Education

2019 Displaced Women's Scholarship Awardee Summaries

2019 Displaced Women's Scholarship Awardee Summaries

One of the most lovely things about a women’s organization is that our supporters involve their families from the start. There is an intergenerational draw—women bring their kids to play as they mentor, daughters bring their mothers to meet our executive staff and link their family foundation to our work.

That is how we met the wonderful donor behind the Displaced Women’s Scholarship Fund—through her daughter—women committed to helping women with hearts and hands. Their family trusted us to setup the scholarship and we are proud to present their stories here.

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

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Header Image" src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/There-is-no-greater-agony.jpg" alt="Bridging Gaps and Cultivating Foundation" title_text="Bridging Gaps and Cultivating Foundation" show_in_lightbox="on" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_cta admin_label="Call To Action" title="Keep up to date on all of our activities..." url_new_window="off" button_text="Join our newsletter..." use_background_color="on" background_color="rgba(90,144,147,0.7)" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" button_url="https://womenofworld.org/newsletter-subscription/"] [/et_pb_cta][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_blurb admin_label="IDDev" title="Module 1: Identity Development" url_new_window="off" use_icon="on" font_icon="%%173%%" icon_color="#168794" use_circle="on" circle_color="#ffffff" use_circle_border="on" circle_border_color="#8300e9" icon_placement="top" animation="off" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_icon_font_size="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

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

[/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_blurb admin_label="Intersection" title="Module 2: Intersections" url_new_window="off" use_icon="on" font_icon="%%304%%" icon_color="#168794" use_circle="on" circle_color="#ffffff" use_circle_border="on" circle_border_color="#8300e9" icon_placement="top" animation="off" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_icon_font_size="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

  • Understanding Gender
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Communication
  • Dating

[/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_blurb admin_label="Exploration" title="Module 3: Explorations" url_new_window="off" use_icon="on" font_icon="%%289%%" icon_color="#168794" use_circle="on" circle_color="#ffffff" use_circle_border="on" circle_border_color="#8300e9" icon_placement="top" animation="off" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_icon_font_size="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

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

[/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_blurb admin_label="Opportunity" title="Module 4: Opportunity, Structure, Mentor" url_new_window="off" use_icon="on" font_icon="%%254%%" icon_color="#168794" use_circle="on" circle_color="#ffffff" use_circle_border="on" circle_border_color="#8300e9" icon_placement="top" animation="off" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_icon_font_size="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

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

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

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="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/13147703_10153537858797967_2952787285045343053_o.jpg" 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"]

Identity

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.

Communication

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="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Saida.jpg" 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]

Mother's Day With The Leonardo’s Community Connections

Mothers share a bond, whether they are mothers from Utah or from a war-torn country seeking refugee status.Women of the World and The Leonardo Museum are excited to announce that together we will be celebrating “Mothers of the World” by unveiling an art installation of the same name. All of this will happen as part of The Leonardo’s Community Connections program and Women of the World’s Annual Celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday, 8 May 2016.

  • When: Sunday, 8 May 2016. Doors open at 2 p.m., Program to begin at 2:30 p.m.
  • Where: The Leonardo Museum. 209 East 500 South, Salt Lake City.
  • What: Celebration of mothers from all over the world.
  • Cost: Free.

The Leonardo is commissioning a collaborative art piece with guest artists adding their unique celebration of Mothers Day. Geared towards refugee mothers, the installation hopes to create awareness about the trials and triumphs of refugee women and girls that settle in Utah. After the unveiling, the Leonardo will donate this art piece to Women of the World.The way Women of the World achieves its mission of “supporting refugee women to achieve self-reliance, a voice in the community, and empowering economic success” by:

  • Training them in conversational English using the ‘classroom of the community’
  • Ensure their physical and mental health is treated before requiring further achievement in academia or industry.
  • Developing differentiated job skills in language, service, or creative industries that move their earnings up the value chain quickly.
  • Giving everyone the opportunity of further education.
  • Advocacy when unfortunate events occur in any stage of resettlement.

As a member of the Salt Lake community, we love making a difference The Leo way. Every Sunday we’ll partner with different organizations and members of the community—YOU—to­ take initiative. Come prepared to do fun, hands-on projects with your own art, science and tech twist. Your projects will be spread out to services and non-profits around Salt Lake and beyond!For more information about Women of the World visit https://womenofworld.org/. For more information about The Leonardo Museum visit http://theleonardo.org/ .

Is it reasonable to resettle refugees in America?

