“If the women in Congo can dance . . . who are we to give up hope?”
In 1993, at the age of 23, Zainab had heard news reports about the refugee and rape camps in Croatia. “I looked everywhere, but there was no organization that existed to help these women.” She and her husband decided to skip their honeymoon and instead use the $2000 they had saved for the trip to find a way to help. This was the birth of Women for Women International.
The organization has now served 153,000 women in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Sudan. It has empowered survivors of war to move toward economic self-sufficiency with a year-long program of direct aid, rights education, job skills training, and small business development. More than 246,000 women in 58 countries have signed up as donors, supporters and sponsors, who exchange more than 100,000 letters a year.
The Washington Post says “Salbi’s vision is that by strengthening women, her organization [Women for Women International] can help rebuild communities and nations.” Sister to sister, from one woman to another, one kindness at a time, peace can grow. Zainab says it better in the video clip above.
Oh, and she’s an author, too. Brilliant!