The Leading Women Fund is a dynamic community of Australian women supporting their Syrian refugee sisters.
Your gifts to the Leading Women Fund provide cash assistance and vocational training for refugee women who have fled to Jordan.
More than a decade after the war in Syria began, it’s still unsafe for refugees to return home. Many are living in host countries such as Jordan, where they struggle to meet their basic needs. Women whose husbands died or have disappeared during the war find themselves in a precarious situation. They have very few ways to earn money and are extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Many are caring for children or elderly relatives with little or no income, and remain trapped in poverty with no prospects for a better future.
The Leading Women Fund provides direct cash assistance for women who are the heads of their families in Jordan. These funds gives women the dignity of choosing how best to meet their needs while also supporting the local economy. Women spend most of their cash assistance on essentials such as rent, groceries and medicine.
“The cash assistance helped me to repay some debts and gave me peace of mind to keep going.” - Tahani, Syrian refugee in Jordan
The Connecting Worlds app enables Leading Women Fund donors to chat via text message with a Syrian refugee woman who is receiving cash assistance. Messages are translated and vetted, providing safety and security for users on both ends.
“To exchange with another person is to learn from them about life, and they also learn from us.” - Reem, Syrian refugee in Jordan
“The personal connection I formed through the app brought me to a place of empathy that’s quite different to traditional giving. Neither of us wanted our friendship to end.” - Penny, Leading Women Fund member
“My recent visit to Jordan to meet women whose lives have been changed by the Leading Women Fund community was mind-blowing. The women I met once lived dynamic lives in Syria, only to have their world turned on its head by a conflict out of their control.
“The cash assistance provided by the Leading Women Fund is their only chance of having any sort of semblance of a life. But it’s not just money that’s making a difference. Malak, a 47-year-old refugee, was in tears as she explained how building relationships with Australian women through the Connecting Worlds app lifted her up during a very dark time.” - Janine Allis, Boost Juice founder
“The Leading Women Fund is really important because it gives practical solutions but also gives something intangible – the light of hope. I joined the Fund because I have a real passion for seeing people uplifted.” – Kudzai, Leading Women Fund donor
“The Leading Women Fund [Connecting Worlds] app provided us with the technology to connect real life time, real life people via an app on our phone.” – Penny, Leading Women Fund donor
“Honestly it was beautiful to share my feelings with another woman my age,” – Reem, Syrian urban refugee, Jordan
“You’re bringing together the power of women, the power of our compassion and the sense of connectedness that we have with other women around the world.” – Kim, Leading Women Fund donor
$230 every four weeks will enable a Syrian mother in Jordan to provide for her family including food and rent
Attend exclusive events and webinars with inspiring refugee women and UNHCR experts
You’ll be invited to networking events with other Leading Fund members. Chat via text message with a refugee woman using the Connecting Worlds app
My work at Australia for UNHCR is so meaningful, it doesn’t feel like work! I love getting to know women in Australia who have the same vision as I do – a world of empowered women and girls with equal opportunity. Every woman is entitled to live a life that feels purposeful to her. My role is to coordinate the Leading Women Fund program, with a focus on facilitating women supporting refugee women. Please get in contact with me if you’d like to talk about the ways you can be involved in this life-changing network.
Both one-off and ongoing donations support Syrian refugee women living in Jordan. Many Syrian women in Jordan are the heads of their families and are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and struggle to meet their daily needs.
Most refugee women do not have working rights in Jordan. Just four per cent of female refugees can obtain a work permit.
Your donation will provide cash assistance for a refugee woman, enabling her to provide essentials for herself and her family.
The Leading Women Fund is a network of Australian women who are passionate about empowering female refugees.
By joining the Leading Women Fund, you can help refugee women meet their basic needs and access healthcare and education. You will also have opportunities to connect with like-minded women through in-person and online events.
Cash assistance puts funds directly into female refugee’s bank accounts each month. This gives women the autonomy to spend their money how they see fit, restoring dignity. Women spend most of their cash assistance on essentials such as rent, groceries and medicine.
Giving cash also has broader benefits, boosting the local economy and helping Syrian women integrate with their community.
Almost 80 per cent of donations to the Leading Women Fund go directly to female refugees in the form of cash assistance.
The Connecting Worlds app is a ground-breaking mobile app that connects Leading Women Fund donors with refugee women. Through the app, a donor and refugee are matched and have the opportunity to message and develop a friendship.
Connecting Worlds runs between September and October each year, with the opportunity to engage for up to eight weeks. Moderators monitor and translate conversations between the donor and the refugee woman.
The Leading Women Fund holds events throughout the year, both online and virtual, including casual catch-ups and exclusive member events.
You can co-fund with another member, however, only one person will be able to use the Connecting Worlds app.
To discuss other options, please contact us at [email protected] and we can discuss an amount that suits you.
Alternatively, you can give a one-off donation to support the Leading Women Fund. Click ‘Give Once’ under the ‘Next’ button.
Yes, you can give a one-off gift here by clicking ‘Give Once’, after clicking the ‘Next’ button.
If you would like to raise money through a community event or private function, we are more than happy to support you.
Please get in contact with us at [email protected].
You can sign up as a member to the Leading Women Fund here.
For any other questions, please contact the Leading Women Fund at [email protected].
The majority of funds raised by Australia for UNHCR are directed to UNHCR’s emergency operations, providing the ready funds and resources to respond quickly and effectively in situations of crisis and disaster.