Three Inspirational Non-Profits for Women Empowerment
Today, women are still facing issues domestically and internationally, but in the midst of the challenges, there are also encouraging stories and organizations fuelling societal change for the better.
Here is a list of three inspiring non-for-profit organizations either led by a woman or work for empowering women around the world.
People X People: The power of recycling containers
Rosana Esposito from Venezuela was on the verge of poverty and homelessness when her dream of starting a charity finally became a reality. She moved to the Gold Coast, Australia, in 2017 when she did not see a future in Venezuela anymore.
At the time, her family had been luckier than most since they lived above the poverty line and dreamed of helping others around them to have a better life.
Rosana lost her job due to the pandemic and struggled to make ends meet. She was about to become homeless.
To sustain her life on Gold Coast, she started collecting a haul of ten-cent recyclable containers in the bins, on beaches, and on roads earning 30 to 40 dollars each week to buy essential food items.
Rosana found a new job as a chef once the pandemic eased, allowing her to sustain herself financially finally. However, she wanted to give back to the place she had left behind.
Venezuela is still in the midst of a tense political standoff and socio-economic meltdown, with hyperinflation, violent crime, political repression, and food shortages pushing nearly six million citizens to flee the country.
Rosana continued recycling the containers to help communities in her home country. Her mission to raise funds for Venezuela gained recognition with the help of her friends, who would keep bottles and cans aside for her to pick up. She started reaching out to local cafes, restaurants, and bars, and several businesses were eager to help.
Rosana now drives to the homes of her friends and local businesses, collecting the bottles and sending the funds directly back home to her mother Isabel who buys basic food items to make grocery bags that she donates to struggling families in their local community of Valera.
Last year, Rosana and Isabel started a water project across the state of Trujillo, where Venezuelans do not have access to running water and instead must collect rainwater with tanks. With $60, Rosana raised by recycling bottles and cans, and People For People was able to provide the community with 80,000 liters of water.
Rosana reminds people that they don't need many resources to help others because sometimes motivation can take you further than one can imagine.
You can find Rosana’s non-profit organization, People x People, on Instagram.
Dress to impress? No, rather Dress for Success
In 1996, Nancy Lublin, a second-year law student, received a $5,000 inheritance from her great-grandfather and decided to team up with three nuns in her area to identify a critical need that was not being met.
That is how she founded Dress for Success, whose mission spread over all of North America and globally, showcasing that reaching economic independence is an issue that all women face regardless of their origin, language or culture.
Dress for Success helps women achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional clothing, and the development tools to help women thrive in careers.
More than simply a new outfit, their purpose is to offer sustainable solutions that enable women to break the cycle of poverty.
Dress for Success is part of a global movement for change, empowering women to get safer and more successful futures.
Essentially, Dress for Success provides women with professional attire to secure employment. Besides physically equipping the client with professional outfits, the Dress for Success programs also helps women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional clothing, and the development tools to help women actively define their lives and the direction they take.
Dress for Success is an expanding network of affiliates working together with referral agencies, volunteers, and companies across the globe. Affiliates provide services to their communities based on local needs, culture, and resources.
Sustainable peace impossible without women: Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has been around for more than a hundred years. It was founded in 1915 during the first World War by a group of 1,136 women’s rights activists in The Hague.
The meeting organizers saw the link between their struggle for women’s rights and the struggle for peace. They thought that women's full and equal contribution to the decision-making processes was essential to achieving sustainable peace.
Through research, monitoring, policy proposals, and programs, WILPF provides training and resources to empower women in around 49 countries and support them to become part of the peacemaking process in which women are underrepresented.
In 2018, WILPF sustained over 15 delegations of women’s peace activists, which endorsed them to partake in high-level peacemaking meetings. In 2020, the organization offered women’s empowerment programs and awareness-raising advocacy efforts to more than ten countries in Africa.
They helped more than 100 mothers with children in the Democratic Republic of Congo by delivering health products to women affected by conflict. WILPF also campaigns for peace causes and disarmament.
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References: (click the arrow to expand)
Kristiana Nitisa is an investigative journalist based in Sweden. She is also a research journalist at the International Youths Organization for Peace and Sustainability.
Inputs and Edits by Sovena Ngeth.