Breast Cancer Advocacy Rises in Kosovo

Global Fund grantee and women's health advocates lobby for improved healthcare services in Kosovo. Igballe Rogova, director of Kosovo Women's Network, a Global Fund grantee, told Women's e-News,  "I'm so upset with my government...Every person in government has to have a Jeep at a time when women are dying. We need health care, not Jeeps."

Read the article on Women's e-News.



New Births, New Hope From Afghanistan

This week Yahoo! News teamed up with Direct Relief International, to produce a short story on maternal healthcare in Afghanistan. The story features the work of Global Fund grantee, The Afghan Institute of Learning. Watch the story on You Witness News.

Girl Child Network Vows to Fight Rapists

After receiving death threats from government officials, Betty Makoni, the director of Global Fund grantee, The Girl Child Network, in Zimbabwe, spoke with reporters about her determination to continue defending the rights of children. Makoni, winner of the Global Friends Award and the World Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child for 2007, told the Zim Daily:

"As GCN we are and will not fear naming and shaming high profile people that have raped innocent children. We will fight hard to protect them (girls) and boys from all forms of abuse in the country without looking at the perpetrator's political and social muscles. It's disappointing that a number of both ZANU PF and MDC political gurus have at one time been arraigned before the courts on rape charges without fair justice given to the poor child. It's now high time that we name and expose them."

Read the whole article on Zim Daily.


Surviving the Tsunami

On behalf of the Solomon Islands National Council of Women, National NGO Body for Women of Solomon Islands, I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Board and staff of Global Fund for Women, remembering women of Solomon Islands especially the women and children in the Western and Choisuel Provinces that were badly hit by the tsunami.

In last couple of days my office was trying to contact our women in the two provinces, however we could not get through to them because of telecommunication cut offs.  So far there were twenty-four people confirmed dead and thousands are homeless.  People were also injured and among them were the husband of Mrs. Hilda Kari the current President of the Solomon Islands National Council of Women. According to different reports, people are still searching for missing people.  Among the deaths were elderly women who could not escape.  People were so focused on rescuing their families. People who have escaped to higher grounds do not want to come down to their homes, fearing that another tsunami may strike again.  

The SI National Council of Women in its capacity had sent a message of solidarity and condolences to the women of both Western and Choisuel Provinces.  It is very difficult to tell exactly what is happening to our women in the two affected areas because of the geographical setup of Solomon Islands.  All the places that were affected could only be reached by plane or by boat.  Gizo town, the most attractive town for tourists is down.  The airstrip was badly destroyed.

One of the crucial areas that the Council is focusing at critically is the psychological effect that the Tsunami is having on women, girls and children.  Trauma Counseling must take place immediately in the most affected areas.  The SI National Council of Women has women who are trauma counselors, however to get them down there is very difficult

If this is possible for women to get down there to the most affected areas then they can also work with women leaders to see what can be done in terms of rebuilding and reorganizing devastated communities.

Right now assistance is forthcoming both from local and international, but the focus is more on food, clean water, medicine supplies, tents, clothes etc.

There was an NGO meeting that was held on the 3rd April on what NGOs can do. The SI National Council of Women its present capacity cannot assist with material things, but can offer trauma counseling to women, girls who may have lost their loved ones as well as their properties.

I think that is all I can provide regarding information on the tsunami.

Thank you very much for thinking of us at this very difficult time.

Ella Kauhue is the General Secretary of the Solomon Islands National Council of Women, a Global Fund grantee.


Tsunami in the Solomon Islands

Dear Sisters in the Solomon Islands,

The Board and staff of Global Fund for Women would like to express  our deep sadness about the destruction and loss of life that has  resulted from the tsunami that affected the Solomon Islands on April  1, 2007.  Through the press, radio and communications from our  network, we have learned of the loss of lives and physical  devastation.  The Global Fund for Women is writing to express our  solidarity with you during this difficult time.  We do not know to  what extent you have been affected by the tsunami.  We can only hope  that you, your friends, relatives, and colleagues are safe.  Please  send us an e-mail, if you can, to let us know how you are.

As you know, Global Fund's main objective as a funding agency is to  strengthen women's organizing and women's groups.  Our mission is to  support long-term efforts to advance the human rights of women and  girls.  Global Fund for Women is not a relief organization and does  not have the capacity to provide direct aid in emergency situations.   Instead, we are committed to ensuring that women's rights groups can  count on our support to help them continue to be a voice for women's  rights and gender equality in their communities for years to come.   In our commitment to support the rebuilding of women's lives and  organizations, part of our long-term grantmaking activities will  focus on promoting sustainable development within a gender and human  rights framework.  In the coming months we will be preparing  ourselves as an organization to take on this much needed work in the  affected areas.

At this time, we have sent solidarity letters to grantees in the  affected areas, expressing our concern and outlining our grantmaking  abilities.  We encourage groups with open grants from Global Fund to  use the funds for whatever activities they believe are most critical  at this time.  In the coming months, we will be accepting grant  applications to address the gender-specific needs in rebuilding and  reorganizing communities affected by the devastation.

When you can spare the time, we would like to ask for your advice on  the best way to support women and girls in the affected islands.   Please send us your thoughts on the situation of women and girl  survivors and tell us what kinds of support Global Fund should  prioritize in its long-term response to the recent tsunami.  Also, if  there is anything else you feel we should be doing, please let us know.

With all of our solidarity,

Shalini Nataraj
Vice President for Programs/Evaluation

Dechen Tsering
Program Officer for Asia/Oceania

Naishin Fu
Program Associate for Asia/Oceania
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