capacity building

Bridging Gaps and Cultivating Foundation - A 12-week Program for Refugee High School Girls

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  • Self-Identity
  • Social Justice
  • Roots
  • “My Story”

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  • Understanding Gender
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Communication
  • Dating

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  • What breaks your heart?
  • Voice
  • Expression
  • Community

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  • Sense of belonging
  • Path Through Higher Education
  • Balance
  • Mindfulness Practices

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What happens when you put young women leaders in a room for twelve weeks?

Well, you begin to uncover the details of how stories intertwine, ebb and flow, and collectively culminate power that shines through. Past the anger and the struggle of every day. You see the beauty that illuminates the commitment to not give up and walk a path of uncertainty, but one that needs to be walked.Each one of the 7 young African women has a story to tell and have gone to their growth-edge to make sure that they are heard and not silenced. Each one of them has taken time to critically think and engage in their own level of vulnerability to write a piece of their own story to share hoping that it will create change in the way we react, act, and engage in the SLC community.The learnings that came from this course is meant to be intimate and proactive. We encourage you to come wanting to engage in the experiences of these young women knowing that you will learn from them. We thank you in advance for taking the time and sitting with us, as we tell OUR stories.

Who were the Participants?

In total ten young women participated in the program. They came from two different schools and their age range was 15-18yrs. The recruitment of the program was done through word-of-mouth. Though the program sought to have a more diverse group in school/culture/background/life-story — there was limited time to do adequate recruitment. Each of the recruited young women came into the program with their own set of skills and perspectives. The young women proved to be outstanding group to work with. All women were of African families, some were born in the U.S., and all have the ability to talk about the refugee experience, though many of the young women do not self -identify as refugees.*Note: The program flexed with involvement of initial participants, by the end of the 12 weeks, 3 participants had left, but the program gained one new participant later into the program. Seven women participated in their end-of-program event: We as Women all as Women: Shining light on our stories, creating new narrative, listen to our voices.

Educational Component

All the educational material and lessons were built to dissect four themes in the 12 weeks. Those 4 themes can be seen above in MODULES. All educational material was presented with social justice in the forefront of the classroom. All educational material was pulled from previous knowledge of the facilitator; activities, workshops; websites such as: Teaching Tolerance, and books on education and identity.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_testimonial admin_label="Ruth" author="Ruth Arevalo" url_new_window="off" portrait_url="" quote_icon="on" use_background_color="on" background_color="rgba(224,182,92,0.42)" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]Why am I here? Where do I fit into this story? Well…My story and body starts at a confluence of blood that historically and phenotypically were determined by hierarchy and power to not match. This means as I grew I was placed in ambuigity and confusion of where I fit in this world.This… Exacerbated by the death of those who brought me into this world. I laid on the floor as a small child looking into the sky while I felt the whole world falling around me breathing in and out….[/et_pb_testimonial][et_pb_text admin_label="Text2" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]


The aspects of uncovering the layers of identity were fundamental to programming. Exploring the aspects of our identities that put forth contingencies because society has given us a label.Understanding privilege and our own privilege/or not being able to access certain privileges and how that is wrapped into our identities and how to healthily navigate spaces with this knowledge was prioritized.

Safety and Cohesion

Safe and inclusive space, the importance of feeling safe is dire to creating space for communication, growth, and developmentCreating flexibility and space for all to talk, be heard, and to be ok with tensions or disagreements. We understood that conflict is part of growth and conflict resolution allows cohesion and respect between group members.


