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Frequently asked questions

General Information



How Can I Help?

My Account

Financial Information


General Information

Contact Information

Please note, following UK goverment guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and minimise risk to our staff, the majority of the Women for Women International - UK team are working remotely. We are available via email and mobile phone during normal working hours (Monday - Friday 9.30am - 5.30pm), but our main office phone line will not always be manned, so please use the contact details below. 

By email: supportuk@womenforwomen.org
By phone: +44 (0) 7395 939 331

By mail: Women for Women International
49-51 East Road
N1 6AH

If you are already a sponsor and have questions about your account please contact Supporter Services at sponsorshipuk@womenforwomen.org 

To send a letter to your sponsored sister, visit our Online Login Area

Mission Statement

In countries affected by conflict and war, Women for Women International supports the most marginalised women to earn and save money, improve health and well-being, influence decisions in their home and community, and connect to networks for support. By utilising skills, knowledge, and resources, she is able to create sustainable change for herself, her family, and community.

Vision Statement

To create a world in which all women determine the course of their lives and reach their full potential. 

Our Core Values and Beliefs

Empowerment: We believe every woman is unique and powerful in her own right. Our people are our greatest strength and we will support them to achieve our aims by providing them with the information, rewards and power they need to take the initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve our delivery and performance. As a learning organisation - we encourage our people to take risks and make mistakes, we learn and grow and get better, stronger and smarter.

Respect: We believe every woman has the right to be treated with fairness and dignity. we trust each other implicitly, confident in the knowledge that we are all working towards the same goals. Equally, we hold each other responsible and accountable at all levels of the organisation for the outcomes of our actions. We will be bold, clear and kind in our communication with our colleagues across the organisation and not allow disrespectful behavior to go unchallenged.

Integrity: We will never communicate in any way that exploits or demeans the women we exist to serve, we will deliver a programme of training that maximises the impact for the women we serve to bring them the biggest benefits and facilitate the greatest long term positive change in their lives. we do what we say we are going to do, when we say we're going to do it. We act as good stewards of the organisation’s resources.

Resilience: We see every day the strength of women survivors of war and their ability to never lose hope despite having faced the greatest atrocities and horrors of conflict. They inspire us to stay strong, hopeful, focused and committed to our global purpose. We support each other to do the same.

In which countries does Women for Women International operate?

Women for Women International currently operates in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Sudan. Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina have successfully transitioned to local affiliates. Women for Women International also has worked in Bangladesh, Croatia and Pakistan.

Why does Women for Women International have a sponsorship programme in some countries and not in others?

Women for Women International's work is currently focused in eight conflict and post-conflict countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Iraq.  We currently match sponsors to programme participants in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq Nigeria, and Rwanda.

Are women put at risk by participating in Women for Women International's programmes?

In order to best serve our participants, Women for Women International works to ensure the safety of its overseas staff and its participants by closely monitoring security situations in the communities, regions and countries where it works on a day-to-day basis. Each office is staffed with its own security officer who helps evaluate the situation and can accompany staff into the field if necessary. The organisation will work with participants to ensure they are able to safely participate in the programme and will help them find resources to address any personal safety issues.

Before establishing our programmes in a community, Women for Women International staff conduct outreach to local political, religious and civil society leaders to explain the benefits of the programme. The organisation also holds public meetings to answer questions any community member may have. This community outreach lets citizens know that Women for Women International will be invested in their community and will help the community as a whole. This cooperation is an important step in establishing safe, effective offices overseas.

How does Women for Women International decide where to expand its programmes and services?

Women for Women International utilises four criteria when determining how and when to expand its programmes to new areas of operation. The organisation seeks to work: 1) in conflict or post-conflict countries or regions; 2) where women are disproportionately affected by war and violence; 3) where these women's needs are not being met and the organisation's programs can fill a critical gap in services; and 4) when the organisation has the resources to launch and sustain a programme that can grow and expand over time to meet the long-term needs of women survivors of war.

How effective are Women for Women International's programmes?

