Progressing femme-friendly issues is a global undertaking — and one that MADRE has been working on for 35 years.
In 1983, a group of women traveled to Nicaragua to see the impact of the US-sponsored Contra War, and were horrified by the devastation the area had suffered. The trip galvanized the women, including the MADRE’s founding director, Kathy Engel, to create a human rights initiative that would link the problems and priorities of women around the world, while informing people in the US about their county’s global impact. MADRE's model was formed from the women’s initial work in Nicaragua and, by partnering with women’s groups worldwide, they’ve helped enrich various regions, uplift grassroots efforts, and offer an alternative to conflict.
“Our partners are grassroots leaders who know best what their communities need and who are already organizing to respond to those needs,” explained MADRE’s policy and communications director Diana Duarte. “We bring resources, tools, training and advocacy to fuel their work for change.”
No two countries have the exact same issues, so MADRE’s aid is dependent on the individual needs of the area. In Iraq, they support a network of shelters where women can go to escape violence, while in Kenya, they parter with women who are combating climate change and bringing clean water programs to their communities. In doing so, they’re creating more sustainable networks for change while making the regions more resilient.
Those who want to help support MADRE can do so through many different donation outlets. They can also get involved by hosting a speaker, volunteering in their offices or signing up for updates/events.
More about MADRE’s history and extensive efforts can be found on their website.