Dear Women without Borders!
In the past few weeks much has been going on here at the Vienna headquarters, people visiting others travelling the globe. All projects are running.
We have had the great pleasure of receiving Manal Omar, our representative in Iraq, and Archana Kapoor, who is currently and decidedly setting up Women without Borders in India. Manal Omar is organising the project "Iraq- Youth between Horror and Hope" in Baghdad. We have two wonderful people in charge of the projects, Rana Alkinani, a gynaecologist, and the physicist Huda Al-Dubaissi.
The first 100 questionnaires have already arrived in Vienna. The office is restlessly waiting for the evaluations to start. To give you a taste of some of the first results, the young Iraqi women have not given up their will to live despite the all the bombs and violence around them, in the contrary they want to continue their studies, work and take on an active part in rebuilding their country.
The "Girls: Fit for Leadership!" project in Rwanda has been launched. The young girls, all of them enthusiastic members, are now testing their potentials in after-school-clubs. Additionally, ten girls football teams are already kicking for reconciliation.
Afghanistan was our first Women without Borders project which makes us feel especially strong about it. The Community and Cultural Centre Nimruz is a success story. Every day women attend the offered training courses. Despite all set-backs the women demonstrate each day that they believe in a democratic Afghanistan and from now on there is no return.
The Tsunami catastrophe was a unique challenge for us. After Oxfam and other international organisations rang their alarm bells, that some of the aid did not reach the women, consequently, we supported the project proposed by our Indian partner organisation and developed a model project.
In the two fishing villages in the southern Indian costal areas, women co-operations are being founded, a health-centre is being constructed and women are being strengthened economically. The community gathering in Kokilimedu will remain unforgotten, women and men seated separately in two groups, during which the village eldest promised that the women would be supported in every way possible. The transportation of the fishes to the market was always a big problem, the women had to overcome great distances with heavy boxes on their head. From now on there will be Women without Borders three wheeled cars and there is already a whole list of voluntaries who are willing to learn how to drive at their local driving school. This is a major step forward. We are thrilled by adventuresome ness and by the bravery of the female villagers.
We wish you a wonderful summer,
Edit Schlaffer and the Women without Borders Team