Women for Women International's strategy promotes rights-based development by supporting women as they take control in rebuilding their lives and generating economic sustainability in their communities. Its multi-phase approach incorporates direct aid, emotional support, skills training, rights education, leadership training, microenterprise and small business development. Underlying all programme activities is the idea that women will advance from victim to survivor to becoming active, self-assured members of their communities. With support from individuals like you, we were able to reach these notable achievements:

  • Linked more than 479,000 women survivors of war with sponsors worldwide
  • Facilitated the translation and exchange of more than 890,000 of letters of support between sponsors and sponsored women
  • Enrolled nearly 381,000 women in our year-long training programme
  • Helped thousands of women secure employment and establish their own income-generating businesses
  • Distributed more than $120 million in direct aid and microcredit loans
  • Facilitated hundreds of group therapy sessions for war survivors by providing a venue for women to share their experiences and feelings and build bridges between women survivors of different ethnic backgrounds



What is sponsorship?

Sponsorship with Women for Women International is a connection between our supporters and the women we serve, as they become empowered and active citizens, engaged in rebuilding their lives and communities. Because of the life-changing connection they create, our sponsors and the women they support refer to each other as ‘sisters’.

The act of becoming a sponsor can help us enrol your sister in our one-year programme, in a group of up to 25 women from her community. Your one-time enrolment donation of £25 can help cover the costs to Women for Women International to manage your sponsorship, such as providing updates and translating and mailing letters between you and your sponsored sister.

Your ongoing support of £22 per month can help us to provide the tools and resources your sister needs to rebuild her life. Your sister will receive a monthly stipend which she can use to obtain basic necessities for her family, like food, clean water, and medicine; to pay school-related expenses for her children; to build family savings, or to use as seed capital to start a business.

As a sponsor, you will be able to connect with your sister in a very personal way by sending messages directly to her. You simply cannot imagine the impact that your messages will have on your sister. After experiencing hardship and isolation, receiving a message of support from someone she has never met will inspire her to hope for a better future, and to know she is not alone. If she is able, your sister may also write to you from time to time, to tell you how she is doing and how your support is transforming her life and that of her community. While many of our participants write to their sponsors, it is important to bear in mind that not all of them do. But please, don't stop sending your messages of support to her. We know that for some of the women we serve, they are an emotional lifeline.

What can I expect?

At the start of your sponsorship, you will receive information about your sister and her life as well as her photograph, if we are able to provide one. During the course of your sponsorship, you will receive monthly Sponsorship regular updates by email, which highlight developments in our programmes and feature sponsor stories. You will also receive e-updates about each stage of the programme that your sister is in and what she is learning.

As a sponsor, you can send messages of support to your sister through your online account, where you can also attach photos.

While many sisters write to their sponsors, it is important to bear in mind that not all of them do. Many of the women we serve are illiterate or may have never written or received a letter in their life. For them, the prospect of writing a letter to a stranger from another country can be incredibly daunting. Others may still be experiencing the after-effects of the trauma they and their family have experienced. These are just some of the reasons why your sister may not be able to write to you. But please, don’t stop sending your messages of support to her. We know that for some of the women we serve, they are an emotional lifeline.

A few months before your sister is due to graduate from the year-long programme, we will let you know. Then, once she graduates, we will match you with a new sister, unless you tell us otherwise. 

Where can I sponsor a woman?

Women for Women International is currently working in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, and Rwanda and South Sudan. We have thousands of women waiting to be matched with a sponsor like you so they can join our yearlong programme. To meet these demands, we are currently unable to take into consideration any country preferences. You will be matched with a sister in the country where the need is greatest at the time of matching.

How long does a sponsorship last?

Sponsorship of each woman lasts one year- the length of the programme that she will participate in, focussing on economic stability, rights awareness and building support networks. However, many Women for Women sponsors have sponsored several women over many years. When your sponsorship of your sister comes to an end, we will match you with a new sister unless you tell us otherwise.

How long does a sponsorship last?

How much does it cost?

