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The Report - Women for Women

Meeting Brigitte

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Women for Women International’s Executive Director, Brita Fernandez Schmidt, recently had the chance to meet Brigitte, the woman she is sponsoring through the charity’s holistic training programme in Rwanda…  The programme creates a safe community for women to learn practical skills which enable them to sustain themselves and their families. Here’s Brigitte’s story.

A single mother of two, Brigitte told Brita how the Women for Women International programme has helped her provide for her family. In January this year, Brigitte, like over 500 other women, enrolled in the Women for Women Inc. programme in Nyaruguru, Rwanda.

At just nineteen, Brigitte has already had such a tough life, her parents have always been extremely poor, and so she was unable to attend school. She fell pregnant with a man she met who promised to marry her and look after her. During this time she experienced incredible abusive treatment, isolation and abandonment.

Brita and Brigitte in Nyaruguru, Rwanda

She returned to her parents with her two children, feeling very sad and desperate. It was then that she heard about Women for Women International; she enrolled and since then has been learning practical skills, including how to run a small business which allows her to sustain her family.

Meeting Brigitte, and hearing her story, Brita was reminded just how powerful the sponsor sister program and Women for Women Inc. program are in creating real connections, not just between the woman and the sponsor but among the women who come together through the year-long programme. So many of them become close friends and end up setting up cooperatives together which help sustain their lives.

With more than 20 years of on-the-ground experience working with women in countries affected by conflict, Women for Women International understands that a comprehensive program addressing the social and economic empowerment of marginalized women is the most effective approach.

Like Brita, you can change a woman’s life by sponsoring with Women for Women International.  As a sponsor sister, you can create a truly personal connection with a woman as she rebuilds her life after conflict, by sending her messages of hope, solidarity and sisterhood. After experiencing extreme hardship and isolation, your support will inspire her to hope for a better future, and to know that she is not alone.

Visit to find out more.

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