Saturday, April 14, 2007
Featured Brilliant Initiative by and for Women of Color
Yet another brilliant and worthwile project of Katrice Williams...brilliant, radical, troublemaking alum of the Durham Public School System...now Stanford's brightest star. Please make a donation if you can!
Here are some words from Katrice about this project:
FORGE, IS A NON-PROFIT 501 (c)(3) organization. I was invited to be apart of the organization in November of last year. FORGE was started in 2003 by Kjerstin Erickson who is a current Stanford student. She has been running the program for four years now, by taking students from Stanford, Northeastern, Harvard, Georgetown and UCLA to work in Mwange, Meheba and Kala Refugee camps. The purpose of FORGE is to educate and provide opportunities for refugees by linking them with the western world's leaders and resources. Selected students work in one of the three camps for the duration of two months. I will be working in Mwange Refugee Camp from June 24th to August 28th. So far, many refugees have an inadequate education and limited resources. FORGE is an official partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR currently have limited funds to provide food, education and other resources. In Mwange, refugees are only allowed to leave the camp grounds for limited reasons and even if they are able to find work in Zambia they first must pay a $200 payment for a working visa. With these challenges, as well as the sexually and gender-based violence that faces women, I will be working with the Congolese women in Mwange to educate, provide information and exchange resources by teaching women to empower themselves on women's rights and empowerment issues. My objectives over the summer are to: 1) Provide business and public speaking skills, which include but are not limited to, information on letter and resume writing, information on micro-credit schemes, applicable economics information and speaking skills to engage audiences in political dialogue.
2) Another objective is to dedicate a period of time to educating women about political opportunities on repatriation boards and in political positions that focus on the needs of women during periods of transition. Also to engage the women in ventures to seek power-holding positions to better represent their communities and their interests.
3) Create an open forum to discuss the inherited scars of sexual violence and sexual exploitation of women in the past and present turmoil in the Eastern DRC.
4) Engage in a collective dialogue between men and women that is sensitive to their religious backgrounds and cultural norms, but aims at both genders communicating on the power imbalance and offering constructive steps forward in women’s rights and empowerment.
5) And finally, teach women their basic rights as stated in the Congo and International Law.
She is currently seeking donations for her work this summer. She will be working Mwange Refugee Camp for two months implementing the objectives of her project, as well as working on Women's Rights, Empowerment and Gender Equality. If you would like more information please visit www.FORGEnow.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to phone (919) 308-1473 for more information.