Your gift of sponsorship costs £22 a month, which you may pay monthly, or annually through your debit or credit card. Please consider making your donation monthly by direct debit, as it means Women for Women International pays fewer charges, and more of your donation goes towards our global operations including the programme in which your sister participates.

When you first sign up, there is also a £25 one-off fee.

How are my donations spent?

A sponsor's contribution of £22 a month enables WfWI to provide a sponsored sister with business and vocational skills training, rights awareness, and health education in Women for Women International's year-long programme. Contributions also enable us to provide direct financial assistance to a sister during the programme so she can pay for basic necessities like food, medicine, and tuition fees for her children. To ensure all gifts entrusted to us have maximum impact, your sponsorship gift is combined with gifts from other sponsors, contributors, government and foundation grants, and goods donated by companies, to fund our work to benefit women, their families, and their communities. With the knowledge, skills, and financial and emotional support women receive through WfWI's programme, women create a stronger foundation from which to rebuild and transform their lives.

How does Women for Women International work with the community to plan and implement its training programme?

Women for Women International believes that having strong relationships with the communities where we work is critically important to ensure our efforts have local buy-in and are most effective given the context we are operating in. Through consultations with community leaders, we are better able to identify and connect with women who could benefit from our programmes. Many of the communities where we work have also generously donated land or spaces for us to use to conduct training.

How does sponsorship improve the lives of women, their families, and communities?

There are countless positive effects that sponsorship has on individual women, their families, and their communities. Among our indicators, graduates from our programme report average daily personal earnings of $1.07 at graduation, compared to $0.34 at enrolment. As women gain skills, knowledge, and access to resources through our programme, they are not only able to take better care of themselves, but their families as well. Women often use their newfound confidence to become agents of change and leaders in their communities, helping other women and community members benefit from what they learned.

In 2012, Women for Women International's partners Bloomberg Philanthropies and NoVo Foundation commissioned KPMG to review our programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The review found that our programme "is having a significant economic ripple [effect] as other women in the community are learning from WfWI graduates who are now viewed as role models in the community." 

Is there a maximum or minimum timeframe in which Women for Women International will commit to work in a community?

Women for Women International does not set a timeframe for our work in a community. Each community we serve has different needs and varying numbers of women who may benefit from the programmes we offer. We strive to continue to work in a community as long as there are women there who are able and want to participate in our programmes.

Do sponsored sisters receive more help than other women living in the same community?

Sponsored sisters are able to participate in our year-long training programme and receive vocational and business skills training, rights awareness, health education, and additional emotional and social support. Participants and graduates of our programme often seek to share what they learned with friends and neighbours who have not completed our programme. From starting businesses that employ women, to teaching other women about their rights, our programme graduates take the knowledge and skills they gain during the yearlong programme to benefit other women and their community as a whole.

How are women selected for sponsorship?

When Women for Women International enrols women in our year-long programme, we seek to identify those in the community who are among the most vulnerable and marginalised, and therefore stand to benefit the most from the training. All of the women experience extreme economic hardship, with an average reported daily personal earnings of just $0.40. Nearly half have never had any formal education. For many, their status as a widow or single head of household puts additional burdens on them to care for their families. Experiences of conflict-related violence, domestic abuse, and sexual violence are common.

At enrolment sessions, WfWI staff members discuss the unique challenges and needs of each woman seeking to enrol. Those who are enrolled at a given enrolment session are placed into classes of 20 to 25 women who go through the year-long training programme together.

Why is there sometimes conflicting information provided about a sponsored sister?

Sometimes sponsors do receive seemingly conflicting information about a sponsored sister, which may be due to letter translation issues, technical difficulties, etc. If you receive conflicting information about your sister, please contact our sponsorship team on sponsorshipuk@womenforwomen.org.

If you ever receive concerning or alarming information in a letter from your sister, please contact our sponsorship team on sponsorshipuk@womenforwomen.org so we can ensure your sister is receiving the support she needs.

How do I write to my sister?

