Our women suffer from the mental, physical, and financial situations stemming from BOTH the strife of their homeland and the difficulties of resettling a new home. As a result of war and conflict, women and girls often lose everything that mattered to them, including their sense of self. In resettling, refugee women are put to work in poverty conditions and forced to console husbands and families suffering from, and too often acting out, their violent past. Below is the best case timeline within which we run the Refugee Programs Salt Lake City through Women of the World.
Sponsorship Program (First 6 months)
Participation in our program allows women to settle, set and achieve their goals, and become productive members of the community. For their first six months, women begin in our Sponsorship Program where we help them deal with the immediate needs of their resettlement – their health and hygiene needs, food, shelter, and mental anguish. We try and learn about their motivations, what they want for their children, for themselves, and what they love to do. We slowly introduce a broader community, a sisterhood of support and a structure of weekly meetings to develop community and a stronger sense-of-self separate from home, husband, and homeland.
Educating Self-Sufficiency (Second 6 months)
While the opportunity to achieve is heightened upon arrival in the United States, education and positive role models with similar experiences illuminate the path. Women that are allowed to gradually develop their home without the immediate burden of funding their needs are better able to plan and grow. After being introduced to numerous career paths by our resettled volunteers, we work to educate them – some for the first time. The six month long Educating Self-Sufficiency (ESS) program provides women with stories, instruction, and concrete skills in:
- English Language Learning
- Understanding their rights
- Vocational Training
- Technical Skills Training
- Small Business Skills (such as basic accounting, marketing, and funding)
- “Paying It Forward” – Service-Culture of the United States
Placement and Service (after the first year)
Once our women have completed their education on self-sufficiency, WoW works to place our members into the career or educational program they desire. WoW raises funds from grants, microloan institutions, and venture capital firms for women’s entrepreneurial ventures. This third phase of our program, Placement and Service, supports the rest of the WoW community by ‘paying it forward’ and developing our women’s service to new WoW members including group session leaders, operational support, and motivational speakers. Charitable help is returned to these women placed into careers as the community offers childcare and shopping services.