The Syrian refugee crisis coinciding with America’s Presidential Campaigns has brought the emotional debate over refugees into the political arenas of nearly every state and over the internet. Candidates and conservative journalists have placed fear of terrorism and radicalization in front of voters while liberals in this country and abroad use compassion and sympathy in an attempt to play the heartstrings of ordinarily big-hearted Americans. While Women of the World obviously believes in our capacity to serve refugees and ensure their benefit to society and has few barriers to the amazing stories of survival of our new refugee neighbors, we want to win both hearts and minds, to show that it is reasonable to resettle refugees in America.One of the first forays into understanding if it is reasonable to resettle refugees in America was Intelligence Squared’s debate on the subject of Should the US let in 100,000 Syrian Refugees? Intelligence Squared Debates are Oxford-style debates where two debaters argue for the motion and two debaters argue against the motion. In this case, Robert Ford (Sr. Fellow, Middle East Inst. & Fmr. U.S. Ambassador to Syria) and David Miliband (President & CEO, International Rescue Committee & Fmr. U.K. Foreign Secretary) argued for the motion while David Frum (Senior Editor, The Atlantic) and Jessica Vaughan (Dir. of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies) argued against.While there were still a great number of appeals to emotion in this debate, the team for the motion, especially David Miliband took on the difficult side of his argument, that it was reasonable to resettle refugees in America. He argued that "it’s right thing to do, that it's a practical thing to do, and that it's a smart thing to do."

The Economic Benefits of Refugee Resettlement

It is the right thing to do, not only morally, but because of the benefit that refugees have brought to our country. Rationally it is unfair to cherry pick the few violent or the entrepreneurial geniuses in either the first or second generation but instead understand the trends of refugee resettlement in the bulk of the distribution. That analysis in a 2012 Cleveland, Ohio study of resettled refugees showed a 10-fold economic benefit above the cost of refugee services and a similar study in 2014 in Denmark also yielded positive economic benefit. Only Jordan netted an economic detriment from the local refugee camp structure where instead of putting individuals to work in local communities (by the numbers an impossible task), infrastructure like water was overwhelmed by large numerical increases. Women of the World is working on an innovative way to track these hard numbers for resettled refugees in Utah, a state where low unemployment makes job advancement even more difficult for workers with fewer native skills.

Efficient and Effective Refugee Service

Women of the World and other service providers are accountable to the second part of Mr. Miliband’s argument, that it is practical to take in refugees. Communities across America have organizations across the public, private, non-profit, and religious spectrum that give refuge to the disenfranchised and poor. If there is a homelessness issue or high unemployment, a community will not be burdened beyond its means. In Utah, organizations like Mr. Miliband’s IRC and the Catholic Community Service resettle refugees, organizations like Women of the World and numerous LDS institutions help to take care of basic needs, employment, and service in transition from resettlement to active citizenship. Organizations like the Utah Health and Human Rights further serve needs like PTSD therapy and the Maliheh Clinic serves basic physiological health issues.Like all activities in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, refugee service must perform its business processes both efficiently and effectively, that is it must meet budgets and schedules (efficient) and achieve outcomes (effective). Successful non-profits produce results with the lowest possible overhead and have diverse funding sources to ensure continued success in challenging political or economic times. As the below quoted stat from Mr. Miliband shows, refugee service is certainly efficient...

The direct federal cost of services and benefits associated with resettling 100,000 refugees in this country — let me tell you what it is. It's 1.4 cents per American per day. That's the direct federal cost of services and benefits. It's true that that doesn't include health care costs or school costs. But nor does it include the taxes that Syrians pay when they work.

Hearts and Minds

Finally, Mr. Miliband argues that it is reasonable to resettle refugees in America because it the smart thing to do, a strategic globalization ploy to eliminate ISIS marketing that theirs is a campaign for Muslims against the anti-Muslim west. Accepting refugees begins to win the hearts and minds counterinsurgency campaign. This is a long-term play that, like building schools for girls in the Muslim world, will not make large gains in the near term, but is likely the only way to secure the peace.While I feel this was a well-argued and ultimately successful debate on the side of both reason and emotion for the pro refugee resettlement team, it was not the best performance by the against side. The appeal to fear was far too great and their strongest argument, that refugee assistance is hyper-local and what works for Salt Lake City or Cleveland may not work for Atlanta or Phoenix was debated but the figures that were given, Foodstamp assistance, was well-parried in the rebuttal round that showed that self-reliance was improving through time, a similar result to what Women of the World has seen.reasonable to resettle refugees in AmericaArguing both the hearts and minds of this argument does not yield a clear victory. As the online poll and comments show a decided objection to resettling refugees in America. The opponents largely will forego the economic and counterinsurgency positive outcome effectiveness delivered efficiently in time and cost for a greater sense of security.The world is being terrorized and fear and a desire for security are legitimate emotions or reactions. Our allies and the United States are taking military and diplomatic actions to address threats. The conversation that America needs to be having is where do we legitimately draw the line where our collective fear is going to cause us to act or not act, across all of the military, diplomatic, and humanitarian issues. Are the potential benefits and ethical upsides of humanitarian action reasonable to expect and worth it against the threat of the potential security losses? I am interested in having this conversation and believe that Americans are good neighbors, courageous, and in possession of the greatest ideal a country has ever been built upon. This is our American exceptionalism and the wellspring that will make America continue to be great.

