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2022-23 Partner Renewal Announcement

2022-23 Partner Renewal Announcement

We are very pleased to announce that WE will be renewing partnerships with the following organizations and awarding grant funds totaling $201,230 for the 2022-23 grant year. Programs providing resources and training for women experiencing poverty in San Diego, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Uganda will be funded because of generous donors like you!


Adelante Foundation – renewing our partnership for one year, granting $35,000. Adelante provides microloans and financial services to women living in poverty who lack access to funding and resources. The end goal is to break intergenerational cycles of poverty, provide inclusive opportunities that address gender inequality, and improve household resilience to external stressors. Adelante was one of the first organizations to provide microfinance in Honduras and continues to be one of the only microfinance nonprofits that prioritizes those experiencing the highest levels of poverty.

“Women’s Empowerment has been an incredible partner through thick and thin. I cannot tell you how much we appreciate and are motivated by your unwavering support. Thank you for being part of and supporting Adelante’s mission. On behalf of each of our beneficiaries and the entire Adelante staff, we show our sincere gratitude.”

Fonkoze – renewing our partnership for one year, granting $33,330. Fonkoze’s Boutik Sante (Community Health Store) program brings access to health products, services, and information to some of the most rural parts of Haiti through a network of trained women entrepreneurs, Community Health Entrepreneurs (CHEs). This year, Fonkoze will be expanding gender-based violence (GBV) trainings and high blood pressure monitoring services for its CHEs to bring to their communities. GBV rose over 300% from 2019 to 2020 in Haiti and hypertension accounts for 17% of all deaths in Haiti.

IRC San Diego

International Rescue Committee San Diego – renewing our partnership for three years, granting $50,000 for the first year. Through one-on-one technical assistance and responsive training, the IRC’s WE STAR Program addresses core barriers that low-income, immigrant women face when opening and operating a successful small business. The program provides microenterprise development training and technical assistance that is both culturally appropriate and in-language, geared to meet the specific needs of aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs.

The IRC’s holistic programming will add several new offerings this year including: a 14-session Steps to Success trainings (STEPS) for existing Afghan child care providers to ensure a true path to economic security and mobility, a Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation (MEHKO) Training that will support participants earning a permit from the County of San Diego and developing a profitable microenterprise, and a new training program to support women and women BIPOC entrepreneurs in certifying their business as woman-owned, minority-owned, and small disadvantaged-owned, which is helpful in marketing and obtaining government funding.

Nyaka – renewing our partnership for three years, granting $52,900 for the first year. WE supports the microfinance initiative as part of the Nyaka Grandmothers program, an innovative, scalable, home-based model of care that aids the healthy development of each child orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Grandmother groups meet monthly to share education, training (including business and vocational training), and support. WE funding will allow for this year’s expansion of the microfinance programming to 24 new grandmother groups (with 1,920 women participating) in the Rukungiri and Kanungu districts. Nyaka will also implement a new technology-driven monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to better track their impact over the whole Grandmothers program.


“Thank you to the entire WE team! This is such an exciting partnership, and we are thrilled to see it continued, and to see such a transformational level of support for our grannies. WE, thank you for making sure that more than 20,000 women have had economic freedom and empowerment.”

Via International

Via International – renewing our partnership for three years, granting $30,000 for the first year. WE supports two Via programs, ESTIMA and Via Migrante, which aim to enhance social and economic empowerment among women in Tijuana, Mexico. Women in ESTIMA are working in the sex trade or at risk of entering it, some having been initially trafficked. Many came to Tijuana hoping for better economic opportunities to care for themselves and their children. In Via Migrante, women have fled violence and poverty in southern Mexico and Central America. Some of the new arrivals are deported mothers from the United States. 

Most of them are the sole financial caretakers for their children, but have had few opportunities for education and employment. Via program components focus on the basic needs of these women–family health and food security, as well as financial security for longer-term sustainable lives.

Stay tuned for more exciting grant news over the coming months! We currently have grant applications open to new partners and have allocated a minimum of $40,000 for these partnerships.

Read more about all of our Partners here.

