Women Helping Women
Click on the above image to view a printable page about Voss Foundation Women Helping Women.
Women Helping Women (or “Kvinner hjelper Kvinner,” in Norwegian) is a Voss Foundation campaign that has brought together more than 400 champions of clean water in 8 countries to raise over $350,000 for water projects.
Water is disproportionately a women’s burden in Africa. Rural women and girls are responsible for fetching water for their families daily, often sacrificing their own health, education, and futures to do so. Providing women with facilitated access to clean water is an important part of the ripple effect we talk about, creating an engine for growth that spurs change in a family, community, region, and country.
Supporters of Voss Foundation’s Women Helping Women programs are provided with the opportunity to view detailed project descriptions and reports, budgets and timelines, giving them an intimate relationship with the work they are funding. Women Helping Women participants also keep track of their projects and WHW news through the Voss Foundation’s website, Facebook page, or Twitter updates. These sources are regularly updated with project reports, so that donors can stay connected to the African women and girls whom they have helped as well as kept abreast of the activities of other women internationally who are collaborating in the effort.
To learn about why women around the world are joining the Voss Foundation’s WHW movement, click here.
To see all Women Helping Women news updates, click here.
For more information or to start a Women Helping Women campaign in your city, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the summer of 2009, the Voss Foundation invited Norwegian women to support its second water project in the Samburu region of Kenya. The Foundation sought to bring together women whose conscience motivates them to help women around the world in their struggle for a better life. By donating NOK 2000, these Norwegian women would join a network of women who together could make a difference for an entire village. Their contribution would help women and girls in the village of Swari achieve improved health and hygiene for themselves and their families. Once they had access to clean water at a school, clinic, and kiosk near their homes, Swari women would be able to pursue their own social and financial projects to participate in their communities as empowered citizens. As the Swari project report later showed, it was a success.
In gratitude, and to commemorate the contribution, jewelry designer Camilla Prytz generously offered to donate a hand-made necklace to each Norwegian participant.
The Voss Foundation had no idea how many women would join at first, but the responses began to pour in immediately. In a matter of months, the program was oversubscribed! The first woman to join was Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland — United Nations Special Envoy, former Norwegian Prime Minister, and former Director General of the World Health Organization. So many women answered the call that the Foundation raised more than enough money for the first Swari project. Ultimately, over 200 women joined from all over the world.
In January 2010, some of the original WHW supporters visited Kenya to attend the opening ceremony of the Swari project and assess the work for themselves. Please click here to see pictures from the trip.
Since Women Helping Women proved to be so wildly popular and effective, the Voss Foundation decided to scale it up to other cities around the world, so that the concept of women joining together to help other women could be truly global.
Women Helping Women II was launched in Europe in Summer 2010, and in November, the first Women Helping Women luncheon was held in New York City. View photographs of the 2010 New York Women Helping Luncheon here.
The 2010 campaigns raised enough money for two water projects: one in Ndonyo Nasipa, also in the Samburu district of Northern Kenya with partner Milgis Trust; the other at the Georges Malaika School for Girls in the village of Kalebuka in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Final project reports from Ndonyo Nasipa and Georges Malaika School for Girls detailed the success of the 2010 program in changing the lives of women and girls around the world.
International fashion model and philanthropist Noella Coursaris Musunka was the first-ever Women Helping Women honoree, recognized for her work with the Georges Malaika Foundation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In January 2011, Voss Foundation staff and Women Helping Women donors from around the world traveled to Kenya to attend the opening ceremony of the Voss Foundation water system in the Samburu village of Ndonyo Nasipa. The Samburu, American, and European women were overjoyed to meet each other and the ceremony was thrilling and emotional for all. Thanks to the efforts of the Women Helping Women donors and the Samburu who worked diligently to build the water system, the women of Ndonyo Nasipa have access to clean, safe water right in their village.
The first Women Helping Women Boston event was held in June 2011 at the Ames Hotel in downtown Boston. The reception introduced the 2011 Women Helping Women honoree, Saran Kaba Jones, and kicked off plans for the next Women Helping Women dedicated water project.
In August 2011, the Voss Foundation traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to visit our water projects there, including the 2010 Women Helping Women well. See photos from the trip here.
This new Women Helping Women project will bring clean water and sanitation facilities to the Hope Mission School of Paynesville, Liberia and the surrounding Bernard Farm Community. We are thrilled to be partnering with 2011 Women Helping Women honoree, Saran Kaba Jones’ organization FACE Africa to implement the project. Click here for a full description of the project.
On December 12, 2011, our 4th Women Helping Women water project was inaugurated and dedicated to the community in Paynesville, Liberia. Read the final report here.
The second annual Women Helping Women Boston was held on June 20 at L’Espalier. 2011 honoree Saran Kaba Jones updated guests on our 2011 WHW project at the Hope Mission School in Paynesville, Liberia. Special guest and legendary Grammy Award winning recording artist Patti Austin also wowed the crowd. See photos from the event here.
Women Helping Women hit the west coast in October! The inaugural Women Helping Women San Francisco was hosted at the Ritz-Carlton on October 22nd. Our 2011 honoree Saran Kaba Jones addressed a sold out luncheon – our most successful WHW luncheon yet! We look forward to continuing the expansion of Women Helping Women efforts by returning to San Francisco next year. Click here for photos of the event.
We celebrated our third annual Women Helping Women New York event on November 14th at the Manhattan Penthouse. We honored Selita Ebanks — supermodel, actress and philanthropist — who graciously received an unique necklace designed for her by one of our sponsors, Karen Egren. Hosted by Claudia Chan, the event was a smashing success. All three of this year’s USA Women Helping Women luncheons are funding our newest project in Swaziland. Check out photos of the New York event here!