I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece but of the world. Socrates


WomenAid/UNHCR Empowerment of IDP women through awareness raising &Training seminars in women’s rights and health issues.

WomenAid International-Caucasus (WAI-C) implemented a year-long UNHCR supported project aiming to empower women drawn from the internally displaced persons (IDP) community.   Upon the request of UNHCR following gender-sensitive evaluation of micro-credit projects targeted at IDP women in 2000, WAI-C was adding a gender empowerment component onto existing micro-finance projects supported by UNHCR. The project was targeted at selected groups of female borrowers - with the express aim to strengthen supportive networks amongst the women.

“The events carried out by your organization change significantly the life of IDP population relieving their psychosocial difficulties. Especially important for them is the information provided through your programmes on HIV/Aids, stopping violence against women and children and preventing the global spread of trafficking.  

Availing myself of this opportunity to express respect for your work and understanding, I thank you on behalf of IDP population and myself.”

D Khorava, First Minister of Labour, Health & Social Affairs of Abkhaz Autonomous Republic 2005 

Pida Ripley meeting with IDPs at a microcredit group seminar discussing financial reporting.

Knowledge is Power presented a stepped process of awareness raising training seminars and discussion with groups of female refugees and IDPs on

  • health and health behaviour (emphasis on sexual health, reproductive health and family planning),
  • human rights (emphasis on women’s rights and IDP rights) and
  • gender violence (emphasis on domestic violence, trafficking and forced prostitution)

By working with existing groups of microcredit borrowers rather than isolated individuals, and groups that have to meet regularly- it enabled the women to find support amongst the group on issues of concern to improve their own levels of well-being.

“Our relationship with WomenAid International (WAI) was always very productive and positive. The nature of the project with WAI was to incorporate a gender empowerment component into the already existing micro-finance projects supported by UNHCR for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) …UNHCR was very satisfied with WAI’s performance and felt that this component of the micro-credit project was both rewarding and successful  ... it is without hesitation that UNHCR can recommend WomenAid International as their professionalism and determination as well as their genuine interest in the well-being of the beneficiaries was commendable."

Supang Sguansaitgul, Senior Admin/Programme Officer, OIC
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Georgia Office.   20.02. 2004


In 2004/5 Pida developed an ‘Understanding Gender Violence’ Toolkit and Training of Trainers programme for delivery by WomenAid International-Caucasus to senior officials of eleven Georgian government ministries.

“Today I am writing on behalf of the last Training of Trainers.  All participants asked to thank you and to tell you that despite some participants having received 5-10 trainings and even 15 trainings, they have not had such an experience: excellent training material, right approach to the issue, professional staff, outstanding organization. They declared that they are looking forward to further collaboration because here in WomenAid International Caucasus they feel really capable of changing policy and felt their responsibilities as citizens.”

WomenAid Lead Trainer.


Major-General Givi Lobjanidze, Police
Academy Director & Pida Ripley

WomenAid also provided Understanding Gender Violence Training and Curriculum Development to the police cadets at the Georgian National Police Academy.

Major-General Givi Lobjanidze, Georgia’s most senior policeman, historian and Director of Georgian National Police Academy presenting WomenAid Founder, Pida Ripley, a history of the Academy containing acknowledgement the contribution of WomenAid International to the curricular development of the Academy.  An extensive Training Toolkit was developed providing global issues, and legislative and policing problems.

“We would like to inform you that the Ministry of Justice of Georgia is working on the harmonization of Georgian legislation to the international human rights standards. Women’s human rights are one of the priorities. We kindly ask you to help us and provide your suggestions regarding the necessary legislative innovations on women’s rights."

S. Papuashvili, Department International Legal Relations, Ministry of Justice, Georgia.  2004

Pida Ripley taking a training session with the Georgian National Police Academy Cadets

WomenAid International Caucasus (WAI-C) training team at the National Police Academy