The base of communication that was set up was implemented with intentional time given to build trust. Weekly check-ins at meetings with active listening and feedback along with outside meeting check-ins once a month by phone to continue to develop rapport and depth to the relationship between participant and facilitator.It was monumental to give and provide space for all feelings, thoughts, and actions to be heard, discussed, and validated.Some of the women had a stronger presence, confidence, and base of knowledge to put to their voice, as some were still growing into how they desire to best express themselves and communicate with others.All participants began to engage in what it meant to have courage to stand up for themselves and also gaining comfort in what it meant to ask for help. Most importantly we continued the conversation of how important voice is for women of color.All participants were expected to work together and use their communication skills to work through frustrations and uncertainty to create a public event at the end of the 12 weeks.The event “We as Women All as Women” show cased the importance of story and provided space for each of the young women to capture one characteristic important to them and use spoken word to express it with a critical and profound lens. The open dialogue that was led by the young women at the end of their performance was to engage the public to ask questions about the importance of why their stories should be heard and why they are using their voices to express the changes they want to see from the perspective of being young African women living in the United States in this very pivotal moment in history.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_testimonial admin_label="Saida" author="Saida" url_new_window="off" portrait_url="" quote_icon="on" use_background_color="on" background_color="rgba(189,143,232,0.62)" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]At the beginning of the 12 weeks I spent with Ruth and the other 8 girls I was very skeptical of what I was getting myself into. Would I be just wasting my time in a boring club listening to people with monochromatic voices talking about challenges women face? I knew all the challenges women face, I face them every single day of my life. Why did I need to talk about it over and over again? I decided to give the group the benefit of the doubt and just go to one meeting. If I didn’t like it I would just stop coming, it was going to be a piece of cake. I would walk in share a few sad stories, listen to people share a few of their sad stories, and I would be out the door. Boy, was I wrong.As soon as I opened the doors of the building where the meetings were held a strange feeling hit me. This feeling was of comfort and understanding. I knew from that moment that this wasn’t just a club where we would sit talking about our feelings. It was a club where we would take ACTION about our feelings. The other 8 girls and I sat down at the table nervous about what was to come. We didn’t know that this 12 weeks program would make us a family.“When I think of this group I think of one word, Diverse. Not only in that we come from different countries around the world, but also that we all have different opinions and outlooks on the world,” said Naima Dahir a group member.This 12 week journey was a pathway to more knowledge for us girls. We learned more than we have ever learned anywhere, including school.“Topics that were covered where, Identity, including the complexities and intersections of identity/ies. The importance of telling your story. What it looks like to advocate for yourself and intervene when you see or are in the situation of injustice.  We talked about racialized and gendered language as well as aspects of healthy relationships and communication,” said Ruth Arevalo the facilitator of the group.At the end of the program us girls organized and held our own get together. We shared stories, poems, dances, and what everyone loved most, the food. The idea behind the event was to have an open conversation of what we all learned together. It was an event that brought women of color together to  showcase our progress and have a good time. For many of the girls in the group they didn’t have a lot of space to talk about what they go through on a daily basis. This helped open up the discussion.“I feel that our message to our audience was fulfilled. And that individuals left our event that night inspired, ready to make moves, transformed and most importantly label free,” said Heba Geiang a group member.  I am very glad I took the risk and joined this group. It was one of the most amazing experiences that I have ever gone through. Everyday you can make decision that will change your life. Sometimes you hesitate. I am glad my hesitation lasting for only a second, and I dove right in to pave the way to my future life.Learning about Slope in Math class, Literary Devices in English, and Mitochondria in Science are all very important. But none of those topics will establish the foundation of who we are. Identity, Stories, Relationships, and Communication are what makes us human. We are different people than when we started 12 weeks ago, and we have all changed for the better.[/et_pb_testimonial][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]


Beautiful inside & out.Originally from Morocco, Layla has now made Salt Lake City her home. What I admire most about Layla is she is always willing to lend a helping hand. She is so generous, always willing to share her culture through food and thought. Although a bit shy and soft-spoken at first, she is very determined to create an even better life for herself here in Utah.She is just a graduate of dental assisting studies. I have no doubt that Layla will get a great job working with patients to make their smiles that much brighter.refugee women stories