Women’s Empowerment International Names Its Second Executive Director

Women’s Empowerment International Names Its Second Executive Director

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA – The Board and Staff leadership team of Women’s Empowerment International (WE) are pleased to announce that Sarah Adams has been appointed as WE’s new Executive Director. WE, a San Diego-based nonprofit, funds projects locally and internationally that provide women economic opportunities, microloans, training, and other tools to disrupt the cycle of poverty and strengthen their families and communities. Adams, a San Diego local, was selected after a nationwide search. WE was run entirely by volunteer board and committee members until 2016 when it was able to bring on its first executive director. Since then, the organization has grown to two staff positions and continues with a strong, passionate group of board members, committee members, and other committed volunteers.  


An accomplished leader, Adams has more than 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector and has a proven track record in building strategic partnerships, organization capacity building, fundraising, volunteer engagement, and program development. She has served in staff leadership positions, on boards, and as a consultant/trainer for organizations of all sizes, from small, grassroots nonprofits to large, national organizations. At her most recent position with Operation Homefront, she served as a senior regional director for field programs, overseeing development, programs, events, and operations in a five-state area. Adams received her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego.


WE President, Debbie McGraw, says, “Sarah brings an important set of skills to WE including volunteer organizing, program development, and capacity building that are crucial to our campaign to reach more economically vulnerable women through innovative and committed programs both locally and internationally. Finding and supporting programs that are successfully providing women the tools to work their way out of poverty and build up their families and communities requires the kind of committed leadership and action that Sarah has shown throughout her career.”


Adams will lead the organization’s strategic plan to increase funding for partner organizations by 60% over the next three years, grow its membership base and giving circles, and continue to build internal capacity and infrastructure. She will also work with the board on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for the organization. 


“I have always been passionate about women and girls’ empowerment issues, amplifying women’s voices in the community, and providing tools for women to exercise their own leadership,” says Adams. “The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately affected women’s economic well-being and opportunities around the world over the past two years. I am honored to join WE and all of its partners in this important work to support women and families at such a crucial time.”


To learn more about WE and to get involved, visit www.WomenEmpowerment.org or email info@womenempowerment.org


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About Women’s Empowerment International

Women’s Empowerment International (WE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 2005 by a group of visionary women with an ambitious goal to disrupt the cycle of poverty for women around the world, especially those living in under-resourced, rural communities. With a mission to empower women with tools to work their way out of poverty, care for their families, and strengthen their communities, WE has provided nearly $2.1 million in funding for programs in eight countries, including the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Uganda. WE funds microloans, training, and practical, holistic support and is headquartered in San Diego, CA.

Our Partner in Uganda, Nyaka, Celebrates 20 Years of Impact

Our Partner in Uganda, Nyaka, Celebrates 20 Years of Impact

Congratulations to Nyaka for all of their accomplishments over the past 20 years. They recently shared the findings of their Monitoring and Evaluation team’s first Household Economic and Wellbeing survey looking at how Nyaka’s work has supported income generation and resilience amongst grandmother-led households in southwest Uganda.

The WE-funded microfinance program offers loans within granny groups to help pay for medical care, address other household needs, and provide seed capital to grandmother entrepreneurs who wish to start small income-generating businesses such as gardens, brick selling, or retail stores. The survey confirmed that these programs create true impact: the average daily income of Nyaka-grandmother households is $2.38, compared to $1.65 amongst non-Nyaka grandmothers in the same area. (The international poverty line is currently set at $1.90 a day.)

Our Partner in Haiti, Fonkoze, Receives Prestigious European Microfinance Award

Our Partner in Haiti, Fonkoze, Receives Prestigious European Microfinance Award

We are proud to share this announcement from WE Partner, Fonkoze. Knowing that financial inclusion is an important tool for poverty alleviation, the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs launched the European Microfinance Award in 2005.]

The award program serves two parallel goals: rewarding excellence and collecting and disseminating the most relevant practices for replication by others. Fonkoze won the 2021 European Microfinance Award for “Inclusive Finance and Health Care” for its Boutik Santé work, which WE funding supports. There were 43 submissions from 32 countries.

Read more here: https://fonkoze.org/ema