samira

Women of Courage concerts from my perspective

Did you hear the Women of Courage concerts? One of the members of the Canyon Singers, Nan McEntire, shares her impressions of the experience.On March 17th and 18th Women of Courage, the musical creation of Patty Willis and Mary Lou Prince, came to life in Salt Lake City. Although there was no admission fee, donations were plentiful, and half of the amount collected at the door went to Women of the World. As one of the singers in the choir, I realized that Women of the World was the best possible organization to have benefitted from these performances.

Refugees Welcome March on Utah State Capitol

[et_pb_section background_image="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/BannerWithBanners.png" transparent_background="off" background_color="#ffffff" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_divider color="#ffffff" height="200" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" background_color="#f7f7f4" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" custom_padding="57px|0px|6px|0px" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="0px||15px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="10em" text_text_color="#323232" text_line_height="1.1em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="0px||0px|" disabled="off"]8[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#aeaeac" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Divider" custom_css_main_element="width:20px;" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="18" text_text_color="#363636" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="-10px||0px|" disabled="off"]FEBRUARY, 2016[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_text_color="#02b875" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="20px|||" disabled="off"]ActivismRefugeeMuslim Ban[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="24" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.4em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="10px||0px|" disabled="off"]Refugees flee horror. It is a moral failing to leave refugees scratching at the gates of mercy.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]The resistance against the moral failings of the current administration has begun. Immigrants, native Utahns, Mormons, and Muslims all marched together to protest the vile ban on refugees and immigrants.Women of the World led in the march. Founder and Executive Director, Samira Harnish, gave the below speech, which is published in its entirety with a video linked below.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="16px||12px|" custom_padding_tablet="17px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_code admin_label="video"][/et_pb_code][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||on||" text_font_size="16" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="20px||0px|" disabled="off"]Samira's inspirational speech at the Utah State Capitol[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||on||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="6px|||" disabled="off"]SLC Voices on YouTube[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="0px||20px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]