Public Radio Return on Refugee Service Investment

This morning, the Salt Lake City Public radio station KRCL aired a brief interview with Women of the World Founder and Executive Director, Samira Harnish, on the "Return on Investment" that support for the refugee women population can have on the community.The women refugees that make up part of our new neighbor populations here in America have overcome great adversity to start at the bottom in our system, but Women of the World believes that like many immigrants before them, these refugee women will integrate and become self-reliant.As you know from reading this newsletter, Women of the World differentiates itself in the landscape of refugee service by focusing on women still facing issues after their resettlement benefits have expired.  Women of the World builds self-reliance by customizing service to the specific need, working alongside "our ladies" to solve the issue together, and building capacity in English, employment skills, and education.Samira Harnish says, "It can be hard, challenging to overcome a past of violence and oppression, a struggle against poverty in a new home where the rules and language are unfamiliar, but our ladies love it here because they have a chance to keep their kids safe and through hard work, succeed."That is the Return on Investment that Women of the World guarantees the communities it works in.

Ally Bank Grant for Customized Human Rights Service

Women of the World is pleased to announce that it has accepted a charitable contribution from Ally Bank.allyAlly Bank contributes funds to support organizations that assist low- and moderate-income individuals in the community.  Ally Bank prides itself on being an ally to its community partners.  Ally employees take great pride in offering their time and talent to charitable causes, and Women of the World has been the beneficiary of some terrific advice from its Ally Bank partner Kimberli Haywood.Through our programs of Customized Human Rights Service, Practical English, and Economic Empowerment, Women of the World is a refugee service organization that promotes the economic development to Salt Lake City’s low-income refugee women and their families.  Women of the World is provides services to low-income refugee women beyond the six-month benefit period supported by the majority of refugee service organizations.  Furthermore, because of Women of the World’s success in coordinating service, these organizations are offloading their complex cases into our portfolio, overwhelming our limited case management resources.  Women of the World’s services are customized for each our clients by their Case Manager, ensuring that the right opportunity -- like housing, English competency, and financial literacy -- is matched to their specific need.Utilizing this generous grant for customized human rights service, Women of the World will increase service to more low-income refugee women through the continuation of the Case Manager position.  Our current Case Manager has done a terrific job serving the refugee community as she works through university and we are very lucky to have her continue in her role of customized case management.Our Case Manager and Operations Director (currently volunteers) both work from home, and meet clients at appointments and in community centers when available.  While this method is serving over 3,000 different issues a year, it is very difficult.  We believe that having an office to conduct business with community partners and being available to serve our  refugee women in one space would increase our scope and efficiency and will be investigating this opportunity with this grant.Women of the World thanks Ally Bank for believing in its mission and supporting refugee women's needs with this generous grant.

Women Who Inspire Article

A great article and interview about women who inspire by 3Plus co-founder Dorothy Dalton featured Women of the World Founder Samira Harnish on their newsletter in September.  Samira gives us plenty of great wisdom in this Women Who Inspire article and still manages to have plenty of fun.

If you could give one piece of advice to any woman about their professional choices what would it be?

Follow your heart and your mind, step forward and don’t look back, get out from underneath the circle of doubt (why me, why me), and reach to your dreams even if you have to sacrifice your luxuries.

3Plus International is a career and leadership coaching company for women and the companies that need them.  Women of the World is happy to continue to support women developing leadership in their companies by offering volunteer and board positions that can help develop leadership beyond the boardroom and into the community. 

Contract Case Manager

Women of the has the following Contract Case Manager position available in April of 2013.  Please use the contact form at the bottom of this email to request more information.Part Time Case Manager? - Women of the World

  • Five month contract position
  • August 1st, 2014 - December 1st, 2015 (20 weeks)
  • 10 hrs per week/ $12 per hour ($2,400)

