Twelve Action-Oriented Research Programs
Promoting Women’s Leadership in Mexico for a Conscious and Regenerative Humanity
The Ananda Group in collaboration with Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
WFI is expanding its collaboration with The Ananda Group, an investment fund that supports entrepreneurs who are empowering consumers to adopt an ethical, healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle, without the use of animals. Together with the recommendations of our Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government 2019–2020 research team, WFI has spearheaded ‘Pongamos la Mesa – Para Tod@s,’ in which customers of participating restaurants and food retailers can purchase items to be collected by the association and delivered to vulnerable populations. In 2022, this pilot will be launched with up to 5-7 restaurants and retailers, benefiting 2 organizations: Casa de la Mujer Indígena (serving indigenous women and their families) and Aurea CMX (2 migrant shelters, one of them exclusively serving women and girls).
Designs for the New Humanity
The Rollins Center in Rose Town, Jamaica as an affiliate of the Prince’s Foundation
in collaboration with Blumera
WFI is bringing together Blumera, a luxury fashion brand focused on high-vibratory creations, and ever-seeking to be in harmony with the earth and lessen the impact fashion makes on it, and the Prince’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating communities for a more sustainable world, and its nonprofit affiliates. As a result of this collaboration, Blumera is designing and creating a new collection of handbags, jewelry, clothing, and home décor using the natural dyes developed by artisans in Scotland and Jamaica, highlighting natural dyes as a sustainable option replacing current chemical-based techniques. This will lay the groundwork for an extended project with a female cohort from the Rollins Enterprise center, a newly instated space that regularly houses workshops in beneficial subjects such as farming, waste management and textile production in Rose Town, Jamaica. The dyes used will be based on historic textile crops and colors native to both Scotland and Jamaica. The collaborators in this WFI program are each committed to global efforts to combat climate change and view this program as an opportunity to showcase the use of materials that are natural and biodegradable as alternatives to contemporary forms of garment design.
Breaking Barriers to Expand Opportunities for Women-Led Businesses in Latin America
Pro Mujer in collaboration with Columbia University School of
International and Public Affairs
WFI will expand its collaboration with ProMujer, an organization that focuses on providing financial inclusion, health and education programs in Latin America, to increase access to capital for women using innovative digital financial services channels to reach more women entrepreneurs. Springboarding from WFI’s 2019-2020 research with Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), WFI will support Pro Mujer’s creation of a digital onboarding platform that will expand access to capital by enabling more entrepreneurs to apply for and receive loans digitally, reaching new clients currently unbanked.
Women and Education
A New Horizon for Women’s Education in Afghanistan
Afghan Institute of Learning in collaboration with Lynn University Social Impact Lab
As part of its Light of Afghanistan Program, WFI is expanding its collaboration with the Afghan Institute of Learning, an organization focused on providing education, training, and health services to vulnerable Afghan communities, and Lynn University’s Social Impact Lab on the creation of the first women’s private university in Afghanistan. WFI’s support will enable the next steps in further developing the curriculum, building a framework for the university’s administrative management, creating a marketing plan, and planning the logistics of building the university.
Women and Sustainable Systems
All of Us Taking Care of All of Us: A Global Template for Food Rescue
White Pony Express in collaboration with Stanford University Community Health and Prevention Research Program
WFI is expanding its collaboration with White Pony Express (WPE), a novel food rescue program, with the goal of “helping to eliminate hunger and poverty by delivering the abundance all around us to those in need – with love,” and Stanford University’s Community Health and Prevention Research (CHPR). This collaboration will enable an impact and needs assessment of WPE programs, in particular the survivors, the mothers, the women juggling families, jobs, and those carrying the burden of a myriad of losses during this pandemic who WPE serves. WFI will host an international event that highlights this new template for philanthropic giving and shared prosperity in which “all of us” are simply taking “taking care of all of us.”
Sustainable Farming and Food Systems for the Future of Jamaica
The Prince’s Foundation in collaboration with the University of Kentucky College of Food, Agriculture and Environment
In collaboration with the Prince’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating communities for a more sustainable world, and the University of Kentucky’s College of Food, Agriculture and Environment, WFI is expanding sustainable farming practices and strengthening community food systems in Rose Town, Jamaica. This program enables the building of a model to take into account country-specific farming practices, native crops, and agricultural profile, while ensuring the equitable inclusion and compensation of Jamaican women farmers in Rose Town with opportunities for scaling country-wide. Environmentally friendly methods will be proposed to sustain the harmony between nature’s design and the needs of humanity.
