Awardee Spotlight Blog Post
Lisa Gomer, Secretary and Founding Partner
Himalayan Healthcare (HHC) works to improve the quality of life for Nepalis living in remote and impoverished areas of Nepal. It achieves its mission by providing sustainable development programs focusing on gender-sensitive primary healthcare, women’s empowerment, community education and income generation.
As one of the distinguished partners for women, peace, and security award recipients, HHC utilized its award primarily to bolster their work against Covid-19 in Nepal. Specifically, the funds went to their Covid-19 Response and Educational Stipends to Improve Outcomes and Empower Women program.
Nepal was hit hard by Covid-19, with over 650,000 cases and nearly 10,000 deaths with a surge in the past few weeks. During the height of the pandemic, millions of daily wage earners were temporarily laid off, leaving two thirds of the country facing serious hardship. Like many organizations, HHC quickly pivoted to help confront the global pandemic. They converted their Ilam Hospital into a quarantine center for suspected Covid-19 cases, which provided safety and security for residents.
To increase screening for Covid-19 symptoms, they also purchased and provided thermal guns to record body temperature of all patients visiting their rural health posts and Dhading district hospital. HHC also purchased disinfectants, hand sanitizer and Personal Protective Equipment, including visors, suits, shoe cover, masks, and gloves, for the health providers at these facilities. This support has ensured the safety of valuable local health providers.
To further support local health providers, HHC also provided Covid-19 care and safety training in five villages. HHC’s health supervisor provided information on Covid-19 and lessons on screening, identifying, testing and isolating patients and how to remain safe. These local health providers in turn taught mothers about the pandemic and how to manage Covid-19 patients at home and keep the family safe.
Educational Stipends to Improve Outcomes and Empower Women
The funds also went to bolster their educational stipends. HHC provides full educational stipends for 20 Dalit and minority children in three villages. They were able to continue the stipends despite Covid-related school closings so families could use the funds for food or supplies during the pandemic.
Arab Women Organization (Jordan)
Layla Naffa, Director of Programmes
Arab Women’s Organization (AWO) works to mobilize women to promote the values of citizenship and human rights and enhance the spirit of cooperation between women’s organizations affiliated with the Musawah Network. AWO provides research, advocacy, and training on women’s rights, gender equality, and empowerment of women and girls, including gender-responsive humanitarian and development programs; oversee the Musawah Network, an umbrella organization bringing together women’s civil society groups.
As one of the distinguished partners for women, peace, and security award recipients, AWO utilized its award to supplement salaries for daily workers working with Syrian refugees in Jordan. These workers provide essential services yet had gone unpaid given the spread of Covid-19 and resultant economic downturn.
Specifically, the funding went to support seven support staff and three bus drivers. The support staff work at the AWO women’s safe centers where they conduct outreach activities such as paying home visits to speak about services for victims of gender-based violence and providing vocational training. The bus drivers support AWO in bringing women refugees living in the host communities to their safe centers for awareness-raising sessions and the vocational training. They also transport the support staff to meet with community leaders at NGOs and in municipalities.
Providing flexible funding allowed AWO to keep these critical positions funded and the lifesaving support to women uninterrupted.
Susan Sygall, CEO and Co-Founder
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) works to empower people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. They work to advance disability rights and leadership globally, build bridges to create a new era where people with disabilities will take their rightful place in the world community; empower grassroots women around the world, including through the Women's Institute on Leadership and Disabilities, to achieve their human rights through advocacy, coalition building, institutional strengthening, international exchange, and international development.
As one of the distinguished partners for women, peace and security award recipients, MIUSA utilized its award support the Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) which is hosted in two parts: virtually and in-person in Eugene, Oregon. Their WILD program brings together new and emerging grassroots women leaders with disabilities from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East to build skills, exchange experiences and strategies, create new visions, and strengthen international networks of support to improve the lives of women and girls with disabilities.
Women came out of WILD with knowledge on movement-building, coalitions, and infiltrating the human rights and women’s rights spaces. They generated generate ideas for social change and strategies to move forward in their personal and professional roles as disabled world leaders. The workshop covered topics such as using media, implementing policy and legislation, networking with international allies, improving employment and educational opportunities and advocating for accessible health care. WILD women will then return to their countries with an even greater commitment to address issues of critical importance to women and girls with disabilities around the world. MIUSA then provides the recipients with a seed grant so that they can replicate the WILD experience for other women with disabilities in their local communities.