For Immediate Release

Contact: Jenny Mauk
jmauk@womenforwomen.org |  202.521.9504

Women for Women International Pledges to Strengthen Support to Syrian Refugees

We will bolster our program in Northern Iraq while expanding efforts to Jordan upon raising additional funds

December 22, 2016, Washington, DC- The latest images of Syrian evacuees desperately fleeing Aleppo is an egregious reminder of another civil conflict which happened more than 20 years ago in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was through that dark period of human history, the horrific genocide in Srebrenica, that Women for Women International was founded.

“The images we see today directly reflect the atrocities that occurred over 20 years ago,” said Seida Saric, Director of Women for Women International’s affiliate in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Our organization has always been compelled by the voices of women affected by conflict. We are founded on the pillar that all women deserve the right to dignity, safety, and the opportunity to realize their full potential.”

For over twenty-three years, Women for Women International has helped change the lives of over 447,000 marginalized women in areas affected by conflict. Today, the civil war in Syria remains one of the world’s largest humanitarian emergencies. Nearly half the population of Syria, 11 million people, are either displaced or have fled to neighboring nations. Women for Women International sees the urgency of this crisis, and we are driven to act.

The organization has served women in Iraq for over a decade. We have recently expanded to serve 1,000 Syrian and Yezidi refugees in Northern Iraq. Going forward, Women for Women International plans to expand our proven and transformational programs to serve more Syrian refugees upon raising additional funds.

“We stand in solidarity with the women who’ve fled to safety. Through our programs, we provide a support network, vocational training, and safe space to come together,“ says Laurie Adams, President for Women for Women International.

Women like Mariam are supported through Women for Women’s programs in Northern Iraq. She recently fled Aleppo with her daughter and husband in search of safety. Her journey to Domiz refugee camp was traumatic, but shortly after she arrived, she heard about Women for Women International’s program. Since enrolling, she’s begun learning about her rights and has started seeing a counselor.

“It was heaven-sent to tell someone everything I had held inside for so long. To talk about my hopes and worries without the fear of being judged,” she said.

Mariam feels stronger now and is eager to start a small business to improve the lives of everyone in her family. The program helped Mariam realize her strength again. “People respect me now for standing up for myself. Women for Women International’s course has given me back the confidence and ambition that the war had taken away. I am a woman and not a number.”

About Women for Women International

Since 1993, Women for Women International (WfWI) has provided more than 447,000 women survivors of war and conflict with training, support, and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. WfWI’s innovative programs are guided by a vision to create a world in which all women determine the course of their lives and reach their full potential.

WfWI works in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Sudan. To learn more, visit www.womenforwomen.org.