there are so many international aid organizations working for donations. what’s the greatest challenge in raising awareness for wfwi and getting support for the work you do?
right now, girls get two cents out of every development and aid dollar so for me the importance is not as much about getting money specifically for our organization as it is about raising awareness for women’s issues, globally, and turning that two cents into 50 cents. i’m more interested in figuring out ways to grow the whole pot of funds and being able to go with an open heart to other agencies so we can all collaborate to continue to build resources across the board.
how did your personal experiences motivate you to start women for women international (wfwi)?
growing up in a war-torn country under the totalitarian regime of saddam hussein, i was able to see firsthand how fear, violence and repression specifically affect women. during those years the consequences of speaking up made it impossible to act but once i got to america and i was watching another injustice–the violence against women during the war in bosnia–i felt not only that i could do something, but that i had to do something. also, my mother, a remarkably strong, independent and capable woman, raised me to believe that i,too, was strong and capable and knowing this gave me the confidence and the guts to launch wfwi.
a recent story in bloomberg businessweek, about the rebuilding of afghanistan’s economy through foreign investment, discusses the importance of our hand in hand program in helping to achieve this goal and features highlights from a trip to the country by our chief merchandising officer, sydney price and our ceo, craig leavitt. below is an excerpt from the article.
tracing her artistic roots back to the days of placemat doodles and sidewalk chalk, caitlin mcgauley has since upgraded to watercolors and a sketchbook. one of three prints in our artist portfolio print spring series.