Organization Description:Women refugees face the combined threats of:LONG-TERM POVERTY Refugee women face long-term poverty in America.  Within one-year of arriving, their entire family is expected to find gainful employment.  They have few workplace skills and no ‘nest egg’ to draw on.RESTRICTED NETWORKS The countries where refugee ladies come from have little history of integrating women into society and husbands and the male patriarchy are rarely accepting of women networking in professional or academic mixed-gender forums.  Women are cut-off from other women and feel abandoned.ABUSED HUMAN RIGHTS Refugee women often do not have a strong concept of the human rights they deserve and are swindled or deceived if no one is looking.  WoW advocates on their behalf in reforming immigration, reporting housing abuse, and ensuring equal employment opportunities.Women of the World offers solutions to these problems through:CUSTOMIZED ADVOCACY Customized advocacy means getting the job done.  It means following up and building the capacity so it doesn’t happen again.WOMEN NETWORKS We believe that our women know best how to help one another, that they will trust one another because they’ve been through it together.?We provide the path, our women provide the power. By the strength of our example and well-developed programs, we show our women how powerful they are and how they can impact others through thriving after their hardships.Internship Description:Case managers connect clients to employment, health, and social service resources in the community with the goal of helping clients become self-sufficient.The Refugee Case Management Intern will gain valuable experience assisting with a variety of professional duties that contribute to the efficiency of operations within the Customized Advocacy, Practical English, and Financial Empowerment programs.Case Management services include an array of support services such as: referral for health care, child care, housing, utilities assistance, language and vocational training, family wellness training, emergency financial assistance, and transportation and interpreter/translation assistance to help clients access and utilize services in culturally and linguistically appropriate manners.Customized advocacy builds women-to-women networks that empower English education, economic development, and/or human rights for Utah’s refugee women and their families.  Women-to-women networks offer a safe place to build friendships supported by conservative cultures upset by post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) while empowering important gender-based, socio-economic skills that are largely under-realized by refugee women.  WoW’s fieldtrips offer research, planning, and communication at financial, health, nutrition, family, service, and employment venues – skills and contacts needed to navigate Utah’s opportunities.RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Assist program manager with new client intake
  • Assist with social service applications
  • Partner with social service case managers in locating essential resources for clients
    • Attend community meetings as a representative for the Women of the World
    • Attend all WoW office hours
    • Attend all volunteer intake sessions
    • Educate WoW clients in transportation to appointments
    • Help coordinate special events for clients
    • Help coordinate WoW office hours
    • Coordinate client and volunteer data entry
    • Follow-up on reporting requirements from case managers
    • Provide case management services to refugees, asylees, and other displaced persons; services include: coordinating housing, medical appointments, inter-agency referrals, orientation/client education, school enrollments, employment placement and preparation, etc.
    • Manage office clerical duties. Including input of receipts etc into QuickBooks and providing reconciliation of bank accounts to board of directors. (training will be provided)
      • Utilize community resources and programs to assist clients
      • Maintain detailed case file documentation and case notes
      • Prepare reports and ensure program targets and outcomes are met
      • Represent the organization at meetings and other outreach activities
      • Work with volunteers and co-sponsors to assist with services provided to clients
        • Serve as an advocate for clients


  • At least 18 years of age
  • Sensitivity to the needs of diverse cultural communities
  • Must carry automobile insurance and have a clean driving record.  Must have own reliable transportation.
  • Must have own laptop for use at WoW Office Hours
  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality as it relates to handling client information and fill out a confidentiality disclosure.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check
  • Education or experience in Social Work or working with vulnerable populations preferred
  • Must be willing to meet clients in their homes or where the needs exist: government offices, offices of employment etc.
  • Experience working with diverse populations and refugee social service programs desired
  • High English language proficiency required; fluency in an additional language spoken by the client base preferred
  • Computer proficient including Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, and Outlook)
  • Capable of working independently with proven experience in achieving goals

[contact-form-7 id="2489" title="Contact-SRH"]

Smith's Community Rewards Program

Women of the World is thrilled to partner with the Smith's Community Rewards Program.  For every time you swipe your card on qualified purchases at Smith's, Smith's Food and Drug will donate to a local non-profit like Women of the World.It is important to note that this donation is in addition to the grocery and gasoline rewards you already receive by using your Smith's Reward Cards and there is no additional charge for this service.The video embedded below steps you through:

  • Registering your card online
    • (Even if you have a Smith’s card, you need to register online)
  • Enter your email address and a password to start the process.
  • Entering your card number.
  • Searching for "Women of the World" and associating us as your community organization with your rewards program.

