Ok, I’m a little pressed for time now that I’ve wasted my evening updating all of you on things you probably care much less about, so this will be a short COM.
I first heard of Women for Women (“WOW”) from a friend from college, Jessica, maybe a year ago when I was asking for charity recommendations. I checked out the org and it looked absolutely amazing. I’m not sure why I’ve waited so long to feature it on here, but I’m currently finishing up “Half the Sky” and they mention how WOW started, expanded, and became a successful organization. Reading about it reminded me of Jessica’s recommendation, and well, here we are.
Where do they work:
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Kosovo, Nigeria, Sudan, & Iraq.
Mission: “To provide survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. We’re changing the world one woman at a time.”
How do they do this?
They provide financial aid, job training, rights awareness and leadership education to women in the areas they serve. The program has four modules that women work through:
- Module I: Women sustain an income (income & asset management)
- Module II: Women are well (awareness, protection and prevention: job skills training, etc.)
- Module III: Women are decision-makers (family and community decision making: skills training, business training, etc.)
- Module IV: Women have social networks and safety nets (solidarity for support and protection).
Like any cause, I think it’s important to remember the individual stories of the people you’re helping. You’re not giving your money to a faceless thing or business, you’re giving your money to a real woman, who is supporting a real family. The woman featured in Half the Sky was a woman who was deprived of pursuing an education early in life because she was a woman and was expected to take care of the kids and home. She was married off at an early age, and had to put up with an abusive husband. She later became part of WOW, and went on to obtain not only a college degree, but a Master’s, and a Ph.D. She ended up working for WOW, helping to develop the organization and help other women who were in the same situation as she had been in years before. Tell me that woman’s life wasn’t changed by someone’s monetary contribution…you can’t!
On a side note, I want to read up on CEO compensation. I checked out WOW on Charity Navigator, and it tells you what the highest paid people get paid. The CEO of WOW makes $215k a year. The organization makes $26 million so I guess it’s not a huge portion of it, and I guess the argument for that kind of compensation is the dedication and hours a job like this takes (. I still require more reading on the subject. I welcome reading suggestions on the topic.