Free English Classes - See Calendar for Updated Times

Women of the World is thrilled to announce that we are holding numerous Free English Classes at our new office location.  Our wonderful teachers give an hour or two every week to help refugees improve in this all important first skill that our new neighbors must learn.  If you need help with your English, please consider attending.

Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m. & Saturdays at 11:00 a.m.

Women Of the World Office

3347 S Main Street

Salt Lake City, UT 84115

Phone # 801-953-0008

Meet our Wonderful Teachers

BGMcGill KadenWoolf
B.G. McGill Kaden Woolf

Artistic Workshop in Rug-Making

Artistic workshops are such an important way for the refugee women we work with at Women of the World to feel P1100226empowered. By providing a creative outlet for these women, we are not only opening up space for them to create connections with women from different cultures, they are also able to have space for themselves away from all of the day-to-day stresses to focus on themselves. There is currently a lot of support in the refugee community as far as welfare, jobs, finances, etc. but we believe at Women of the World that mental health is also a very important factor to encourage women and mothers to feel empoweredThis month we held our first creative workshop. We were so lucky to find a wonderful mother named Holly and her three daughters who volunteered their time to build a rug-making workshop for the ladies we work with. I mentioned the need for a creative workshop to Holly and her daughters at our volunteer orientation and then Holly just took it from there!She and her daughters researched the Internet and found directions to make a small rug on Pinterest. P1100238They practiced the instructions and made a demo rug to fit the needs of the women we had discuss women they would be able to host at the event and sent it to us. One of her daughters, Clara, called a grocery store in their neighborhood and procured some old boxes. Holly taped and measured and her daughters cut slits in the boxes.  They had a lot of old sheets but ended up buying some at the DI and tore them into strips. They counted out the strips the night before and bundled them together for 15 women.The workshop was a hit! We had exactly 15 women show up, some with their adorable children. The women were from a variety of countries, Burma, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and more. Some of the women were reallyfocused and made tight, perfect, rugs while others were laughing, chatting, and just having a good tie.Holly’s daughters distracted the kids with blocks and kept them entertained during the entire workshop, allowing the ladies a chance to just let loose and have a good tiP1100227me, or focus on the work they were doing.Holly said “We loved the way they each approached the task so differently - how some were very serious and perhaps it was more of an outlet for them and others saw it more as a time to socialize and have fun.  Both were great.  It was fun to see them interact and though we didn't know their languages, we thought it worked well to have something that didn't need a lot of verbal instruction and that was hands-on and that we could communicate through showing each other.” Also, our ladies where visiting with each other with what little English they could speak and that is what makes our organization great -- we gather ladies from all over the world and help them to understand English by using it.Holly also said that it was an amazing and rare opportunity for her and her girls.  She said “I love seeing them exposed to different people, cultures and religions.  Our girls all came away with a deep respect and love for these women and children, though our time with them was short.  When we walked out of  the building that night, they were unanimous in their reaction of how fun it was and asking when we could do it again.  I wholeheartedly concurred.”We cannot thank Holly and her daughters enough for all of the hard work they put into running this workshop!When the workshop was finished, the ladies were already asking when we would be holding another workshop. P1100240That is where we need your help! We could always use volunteers to use their creative minds to come up with workshops for the refugee women we work with. We also need donors for craft supplies such as yarn, paint, canvas, beads, fabric, etc. Some ideas I have for future workshops are a paint night, budget friendly, homemade, children’s toys and activities, or a jewelry making night. Please let me know if any of those activities interest you or if you have any other ideas for creative workshops. We would like to hold at least one creative workshop a month and are still looking for volunteers to host the September and October artistic workshop.Feel free to contact me, Stefani, at volunteer@womenofworld.org. Thank you for putting the time in to read this post, feel free to email me with any suggestions or comments.P1100229P1100236P1100233P1100234

WoW Documentary Wins the Workman Film Festival Award

Women of the World fundraiserWomen of the World's introductory documentary film won the Short Documentary Film Category at the 17 January 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.  A special mention goes out to all of the refugee ladies and gentlemen and the staff that assisted them who opened their homes and their stories to this special project... as with everything Women of the World does, our success would not be possible without the courage and diligence of our new neighbors and the staff and volunteers that support them.Women of the World staff and many of 'our ladies' that were featured in the film came out to see the video and stay to see a few of the other films.   Many of the ladies that were featured in the video have moved on to the first steps that they detailed in the video so it was nice to get back together with everyone and discuss their progress and hear their stories of success.Below is further description of the event from the Online Awards site.

