THE STORY BEHIND WAWCAS
WAWCAS came to life in 2008. Nina Schriver from Denmark had met Sangeeta Shrestha in Nepal and they discovered, that they shared the same dream about empowering women living in the poorest parts of Nepal to become independent and give their children a better future.
Through the WAWCAS 16 months entrepreneurship program and with the support of sponsors and volunteers, the WAWCAS team has now trained more than 5,000 women and helped them start their own business. With a steady income, the women can enjoy a much better quality of life and secure schooling for their children.
The WAWCAS Program is growing year by year to improve and professionalize the scope of the initiative and continues to include 900 new women into the program every year. We encourage the women exiting the WAWCAS Program to establish their own Local NGO – and the first Local NGO was registered in 2022. Currently with 1500 WAWCAS women as members.
In addition, we have secured good quality schooling of the children of the WAWCAS women. More than 14.000 children since the start in 2008! And in year 2022, we started to offer all children (aged 8-14) of women entering the WAWCAS Program to participate in bimonthly Child Groups.
It is very inspiring and touching to see how the women are ready to take the step and work so hard to succeed with such a big change in their lives, when they get the chance.
– Nina & Sangeeta
The wawcas program
The WAWCAS 16 months entrepreneurship program trains underprivileged women, enabling them to develop a sustainable and dignified life as business owners - which in turn helps them ensure education for their children. Transforming dreams and hopes into meaningful life changes is a fundamental value in WAWCAS. To ensure sustainability of the WAWCAS Program, we have selected four focus areas for our development efforts.
These four areas are crucial for creating long-term change and constitute the Four Pillars of WAWCAS.
In groups of 25, WAWCAS empowers and motivates each woman towards social change and economic independence through education and business development. During the training each woman receives a small loan to start up a small-scale business. This is the first step to obtain an income to build a better life for herself and her family.
The groups are at the center of the program. The women become part of a community based on democratic autonomy where they share the financial responsibility. They are trained in helping each other and in working together. These groups continue to meet every month after having finished the WAWCAS Program.
This approach ensures long-term success for the individual woman and is the key to lift the family and the local community out of poverty. The women benefit personally, socially and financially from this strong and lasting network.
The preparation phase lasts three months. The purpose of this period is to prepare the women to join a group, make life changes and develop their business plan. It is also a time to build trust among the women, a strong foundation in each woman, and to train collaboration.
Each woman recieves Seed Money from WAWCAS and starts her business. She starts monthly personal savings and a loan-giving program in the group. In this way each group works as a small bank for its members. Monthly saving is mandatory – the same goes for sending children to school regularly to ensure their education.
The progress of each women is reviewed, and a follow-up strategy plan is developed for each woman and for the entire group. The group defines how to operate after leaving the program with regular meetings, savings and loans, and the group is linked with relevant authorities for further support.
meet a wawcas woman
yes it is my business
International Program Director, WAWCAS International. Founder of WAWCAS
Program Director WAWCAS Nepal. Founder of WAWCAS
Chairman of the board and responsible for WAWCAS International Finance
Responsible for legal issues