There’s something different about WomenStrong International. This can best be explained by describing some of the things that WomenStrong doesn’t do. WomenStrong doesn’t tell women what they need to live better lives. It doesn’t operate out of a fancy office, or employ staff who manage projects or tell our partners what to do. Why not? Because at WomenStrong, we believe that effective implementation begins and ends locally.

WomenStrong’s job is to recognize the awesome work our local partners already are doing with women who know best what they need. We help our partners identify and secure the additional resources and knowledge that can help them improve and expand their work, and we help share that knowledge, across the Consortium and beyond.

Take the DHAN Foundation, for example. DHAN has decades of experience in working with some of India’s poorest communities. Its self-help group model has enabled many thousands to escape poverty. With WomenStrong’s support, DHAN has reached a further 22,000 of Madurai’s poorest women and girls with health care, vocational training, micro-justice, and access to formal financial systems.

In Ghana, WomenStrong’s partner, Women’s Health to Wealth (WHW), has had remarkable success in reducing pregnancy among school-age girls in the Ashanti region. Through its network of Girls’ Clubs, girls learn about reproductive health and receive support to stay in school and make healthy lifestyle choices. Now, WHW wants to tackle gender-based violence and the growing problem of diabetes among women of childbearing age. WomenStrong has stepped in to connect WHW with resources and expert knowledge in these areas, even as WHW has mentored our Kenyan Consortium Member in implementing and scaling its Girls’ Clubs program.

In Haiti, no one knows better than Consortium Member H.O.P.E. how best to deliver health care to women living in poor, inaccessible communities. H.O.P.E. also understands that these women need enhanced sources of income to better support their families. WomenStrong connected H.O.P.E. with DHAN to learn how to implement self-help groups, so that women in Borgne can augment their savings, learn to start small businesses, and open bank accounts.

There’s no longer any justification for top-down development. Effective women’s empowerment depends on women-led solutions, local leadership, and the sharing of knowledge. WomenStrong helps all that to happen, and then gets out of the way.

This is our approach. It’s already working, and we couldn’t be prouder. Learn more about us and our Consortium Members, and join us in helping make women strong.

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