Refugees Welcome Speech

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Samira Harnish and I am the Founder and Executive Director of Women of the World, a women refugee service organization here in Salt Lake City.Like many of you, I am a mixture of identities. That is still what makes America great. I am Iraqi. I am American. I am an immigrant. I am a mother. I am a Nana. I am a Muslim. I am a sister. I am a wife. I am the voices of our women from Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Yamen, Nepal, Burma, Sudan & many other great countries.I am a woman of the world.I am here today to ask our representatives to denounce the President's Muslim ban. I am here to ask federal, state, and local leaders to put our children’s future above the Republican Party. You are meant to represent the best interests of the people, not the powerful.As a mother, I know something about bullies. I know that bullies hide weakness. I know bullies think we won’t fight back. I know that bullies never stand alone but surround themselves with other bullies.Does this sound like anyone you know? Have you seen this bully mock a disabled person? Threaten a professional woman?Are we going to be bullied? I said, are we going to let the bully rule over our country?As a refugee service provider, I know refugees are more courageous than anyone I know. Refugees began their journey under the cover of night. They ducked bombs. Their homes and cities are vanished. Even in these conditions, their humanity shines. They rescue a child, find food for their families.Refugees have suffered at the hands of our enemies. They are the escaped human shields. They have been tortured. Disabled. Their family members killed.It is only your mercy that can spare them a similar fate.They have gone to the ends of the earth to save themselves and their children. They were courageous in getting here... Will you be as courageous in defending their right to be here?In my native Arabic, America is known as Um Aldinia. Um is mother, Aldinia is world. The mother of the world. Like a mother, America is caring, can be tough in her love, but is fair. Today we are acting more like the family's racist uncle…I still remember that night in 2008 when I celebrated with my husband and our friends the nomination of the extraordinary gentleman with an identity as mixed as mine.But more than his nomination, his work, or his coolness under pressure; I will always resonate with President Obama's creed.  A simple statement that speaks both, to the hope and the community of a nation.Yes we can.Even when times seem dark. Yes we can.Even when the gates to immigration seem locked. Yes we can.Even as the tears of hopelessness stream down our face. Yes we can.Even as we stand up to power that would discriminate on religion. Yes we can.As we win the battle of ideas over alternative facts. Yes we can.As we stand for those that have lost liberties in the airports,yes we can…Lost liberties leaving the prisons----------- yes we can…Lost liberties being outside the wall------------yes we can…After being laid off-------yes we can…Or denied health care of any kind-- Yes we can --Yes we can…Yes we can.Now I’m going to end with simple directions.The best way to serve refugees is to give them a voice and be their friend. Say it with me: give them a voice & be their friend.In giving them a voice, make sure your voice is heard. Go to 5calls.org everyday and call each of your representatives on immigration and refugee issues.  Again that website is the number 5, C A L L S dot org. Make five calls every day and make your voice heard.Finally, befriend refugees and immigrants. Even a simple smile to someone that might have had their status questioned or that may have had a family member turned away is enough to brighten their day.Take an interest in where they are from, invite them over for the Superbowl, believe me, they will get great pleasure from being included.Give them a voice and be their friend. Thank you.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="4px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_divider color="#aeaeac" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" max_width="900px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="48" text_font_size_tablet="38" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.3em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="16px||30px|" disabled="off"]"I am here to ask federal, state, and local leaders to put our children’s future above the Republican Party.You are meant to represent the best interests of the people, not the powerful."[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#aeaeac" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" custom_padding="17px|||" custom_padding_tablet="30px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_2" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Capitol2.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Capitol.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Livingston.jpg" alt="Refugee March on Capitol of Utah" title_text="Refugee March on Capitol of Utah" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" custom_margin="34px|||" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/MarchOnStateStreet.jpg" alt="Refugee March on Capitol of Utah" title_text="Refugee March on Capitol of Utah" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" custom_margin="34px|||" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="6px||6px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]It is not enough to just claim that the actions of our leaders are deficient, we must act on our moral outrage. Women of the World has been doing this in a non-partisan manner throughout its entire life. We live in complex times and are both the cause and the best solution for refugees. We can offer excellence in local solutions and struggle against our leaders' misguided policies globally.What is guaranteed is that Women of the World will be at the front line in giving refugee women a voice and guiding friendships between "locals" and our new neighbors.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" background_color="#222222" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" custom_padding="0px|||" padding_mobile="on" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" custom_padding="40px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-1.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="https://womenofworld.org/modeling-our-world-2017-fashion-show-fundraiser/" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="on" align="center" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#888888" text_letter_spacing="2px" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px|||" disabled="off"]Event[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="24" text_text_color="#ffffff" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]Modeling Our World5th Annual Fashion Show[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-2.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="#" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#888888" text_letter_spacing="2px" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px|||" disabled="off"]Op-Ed[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="24" text_text_color="#ffffff" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]Believing Is The Absence Of Doubt[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Cosette-900x900.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="https://womenofworld.org/burundi-utah-cosettes-story/" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#888888" text_letter_spacing="2px" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px|||" disabled="off"]Podcast[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="24" text_text_color="#ffffff" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]Our Latest Podcast[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Founder Samira Harnish Awarded Ruby Award for Excellence in Women's Advocacy

The customized solutions and the impact they are having on empowering refugee women were awarded today with a Ruby Award, by the Soroptimist Club of Salt Lake City.  The Ruby Award is given each year to a woman of distinction who has been helping women in our community. This year Samira Harnish received the award at the Soroptimist’s Annual Ruby Award Gala on the 24th of March.
The Soroptimist Club is a worldwide organization with clubs in over 132 countries and 80,000 members (see also www.soroptimistinternational.org and www.soroptimist.org).  The local club supports our international activities plus activities in our local community specifically for women and girls.
Samira is honored to be awarded by such an amazing service and philanthropy group as the Soroptimist Club. In her address she explained,
The struggles of refugee women are different from their men.  They face the traditional requirements of women -- homemaking, childcare, and emotionally enabling their men -- but soon realize their families need them to work, to gain skills, and to “get over” their sadness of what they lost, what suffering was forced on them, and help get out of poverty.Getting out of poverty and having a voice means not taking NO for an answer.  Women of the World’s customized service is about going to:… the same immigration and housing agencies,… the same benefits office,… into the schools or business… and talking to the same people over,…and over,…and over again.Until they get it right.
The community of Salt Lake City is extremely giving and always offers its new neighbors a helping hand. It is amazing being a small nonprofit organization in Salt Lake City as our big-hearted neighbors always want to offer a helping hand.
2016-03-23 18.38.13