You can send letters to your sister online or through the post. To minimise administrative expenses of shipping costs, we prefer that you use our Online Login Area to send an email and upload photos, which are then printed at the country office and delivered to your sister.

Paper letters can be mailed to us at:

Women for Women International
2000 M Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036

In all paper letters, please be sure to include:
Your full name
Your sponsor ID number
Your sister's full name
Your sister's woman group
Your sister's country

Why does it take so long to receive a letter from my sister?

On average, it takes three months for your letters to reach your sister and for her letters to reach you. After you send your letters to our office in Washington, D.C., we forward them to our offices overseas once a month. Letters submitted via our Online Login Area are sent to our offices overseas once a week. Your letters are then translated by staff members in our field offices and given to your sister. If your sister is not literate, the letters will be read to her, and she can dictate a letter to you. Your sister's letters to you will be translated, sent to our office in Washington, DC, and then mailed to you.

Why have I not received a letter from my sister?

In some cases, your sponsored sister may be unable to write, or she may choose not to. As you know, the women in our programmes are dealing with multiple hardships that may make it very difficult to write. But please don't stop sending messages to her. They show her you care and in time, she may write back.

I’ve misplaced my sister’s details. How can I get hold of them?

If you have misplaced the details we sent you about your sister at the start of your current sponsorship, you can access these in your online account, where you can also send messages to her.

If you would like to contact us to request your sister’s details, please email sponsorshipuk@womenforwomen.org.

Log in to your online account

Can I send extra money or a gift directly to my sister?

We ask that sponsors do not send additional money or gifts to their sisters. It is important that each woman going through the programme receives the same training and financial benefits so that no woman feels she has been given any less support than her fellow participants. We would be delighted if you would like to make one-off donations to support our global operations.

May I visit my sister?

Currently, Women for Women International has limited opportunities for groups of sponsors to visit their sisters in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda. At this time, we are unable to organise visits to other countries, due to security concerns and logistical limitations. If you are interested in learning more about opportunities to visit your sister in Rwanda or Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as associated costs, please contact supportuk@womenforwomen.org.

Can my sister visit me?

Women for Women International does not coordinate or facilitate visits of sponsored sisters to their sponsors.

I am having trouble using my online account. What should I do?

If you are having problems creating or logging in to your account, please email Laurence on sponsorshipuk@womenforwomen.org or call us on  +44 (0)207 922 7948 or Freephone 0800 023 2346 (UK only).

How else can I get involved?

There are so many ways you can get involved and support our work besides becoming a sponsor. You can fundraise to support our programmes, organise a film screening, host an event, get your company or university involved, or organise something completely original and your own.

Our supporters have climbed mountains, run marathons, hosted clothes swaps, sold cupcakes and so much more! For more information, visit our Get Involved section.

Can you claim Gift Aid on my donations?

Yes, if you are a UK taxpayer, we can claim Gift Aid on your donations, which is currently 25p for every pound you donate. If you did not tell us to claim Gift Aid when you signed up or are no longer a UK taxpayer, please email us at sponsorshipuk@womenforwomen.org, or call us on +44 (0) 7873 322 685. 

How can I contact you about sponsorship?

If you have any questions about sponsorship, please email us at sponsorshipuk@womenforwomen.org, or call us on +44 (0) 7873 322 685.

How can I end my sponsorship?

Our sponsors are the heart of our organisation and we would be very sorry to lose your support. If you wish to cancel your sponsorship, we ask that you give us 30 days’ notice. This will allow us enough time to connect your sister with another sponsor so that we can continue to provide uninterrupted support to her.

Please contact us by emailing sponsorshipuk@womenforwomen.org or call us on +44 (0) 7873 322 685.



How do I make a donation?

Your contribution will help Women for Women International continue its life-changing work with women survivors of conflict around the world. You can make an online donation today. If you prefer to give by phone or by post, please visit our Contact page for details of how to get in touch.

If you have any trouble making a donation, or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 (0) 7873 322 685.

How are my contributions spent?

We are committed to ensuring that every woman we work with receives the most from your contributions. For more information on Women for Women International's financial information, please see our 2016 Annual Report.

