Cartier Philanthropy - Stronger women, stronger societies

Stronger women, stronger societies

Completed

For three years, we supported Women for Women International in their endeavour to provide women in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan with the knowledge, skills and resources to move from poverty and isolation to social inclusion and economic self-sufficiency. Despite operating in sometimes extremely difficult situations, 3,300 women successfully graduated from a comprehensive 12-month empowerment programme.

Duration
2013-2017
Focus area
Women’s Social and Economic Development
country
Afghanistan Kosovo Nigeria Rwanda South Sudan
partner
Women for Women International

Results achieved

Women for Women International works in conflict and post-conflict areas to enable socially-excluded and ultra-poor women to transform their lives and thrive.

The organisation focuses on women whose lives have been shattered by conflict and violence: war survivors, widows, returned refugees, internally-dis-placed persons, and single heads of households. For three years, we supported Women for Women International in their endeavour to provide women in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan with the knowledge, skills and resources to move from poverty and isolation to social inclusion and economic self-sufficiency. Despite operating in sometimes extremely difficult situations, 3,300 women successfully graduated from a comprehensive 12-month empowerment programme with the following outcomes:

  • They learned about their legal rights and became knowledgeable about health and nutrition, including disease prevention, reproductive health and stress management. Over 90% of the graduates now use this knowledge on a daily basis to improve and maintain their own health and the health of their family and community.
  • They learned job skills and received basic business training to increase their ability to earn an income and save. Some engaged in a new activity, while others strengthened their vocational and business skills, moving from subsistence to more substantial micro-enterprises. On average, the participants at least doubled their income and increased their savings.
  • They gained more influence over the decisions that affect their lives and their education is having a ripple effect, as 89% of them shared what they have learnt with at least one other woman. In addition, over 1,200 cooperatives or self- help groups have been created in the five countries as a result of advanced training opportunities and mentoring after graduation.

The grant has also supported the equipment and development of income-generating activities at the Women’s Opportunity Centre in Kayonza, Rwanda. This centre is a multi-use facility that includes a market, retail space, storage, demonstration farm, accommodation and a restaurant. With new funding, it has now become a well-equipped business and social hub where women can earn an income, learn new skills, bring their families for nutritional and HIV-AIDS testing, participate in family planning sessions and meet other members of the community to discuss matters of mutual interest.

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