Festival DescriptionIMG_2519

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

IMG_2517Awards & 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.IMG_2507

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 84415womenofworld.org/IMFTjobskills/ 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

Sexual Violence Prevention

The Human Rights Education Project of the Salt Lake City Community Empowerment group collaborated with the Women Of the World Organization to present a workshop about Sexual Violence Prevention last Saturday.

There were 35 people in attendance at the workshop & five different nationalities (Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Karenni & Karen).  We had 4 interpreters help to get the information to the ladies and men.  The subjects was very interesting, educational, and helpful to them.  They were all involved with reading the stories and discussing the problems, how to prevent them, and what they would do if they had the problem in their house.  The audience was very lively and involved with the material.  When I gave a ride to the ladies, they were talking about it in the car & thanking me for giving them the opportunity to be involved in this subject.

I appreciate the Mayor's Office for giving us the opportunity to do this workshop.  Thank you very much for Alana Kindness & Stephany Murguia for giving the lecture, it was very valuable and the material was very understandable.  Thank you to Amy Wylie for donating the hygiene products to the audience. Thank you very much for the interpreters, for without them, the material would never be understood. P1030887P1030886P1030888P1030882

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 www.youtube.com/WomenOfTheWorldOrg/

Leadership Institute Graduation

WLI GraduatesTonight two of the women from the Women of the World Board of Directors graduated from the Westside Leadership Institute's Leadership Development Program for Non-profit community members.  Graduation was an excited culmination of the skills that they learned and their application in serving the community of women refugees.  President and Founder Samira Harnish's team delivered a well-attended workshop on "Navigating the Public Transportation System" where refugee women were trained on how to use the UTA train and bus system.  For some of our members, this is there only system of transportation.  Director Alaa Ameen's team donated time at a soap factory and donated the product of their efforts to people in need.Samira also gave a terrific speech on the passion of the Women of the World non-profit organization to empower women to heights they would have difficulty reaching themselves.  She also spoke to the struggles of leadership in a small start-up non-profit and being able to gather the necessary commitment from volunteers to achieve the mission of the Women of the World.Overall, the night was one of celebration for the terrific accomplishments of the class and one of hope for their potential to improve our 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: Breast Cancer Awareness

The Women of the World was proud to sponsor the translation and to help with the organization of the first Multicultural Breast Cancer Awareness workshop.  Breast cancer is a key concern with the refugee communities since early detection and reporting is less prevalent in cultures where women do not discuss breast health in any company, but especially where jargon or gender roles make women feel extremely uncomfortable.  The Multicultural Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar aims to eliminate technical jargon while furthering Breast Cancer Awareness in our community members' native languages.  The Women of the World supported translation in Arabic while other communities added Swahili, Karen, Somali and Nepali.Overall, this workshop shows the key role that Women of the World plays in blending the cultural conservatism of refugee women with their need for information critical to maintaining the communities health.

East High School and Westminster Student Workshop

Students and community service members
I represented the Women Of the World at the East High School and Westminster Student Workshop, it was great opportunity and an honor to meet everyone with outstanding talents and an interest in service for the community.  My speech on my experience and the mission of the Women Of the World touched many young students who want me to connect and assist their family. Teacher like Rebecca Richardson that offered their students such a wide curriculum and recruit community members to teach special skills in community service are developing our children in to compassionate leaders of tomorrow.  Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity.
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Below is the gracious e-mail from Rebecca Richardson that I received after speaking after the event.
From: Rebecca RichardsonDate: February 19, 2011 9:15:15 AM MSTTo: WoWSubject: Deep gratitude!Dear Samira,I don't think I can find the words to express my gratitude and thanks for yesterday. Your presentation was touching and inspiring. Even though I am not a refugee, your story of the haunting picture of the girl trapped in the spider web resonated with me. Through your words you showed how this young girl was able to untangle herself and do heroic acts like learn to ride a bike at age 40!!! What a gift your presentation was to my students and me.I am also so appreciative of the time you gave to working individually with the students. You took your beautiful energy, intellect and passion and shared it with those with whom you spoke. It is hard to imagine, but these brief encounters can be life altering for some.I love the direction you are working to take the Women of the World organization. I do a lot of work with refugee families and have seen many strong women direct the lives of their families and children in amazing ways. However, I have also seen them shaken and disregarded by the enormous system we have here in the U.S. While I am very busy during the school year, I would love to learn how I can support your organization during the summer.Once again, I send my deepest thanks for EVERYTHING you brought to the workshop yesterday. I left meeting you feeling like there are friends out there who share my desire to empower our sisters, mothers, daughters, that are being silenced.With great warmth and respect,Rebecca RichardsonEast High SchoolLanguage Arts Instructor