Further instructions are available using our training document or at the Smith's Community Rewards website.This fundraising goes to support your new neighbors with:

  • Less than $20 buys one refugee woman an entire year of customized advocacy.
  • Less than $25 builds employment and English skills for your new refugee neighbors in 2014.

Thank you again for using your Smith's Community Rewards Program with Women of the World.

Cultural Connections Podcast - 3rd Annual Event

Women of the World was proud to be asked to be interviewed by Nkoyo Iyamba for her 1 December 2013 Cultural Connections show on KSL Radio.  This podcast interviewed two of the volunteers of Women of the World, Elena Blasa, a member of the Board of Directors and caseworker, and Ghasaq Jaffar, a volunteer with Women of the World and school teacher in a local refugee school.These women were interviewed to discuss the 3rd Annual Celebration event which will for the first time be an awards banquet to celebrate the successes of Women of the World members including:

  • Women that have achieved a significant milestone in their post-secondary education like an advanced degree
  • Women that have become literate in English... for many of these ladies, this is the first language they are literate in.
  • Women that have served their own communities
  • Women that have worked through English and Civics in order to get their citizenship
  • Finally, our Woman of the Year -- believe me, you will be heartened by this woman's commitment to your new neighbors

IMG_3943The 3rd Annual Celebration event is a free event ($10 donation suggested) that includes ethnic food and entertainment.  Everyone is invited and encouraged to come and meet your new neighbors.  While significant milestones have been accomplished, there is always more to do and you can help by supporting Women of the World through your donations of time or money.For more information:

IMFT Job Skills Training

IMFT Strategic Programs Group is joining with Women of the World for its Day of Service to teach job skills to refugee women looking for work in the Salt Lake City area.When: Thursday 29 NovTime : 10am - 1pmWhere: Hser Ner Moo Center 479 East 2250 South, South Salt Lake City, UT Job Skills Training*Session 1: Internet Job SearchSession 2: Resume Writing & WordprocessingSession 3: InterviewingSession 4: General Job Skills (How to do a great job!)*Not an IMFT hiring event

Strength of Women Volunteers

Interview with Women of the World Executive Director, Samira Harnish, on what you can do to volunteer and help Women of the World.

Theme is strength

  • While women are known for their beauty, Women of the World is known for its STRENGTH
  • Let me give a couple of stories of Women of the World’s strength
    • Fought for woman and her family to raise the health of her home, took care of the mold that surrounded her, even though the landlord said they caused it and their culture lives this way.
    • Fought for a women whose parents received their green cards but she did not. Immigration Services did not believe her story but through the fight of WoW, Immigration found their mistake and the woman got her green card.

Call to Action

  • You have all gotten stronger and I applaud you.
  • Women of the World has also grown, even though it has been a tough year for us to achieve our mission, most of you have achieved what you started out to do this year.
  • Remember, we are stronger together than we are apart. If you are struggling, Women of the World will be there for you; but if another woman is struggling, will you be there for her? Can I hear you say: yes I will help other women!
  • Please listen to those women around you, from a different country or the same, and learn what you can share, how you can help.