Do you accept employer matching gifts?

Women for Women International does accept employer matching gifts and encourages you to increase your donation by taking advantage of your employer's matching gift programme.
You can direct any applications or additional paperwork for matching gifts, to supportuk@womenforwomen.org or call us on +44 (0)207 922 7765

How is Women for Women International funded?

Women for Women International is funded by individual contributions, including donors and sponsors, in addition to support from foundations, corporate contributions, government grants, and pro bono services.

For further information about Women for Women International's financial statements, please click here.

Are Women for Women International's fundraising efforts in compliance with established fundraising guidelines?

Women for Women International UK is a UK Registered Charity (reg. number 1115109) and abides by the rules and regulations of the Charity Commission.

Women for Women International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and abides by the legal fundraising requirements and guidelines established for 501(c)(3) organisations.

If you have any complaints or feedback please see our Complaints Procedure or contact us on supportuk@womenforwomen.org


How can I help?


Sponsorship links our supporters around the world with women in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan. Sponsorship is a direct, personal, hands-on way to help marginalised women in post-conflict countries. Sponsors’ regular donations of £22 per month enable Women for Women International to continue its life-changing work with women survivors of violence around the world. We provide direct financial aid, training and other services to women participants.  In addition, the sponsors can exchange letters with their sister. For more information on how to sponsor today, visit our sponsorship page.


Your contribution will help Women for Women International continue its life-saving work with women survivors of violence around the world. You can make an online donation today. If you prefer to give by phone or by post, please visit our Contact page for details of how to get in touch. If you have any trouble making a donation, or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 (0) 7873 322 685.


Volunteers at Women for Women International UK play a valuable role in assisting us at the various high-profile events we host and attend each year. Our volunteers ensure our continued success in helping women around the globe. Volunteer opportunities will be posted on our Careers page as they arise.

Other Ways You Can Help

  • Organise a fundraiser to support our work with women survivors of war. For fundraiser ideas, see the Get Involved section of our website.
  • Make a gift in honour of a friend's or relative's birthday or wedding anniversary.
  • If you are a member of an organisation, group or university that publishes a newsletter or regular bulletin, ask about including a prepared piece on Women for Women International and our work.
  • Find out if your employer will match contributions.
  • Fundraise at the office. Get your colleagues involved with popular activities such as bake sales, dress down days or a sponsored challenge.

To receive Women for Women International materials and support with your event or fundraising activity, please email supportuk@womenforwomen.org


My Account

Why has my credit card been charged, or why have I received a monthly commitment statement, but haven't received information about my new sister?

We match all new sponsors with their sisters in the first part of the month, and take scheduled payments towards the end of each month. Sometimes there can be a delay in sending out letters with your sister's information. If you notice that you have been charged for your sponsorship donation by Women for Women International please count on receiving your new sponsor package—complete with a letter about your sister, a sponsorship handbook, and information about your sister's country—before the end of that same month. If you should not receive this information, please contact us at sponsorshipuk@womenforwomen.org or call us on +44 (0) 7873 322 685.

How do I change my payment information?

You can update your payment information via your online account. Create an account or log in here: supporters.womenforwomen.org. Once you are logged in, click on “My Account”.

Alternatively, you can call us on +44 (0) 7873 322 685. Please do not email your card details as it is not secure.

How can I obtain a tax receipt for my donations?

To request a receipt, please email us at supportuk@womenforwomen.org.uk or on +44 (0) 7873 322 685


Financial Information

How much of the money I donate goes to the women in the programme?

We are committed to ensuring that every woman we work with receives the most from your contributions. In 2016, we spent 83% of our total expenditure on charitable activities. For more information on Women for Women International's financials, please see our Annual Report.



Where can I find help for victims of violence in the U.K.?

For information and links to organisations working in the UK on domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, stalking, trafficking etc, visit the End Violence Against Women website

The National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (24-hour free phone) is run in partnership between Refuge and Women’s Aid. 

For further information, visit refuge.org.uk and womensaid.org.uk.