Women in War has now merged with FemAid, our humanitarian organization which has been working, with local grass-roots women’s NGOs for women and children in war zones since 1993.
We started active and direct humanitarian aid in 1993,under our first name ‘Enfants de Bosnie’. The very first project, was the rebuilding of the Skender Kulenovic primary school in Dobrinja, Sarajevo, inaugurated in 1998, whilst helping to maintain schooling throughout the war, with convoys and the sending of aid through different methods. The rebuilding was financed by the Swiss and French government with the European Union. We organised the joining the school to the UNESCO group of schools in the middle of war.
From 1999, we became interested in working in Afghanistan and Femaid was founded in 2001 by the same team. We partnered with RAWA, the Revolutionary Association for Women in Afghanistan. Past projects have included starting literacy classes (2002) aid to Afghan schools and orphanages in Pakistan (2002 onwards), aid for RAWA’s medical centres for women and children in Quetta, Rawalpindi, Peshawar training for birth attendants (2003) scholarships for Afghan girls (2005 onwards) Afghanistan’s first children’s library and play centre (2007) in Farah in the west of the country, to which we brought over books and toys from Iran.
We moved on with a commemorative development project in Senegal, something we wish to renew.
We conducted an agricultural project in the village of Garage Bentenye, Senegal (2007) where 100 women were given mango tree saplings to contribute to their financial independence, to commemorate the memory of a great humanist and friend in Los Angeles, the wonderful Anita Feltus, who had passed away a little while beforehand.
Since 2010, we have been active in the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) in particular with the East, namely Kisangani and Bukavu, where sexual violence is endemic and we have found that one major way out is achieving economic independence for women.
Projects include scholarships for Congolese female students at Kisangani University to finish their studies at university, with help of the sociology department, headed by Professor Alphonse Maindo.
Scholarships have been given for professional training for 4 years in electronics and woodwork for female students both in Kisangani and Bukavu, in Eastern Congo. In Bukavu, our partners are Afia Fev, a nurses’NGO.
So far we have had 100 students, aged from 6 to 18, and hope to expand, open two centres in two neighbourhoods in Bukavu to accommodate 600 students.
The newest project for 2021 is about training victims of rape in the villages in techniques of self-defense, because this is where the worst sexual violence takes place. This project is in collaboration with the Panzi Hospital and Dr. Denis Mukwege who specifically asked us to undertake this. It will be run by Semy Ntamwira of our partner, Afia-Fev
For more details, contact infoATfemaid.org
Do check Carol Mann’s blog : www.carolmann.net