Women of the Mountains Speech

Women of the World Founder and Executive Director, Samira Harnish, gave a Women of the Mountains Speech on the exploitation of refugee women at each stage of their journey to Utah: escaping from war and violence, refugee camps, and resettlement.

In addition to the devastating physical and mental trauma that occurs as a result of war and time in refugee camps, refugee women in Utah continue to face exploitation in their new lives in Utah.

Refugees are exploited as their children learn English before their parents and they and their friends take advantage of this role reversal, often joining gangs, having unwanted pregnancies, or getting into legal trouble.  Another source of exploitation involves the bureaucracy they face in navigating immigration or the social safety net.  Finally, poverty and those that would prey on the less fortunate can be ruinous on refugee women who do not know their rights and are afraid of being sent back to camps.

In order to continue to overcome the exploitation of refugee women, we must work hard at all times to protecting our ladies’ human rights, help them heal, and enable their self-reliance.

Women of the World would like to thank the Women of the Mountains Conference for inviting us to speak and explain the causes of exploitation and how our programs: Customized Service, Practical English, and Economic Empowerment are helping to overcome it. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865638548/Conference-allows-Utah-to-connect-globally-with-those-in-mountain-regions.html?pg=all#eDkIRJ0TZVkLWql0.01 

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.http://www.krcl.org/the-roi-women-of-the-world/

Inside the Story KUTV news visits Women of the World

Founder and President of Women of the World was featured this evening on the KUTV program "Inside the Story" with Dan Rascon -- The Iraqi Samaritan.  The interview is an upbeat look at the sacrifices that Women of the World makes for refugees and the impact that WoW makes -- "one hug at a time."Samira and our new refugee neighbors' story is compellingly told in the TV story and in the article on the KUTV website.  While Women of the World has recently had some great press, Samira Harnish remains focused on the mission, "the important thing is that our Utah neighbors understand the struggles of refugee women and their families."   Women of the World is excited to get back to what we do best, the service of refugee women in the programs that help them achieve "their human rights, self-reliance, a voice in the community, and economic empowerment."  We are working with over three hundred refugee women and their families and are grateful for all of the support that is developed by the increasing interest in our mission and the wonderful, courageous women that we serve. The Trailer Video on Facebook by Dan Rascon is also a very exciting lead-in to what Women of the World is and the efforts that a day in the life require in order to succeed in service.  If you are compelled by this story, please consider contributing your time or other resources to Women of the World.

Follow Your Passion Media features Women of the World

The 2015 Momentum Continues

Women of the World's media momentum continues into 2015 with Nkoyo Iyamba's piece on KSL entitled "Follow Your Passion" in which she highlights Utah citizens that have left careers to pursue something they are passionate about.  Nkoyo led off this series with Women of the World's Founder and President Samira Harnish's story which involves the choice of following her passion to serve and enable women refugees to a level of success like she enjoyed but retired from in her engineering career.  Samira has been successful in academia, in the high-tech industry as a Research & Development engineer, and now as the focal point for the support of refugee women and their families in Utah.The story got picked up by both KSL's website under the title of "Woman helps refugees thrive in Utah" and by Deseret News under the title "Follow your passion: Utahns change careers in pursuit of happiness."  Indeed while it has been difficult to serve with few resources and in a learning as you go mode, Samira has "never been happier or more fulfilled in her life."  The new neighbors that Women of the World supports, according to Samira, "are the real heroes and I appreciate every opportunity to highlight their amazing stories of perseverance and courage."Follow Your PassionWomen of the World is thrilled by the ongoing reporting that Nkoyo Iyamba is focusing on refugee women in Utah and the service women and men that Women of the World is employing to help them achieve their self-reliance.  Nkoyo's commitment to the advancement of all of Utah's diverse community is a service to journalism and to the small nonprofits, like Women of the World, that count on the spotlight that she can shine on our heartfelt activities.

