Women At The Well, Int'l
Women At the Well, Int’l (WATW) is an organization that aims to improve the livelihood of refugees. Founded in May of 2012 by Shegitu Kebede, WATW’s mission is to provide education to refugee children and adults in order to add a renewed hope and confidence in their future. WATW utilizes the years spent in camps to equip refugees with the skills necessary to support themselves so that, no matter the context, they have a smoother transition after resettlement.
In working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Kebede was given the responsibility of a refugee camp for unaccompanied minors in Northern Ethiopia. Due to the success in bettering the livelihood of refugees with a small budget in a few short years, the UNHCR has given WATW more camps to oversee. Previous and current projects implemented include: providing beds, new sanitary lavatories, constructing separate male and female living quarters, safe recreational space, cultivating land for gardening vegetables, producing leather to make and sell various items, and goat herding to name a few. Knowing first hand what it means to be a refugee, Kebede has dedicated her life to the betterment of the marginalized.
The Vision of WOMEN AT THE WELL is to bring awareness of the plight of the refugees around the world and to create compassion in the heart of many which will spark real change and a sense of love for their fellow human beings.
The Mission of WOMEN AT THE WELL is to work with refugees in Refugee Camps around the world to create thriving, self supporting communities…with land set aside for farming, schools for the children, and classes for adults to learn a trade and language…and villages of artisans preparing their goods for sale!
Photo Gallery (below - click to forward)
What is a REFUGEE?
According to the 1951 Geneva Convention, a refugee is a person with a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality and is unable or unwilling to return to it.
- via Friends Of Refugees (FOR)
How does a refugee come to America?
Once someone leave their home country, most go to refugee camps to live…and wait. The average stay in a camp is seventeen years. Some refugees may marry and have children in camps. Refugees await an interview and approval from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to go to a receiving nation. For those who may come to the United States, they must also await approval from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). Only those with sufficient proof of a well-founded fear of persecution will be allowed to go to a new country.
Once approved, refugees must find a sponsor or borrow money to pay for the cost of transportation. Refugees will then fly to America. Before arrival, they will be assigned to a resettlement agency. The agencies help with their settlement needs for the first ninety days in the United States. Since ninety days isn’t much time to get a household setup, find a job, learn English, etc. resettlement agencies also work to find sponsors to help the refugees long-term. Unfortunately, a majority of refugees are not sponsored.
Following their ninety days in the States, Friends of Refugees continues to provide long-term care and services to refugees.
- via Friends Of Refugees (FOR)