First Steps Women’s Centre

women for women logo2020international day of friendship

Today is the International Day of Friendship – the perfect day to celebrate shared connections and our global sisterhood. Friendship and sisterhood are at the core of our work. When a woman joins our year-long training programme, she comes together with 24 other women – sisters – forming a tight support group that helps to break the isolation caused by war and insecurity.
With many of our programmes still unable to open, maintaining the communication between programme participants and trainers has been essential. We are certain that for you too, keeping in touch with your loved ones during these uncertain times has been a much-needed glimmer of hope.

Zainab, one of our programme participants in Iraq shared how important keeping in contact with her friends has been:
“Before this programme, the only people outside of my immediate family who I really knew were my in-laws. But now I have made friends. I call them to check up on them, and I am very happy to have a wider network of friends.”  
Celebrate the International Day of Friendship with us by supporting women survivors of war. When donating on our website, you can choose to donate in honour of a friend. If you do so, we will inform your friend that a gift was made in their honour, in celebration of friendship and sisterhood. 

Donate in honour of your friend and we’ll let them know you are thinking of them.

sign the pledge

Every woman has the power to transform her world. When we come together we can overcome the most difficult challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Women who have survived war and conflict are often forgotten and undervalued in their communities. They need a global community, both now and when the pandemic passes.

We must be there to help women rebuild their lives and their communities. And we must be prepared to reinstate our in-person trainings when it’s safe to do so. 

Pledge your support today to help the forgotten women survivors of war and their families overcome this global pandemic.

women for women logo2020

Our Country Director in Nigeria, Buki Onyishi, speaks out on the pandemic that has plagued her country for so many years: sexual violence.
Buki Onyishi, Country Director of Women for Women International – Nigeria asks
“Knowing how women suffer, how can we stay silent?”

Time to break the silence and stop sexual violence in Nigeria

Our Country Director in Nigeria, Buki Onyishi, speaks out in a Thomson Reuters article about the pandemic that has plagued her country for so many years: sexual violence. In the last five months alone, over 700 cases of rape were reported across the country. 

Since we launched the #MessageToMySister campaign we have seen the impact your messages of support have on the women we serve. Thousands of you have sent in messages and joined our global movement. 

Messages of hope from Nigeria

As the COVID-19 crisis forces many people into isolation, our global community is more committed than ever to help women survivors of war feel supported, seen, and heard. 

Thanks to your amazing support, we are: 

  • Distributing more than 4,700 hygiene kits 
  • Organising women to sew masks and produce soap for their communities 
  • Broadcasting radio programmes to reach women in remote and rural places
  • Continuing to deliver cash assistance to nearly 5,000 women 
  • Breaking women's isolation by helping participants to use mobile phones to set up communication trees to stay connected

women for women logo2020

women for women 14th may

We have been overwhelmed by the generous support we received in response to our Giving Tuesday
emergency appeal. Thanks to the kindness of our supporters, our teams have been able to deliver
life-saving resources to women survivors of war who are now facing the added threat of COVID-19.

We wanted to share an example of the emergency responses we have been able to put in place thanks to
our committed supporters to show the real and essential impact these efforts are having on the women
we serve.

women for women logo
women for women covid 19

Did you know that women, and particularly women survivors of war, are being hit hardest by the Coronavirus pandemic in a variety of other, often less visible, ways?

Pre-existing inequalities and power disparities leave women particularly vulnerable during times of crisis. Here are some of the reasons why:

women for women logo

women for women

As part of our Hope Beyond the Headlines series, we have been sharing incredible stories of women showing resilience, hope and innovation during this difficult time. Today, we want to share the story of Clemence Bideri, our Economic Empowerment Manager at Women for Women International - Rwanda.

Although our office in Rwanda is closed at the moment, Clemence highlights how our programme participants are putting into practice what they have learned in class by working in networks and supporting each other. 

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This Project is part-funded by the European Union and the Department of Employment and Learning