Women's Need for Refugee Community Center

It's impossible to try and talk for Iraqi and women refugees, even though I am proud to be an Iraqi woman -- but what I do know is that people with similar backgrounds need to gather.  Women need to gather to get a break from their husbands and children, to have an adult conversation about their needs and hopes, to take an English class, to take a breath and enjoy their safety and find some support.  Iraqis are much different from when I last lived there, before wars broke the country financially and hatred and distrust broke the people's emotions and will to live, they need a place to sit and rebuild this once proud preeminent civilization.Donations to Women RefugeesFor all refugee communities, women must be the primary concern.  Under appreciated in many of their home countries, their role as a second wage earner builds a financially successful family, the respect they get as a mother ensures they raise well-educated, well-adjusted children.  Women must have their own community center in order to gather separate from men, with their children safe in a daycare, they must be given a chance to talk together and share their stories, to socialize in English about their new lives and their dreams for the future.  Furthermore, the Women Refugee Center would help women with computers to get education, FAFSA, or connect back to their families back home; it would help them develop their skills and even a business in sewing with available sewing machines, and of course it will have private rooms to help serve the private needs of women in a safe environment.[gn_pullquote align="right"]Women need to gather to get a break from their husbands and children, to have an adult conversation about their needs and hopes, to take an English class, to take a breath and enjoy their safety and find some support.[/gn_pullquote]If the Refugee Community Center only offered a place to talk, to take their case for support in an environment that respected their differences, amongst people from their situations, trained in caring and collaboration, it would be a success.  But the Refugee Community Center means so much more.  At the first refugee conference that I attended in January 2011, the keynote speaker and University of Utah economist Pamela Perlich developed the data for the idea that I have always felt -- diversity and immigration are more important to our economic future on the wealth end of the spectrum than on the poor end.  What I mean by this, and what is backed up by Professor Perlich's data, is that the minority-majority culture is more likely to join the creative class, those imaginative enough to develop their own economies beyond the information economy.  The next creative class, the first with the minority-majority demographic, can be found by looking into an elementary classroom in Salt Lake City right now.  The Refugee Community Center will guide these students through adolescence, giving them a place to belong; and more importantly, will teach their parents the English they will need to not be language outcasts from their own children.[gn_box title="A Mother's Dream" color="#333333"]Every mother dreams that her son or daughter will grow to be happy, successful, and healthy. For our refugee mothers settling in Utah, this is a very tangible dream. Their children work twice as hard early on to succeed, taking nothing for granted.[/gn_box]As every mother of a teen knows, distance and silence are the weapons their child uses to begin to separate from their family and set out (even before their time) on their own.  This silence is lessened when there is a place to learn English alongside your child, showing them that you care, that in this one location the seeds of fun and the seeds of learning can both be sewn.  That lesson, the lesson that creativity, commitment, play, and work can come together and make an American dream, is the what the Refugee Community Center offers to mothers, daughters, Iraqis, Congolese, and Burmese refugees alike.I am committed to working hard AND smart to making something greater than ourselves.  Developing a center for community that leads a child or a woman, an innocent ravaged by war, brutality, and poverty back to the path of hope and ultimately happiness is the highest ideal of service and humanity.  And that is why I support the Salt Lake City Refugee Community Center on behalf of the Women of the World Non-Profit Organization and the Iraqi Community in Utah.Samira HarnishFounder and Executive Director of Women of the World

English Language Learning Tutoring 2011

Women of the World has started tutoring some in its community in English!  We are happy to have partners from the BYU Students for International Development group making the long trek to Salt Lake City to volunteer as tutors and Professor Joan Dixon and Education Coordinator Ruth Arevalo developing the experiential curriculum.

Differentiation of English Language Learner Program

The English Language Learning program offered by Women of the World is different from others offered to Salt Lake City refugees...

  • Small group seating that fosters social relationships with little instructor lecturing
  • Students talking about situations where they used English in real life as opposed to grammar lessons
  • Walls covered with the levels of English proficiency that the class developed and the roles where they will use English.

Each discussion will foster the learners taking responsibility for their own learning, developing their own materials including a dictionary built based on subject/situation not the arbitrary alphabet, and doing most of the talking, expressing and being facilitated to learn the English “they wished they’d had” in daily situations of the past week.Another difference, important for funders, is that the results enabled by the course are not the traditional “teach to the test” but are based on the National Institute for Literacy’s Equipped for the Future (EFF) Standards. From the twice weekly, two-hour sessions, the Women of the World ELL students will define how different levels of learners progress in the below EFF standards and will then be measured on their own scale and their progress reported.[gn_quote style="3"]

  • Access needed information.
  • Take independent action.
  • Express their own ideas and opinions.
  • Keep up with a changing world.
  • Exercise their rights and responsibilities as family members, workers, and community members

[/gn_quote]One example of this from a class taught by Professor Dixon, defined a level 1 learner as “Name and greeting” while a level 2 learner was a “secret English speaker” – the difference being that a level 2 learner could communicate but the broken nature of their communication kept them from speaking. A progression through levels in each of the three roles will be the reported results for each learner. Women of the World expects an average of 1.5 level progression for each 40-class semester.

