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USAID funds 3-year women’s empowerment initiative

June 16, 2015 

Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh was joined by U.S. Ambassador John Hoover and honuored guests Friday June 12 at the Wusum Hotel, Makeni to launch the “Women Empowered for Leadership and Development” (WELD), an initiative to promote women’s social, political and economic rights.

The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide $3.5 million for the initiative over the next three years.

WELD will be implemented by World Vision Sierra Leone in partnership with Action Aid Sierra Leone, Network Movement for Justice and Development, and Advocacy Movement Network, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.

WELD targets seven districts: Kono, Kailahun, Kenema, Bombali, Tonkolili, Koinadugu and Port Loko to reach the project goal of increasing women’s social, political and economic rights in Sierra Leone.

WELD is implementing a three-pronged approach to attain the overall goal of the project: increasing women’s participation and representation in decision-making processes; ensuring gender sensitive planning, monitoring and reporting adopted at local council, community, and national levels; and increasing a critical mass of organizations to influence gender policies at the national level.

In the wake of the Ebola outbreak, WELD programs will prioritize the inclusion of women Ebola survivors and families affected by Ebola through trainings and micro-enterprise initiatives for economic growth.

CREDIT: U.S. Embassy in Freetown

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