I Was A Stranger

I Was A Stranger Women Refugee Organization

Women of the World is happy to welcome this wellspring of volunteerism and well-wishes into our organization. We are excited that our new refugee neighbors will benefit from the kindness and neighborliness of the Mormon community. Our ladies and their children welcome you into their hearts and homes. Women of the World is excited to be an “I Was A Stranger” women refugee organization.

“The relief effort ‘I Was a Stranger’ focuses on serving refugees in our local neighborhoods and communities. It is just one of many ways women, young women, and girls in Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary can lift and bless those in need (see Matthew 25:35; Leviticus 19:34).”
— Messages from General Auxiliary Presidents

This new webpage, answers some of the question from the lds.org website and steps through our volunteering process. With your help, refugees will be strangers no more.

From iwasastranger.lds.org, five Questions to Ask When Identifying Potential Organizations:

  • Whom do you help?

Women of the World helps refugee women and children from all over the world. We help them in their hour of need, no matter if that is in the first months of their resettlement or many years after they have come to Utah.

  • How are you helping them?

Women of the World offers three programs that help refugee women achieve self-sufficiency, they are Customized Service, Participatory Practical English, and Economic Empowerment. Women of the World is unique in that it offers custom solutions to the needs of refugee women. WoW attempts to first solve underlying problems and help our ladies learn and participate in English before we add tension into their lives and ask them to build their capacity.

  • What needs would you like to address but aren’t able to?

As a custom solutions provider, we would love to scale, to help more women without losing the boutique feel of listening to our clients, creating solutions, and then following through on our commitments — never taking no for an answer. That is where our volunteers and staff come in, scaling a personal approach to solving the nagging problems together with our clients so they can move onto using our programs that build them into contributing members of their families and our neighborhoods.

  • Beyond financial contributions, how can I help?

We need volunteers that want to give our ladies a voice and be their friends. Our ladies need friends to do normal activities in English like those suggested on the “I Was A Stranger” mainpage: make a new friend, do something you enjoy with someone new, invite someone to your family night, and help them learn a new language. There are no special skills required and you will be amazed how quickly they learn and how fulfilling an experience giving to your new neighbors is for both you and them. See our Volunteer Opportunities and FAQs for more information.

  • How do the services you offer help people to eventually meet their own needs?

Think about how often you deal with the government as a long-time resident of Utah. Maybe at the DMV and filing your taxes, but even these are now largely online. Even when you filled out these forms, did you feel like you learned something or was it frustrating? The clients of Women of the World have immigration, healthcare, social safety net, DMV, tax, and many other governmental appointments during their first 5 years in the country and the complexity of their interdepartmental problems is often overwhelming for attorneys and professional service workers.

We raise this issue because Women of the World feels like our ladies need to learn Practical English and their roles in their family and workplace through programs that focus on these important steps. We never ask our ladies to build their capacity in the morass of resettlement paperwork and meetings. Instead, we help them to learn English that they can confidently use with their children, schools, and employers. We work with employers and entrepreneurs to continue to raise our ladies into careers or into their own businesses.

Want to sign up to volunteer?  Fill out the Volunteer Interest Form.

Thank you in advance,

Samira Harnish
Founder and Executive Director, Women of the World