Sister Stella Santana, an Ugandan nun, is the energy behind this project that initiates educational programs and support groups to help women in Uganda. They seek to lift up life giving traditions in eastern Africa while working to change those that oppress women. In particular, they work to change traditions of female circumcision, domestic violence, premature marriage of daughters for large dowries, the inheritance of women by male family members, gender discrimination within the judicial system, and exploitation by churches and other religious groups. They also support girls who are at risk of dropping out of school. Sister Stella recently published a book for children celebrating diversity!
Association Ubuzima Burahenda (Life is Expensive) – Rwanda
This project is located in an area of Rwanda which was badly affected by the 1994 genocide. The majority of the population is composed of widows and orphans, many of whom are living with HIV/AIDS. GWP funds will help purchase land, tools, and seed so the members of the association can grow their own food, selling the overflow at market. The goal of the project is to help the women “come out of poverty” and Esperance Nyirandayisenga is its leader.
Growing Grounds – Wabash, Indiana, US
Growing Grounds is a collaborative effort between Education for Conflict Resolution, Inc (ECR) of North Manchester, Indiana, and Wabash Church of the Brethren, Wabash, Indiana. GG was created to provide a systematic program in a nurturing environment that supports women who have been incarcerated throughout the difficult reentry process. GG works with women in the Wabash County Jail and the beginning movement of GG has involved volunteer mentors conducting initial interviews with participants to discover needs of women in prison. GG holds classes for women in GED, nutrition, CPR, jewelry, knitting, parenting, conflict resolution and more!
Women’s Sewing Cooperative – Narus, Southern Sudan
This sewing cooperative is inspired by the one in Nimule. GWP’s grants have provided sewing machines and teachers. Former Steering Committee member Nan Erbaugh visited this project in January 2009.
Cultural Academy for Peace – India
Cultural Academy for Peace (CAP) is an organization with a vision to work towards a gender just society based on human values, equality, development, and peace. Their mission is: To create a society based on peace, justice, reconciliation, and respect for life where models of domination and destruction are replaced by those of nurture and cooperation.
Some of CAP’s objectives are:
• To engage in human rights-based activities and programs through legal literacy, redress mechanisms, capacity building, and counseling to address violence against women and children.
• To build regional, national and international links to support women and increase their capacities to become more effective advocates for women’s fundamental human rights.
• To promote programs with a gender approach to attain equal opportunities for women in all areas.
• To lead women from the village council to the negotiation tables.
• To work towards nonviolent social change and raise a peaceful society by mainstreaming gender and gender sensitive active nonviolence.
Women’s Health – Chiapas, Mexico
Exchange for the Organization and Promotion of Small Entrepreneurs (ECHOPPE) – Togo
Women Empowerment – Nepal
Women Empowerment (WE) is a community-based organization that works in multiple districts in Nepal to improve the socio-economic status of women. They focus on increasing literacy, educating girls, skills training, and providing micro loans to women-controlled small business ventures. Skills include computer techniques, hair styling, beadwork, pillow making and making natural fibers from the allo plant. Roshni works full-time for Women Empowerment, thanks to a grant from New Community Project, one of GWP’s most valued partners. Elizabeth Keller visited Women Empowerment in January 2008 and will return in November-December 2011 as a liaison from GWP.
Palestine News Network – Bethlehem, Palestine
The Palestine News Network has started a weekly radio show by and for women, airing on 8 radio stations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. GWP funds support the show, which discusses often taboo subjects of health, society and politics, reaching women in over 80 communities. Former Steering Committee member Anna Lisa Gross visited in January 2008 and met the show’s coordinator, Rana Al-Arja.
Women’s Sewing Cooperative – Nimule, Southern Sudan
The fledgling sewing cooperative in Nimule had 8 brand new donated sewing machines, but no money for supplies and teachers. A one-time $3500 GWP grant helped immensely. Former Steering Committee member Nan Erbaugh visited this project in January 2007 and in January 2009.
Christian Commission for Development – Honduras
Through a one-time $2500 grant, GWP partnered with the Christian Commission for Development. The CCD has begun a women’s empowerment initiative, intended to give women a greater voice in civil society and local governance.
Casa Materna – Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Casa Materna was founded in 1991 to reduce maternal and infant death by providing pre- and post-natal services for rural women carrying high-risk pregnancies. Since opening their doors, over 10,000 women and their infants have received care during their stay at Casa Materna. They also offer education and outreach services to the local community.