Funds raised in the past number of weeks have now been donated to an organisation known as Women for Women International. I encourage you to check out their website, but in the meantime, I've copy and pasted some of the information regarding the work that women for women does in Darfur's country; Sudan.
In Southern Sudan, where Women for Women works, survivors tell stories of militias storming villages in the dead of night, setting homes on fire and shooting family and friends. Rebels commonly gang-rape women, kidnap boys to become soldiers and take girls as sex slaves. Today, a lucky few Sudanese women are able to return home, but the obstacles they face are daunting. Most are illiterate, emotionally wounded and physically exhausted.
The women who enroll in our Sudan program have next to nothing. Now they have hope.
In Sudan, a girl is more likely to die in childbirth than complete primary school. And yet, education in Sudan is desperately needed to break the cycle of poverty.
86% have no formal education
96.5% cannot read or write than their name
99% have no electricity
98.5% have no access to running water
93% have lost at least one family member
68% of married women live in a polygamous marriage
Yet, with the help of Women for Women International, they are building a new life for themselves and their children.
They’ve been raped and tortured and made to feel worthless... Our goal is to help women take control of their destiny. In war, armies use rape and torture to make women feel worthless, unclean and powerless. As a result, many women survivors feel that they have been stripped of their rights. Others never really believed they had any rights to begin with.
Women for Women International’s mission is to provide women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools they need to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. Leadership training helps women embrace the fact that they do have rights, they can find their voice and they can protect themselves and their children from those who would do them harm. It also gives them the courage and information they need to vote for the first time and make their voices heard in the political arena.
Literacy is the key to their future Once a woman learns to read, write and do simple addition in our program, she can take the next step to run her own business, join a woman’s cooperative and pass her literacy skills on to her children.
Upon entering the program, women are taught job skills training, basic health and rights awareness which allows them to earn an income and provide for themselves and their families.
I chose to donate $260.00 to the program, specifying Sudan as my preferred destination. I also sponsored a woman in Sudan for an annual fee of $368.21. This brings current donation amounts to $17,081.21 since 2008.
Of course, in saying "I", it really means "we". It's nice for us all to know where the funds are going. We are working together on this thing. My stacks of fabric do very little for anyone without you in the picture- buying bags, telling your friends, caring about other women.