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 Program consists of three main parts:

-  The Entrepreneurship and Social Development Program for the women (16-month Training Program).
-  Local Non-Governmental Organisations (LNGOs) for all WAWCAS Women Groups leaving the 16-month Training Program.
-  WAWCAS Child Groups.

Entrepreneurship and Social Development Program

Entering the WAWCAS Program, the women are organized in groups of 25. They undergo a 16-month training and supervision in Empowerment and Entrepreneurship, where the former includes comprehensive development of the women’s social- and personal competences. These topics, when combined, aim to inspire and strengthen the women towards social change and economic independence. Each woman will have access to a certified trainer - alone or with her group - for a total of 99 days during the 16 months Program.
As part of the Program, each woman receives Seed Money to start up her small-scale business, marking the first step generating income to build a better life for herself and her family. The Seed Money are repaid over maximum 12 months and are used for new women to start a business.
Every month, the women perform both mandatory and optional savings in the group, and these funds provide the women with access to loans under fair conditions.
The Women’s Groups are the focal points of the Program, and the women continue to meet and do savings after completing the 16-month Training Program. In these groups, the women provide support to each other, not only in personal matters but also as they grow their individual businesses. They witness significant benefits from mutual support, experiencing magical moments that bring about fundamental changes in themselves and their lives for the first time.
During the 16 months Program WAWCAS organizes special workshops not only for the women but also for husbands and in-laws to increase their understanding of the program and their support of the women.


The LNGOs are women-owned and women-run organizations.
We support and train WAWCAS Women Groups to establish LNGO’s. In 2023, the first such WAWCAS LNGO became fully registered in the Lamjung area. With over 2000 WAWCAS Women members, we have decided to expand this part of the WAWCAS Program to the other regions where WAWCAS operates. The WAWCAS LNGO’s are established with inherent rights embedded in society and in the constitution, enabling the women to independently and directly interact with authorities to receive support. With this support, the Lamjung LNGO has already arranged an Anti-violence Campaign and An Equality Campaign. Both campaigns contribute to unfold WAWCAS’s right-based approach, fostering sustainable changes in the community.
We wish to strengthen each woman, the Women Groups and the local communities. Accordingly, both the women and the communities become resilient and resourceful enough to implement changes. Collaboration across the Women Groups in communities and with local authorities enhances the likelihood of bringing attention to a silent sub-population and allowing its aspirations to unfold.

 WAWCAS Child Groups

In the Child Groups, we provide the children with an understanding of their fundamental human rights, and we also support them in acquiring life-skills useful in their future life as adults - in a family and as citizens in a democratic society. We encourage them to find strength in their relationship with their friends in the group and in their local communities.
It is a requirement for WAWCAS women to make savings for their children’s education and to ensure their enrollment in school. Additionally, we provide the WAWCAS children at the age 8-14 years with the opportunity to participate in Child Groups through a 10-month program. Every second Saturday, the Child Groups meet with one of our trainers and play, sing and practice democratic and rights-based values, such as critical thinking, dialogue, and equality within the group.
After leaving the 10-month Child Group Program, most of the groups become registered locally (as Child Clubs) allowing them to get further support from local authorities and continue to meet.

WAWCAS Four Pillars for Sustainable Impact

To ensure sustainable impact of the WAWCAS Program, we have based the program on four pillars:


Empowerment is the process where women get to understand power structures, gain self-confidence and become capable of making strategic decisions. She can transform hope and dreams into realistic actions to benefit the life conditions for herself, her family, and the local community.
After the 16 months training, her sense of self-worth and recognition of her values, her resources, and her fundamental human rights becomes a solid platform to secure sustainability of the changes induced in her life.


We see entrepreneurship as an essential element for creating a community where women without a formal educational background can dramatically improve their living conditions. During the 16 months Entrepreneurship and Social Development Program, they initiate small profitable businesses and develop them according to their business plan.
The growing income further stimulates the independence and the enthusiasm of the women, and the hardship of the labor work becomes replaced with progress and long-lasting improvements.


Building upon the Women Group to create much larger organisations and have these interact with the local communities, we improve the ability of the local society to adopt and support the changes driven by the WAWCAS women.
Stronger women organized in large, democratic organisations provide equally strong and resilient local communities, which will favor long-term beneficial effects of the WAWCAS Program


WAWCAS has a strong focus on children as we are committed to work with a programme, which anchors the improvements driven by the mothers into a better life of the next generation.
We recognise the important role of the children in anchoring the positive changes brought by the development of their mother’s personal and social competences. Essentially, if the children do not experience an improved life compared to the hardship faced by their mothers, the WAWCAS Program is considered unsuccessful.

meet a wawcas woman

yes it is my business

Wawcas brochure 2019

wawcas organisation

Design uden navn(1)

wawcas board

Nina Schriver - International Program Director, WAWCAS International. Founder of WAWCAS

Nina Schriver

International Program Director, WAWCAS International. Founder of WAWCAS
Sangeeta Shrestha - Program Director WAWCAS Nepal. Founder of WAWCAS

Sangeeta Shrestha

Program Director WAWCAS Nepal. Founder of WAWCAS
Torben B-M

Torben Bjerre-Madsen

Chairman of the board and responsible for WAWCAS International Finance
Sirish Shrestha - Program Manager

Sirish Shrestha

Program Manager

Lone Møller

Responsible for legal issues

wawcas team



WAWCAS Newsletter

The WAWCAS newsletter is our in dept look into the work we do in WAWCAS. We send out the newsletter three to six times a year.
You can sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of the page.

The global perspective

The WAWCAS program can be linked to the UN Global Goals for sustainable development. These are the global goals that we see as directly connected to the WAWCAS program.