Thursday, May 27, 2010

Organizations Supporting Women

From Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. This book is awesome, a must read that chronicles the cultural, social, and economic inequalities faced by women worldwide, and how women are transcending these challenges to persevere:

These are some of the groups that specialize in supporting women in developing countries. In addition, of course, there are many outstanding aid groups such as International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and Mercy Corps, that are not listed because women are not their focus. This list is not exhaustive but a rather quirky compendium of groups we've seen in action. It's a starting point for further research. Two useful Web sites to consult for more information about aid groups are and

34 Million Friends of UNFPA,, supports the work of the UN Population Fund. It is similar to Americans for UNFPA,

Afghan Institute of Learning,, operates schools and other programs for women and girls in Afghanistan and in the border areas of Pakistan.

American Assistance for Cambodia,, has fought trafficking and now has a program to subsidize poor girls so that they remain in school.

Apne Aap,, battles sex slavery in India, including in remote areas in Bihar that get little attention. Apne Aap welcomes American volunteers.

Association for Women's Rights in Development,, is a global organization focused on women's rights.

Averting Maternal Death and Disability,, is a leading organization focused on maternal health.

BRAC,, is a terrific Bangladesh-based aid group that is now expanding in Africa and Asia. It has an office in New York City and accepts interns.

Campaign for Female Education,, supports schooling for girls in Africa.

CARE,, increasingly has focused on women and girls.

Center for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA),, works on issues related to women and development.

Center for Reproductive Rights,, based in New York, focuses on reproductive health worldwide.

Central Asia Institute,, run by Greg Mortenson (author of Three Cups of Tea), provides education in Pakistan and Afghanistan, for girls in particular.

ECPAT,, is a network of groups fighting child prostitution, particularly in Southeast Asia.

***Edna Adan Maternity Hospital,, provides maternity care in Somaliland. It welcomes volunteers.

Engender Health,, focuses on reproductive health issues in the developing world.

Equality Now,, lobbies against the sex trade and gender oppression around the world.

Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association,, mobilizes Ethiopian women to fight for equal rights.

Fistula Foundation,, supports the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, established by Reg and Catherine Hamlin.

Girls Helping Girls,, was founded in 2007 by a fifteen-year-old California girl, Sejal Hathi. It builds relationships between girls across continents and supports education and health programs in fifteen countries.

Global Fund for Women,, operates like a venture capital fund for women's groups in poor countries.

Global Grassroots,, is a young organization focused on women in poor countries, particularly Sudan.

Grameen Bank,, pioneered microfinance in Bangladesh and has now branched into an array of development programs.

***Heal Africa,, runs a hospital in Goma, Congo, that repairs fistulas and tends to rape victims. It welcomes volunteers.

Hunger Project,, focuses on empowerment of women and girls to end hunger.

International Center for Research on Women,, emphasizes gender as the key to economic development.

International Justice Mission,, is a Christian-based organization that fights sex trafficking.

International Women's Health Coalition,, based in New York, has been a leader in the struggle for reproductive health rights around the globe.

***New Light,, is Urmi Basus' organization to help prostitutes and their children in Kolkata, India. It welcomes volunteers.

Population Services International,, is based in Washington, D.C., and makes fine use of the private sector in reproductive health.

Pro Mujer,, supports women in Latin America through microfinance and business training.

Safer Birth in Chad,, supports maternal health programs in Chad.

***Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA),, is a huge union for poor, self-employed women in India. It accepts volunteers.

Shared Hope International,, fights sex trafficking around the world.

Somaly Mam Foundation,, led by a woman who as a child was trafficked herself, fights sex slavery in Cambodia.

***Tostan,, is one of the most successful organizations in overcoming female genital cutting in Africa. It accepts interns.

Vital Voices,, supports women's rights in many countries and has been particularly active in fighting trafficking.

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood,, campaigns against maternal mortality around the world.

Women for Women International,, connects women sponsors with needy women in conflict or postconflict countries.

Women's Dignity Project,, cofounded by an American woman, facilitates the repair of obstetric fistulas in Tanzania.

Women's Learning Partnership,, emphasizes women's leadership and empowerment in the development world.

Women's Refugee Commission,, is linked to the International Rescue Committee and focuses on refugee women and children.

Women's World Banking,, supports microfinance institutions around the world that assist women.

Women Thrive Worldwide,, is an international advocacy group focused on the needs of women in poor countries.

Worldwide Fistula Fund,, works to improve maternal health and is building a fistula hospital in Niger.

Worth,, runs literacy and microsavings programs in Nepal and Africa, with the aim of helping women earn their own incomes.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

success! biggest achievement of my life (for now)

so, i've somehow managed to have fallen into the role of procurement and logistics for my organization over the last couple of months. i guess i did it to myself. one big challenge and joy that i have is going after in-kind donations that we can use. so far, i've gotten items such as chlorine reagents (to test chlorine levels in water after we chlorinate it to make sure all bacteria have been eliminated), mosquito nets, and rain jackets (for our local staff--it's the rainy reason now) donated.

i also was able to obtain from the children's safe drinking water initiative 1 pallet (113,625 satchets) of PuR calcium hypochlorite. each satchet is like a mini water treatment plant. i flocculates (settles) sediments out of dirty water and kills all the bacteria and cysts in it. each satchet can clean up to 10 liters of water. watch a video demonstration of their use here.

that pallet will be distributed by one of partners to areas where our chlorinators haven't been installed yet, most likely in the port-au-prince area.

however, the coolest thing i think i've done to date is help acquire supplies from unicef's wash cluster stock. unicef is in charge of coordinating the water, sanitation, and hygiene relief effort in port-au-prince. they have supplies for which partner and nonpartner wash groups can apply.

i was skeptical if we'd get anything, but we got most of what we requested. besides obtaining safety equipment, work clothes, and tools for the staff (boots, face masks, overalls, hammers, 1 generator, a pump, wheelbarrows, chlorine test kits), i helped get supplies that we will distribute to needy areas in the city. the following is a list of items and locations where our haiti director plans to distribute them.

280 hygiene kits for adults for the elderly and adults in bois neuf and drouillard
960 bars of soap for adults and children in bois neuf
9 rolls of tarp for churches/adult community center in casale and trou-sable
8 5,000 liter collapsible water tanks w/ distribution kits for 4 schools in cite soleil and port-au-prince communes
500 10 liter collapsible water tanks to 500 women in bertin
1 300 gallon water tank for a school in archaiae

i understand that there's a big debate in groups receiving in-kind donations, as they clog ports, cost a lot to transport, and may not meet the needs of what intended beneficiaries need.

i don't want to make anything remotely resembling anything insensitive, and am definitely trying to only going after what local haitians can use after consulting our haiti director, a haitian himself. he was really happy with the rain jackets and the unicef pull. going to go for more.

on a different note, i was also interviewed for operation green leaves haiti's radio show. you can hear it here. on the left side. i'm the may 1st show, about 7 minutes in.

still learning a lot and working to keep my pride down

still moving

still lots of work to do