WoW Video featured in pre Sundance Film Festival

Women of the World is thrilled to have its introductory documentary film nominated for a Workman Productions Online Award in the Documentary Category.  Ana Breton, Breton Films, deserves this award for her dedication to the project and how she helped the refugee struggles come to life in her documentary shot 'about town' with WoW President and Founder, Samira Harnish.Women of the World fundraiserThe event where the WoW Video featured in pre Sundance Film Festival is free to the public tickets can be purchased here. Below is further description of the event from the Online Awards site.

Festival Description

The Online Awards is a film festival that takes place in Salt Lake City the weekend before the famous Sundance Film Festival. The festival is open and free to the public to attend. The festival will also be simultaneously be broadcast live at our Los Angels and New York City venues as well.The Online Awards Film Festival is at the Infinity Events Center 26 E 600 S, Salt Lake City, UT

Awards & Prizes

After each seasonal deadline, quality and creativity are celebrated in three levels of awards: Best of Show, Silver Award and Gold Award. Best of Show honors are granted only if worthy productions are discovered. Likewise, no more than 15% of entries are granted Gold Award. Notable artistic and technical productions are recognized at the Silver award level. Judging results letters will be sent by email about four to six weeks after the final deadline to all participants, i.e., to those who were granted awards and those who were not granted awards. Free digital downloads of Online Award laurels will be made available to all winners.

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. 

Love Utah Give Utah 2014

Women of the World needs your support!Supporting refugee women in achieving their dreams!

On Thursday, March 20, 2014, Women of the World (WoW) is participating in Love Utah, Give Utah 2014, a statewide event raising funds for non-profits that make our state great!WoW has been very successful in helping refugee women reach self-sufficiency since its beginnings in 2010.  Refugees flee war and genocide and are saved by communities like South Salt Lake City.  There are over 40,000 refugees in Utah, with more coming everyday due to the ongoing violence in places like Syria and South Sudan.We are a Salt Lake City-based charity supporting refugee women integration through our programs that:

  • Teach practical English language skills,Women of the World fundraiser
  • Partner with local financial institutions and employers on job skills workshops andsmall-business development
  • Develop human rights advocacy customized for the individuals housing, immigration, health, or legal needs.

For our refugee spokeswoman (see below), Social Pal from Burma, WoW is building on her excitement for education, helping to place her with the right post-secondary opportunities.Women of the World has earned several distinctions including: Google Grants, UWABC Grant, Guidestar Transparency in Non-Profits Award,  the Utah Women’s Giving Circle, and the Refugee Services Office Grant.

WoW is also the proud recipient of the 2013 Salt Lake City Human Rights Award.

This is where we need your help.

We are currently seeking donors to build our crowdfunding campaign. All proceeds generated through our efforts will benefit, Women of the World, a registered 501(c)(3) charity.  Simple use our “http://loveutgiveut.razoo.com/story/Womenoftheworld” link to donate anytime before or on March 20th.

If we can bring more information to your consideration or if you or someone you know would like to personally join our team our contact info is listed below.
Women of the World - Tax ID: 27-3826125Organization page:  https://womenofworld.org/,Love Utah, Give Utah page: http://loveutgiveut.razoo.com/story/Womenoftheworld

  

Ladies Night Out 2014

We are excited to announce our Ladies Night Out event in April.

A donation through Love UT Give UT or our ticketing website gets you and your lady friends night of fun, drinks and treats! Get your tickets early, we have limited space in this beautiful lounge for you and your guests!

  •  Thursday, April 24, 2014
  • 5:30pm until 7:30pm
  • Celtic Bank
    • 268 South State Street, Suite 300
    • Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
  • Get Tickets (wow2014.brownpapertickets.com)
  • Facebook Event Community

Women of the World needs your support! 

