Women's Global Empowerment Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that creates innovative economic, social, and political opportunities for women and families in the post-conflict region of northern Uganda. Those opportunities include literacy training, a unique microcredit lending model accompanied by business and leadership training, health initiatives, sexual violence education, social justice programming, and more. WGEF helps these communities transform by becoming their own advocates and creating their own solutions to move themselves forward.
Women's Global Empowerment Fund was founded upon the belief that microfinance can be a revolutionary concept, and when bundled with educational programming, can build social capital and increase the potential for women's empowerment and success.
Our objective is to provide women with the framework necessary to create viable opportunities for themselves and their families. Through proven grassroots strategies, marginalized women are given the tools necessary to alleviate poverty and thus facilitate sustainable development, self-determination, leadership opportunities and empowerment.
WGEF isn't staffed by Westerners sitting behind desks, rather, it employs young and committed Ugandans, who want to work in and support their communities and nation. Our staff in Gulu visit members across the region, in villages, farms, and businesses, launched with microloans that average just $59. WGEF works on the ground to secure local resources and establish community spaces (for example, WGEF opened the Gulu Women's Resource Centre in 2017 to provide a regional gathering space for meetings, rallies, computer access, skills workshops, and more), and to facilitate community-run trainings on topics like Youth and Citizen Engagement and Human Rights and Justice. For WGEF, it's about listening-and providing the tools and access for women to forge their own recovery and success.
A by-the-numbers snapshot of WGEF's achievements:
• 28,170: Microloans distributed to help women launch businesses (more than 8,000 loans are focused on local food security).
• 5,800: Women who've participated in literacy training (more than half of those in the last two years).
• 7+ Million: Locally made sanitary pads distributed to 24 schools and three refugee camps through the Healthy Periods Initiative (HPI), giving girls and women a way to manage menstrual hygiene, stay in school, and fight social stigma.
* In 2022, 368 girls prevented from being forced into early and forced marriage thru our Family Mediation Program.
• 572 women to date who are leading in their communities as elected officials; at the village, district and regional level. This is truly an inspiring example of sustainable human development and women's empowerment.
WGEF staff are constantly working with members and community leaders to develop responsive programming. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and growing food insecurity in the region, WGEF is supporting women farmers and local food supplies; ensuring that farmers have access to capital and ensure the supply chain for the region and S. Sudan will continue. Additionally, through our Gulu Women's Resource Center, staff register cases of domestic violence as a result of social isolation; facilitate dialogue between community, families, and leaders; create awareness campaigns; strengthen community-based advocacy and activism around human rights and justice, and more.