive concept of sisterhood, alive and vibrant; the resiliency of the human spirit, even through dark and unimaginable times; and the beauty of what can happen when women work together to create opportunities based on equality and respect. I have become a more enlightened and hopeful person.
Q: If you could leave behind one thing as your legacy, what would it be?
A: While I am asked that question from time to time, I try to avoid it whenever possible. But today I can say simply, fighting for human rights for all is worth it, and one person can make a difference. We can all make a difference, in small and big ways, and they are all important.
Q: What can we do to spread awareness for women’s empowerment?
A: Support organizations (hopefully WGEF!), and movements that focus on elevating women’s voices. That provides mechanisms for women to address inequality and challenge systemic failures.
My hope is that through The UltraViolet Edge initiative and the collaboration between Urban Decay, Wende and her team, WGEF will grow in capacity and create a greater awareness of our program, clients and successes.
Q: What gives you an edge?
A: Hands down, passion. I have a great passion for equality and women’s empowerment, making my work a true privilege. Also, Urban Decay, is giving WGEF a major edge. Their belief and support is invaluable!
Women’s Global Empowerment Fund is honored to be selected as the first organization to receive a donation from Urban Decay’s new initiative – The Ultraviolet Edge – their global initiative to empower women. By helping to fund organizations that fight for the rights of women everywhere, Urban Decay encourages all women to embrace their individuality in everything they do. That’s the definition of beauty with an edge™.
Women’s rights is a complicated landscape with many worthy causes, so Urban Decay decided to pool together the money raised by The Ultraviolet Edge, which will provide the flexibility to support a variety of organizations that are doing incredible things to empower women. With this new initiative, Urban Decay plans to donate three million dollars to causes that support women over the next five years alone.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, as part of the efforts to empower women through The Ultraviolet Edge, Urban Decay will be recognizing inspirational women who rock our world—starting with a woman we’ve all admired forever: Gwen Stefani. Like us, she has a history of breaking down barriers and hails from Orange County, California. We dig Gwen’s innate ability to set trends and defy expectations. She also shares our passion for empowering women and will help give this initiative the attention it deserves.