Supporting refugee women in achieving their dreams!

On April 24th, 2014 Women of the World (WoW), a young local non-profit is planning an evening to raise funds and support its growth! WoW has been very successful in helping refugee women reach self-sufficiency since its beginnings in 2010. This Salt Lake City based charity supports refugee women to achieve their dreams by offering services to successfully navigate their new surroundings including: English language skills, job skills workshops, post-secondary education opportunities and legal advocacy. This organization is a valuable resource to our community; it has earned several distinctions including: Google Grants, UWABC Grant, Guidestar transparency in non-profits award and the Refugee Services Office Grant.WoW is also the proud recipient of the Human Rights 2013 award, presented by the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office of Diversity and Human Rights.This is where we need your help. We are currently seeking donors willing to provide goods and services for a silent auction, as well as food and drink to be sampled during the reception and sponsor the event. All proceeds generated through our efforts will benefit, Women of the World, a registered 501(c)(3) charity.  Please use the contact form below to get in contact with us or signup on our Facebook Event Page to learn more details.

Sponsor the event

Lead Sponsor- $500

Be one of select few lead sponsors. Receive recognition in event advertising materials, TV banner at the event & eight event tickets

 

Mini Sponsor- $200

Receive recognition at the event via a TV banner add & four event tickets

Contribute Product/Service

Value TBD

Contribute appetizers for reception or donate products/gift certificates for silent auction and drive people to your business

Volunteer

Join the WoW Fundraising Committee and/or volunteer to work at the event

[contact-form-7 id="2447" title="Fundraiser"]

WoW Awarded Salt Lake City Human Rights Award

Tonight on the campus of the University of Utah, the Salt Lake City Mayor's Office of Diversity and Human Rights honored Women of the World with the Salt Lake City Human Rights Award for its work in advocating on behalf of women refugees in Salt Lake City.Today, 10 December 2013, is a special day for human rights, as it marks the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Mayor Ralph Becker dedicated Salt Lake City to continue to advocate for human rights by partnering with non-profits and individuals working to make a difference.A personal insight, each of the Board of Directors went to work today with a bit more of a spring in their step, proud of their accomplishments, giddy at the opportunity to share in the celebration of our little part of the struggle to everyday improve human rights.  We were further humbled in the presence of the individuals that dedicated the awards, gave the keynote address, or received the individual award for human rights.  Their struggles and personal triumphs complete with the support of family gives us pause to the improvements in humanity that this gathering represents.

Below is the speech that Samira gave upon acceptance of the award:

[su_dropcap style="light" size="4"]I[/su_dropcap] would like to thank the Mayor’s OFFICE of DIVERSITY & HUMAN RIGHTS for giving this important award to Women of the World. 

  • I am here on behalf of the Women of the World -- both the organization and the women it represents.
  • Women of the World is here thanks to the wonderful Board of Directors of WoW, who are as wise as they are witty, who are as creative as they are caring.
  • I am here thanks to my family, who have always supported WoW, because they know it brings out the best in me.

I am humbled to be asked to speak on International Human Rights day.On this day we recognize the leaders of our movements  --  Milk, Mandela, and Salbi and we recognize those that work against abuses day-to-day, fighting on the ground with little power or money – believing we can change the direction – that in the power of one, creates change for humanity.Human rights isn’t a statistic.  Even though it is bad for grant-making, I have stopped counting.  It’s meaningless.Women of the World offers neither quantity or quality, we offer caring.Women refugees do not have instructions.

  • Some have never written their own names, in any language, some have architecture degrees.
  • Some have spent decades in camps, others suffered through decades of war, translating for the soldiers.
  • Some have been raped or mutilated, others are beat up by their men here in Salt Lake City.
  • All land in America’s safety net, that is they are in poverty.

