Empower Women Leaders operates on the basis of Connecting, Counseling and Contributing. As an organization we go to developing countries where the majority of the female population is the victim of gender based violence, poverty, and general oppression. This abuse takes many forms; sex-trafficking, prostitution, child marriages, young girls not able to attend school, rape, fistula, etc.
First, we connect. Dependent on the region, the type of restoration needed can vary. What EWL does first and foremost is with boots on the ground we connect with the women. We listen, we learn, we spend TIME hearing their concerns, hearing what they need, hearing what they want to do and what needs to be done.
The next step is to counsel. Dignity and poverty do not often go together. When meeting women in these situations it is important that their physical needs be met, and it is dire that their emotional wounds start on the path to recovery. See the Counsel page for more information.
The third factor is contributing. What you will find (and what we have already witnessed) is that within the first two steps of connecting and counseling, the relationships we form and the trust we build with the women will in time introduce us to those women who step forward and want to do more. These are their communities and they know best what steps need to be taken. See our Contribute page to learn more about our strategies to contribute to their plans for the community as we provide tools and resources for them to grow into their roles.
EWL makes it a point, and to the degree of being a foundational principle, that we as on organization do not become the solution for these women. We become the power behind these women. The purpose of this is that it will be a sustainable endeavor that will not only help the women at this time, but that the work we do know will help the granddaughters and great-granddaughters of these women. These ladies are powerful and capable. There is just more strength in numbers. In developed countries like our own we have the resources and the numbers to do something, this is powerful, now it’s matter of bringing this to the rest of the world.
EWL is led by Shelly Timbol, Executive Director and President and assisted by her husband, Tony Timbol. An experienced board of directors, including individuals who have served in Africa, provides leadership and guidance. In addition, EWL has formed a Liberian Advisory Board, consisting of local Liberian leaders, to provide on-the-ground connection to define needs and services.
Empower Women Leaders is registered in the State of Florida as a Non-Profit Corporation. EWL’s status as a 501c(3) charitable organization with the United States Internal Revenue Service is pending.