Salt Lake County Need for Refugee ELL Class

In closing, Women of the World would like to convey the excitement and need the community has expressed for this ELL program. Women who have some English skills express their concern over how their medical interpreter seems to not get all the right information communicated, women who have no English skills get more distant from their English-speaking teens and the whole community suffers, and a family without a second income suffers or is stuck on social assistance. While an improving English language learner targeting education can be measured with a test, because of the broad reach of a woman’s role in society, her literacy must improve in the laboratory of life, the classroom of the community.See more English Language Learner Training snippets on the Women of the World Youtube Channel at

Looking Forward to 2012

Hello everyone in Utah and all over the world, I want to wish you a happy, wonderful, successful, prosperous, peaceful, healthy and wealthy new year. Women of the World Organization has passed its first year anniversary and has done some amazing work in 2011.We have helped more than 100 refugee families, women, men and children; are building great capacity by:

  • offering them schooling, advocacy, jobs, interpreting, health education, and American cultural education.
  • by giving each woman what she needs and make her safe in her new refugee community.

Women of the World and the organization's clients send their appreciation for all the people that donated furniture, kitchen supplies, winter clothes, infant and household products. These are very useful, much needed things to make refugee women happy & support the entire family. Refugee women only need these simple things to feel empowered as a mothers, sisters, or daughters.We are looking forward to 2012.  Women of the World has a big list of needed programs for refugee women and hopes to turn some of the assisted clients into service professionals in the community from whence they came.  The programs WoW is working on this year include:

  1. An Experiential English Language Learners (ELL) class, our ladies are very excited to learn English with new program that Women Of the World put together using the "classroom of the community" approach.
  2. An office to gather the ladies, where they can communicate and learn from other women from different countries.  This is great therapy for the war survivors, rape survivors, and women that have survived more than 20 years living in camps.  An office will support many, many great things that will empower and build her capacity in her new community.
  3. Help women find a job or to get her own business.  For anyone that employees women, our community members are ready to go to work and are educated and hardworking.  This valuable resource with important ideas can help differentiate your business and make it more successful.

 Please we need your help to make her dreams come true.Donations to Women Refugees

  • We need volunteers in many positions,
  • We need English tutors,
  • we need funding to pay the people helping other refugee women.
  • we need donation for
    • kitchen supply (pot, pans, dishes, food processor),
    • vacuum cleaner,
    • diapers,
    • shampoo and soap,
    • detergent,
    • and food.

These women, mostly mothers, have gone to the ends of the world to protect their children and their families, please continue your generosity and give them the help they need to make their new houses into homes.

Refugee Holiday Celebration

“It is better to give than to receive.”

Women of the World was happy to connect the giving of the wonderful, caring, and charitable women of Salt Lake City with the needs of the refugee community. As part of its Refugee Casework, one of the databases that Women of the World has kept in its Dropboxhas been that of the needs of each family. Some may need a vacuum, others may require blankets or bedding, while others request toys or computers for their youngsters. For each of these refugee families, these requests are weighed heavily on the balance of want versus need and often require the patience of months before there is any resolution. That is where the holiday spirit, and a special group of women, stepped up in a big way.Women of the World Clothing and Toy Holiday Donations

Girls Night Out Women’s Group

Women of the World counts on women of all nations understanding the unique struggles of women in other circumstances and supporting one another – and this holiday season the support has been overwhelming! The women’s organization Girl’s Night Out donated new clothing, toys, educational games, computers, and household items toward filling the needs and holiday wishes of Women of the World’s members. Furthermore, a grant was given by a wonderful donor that will be used to futher develop the Refugee Dental Health Wellness Program started this year by Women of the World.

Delivering Gifts - The Christmas Bonus of Nonprofit Service Volunteering

Even though nonprofit service work does not come with a Christmas bonus in the monetary sense, delivering gifts to underprivlidged refugee families that really need these household and clothing items is far more rewarding. The delight and thanks they share for the gifts of strangers makes me enjoy Christmas more than I have in years and gives the special sense of humanity and unity that is the REAL meaning of Christmas.

