|Biographical detail : ||The provider of hands-on aid and support via mail to women in war-torn regions.
As a student in the US when she read reports of the systematic rape of Bosnian women by Serb soldiers, Iraqi-born Zainab Salbi moved into action.
Today Salbi’s group, Women for Women International, based in Washington and with 180 staff members and a budget of over $11 million, is a lifeline for war-torn women in over eight countries: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. The organisation picks up where humanitarian aid leaves off.
A third of the budget is raised through “sister to sister” sponsorship. Women around the world contribute $27 a month for a year to women in a conflict zone. And they exchange letters. The cash is for the war victim to buy food and pay for her children’s schooling. The letters help overcome the bitterness. In 2004, women in the programme exchanged 44,000 letters.
Zainab has a number of publications to her credit including Mass Rape: Natural, Cultural, or Social? and The Role of Microcredit in Poverty Alleviation in a Post Conflict/Transitional Society.
Zainab Salbi was honoured by the then President Clinton, in 1995, at a White House ceremony for her humanitarian work in Bosnia. She has also been nominated by Amnesty International for the Arthur Ashe Award and by Physicians for Human Rights for the Reebok Human Rights Award.