The Power of One: Women for Women International Founder and CEO, Zainab Salbi, Featured in TIME magazine this week

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Zainab Salbi's mother urged her to never give up her voice. Now, Salbi helps women in war-torn countries regain their own voices. As part of the Time magazine series, The Power of One, Caroline Kennedy writes about Zainab Salbi, Women for Women International and the difference that one woman can make in the life of another, just in time for Mother's Day.

Zainab Salbi, Women for Women International founder, with women in Rwanda - April 2008

Peace--real peace--means that there are schools for children to attend, and that it is safe for them to go. Peace means having three meals a day, a job, and a home to come back to. It is time for women to be involved, not just in symbolic ways, but through full participation at every level, from the family dinner table to the highest levels of the government. Strong women lead to strong nations.

This week, Women for Women International and its founder, Zainab Salbi, are featured in Time magazine. As Mother's Day approaches, Caroline Kennedy wrote the piece as part of Time magazine's ongoing series, The Power of One, and notes the poignancy of Women for Women International's message and mission: "The most urgent tasks of rebuilding daily life in a devastated nation--feeding a family, doing the laundry, taking children to school, shopping for basic necessities--fall to women. These challenges are critical to stabilizing a society, yet the world pays more attention to military and security issues."

Women are the glue that holds families together during chaos and conflict. Children depend on their mother for food, shelter, guidance and hope. When mothers cannot provide these things for their children, it creates a tear in the social fabric that can take generations to repair. When women can access the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to survive and thrive, even in areas of violence and conflict, they are able to take care of their children's and families' immediate needs. In turn, they contribute to the long term health of their community and their nation.

Women for Women International is pleased to be highlighted in "The Power of One" series not only because of the courage and determination of founder Zainab Salbi, but because Women for Women International's greatest strength is its one-to-one connection between a woman and her sponsor. One woman decides to take the step of enrolling in Women for Women International's programs in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the DR Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda or Sudan in search of a better life. In turn, she receives the support, financial and emotional, of her sponsor. That one woman then sends her children to school, gets a job or creates her own small business to generate income for her family. The powerful impact that each of these women has on the other creates a ripple effect that extends beyond them both. One woman can change anything. Many women can change everything.

Zainab Salbi emphasizes the need to listen to the women. "Peace--real peace--means that there are schools for children to attend, and that it is safe for them to go. Peace means having three meals a day, a job, and a home to come back to. It is time for women to be involved, not just in symbolic ways, but through full participation at every level, from the family dinner table to the highest levels of the government. Strong women lead to strong nations."

Women for Women International was founded in 1993 to help women overcome the horrors of war and civil strife in ways that can help them rebuild their lives, families, and communities.

For more information on Women for Women International visit http://www.womenforwomen.org.

Click here to read the article in Time Magazine.

Click here to read: A Mother's Story of Courage in Sudan: Fighting for her Daughter's Education.

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Tobey Goldfarb
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