We contribute to improved socio-economic well-being of women and girls in selected communities in Sierra Leone.
In Sierra Leone, the status of widowhood brings with it a cascade of social and economic challenges. Widows often face the harsh realities of being ostracized and stripped of their rights, particularly in the aftermath of their spouse's death. This is especially pronounced in rural areas, where awareness of their rights remains limited and societal support is scarce.
The contributions of these women to their families' incomes and the well-being are substantial, yet they frequently lose access to the very factors of production that enable their contribution. Customary practices often allow the families of deceased husbands to lay claim to assets, leaving widows without the means to sustain their livelihoods.
This disenfranchisement often leads to further gender-based violence and psychological distress, as widows struggle to maintain their families' financial stability. The loss of financial and physical security can lead to severe rights violations, pushing these women and their children into extreme vulnerability.
The Jamil & Nyanga Jaward Foundation nurtures resilience and foster sustainable growth within widowed communities. Our role transcends providing immediate support; it is about instilling strength and capability through our programs. We strive to create a supportive network that rekindles hope and facilitates self-reliance for widows and their children, ensuring they can build fulfilling lives and honour the memory of their departed spouses within a compassionate society.
What We Do
1. Empowering Community Leadership
At JNJ Foundation, we recognize the power of local leaders in fostering a supportive environment for widows. Our strategy involves a rights-based participatory approach that empowers chiefs, youth leaders, community development committees, and women's groups. We work alongside these influential figures to reaffirm the rights granted by the Sierra Leone government and local councils, and we support community structures in advocating for and granting widows their rightful claims. By facilitating this, we not only reinforce social resilience but also lay the groundwork for Widow2Widow networking, fostering solidarity and mutual support within the community.
2. Building Economic Resilience
Economic independence is key to sustainable development. We focus on enhancing the capacity and capabilities of widows to engage in income-generating activities. This is achieved through a holistic model that includes access to education and healthcare, rooted in the government's radical inclusion policy, and bolstered by our business development services. Our tailored support ensures that widows have the tools and opportunities necessary to thrive economically, steering their families towards financial stability and out of the cycle of poverty.
3. Advancing Hands-On Learning and Participation
rue change comes from within. Our hands-on model is designed to educate and engage widows in the processes that directly affect their livelihoods. We provide knowledge-sharing sessions, participatory learning experiences, and continuous involvement in program actions that aim to elevate widows and their families. By doing so, we ensure that they are not just recipients of aid but active participants in shaping their futures, armed with the knowledge and skills to sustain themselves and contribute to their communities.