Let me tell you a story of one woman.  When you see her, raising her grandson, you fall in love.  She’s young, her daughter’s young, and she appreciates the opportunity of Utah.But she lost her wallet and her green card and without Women of the World, her entire family would be homeless.Sure there are a lot of agencies that offer to build her capacity.  They have put many like her to work, helpless to help other refugees in need.She speaks no English, the easiest advice comes from the agencies…

  • she has to pay,
  • she lost her opportunity at the Bailey community housing because she lost her green card
  • she has to find a new place to live

In her case, human rights is not taking NO for an answer.  In her case, it is going to the same immigration and housing agencies and talking to the same people over, and over, and over again.Until they get it right.That is what Women of the World does.  It is hearts and minds we aim to change, hugs and smiles that we count.We get there by climbing stairs in apartment complexes on Highland Drive, along 3300 South, and on Redwood Road.[su_pullquote]And slowly, surely, the power of one becomes ten, and then 100. Women refugees go from asking questions to having the answers, from mothering their children to nurturing the community.[/su_pullquote]Human rights is our greatest promise to one another.  It cannot be stopped.So rise, amplify the voices of those who have been silenced, befriend those that have been harmed,  and advocate for rights that cannot ever be taken!On behalf of Women of the World, thank you again for this honor…

Congrats Enlightened 50 Award Winners Samira and Ruth

Women of the World is very pleased to announce that two of its staff have been recognized by The Community Foundation of Utah for its 2013 Enlightened 50 Award.  Samira Harnish and Ruth Arevalo both received recognition for their work in support of women in Utah.  Women of the World is proud to be the recipient of such a prestigious award and to receive two in the same year is truly terrific.  Congratulations to Samira and Ruth, Women of the World and the One Billion Rising organizations.The Community Foundation of Utah has, for the fourth year, recognized fifty individuals who are making a measurable – but often unsung - difference in the lives of Utahns through innovation, collaboration and commitment to the common good. Called the ‘Enlightened 50’, or E-50, members are nominated by the community. Each of the nominees then selects five individuals who they feel most meet the criteria. The top fifty will be recognized at an event Thursday, June 6th. The criteria for this recognition are:

  • An innovator – pioneering original and sustainable approaches to the critical issues facing our state and its people
  • A builder – committed to community engagement and the common good
  • A visionary – most likely to make a profound mark on Utah’s quality of life

http://utahcf.org/the-e-5-0/item/1362-congratulations-to-the-2013-e-50IMG_4058 IMG_4057 IMG_4046 IMG_4045 IMG_4039 IMG_4038 IMG_4033 IMG_4032 IMG_3996 IMG_3995 IMG_3994 IMG_3962 IMG_3961 IMG_3957

Cultural Connections on KSL Radio

This week Women of the World was the guest on Cultural Connections with Nkoyo Iyamba on KSL Radio.  Nkoyo is a great friend of Women of the World and continues to broadcast women refugee issues in Utah through her weekly radio program.  In this installation, parenting in the refugee community was reviewed with its unique struggles and important benefits.  Women of the World President, Samira Harnish, feels strongly about these issues, working to enable women refugees to not only improve their educational, language, and employment opportunities, but also their parental skills in this different culture.Refugee women have a stronger cultural connection to Utah thanks to Women of the World's efforts and the media attention that programs like KSL Radio's Cultural Connections.  Please listen to the podcast below and if you like what you here, "like" Nkoyo Iyamba at KSL Radio on Facebook.http://img.ksl.com/audio/2013_05_12_cultural_connections.mp3

Interview on KTalk AM Radio with Founder of Women of the World

On 5 March 2013, Women of World Founder and President, Samira Harnish, interviewed on KTalk AM Radio program "Celebrating Women" with Cate Allen.  Women of the World programs that support refugee women and anecdotes about them in this heartfelt interview. What is the objective of the organization?

  • Women of the World strives to support women of all nations to achieve their dreams.
  • In order to do this, we must develop women’s skills
    • (in English,
    • employment,
    • and as the head of the household)
    • and give them a voice
      • (by advocating and serving them in their
        • housing,
        • immigration,
        • and legal needs).

 What motivated you to start the organization? 

  • As a young girl in Iraq, I dreamed of the day where I would be able to help women that had struggled against cultures that did not give them an equal chance or that had oppressed them.
  • I have always served women and girls, even before starting Women of the World,
  • but as I saw Iraqi women coming to Utah as refugees, I knew that I had to do more for them since
  • I knew the language (Arabic) and the culture they were coming from.

