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A community based organization that is fighting to empower women, and vulnerable women and young girls. known as Alternative Approaches for Women’s Empowerment (AAWE) ended a stakeholders meeting in Dama Chiefdom; the meeting attracted a lot of other CBOs and other chiefdom authorities.
In her opening statement the national coordinator of AAWE Mrs. Lillian Momoh said the program was designed to empower rural and vulnerable women and young girls who are engaged in commercial sex working.
Giving a brief background of the organization, the executive of AAWE, Mrs. Isatu Ansu, said that AAWE is a community based organization which was established in 2007 in Kenema, and their major intervention is on women’s issues – targeting commercial sex workers and other vulnerable rural women who have been excluded, marginalized, and exploited in the name of custom and tradition.
She reiterated that their mission statement and vision is to empower vulnerable women and young girls to enhance self reliance and alleviate poverty, to mobilize resources for a strategic development approach relating to the empowerment of young girls and women with special concentration on vulnerable rural women in hard to reach areas.
Mrs. Isatu Ansu went on to say their strategic objectives are to establish a functioning literacy program for commercial sex workers and other vulnerable women, providing support for economic empowerment (micro finance) for commercial sex workers and other vulnerable women; conducting training workshops so as to reduce their vulnerability to HIV/AIDs and other health related issues; networking and collaborating with other organizations in the promotion of women’s rights and empowerment, integrated agriculture tree crop rehabilitation, vegetable gardening, IVS development, and animal restocking.
She concluded by saying they conducted a baseline survey of participators, a participatory needs assessment, registered commercial sex workers and other vulnerable women and girls, held several meetings, conducted radio sensitization programs, established collaboration/partnerships with other agencies/organizations etc., and they are holding a meeting with stakeholders in Giema, of which they will be implementing the three gender acts in the entire Dama chiefdom with funding from ENCISS.
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