Global NGO Shares the Mission Behind their Initiative to Help Women Around the World

Global NGO Shares the Mission Behind their Initiative to Help Women Around the World
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Women worldwide still face several obstacles in pursuing equitable opportunities and rights. Counterpart International, a Washington-based NGO that partners with local organizations worldwide to build inclusive, sustainable communities, is working to provide women with new opportunities. Its Women Empowerment efforts include equipping women with skills in management and leadership, economic advancement, self-care and peacebuilding.

The program is a global initiative that taps teams from Counterpart in countries abroad to assess the needs of women. The team interviews women to find out what interventions will help them best achieve their goals. The Counterpart will then tailor an intervention to begin helping the women to achieve their goals. Suppose any of the women require additional services. In that case, the organization will provide mentorship and coaching opportunities to learn more about what types of skills the women need to benefit from the programs.

One of the women that Counterpart worked with to strengthen skills in management is Eva Rosa Santos, an internationally renowned speaker, author and the founder and CEO of Women Leadership Angola. She applied to the leadership and management training program in 2021. The program helps mid-career and executive-level leaders seeking the next opportunity. Through her experience as a mentee in the program, Rosa Santos has gained valuable insights that have made her a more effective mentor. Counterpart offered her guidance and a distinct perspective on the formal process of mentoring and coaching, enhancing her abilities in this role.

Counterpart’s commitment to economic advancement can be seen with Shamela John, an accountant by trade and the founder of RESYSCO, a financial management firm based in Guyana. John’s firm provides financial and organizational services for women who are starting their businesses. She hopes to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in Guyana and other traditionally male-dominated countries by easing the administrative burden of starting a business. John aspired to start her own business, and the program gave her the framework to turn her dream into a reality. Counterpart helped her pinpoint her specific market niche in a matter of months and provided a structured approach to running her business.

The Self-Care and Skill-Building Activity is tailored for Ukrainian women refugees in Romania. Its purpose is to provide them with self-care techniques to enhance their mental well-being, foster resilience, and develop job-related skills. Counterpart has trained 50 women in self-care and mental health and established a support network comprising 60 Ukrainian women refugees as part of this initiative.

Counterpart focuses on the importance of women’s inclusion in peacebuilding activities for long-lasting and sustainable outcomes. Counterpart works to make peacebuilding activities accessible to women in terms of time and space while ensuring that all participants have the necessary skills and capacity to engage. The organization offers pre-workshop training that can empower historically marginalized groups that lack essential skills for them to participate more effectively.

Aïssatou Adamou honed her leadership abilities by engaging in training programs focused on leadership, management and public speaking provided by Counterpart. She further expanded her skills by participating in Kagalo’s implementation training and peacebuilding training facilitated by the High Authority for Peacebuilding in Niger as part of the Nigerian Action Plan 2’s Women, Peace and Security initiative in Tillaberi.

She now trains other local women in Tillaberi on how women can play an important role in peacebuilding and conflict resolution on the local level. Her efforts have made a positive impact in strengthening social cohesion and peacebuilding between local women and the population of internally displaced persons.

To fully achieve its mission of helping women, Counterpart International seeks to partner with men who share the organization’s vision as well. In many countries where the organization works, it is important to have the support of male community members. With it, implementing the programs would be easier. In a wide range of country settings, Counterpart has secured the support of men as allies in its efforts to advance women and expand their horizons.

Dr. Ann Hudock, President and CEO of Counterpart, says it’s important for women to have a support system within which they can network with each other and advance their economic status.

“When a woman rises, she lifts up those around her. She serves as a role model for the young girls who see her and believe they can follow her lead,” says Hudock.


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