Women for Women International – My inspiration to creating this blogspot
Last Wednesday I attended the screening of the film In the Land of Blood and Honey written and directed by Angelina Jolie. The exclusive screening took place at BAFTA and was hosted by Women for Women International. I attended the event with five friends, neither of us knowing much about the movie or about Women for Women International. The initial plan was a girls’ night out – movie followed by dinner and a few dances. We weren’t expecting at all what we were about to experience.
Watching the movie was very hard indeed but it touches your heart knowing that its real. Its a must see. I couldn’t recommend it more. A romantic drama set against the terrifying backdrop of the Bosnian war, showing a glimpse of the brutal atrocities committed to women in recent history.
We were all sunk into our seats after the movie ended but the evening wasn’t over yet as Seida Saric, witness of the Bosnian war and Women for Women International Country Director for Bosnia & Herzegovina, was to be interviewed by Brita Fernandez Schmidt, Executive Director of Women for Women International. Seida pointed out how impressed she was by the accuracy of the movie depicting the cruelty of the war as she sadly knew many examples of true stories reflected in every detail shown in the movie. Could this have happened in Europe only 20 years ago? We kept sinking more and more into our seats.
But then came the inspiring moment of the evening. Hearing Seida’s account of the wonderful work that Women for Women International is achieving in Bosnia & Herzegovina raised hope and encouragement. Many of the guests at the screening were already collaborators with the organisation and shared with us their feelings after having visited the country. It was truly inspiring to be part of such an engaged crowd willing to promote peace and stability.
Women for Women International exists because of Bosnia & Herzegovina. In 1993, Women for Women International Founder, Zainab Salbi, heard reports of wartime atrocities against women in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Compelled to act, she visited the country herself. She spoke with women who’d been imprisoned in rape camps, endured daily mass rapes by soldiers and had lost their entire families to ethnic cleansing. When she returned to the U.S., she founded Women for Women International to help Bosnian women.
Although the war in Bosnia & Herzegovina was more than 15 years ago, it toppled the economy and shattered lives, and women are still struggling today: to heal, to recover and to reunite. Women for Women International in Bosnia & Herzegovina is working with women to rebuild their lives.
Women for Women International currently works in eight war-torn countries, helping some of the most marginalised women from victim, to survivor, to active citizen, so they can have a brighter future, support their families and rebuild their communities and nations.
Since it’s creation, Women for Women International has given hope to more than 351,000 women survivors of war and conflict, helping them move toward economic self-sufficiency with a year-long program of direct aid, rights education, job skills training, and small business development. Women for Women International has distributed $108 million in direct aid, microcredit loans, and other program services. Since 1993, Women for Women International has mobilized more than 300,000 women and men in 185 countries worldwide to reach out and support women survivors of war – one woman at a time.
- Sponsor a woman! Build a one-to-one relationship with a woman survivor of war in the program. It’s the more direct way of helping – for £22 a month (70p a day) you can make a difference in a woman’s life forever. Become a sponsor and enable a woman survivor of war to participate in Women for Women International’s life-changing programme of job-skills training, rights education and small business assistance so that she can rebuild her life. PLEASE watch this video. Can you find a better way of spending £22 a month?
- Donate! Your gift helps operate in eight countries around the world, serving tens of thousands of women. They NEED our help!
- Buy Share, a beautiful cookbook that celebrates our common humanity. 100% of the publisher’s profits go to Women for Women International. The recipes come from the women living in the war-torn countries where Women for Women operates and also from renowned international chefs such as Alice Waters,Maggie Beer, Rene Redzepi and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and humanitarians such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Christiane Amanpour, Desmond Tutu, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench,Richard Branson, Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney and Mia Farrow. The foreword was written by Meryl Streep. You can buy it online through Amazon. What a lovely gift to inspire a friend!
- Buy In Peace Eau de Parfum by Space NK. 10% of net profits from the purchase of each bottle will go directly to Women for Women’s sponsorship program. Let’s try it!
- Corporate partnerships Lots of opportunities to fit with your organization’s corporate social responsibility objectives (i.e. donating a portion of sales from a dedicated Women for Women International item or purchasing items created by women in the programs). Find out which companies are already collaborating with Women for Women International.
- Fundraise online! Dedicate your wedding, birthday, or any time of year to women survivors of war. Gifts that give back!
- Attend or host a fundraising/awareness event!
- Join Women for Women International on Facebook, Twitter and our Get Involved Blog and share their posts with your networks!
- Talk to your local media about the impact of war on women and their families.