How long ago was it started, and how many people participate in the organization?

  • I started Women of the World almost 2 years ago and there are about 10 volunteers supporting over 150 refugees, mostly women and girls.

What kind of activities does your organization hold, and what is the purpose of those activities?

  • Women of the World holds numerous activities that educate and entertain, that support women’s issues and develop their skills.
  • Some of these include our English Language Learner classes and tutoring sessions, that each occur twice per week.
  • We also have a mother’s day event and an International Women’s Day Event that celebrate women’s roles.
  • Our Refugee Fashion Show celebrates the beauty of women and the diversity of refugee cultures.
  • We also have workshops on
    • employment skills,
    • parenting,
    • and have recently spoken out and educated on domestic violence with our 1 Billion Rising Events.

Tell me about some of the women you have helped through the organization.

  • Women of the World has helped some amazing women.  I want to stress that while we have certainly done some “big” things which I’ll talk about, we also assist with the much needed little things that add stress to our refugee ladies.
  • I get asked to
    • read and explain a lot of mail,
    • to call into the food stamps program,
    • or to attend parent-teacher conferences.
  • One of the ladies that I have done all of these “little” things for and some big things like
    • translating in her ongoing fight against cancer
    • and helping her to get her driver’s license
  • is now volunteering with Women of the World, using her driver’s license to transport refugees in need.
  • Her son, came to America as a teen and fell behind in school and in with a bad group,
    • but seeing his mom empowered led him to pursue a different path – he is now studying nursing
  • Another of the women I nurturingly call “my ladies” started in a room in her nieces house.
  • Afraid to disrupt the family balance, she never went out of her room or took meals with them.
  • She came to me, desiring a job, and quickly we got her one.
  • Through her hard work as a hospital janitor,
    • she was able to rent a small apartment
    • and we worked together with immigration to get her husband to America
    • and I’m glad to report that just this last Monday, he arrived from Ethopia where he was greeted by his independent, loving wife.
  • Because my path to success as a new immigrant was through education, I have a special place in my heart for those that succeed in school.
  • I have worked tirelessly with the financial aid programs at the universities and community colleges in Utah to get grants for women refugees.
  • I happily report that we are getting women into school for 100s of dollars per semester, 10X reductions in pricing.
  • These women are succeeding in their studies.

8.    What are WOW’s goals for the future?

  • We want women to be empowered to achieve their financial, family, and community goals.
  • We want women refugees to be equipped for the future,
    • to be able to use their skills and talents to improve their situation,
    • get a good job,
    • and contribute in the community.
  • We want them to be healthy in their minds, bodies, and spirits.
  • We want them to support one another against domestic violence and discrimination.
  • We want them to achieve their dreams.

9.    How can someone help WOW achieve those goals? 

  • Womenofworld.org slash donate or slash get involved are the best ways to find out what opportunities are available for monetary donations or volunteering.
  • As a nonprofit started from the heart and not the wallet, we are always trying new ways of fundraising as we have many needs and few resources.
  • Top on our list is to secure the lease on an office in Salt Lake City,
  • a safe place for our women to build community with one another and develop job skills and English.
  • Every donation helps to support a refugee woman torn from her home due to war or genocide that arrived in America with nothing except their hopes for a better life.

12. Why is it hard for a female refugee from abroad to transition into America?Imagine for a moment that in the middle of the night, your brother or husband came to you and said, “wake the kids, we have to leave now.”  What would you try and bring in your one bag?  That is the best case for our refugee ladies.  The constant violence in their homeland, often forced on them and their families, scars them for life with severe PTSD, sexually transmitted disease, and even physical war wounds.Then they stay in camps, filled again with dangers and disease.  Sometimes this lost time in the camps can last decades where they fall behind, don’t get a good education, and get very depressed and ill.Finally they come to America and don’t understand any of the languages or the customs.  They are quickly forced to work or lose their home, but don’t have the skills to support themselves or an understanding of the beuracracy of the welfare system that is trying to keep them afloat.13. How do you hope WOW will change the lives of women refugees?

