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Compassion In Kenya

Compassion-CBO

Compassion CBO

Safe World Field Partner in Kenya - Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo

Bahati-with-group

COFAPRI

COFAPRI is based in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Field Partner News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

Asha Leresh

How Asha Survived the Unnecessary Cut

Asha’s luck came when Samuel Siriria Leadismo, the Director of Pastoralist Child Foundation and his team visited her village, creating awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual reproductive health....
Handwashing

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

Compensation Claims Board 2

The Need for Victim Compensation Programmes - Pakistan and Globally

Globally, victim compensation programmes play a significant role in providing assistance to the victims of violence... however, in Pakistan we are lacking any such programme. It is high time to take serious note of the issue and develop a strong referral…
Lizzy and Victoria

Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
Berlyne Ngwalem Ngwentah

Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…

Amanda-Lindhout

Interview by Mel James. June 2011.

Advocating for Women's Rights in Somalia

INTERVIEW

You’ve spoken about how you wanted to make a difference to the women in Somalia and how important it was for you to make an impact upon the community and future generations.
With so many choices and avenues, how did you come to decide upon the scholarship program? Why that?
AmandaLindhout

Before I even set foot in Somalia, I admired the women of the country.

I am an avid watcher of the news and it was so apparent to me that the women of the country needed education and reform.

The women of the country were already beginning to demand to be heard.

There’s no normal government in Somalia so the education system is already expensive and many schools just do not accept female students.

The women of Somalia were already asking for change and I felt these women were so brave.

I was only actually in the country for 3 days before I was kidnapped, but on the second day I visited a world food program.

The women there had been waiting for hours in the heat with war around them and yet still they had such grace. They were offering to share their food with me! I was so impressed by these women.

"There was one woman that risked her own life to help me! She was so brave, and that woman had a profound effect on me."

When they kidnapped me and Nigel Brennan (the male journalist whom I traveled with), there was a moment, a day, where we actually escaped.

We ran to a nearby mosque and, of course, they came to recapture us.

The local people tried to protect us and there was one woman that risked her own life to help me! She was so brave, and that woman had a profound effect on me.

The last time I saw her she was surrounded by guns.

That was the last image I had of her and I don’t know what happened to that woman after that. That stayed with me. I really wanted to honor that woman and I began thinking what would I do to make Somalia a better place.

Even when I looked at my captors I saw they were teenagers who were a product of their environment.

I thought: I am going to do something to make this a better place for these women and I had 15 months of being held captive to focus my energy on this.

I just kept thinking of how people say if we change the life of a girl you can change the world.

What have been the most challenging aspects about establishing and operating in Somalia? How does the process work, and how do you even set up a charity in someplace like Somalia?
"I just kept thinking of how people say if we change the life of a girl you can change the world."

There’s so much corruption in Somalia and there’s actually no formal banking system in the country. But it does have a money transfer system and that is how people get money in and out of Somalia.

It's actually the way that my ransom was paid and the way that ransoms are paid for other situations. Like when boats are taken through piracy.

So we actually use this system and we pay the fees to the university, which are around $600 a year, but we pay the living costs to the young women directly. This is because there is so much corruption.

If we send the money for living allowances to them, we can be sure that it’s going directly to the women. This is an amount of $32 a month, and while that doesn’t sounds like a lot. It’s actually a large amount in Somalia.

This money ensures they aren’t hungry, can buy educational supplies and even allows them to help support their family which is so important.

How do you think the scholarship programs will have an impact upon the community, not just the individual?

When we began the program we had 1,600 applicants and we sat as a panel to go through these and bring them down to ten, which then became 11, that we felt we had to put through the program.

As part of the process we asked applicants to write an essay describing how they would change the situation in Somalia and what they envisaged for Somalia in the future.

How has the response to your foundation in Somalia affected you? Have the women who are going through your program touched you personally?

All of the young women are inspirational.

"It’s wonderful to offer these workshops to these young women and I’m really excited by that."

We keep in regular telephone contact with the girls and feel very excited to hear about their progress.

There is one girl in the program, Amiira, who wants to be an environmentalist. When I was thinking about change in Somalia this wasn’t even on my radar, but this young girl is such a visionary!

She had thought about the effect of bringing pride back into Somalia. Of people having pride for their beaches, the country and how this could bring change in young people.

For me, it was inspiring to see how she was thinking long term for her nation.

What does the future hold for the GEF (Global Enrichment Foundation)both in the next few years and for the long-term?

In 2011, we are offering another 25 places and 10 of these will be for high school students.

We actually found a school in Somalia that is a boarding school run by Americans. They live and teach there, but one of the most exciting things about this program is that it offers advocacy workshops.

To start working with and supporting these girls as young as at high school age is really exciting and positive. It’s wonderful to offer these workshops to these young women and I’m really excited by that.

What’s the future for developing the program?

At the moment much of our funding has come from private speaking engagements, and around 90% of funding has come from Canada.

We are very positive about increasing funding and global awareness in 2011.

We are committed to working with Somali communities globally, and my own directors are from the Somali community here in Canada.


Amanda Linhout on Twitter: @AmandaLindhout

The Global Enrichment Foundation - website

Global Enrichment Foundation on Twitter: @GEFOfficial

 

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