Now or Never Fund Update

Since the Global Fund's creation of the Now or Never Fund in 2003, we have granted an additional $4.6 million to women's groups around the world.

These grants have provided vital support to more than 200 women's organizations in 70 countries, including:

  • In Colombia, Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas Bolivar (League of Displaced Women of Bolivar) literally built a City of Women through its Ciudad de Mujeres project, which constructed houses for over 500 women and their children displaced by the civil war that has ravaged Colombia for the past 36 years. In addition to providing shelter for female refugees, the League is committed to organizing women in pacifist resistance against the violence that violates the human rights of all Colombians, but particularly impacts women.

    The League is using a Now or Never grant of $50,000 to harness the power of mass media as a means of spreading the word about nonviolent alternatives and successful refugee reintegration projects promoted by the League and its allies.

    After six years of constant hard work, women are resisting the abandonment of the Colombian State and have begun to understand that only when organized will they achieve the reparation and compensation necessary to restore their dignity as human beings -- League of Displaced Women of Bolivar
  • Founded in 2001, Solidarité des Femmes Activistes pour la Défense des Droits Humaines (Women Activists in Solidarity for the Defense of Human Rights) works to promote women's rights, build peace and strengthen the rule of law. The group is based in Uvira in South Kivu Province, an area that has borne the brunt of armed conflicts occurring in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996. Over four million people in Eastern Congo have died during these years from war, starvation, and disease, thousands of women have been raped, social ties have broken down and violence has become a way of life.

    With a $55,000 Now or Never Fund grant the group was able to buy a second-hand vehicle for its community outreach, purchase computers and office equipment, and pay six staff salaries for six months. The group's programs helped women get involved in the electoral process and form tribunals to hear the cases of victims of violence. More than 350 women came forward to report cases of rape and received counseling from SOFAD

    We enjoyed a performance by SOFAD's youth theatre group and band, who were fantastic. The lyrics were about the need for national reconciliation, ending of rape, atrocities, the fact that no one has won the war. SOFAD has youth programs because so few can afford to go to school and are easily recruited into gangs and militias. -- Muadi Mukenge, Global Fund Program Officer for Sub-Saharan Africa, on a recent visit to SOFAD.
  • Promotion of Women Empowerment and Rehabilitation (POWER) is the first and only independent organization in Pakistan for women with disabilities. POWER provides rehabilitation and vocational training programs to rural women with disabilities in Pakistan's remote North West Frontier Province. The group fulfills its mission of proving that women with disabilities can work as positive agents of change in the country's development. The Global Fund provided POWER with a seed grant in its first year to establish offices in Peshawar, provide training to members, and form links with other women's NGOs. Since then, 11 POWER groups have been formed in other towns, creating a provincial network.

    A $33,000 Now or Never grant is helping POWER take its vision even further with the creation of a nationwide network of POWER groups over the next three years.

  • The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in March 2006 by Betty Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchu Tum and Jody Williams. Only 12 women in over 100 years have won the Nobel Peace Prize.  The mission of the Women Nobel Peace Laureates Initiative is to address and prevent the root causes of violence by spotlighting and promoting the efforts of women's rights activists, researchers and organizations working to advance peace, justice and equality.

    The Global Fund's $35,000 grant will help fund an upcoming international conference on Women and Conflict: Lens on the Middle East."

    We five women -- representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa--have decided to bring together our extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. -- Nobel Women's Initiative

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