  • By giving them a voice and being their friend.
    • In other words,
      • we educate them,
      • serve their social welfare needs,
      • and advocate on their behalf.
  • All of this in an attempt to empower them
  • to not balance two cultures but to blend them, the best of both
  • And anyone that can tutor English or be a friend can help.
  • Service is such an important part of our humanity.
  • The generosity and gift of friendship of our clients to our volunteers,
  • the sharing of experiences and sense of purpose
  • are great reasons to befriend one or more of our clients.

14. Why is helping female refugees important?

  • As I have said before, any service to others less fortunate then ourselves is the truest display of our humanity, the inherent goodness in us all.
  • But why female refugees?
  • No one is more oppressed by war at home and discrimmination abroad.
  • Women refugees are more likely to have had rape used as a tactic of war,
  • have faced a family honor killing,
  • and those from Africa are often genitally mutilated.
  • They are mothers in danger of losing their sons and daughters to gangs speaking English they can’t understand.
  • They are battered wives who often face their husband’s frustration in their new life.
  • They want to work and use their talents to help their families.
  • They want the best for their families and that is why they are here.
  • And since they want to succeed, they will, with just a little push in the right direction.  Just a little guidance and help.

15. Tell me anything else about WOW that you’d like to share. 

BYU Hunger Banquet Keynote Speaker

Samira-during-refugee-conference-speech-1024x768Women of the World's Founder and President, Samira Harnish, is excited to deliver her message of hope detailing the successes of our refugee neighbors and the programs of Women of the World that support them at the BYU Student for International Development Hunger Banquet on 16 March 2013 at 7 p.m.  In her speech, "Voices of Hope: Women Refugees in Utah" Samira details how Women of the World came into being, her own struggles as an immigrant in America, and the problems modern day refugees in Utah face and programs that help to solve them.According to the event's webpage on the Brigham Young University site:

For twenty-three years, Students for International Development has worked with the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, the International Development Minor, the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance, and BYU Dining Services to host an annual Hunger Banquet to raise awareness within the BYU community about global poverty and wealth inequality.This year’s Hunger Banquet will take place Saturday, 16 March 2013 in the ballroom of the Wilkinson Student Center. We are excited to welcome Samira Harnish, founder of Women of the World, as our keynote speaker.   For inspiration, check out their Facebook page. Tickets are $8 in advance, available at the WSC Information Desk, or $10 at the door.

For more information on the event, go to the David M. Kennedy Center for International Students at BYU's website.  For more information on Women of the World's programs, events, or speeches, visit us at womenofworld.org.[heading size="24" margin="40"]See the BYU Hunger Banquet Official Video[/heading]Hunger Banquet 2013 from Scott Raia on Vimeo.

Salt Lake City 2013 Dedication to Human Rights

Women of the World President Samira Harnish meeting with Mayor Ralph BeckerWomen of the World's founder and president, Samira Harnish, spoke tonight at the new Leonardo Museum in downtown Salt Lake City, during the program for the rededication of Salt Lake City's commitment to human rights.  Aside from Samira's speech, the program contained the dedication of Salt Lake City's commitment to Human Rights by Mayor Ralph Becker, the granting of two awards for Human Rights commitment including a group award to Utah Health and Human Rights and an individual award given posthumously to Civil Rights Attorney Brian Barnard.Samira's comments stuck with the presenters after her.  She called for Utah to embrace the human rights of its refugee women neighbors by "giving them a voice and being their friend."  This sentiment was echoed throughout the speeches and the award ceremony as each new speaker turned to the examples in their own work to improving the lives of the disenfranchised.  You can see a brief video snippet of her speech on the Women of the World Youtube channel.Prior to the event, Samira was interviewed on the radio program "Cultural Connections" where she and the rest of the panelists gave their thoughts on how human rights could impact their communities and the struggles they still need to overcome.  You can here this program by going to the Cultural Connections podcast for December 16, 2012.