Primary Donor(s): Flora Family Foundation, International Rescue Committee, Waterford Foundation.
Through this comprehensive initiative, NEF worked in and around Damascus to support vulnerable women and girls – both Iraqi refugees and Syrians – who were struggling to find work, urgently needed health care, and other critical services. Many of them were recent widows and orphans learning how to support their families for the first time.
NEF and a group of local partners collaborated to provide short- and long-term support through basic and reproductive health awareness, as well as counseling services. We also helped them develop livelihood opportunities such as at-home and community-oriented work and small-scale entrepreneurship.
One of the primary goals was to reduce prostitution and forced labor among women and girls who have little education and few options to earn an income.
NEF and its partners conducted reproductive health awareness sessions, including some home visits. Together we identified and trained Syrian doctors and nurses, as well as Iraqi volunteers, to conduct the sessions and to provide ongoing support to women and girls in areas such as preventive medicine, family planning, pre- and post-natal care, and nutrition.
Counseling and group therapy was provided for victims of pervasive domestic violence as well as sexual and gender-based violence. Activities sought to foster solidarity and empower the women and girls, and to improve their access to a variety of services.
NEF developed working relationships with the Syrian Ministry of Health, the Syrian Family Planning Association, and the Syrian Women's General Union (a women's NGO). We also collaborated with local and national Syrian organizations, as well as international NGO’s and UN agencies.
NEF’s work with vulnerable women and girls in Syria was implemented in partnership with the Center for Development Services, our Cairo-based affiliate.