Eid Celebration

This year the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the celebration after the month-long Ramadan fast, was supplemented by Women of the World's gifts, donations, and community roundtable forum with the Refugee Service Office.  The celebration occurred at the Sugarhouse Park and was very well attended.Traditionally, gifts are given to children for Eid and Women of the World donated toys for both boys and girls and was able to find enough women to donate their lightly used jewelry to give a new necklace or bracelet to each girl.  Clothing and food was donated by Women of the World and dancing and Arabic music was enjoyed by at eid celebration Women of the WorldThe Town Hall style meeting had a lot of good information on housing and social service benefits and we would like to thank Gerald Brown for so patiently listening to the concerns of the members of Women of the World following up on their concerns. 

Employment Seminar

Job Fair for Utah Refugee WomenIn order to start our women in the right direction in the United States, they need to be gainfully employeed.  On Friday, 20 May 2011, with the help of the Department of Workforce Services, Women of the World conducted a workshop to prepare our members for the job hunting and interviewing process.  As an incentive, this workshop was a prerequisite for the job fair to be held the following Saturday.The DWS and Women of the World supplied no-nonsense advice to the refugee community on topics ranging from the proper format of a resume to the value of hygiene and a strong handshake in making a first impression.  WoW members were given handouts constructed directly from the feedback of companies invited to the select job fair.The Women of the World members have numerous differentiating strengths including their language flexibility, strong work-ethic, and happiness with a renewed life in America.  Employers that are willing to help our members better their English skills, develop employment skills, and integrate into their teams will be encouraged by the success their organizations achieve as a result.For more information on how your organization can hire a new refugee client of the Women of the World, feel free to contact us on our contact page or talk to our employment specialist at (801) 648 – WOW2. 

Workshop: Navigating Public Transportation

Women of the World completed a busy month of events with this Friday's Navigating the Public Transportation System, a workshop created in President Samira Harnish's Westside Leadership Institute class project.  The goal of the class was to develop an event that touched on a key obstacle to community building in a community in need.  As Samira has been focused on refugee women's needs, she was quick to offer her community for information on what she has been told is a key obstacle to their development -- transportation.While the Salt Lake City area has an expansive and easy to access public transportation system, there are not many resources on usage for new refugees that may not understand English or metropolitan transportation systems.  Women of the World and the WLI group developed a brief workshop alongside UTA representatives to clarify the routes, pricing, and access to public transportation for the refugee community.

Workshop: Nutrition

Today, Women of the World, in collaboration with Brigham Young University, sponsored a nutrition workshop for women from the Middle East. While the Mediterranean diet has become a successful diet low in fat in the western world, refugees from the region do not always have the ingredients in their transplant communities to accurately represent the native delicacies. This workshop surveyed the women for their nutritional habits in Utah and contrasted them to the habits they had in their native countries.The Nutrition Workshop also highlighted the Mediterranean diet by serving a full meal, prepared by WoW President and Founder Samira Harnish, of traditional Iraqi fare. The women at the workshop enjoyed the dinner and the information and requested a repeat for the community -- the ability to get together with their friends and talk about food, friends, and family. Further information from the survey and the project conducted by BYU will be made available as soon as Women of the World is granted access.

Workshop: Know Your Housing Rights

On April 1, Women of the World in collaboration with the Salt Lake Community Action Program, put on a community workshop that detailed renters housing rights.  Jennie Perez dedicated her time and presented material from the Utah Renters Handbook to a group of over forty participants.  Questions ranged from the proper way to dispute claims to landlord bias and discrimination.Each member of the WoW community was invited to a post-workshop banquet prepared by Women of the World founder Samira Harnish and to help themselves to donations of clothing and toys.  Women of the World distributed gifts of towels, sundries, and shopping bags donated by WoW and the LDS Humanitarian Center.WoW would like to thank Jennie Perez, the Salt Lake Community Action Program, and the LDS Humanitarian Center for their generous support of this program and to the Horizonte School for its continued housing of these special educational events.