This summer I had the privilege of interning at Women for Women International (WfWI). Being a part of the WfWI team, I learned about inspirational women around the world who are rebuilding their lives after conflict and war and bringing positive change to their communities. I saw how women in countries impacted by conflict demonstrate tremendous resilience to fight for equality and support themselves and their families. WfWI provides a yearlong tainting for women that help them gain vocational and business skills and learn about their rights and health. I want to share one of the most important lessons I learned at the organization: you are never too young to advocate for equality. High school and college is a time for self-discovery and deciding who you want to be. It is easy to get caught up in our daily problems, class schedules, and social engagements to forget to advocate for the causes we believe in or contribute to larger issues in our communities. This is especially true of global causes because they seem so far away. When we ask ourselves how can we help women in countries in political turmoil and violence, sometimes the answer can seem overwhelming and impossible. My time at WfWI taught me that anyone can do something to improve the lives of women survivors of war. Here are four ways.
Create an awareness raising club for WfWI and women’s rights.
Creating or joining a club that advocates for women’s rights helps your campus become aware of the issues. Creating a WfWI club will help you inform the student body of issues concerning women’s rights outside of your campus and gain a global perspective. Through the club, you can screen films, invite speakers, or hold discussion groups to engage your community and bring change. Contact email@example.com to get started!
Work with your friends to sponsor a woman through WfWI.
Chip in with your friends or even other clubs on your campus to sponsor a woman. Your help will make it possible for a woman receive an intensive one-year training for the essential skills she needs to earn an income to support herself in a country impacted by war. Through WfWI, you can sponsor a woman for $35 a month. This is a direct way to make an impact… and the cherry on top is that the woman you sponsor can become your new pen pal through the organization’s letter-writing approach.
Hold a fundraising event.
This can be as simple as organizing a bake sale or a carwash and donating the proceedings to WfWI. This is a great opportunity to get creative and break your community together. And who doesn’t need fundraising skills? I can already see your resume looking better with an added skill.
Raise your voice on social media.
Whether it is through writing about and sharing articles about women’s lives around the world, refugee women’s struggles, or famine in East Africa, you can contribute to change by making your friends more aware. Spreading awareness is the first step in advocacy. Follow WfWI and other women’s rights organizations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to not only stay informed but also to amplify the voices of women in countries impacted by conflict.