Incorporating Renewable Energy Methods Tools into Cost-Effective, Equitable and Environmentally Sustainable Food Systems
The Sustainable Food Trust in collaboration with Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
WFI is incorporating a renewable energy component to our existing program with Sustainable Food Trust, a non-profit organization that works to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food and farming systems that nourish the health of both people and planet, and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. WFI is bringing an additional team from Cornell’s Sustainable Energy Engineering Program to work closely with the Cornell Global Development Program team to devise a workable model that incorporates a cost-effective, income-generating, and implementable renewable energy method into day-to-day farming practices. The program will also create a gender-focused and racially conscious sustainable framework for farms in low to middle-income countries, giving priority to Malawi as a first case study, that can be replicated in the region and globally.
Growing the Coffee and Cocoa Sector through Equity for Women Farmers
Partnership for Gender Equity in collaboration with Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
WFI brings together Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the Partnership for Gender Equity, an NGO focused on gender and social equity in the cocoa and coffee supply chain, to embed gender equity data into digital applications to be used in their self-assessment tool and incorporated into leading coffee and cocoa industry corporations’ practices. WFI and PGE are exploring partnerships with Lavazza, Starbucks, or Nestlé to incorporate equitable farming practices for women in the cocoa and coffee fields while also ensuring the benefit of their families and communities.
Promoting Global Environmental Action and Labor Equity for Women through Sustainable Fashion in the Middle East
North Carolina State University Wilson College of Textile Design in collaboration with VCUarts Qatar Fashion Design Program and Corporations
Polyester, a significant contributor to the 500,000 tons of microplastics in the ocean, produces 2-3 times more carbon emissions than cotton. However, cotton, which is often cited as a favorable alternative to polyester, remains the largest agricultural commodity consumer of water globally. WFI is supporting the creation of an innovative new sustainable textile that can be used as an alternative to both cotton and polyester in textile production. This textile will be used to help address the global environmental destruction produced by the fast fashion industry. This program brings together North Carolina State University’s Wilson College of Textile Design and the VCUarts Qatar Fashion Design program or another leading design program to create a sustainable line for fast fashion industry giants operating in the Middle East, such as H&M and/or Zara. In tandem with these academic programs, WFI will include Middlebury College of International Studies International Environmental Policy Program to approach the issue from a policy perspective.
Women's Leadership in Conflict Resolution
Changing the System: Enhancing Participation of
Young Migrant and Refugee Women
European Network of Migrant Women in collaboration with The Paris Institute of Political Studies
WFI is expanding its collaboration with the Paris Institute of Political Studies’ (Sciences Po) Research and Educational Programme on Gender Studies (PRESAGE) and the European Network of Migrant Women, an organization dedicated to empowering refugee and migrant women in Europe, to increase young migrant women’s leadership and create and provide a toolkit and training workshops for their participation in the international community. The implementation stage in 2022 will enable WFI and its partners to disseminate and further develop the toolkit to benefit more refugee and migrant women Europe-wide.
Survivor Voices: Exploring Ethical Artistic Work by Survivors of Human Trafficking in the East Midlands
The Rights Lab in collaboration with the University of Nottingham
WFI is collaborating with the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, the world’s largest group of modern slavery researchers, to draw on the stories and imagery generated in the ‘Survivors’ Voices, Stories, and Images’ project. This project explores UK community responses to the artistic materials generated in Kenya and applies this creative method with a local survivor community in the East Midlands, UK. The focus in particular will be the value of ethical and participatory methods of artistic expression for survivors of human trafficking, and how this influences the ways in which audiences perceive both the artistic works themselves, and the issue of human trafficking. The principle aim of this research is to amplify the voices of survivors in their own communities and in the wider world. This collaboration contributes to overcoming marginalization through education and a greater understanding of the experiences of people who have survived human trafficking.
Women’s Rights and the Peace Process in Afghanistan
Peacebuilders in Afghanistan in collaboration with Georgetown University School of Foreign Service/Institute for Women, Peace and Security
WFI is expanding its collaboration with Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and several nonprofits dedicated to women’s empowerment in Afghanistan as part of our Light of Afghanistan Program to provide Afghan women with tools to develop their self-expression and agency. WFI is also launching a “participatory photography project” that will engage these partners and the women of Afghanistan to tell their own stories to promote social transformation and inclusive communities through photographs. This project uses the power of photography to illuminate what at times cannot be said aloud, providing a space to describe the realities, communicate perspectives, and raise awareness of the issues faced by the women of Afghanistan.