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Happy Birthday Foundation for Women!


April 23rd marks the launch of our 18th year of connection and service after two years of gestation and birthing. On April 23, 1998 we offered our first community gathering. It was standing room only at the La Jolla Woman's Club. My need for wanting to be part of community was obviously not unique.

Things have changed over the last twenty years. In-person community gatherings have largely been replace by Facebook and Twitter and anything else on our personal mobile devices. Our FFW commitment to connection and service has not changed!


I was recently back in Liberia for the first time in months due to the Ebola crisis. Liberia and the people of Liberia welcomed me with great joy. It was about more than me; it was about getting passed the crisis enough that I was returning. It was about hope and love. Here are some images from a marvelous March in Liberia:



 Aftermath of Ebola


 Documentary team Armah & Henry


 Baby Ann after Ann Lovell






 Hugging Ebola Survivors


Dear friends the VP and David


Arthur and Amelia were Married





Making a New Normal



The Foundation for Women is entering its next phase of service. Our two microfinance products in Liberia will continue and expand, the retail microfinance to women and the microfinance to low-fee independent school operators. We are also working on an agriculture product.

And we are producing a documentary film! We are helping Liberians tell their stories of the last year. In partnership with KeyPoint Films, we have a goal of sharing several trailers by the end of this month and more by the end of May, and a 30-minute documentary by August 8th, the one year anniversary of the WHO's declaration of a global emergency due to Ebola.

We hope you will continue to be members of our grassroots moment to eliminate poverty through microfinance. Your 2015 donation at whatever level speaks to you would be so appreciated! Please press DONATE NOW - and thank you!


More information about the documentary film work soon...  

deb sig

Deborah Lindholm





Improving Girls Education Through Technology

Improving Girls Education Through Technology, Labs For F-SHAM
Written by Henry Karmo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published: 16 July 2014
Monrovia - Vice President Joseph Boakai has announced collaboration between F-SHAM of Faith School for Girls, The Foundation for Women and EDIFY, an educational partner in Liberia that has resulted a transformed F-SHAM into a Technology school for girls in Liberia.

The technology school is the first of its kind with low-fee independent school for girls in Liberia.

A statement from the Office of the Vice President quotes the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Foundation for Women Madam Deborah Lindholm as saying that the transformation of F-SHAM includes the refurbishment of the physical structure and interior courtyard with additions that includes two state of the art computer labs.


She also disclosed that a solar system to provide power for these labs and other needs for the school that will eliminate the expensive regular use of a generator would shortly be provided.

Lindholm said: “Accordingly, the high technology upgrade includes the latest technology computers with high speed internet, video connection possibilities worldwide, access to global software and teaching support, and the transformation of the school’s accounting system and practices.

“Moreover, according to Madam Lindholm, the Lab will benefit students of F-SHAM, the teaching and administrative staff and the community, as the computer labs will be accessible outside of school hours to the surrounding community.”

She said, F-SHAM was chosen for this special project due to their history of academic excellence of their committed founders and staff, and their willingness to grow beyond the present reality of education in Liberia, particularly for girls.

The FFW is a registered NGO operating in Liberia since 2007 providing microfinance support to more than 10,000 women in more than 250 communities in 14 counties and has also provided microfinance support to 15 low –fee independent school operators to enhance education in Liberia, a VPO release concluded.

According to Madam Lindholm the two labs are unique in a way that EDIFY the group funding the project through FFW purchased a special kind of software (Smile) that makes teaching and learning easy for students and teachers at all levels.

SMILE technology, according to her was purchased from the Stanford University in the United States, which gives students access to all the educational materials without Internet access.

Also speaking at the program US ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac commended FFW for the support to the country’s education sector with specific reference to girls’ education, which according to her is cardinal to the growth and development of Liberia.

The Liberia education Master plan in 1999 reported that Africa has about 57.65% male and 42.38% female students. From this data, Liberia could not boast of a ratio of 5 to 3 School — going girls to that of boys.

The dropout rate for girls is very high. Most girls end up in the streets of Liberia with nothing to do and thereby forced into early marriage.

It is against this background that the need for the establishment of an institution like F-SHAM OF FAITH GIRLS ACADEMY became necessary.


F-SHAM offers a basic educational program for Girls, which provides the foundation for continuous and lifelong learning for sustenance.

The institution is the first of its kind in the country, it was established in 2000 on April 19, by five prominent Liberian Women who saw the need for such venture during the post war period of national reconstruction.

 The idea of establishing F-SHAM according to the Principal started, when Sarah Kokulo Taylor (Mrs.) (the proprietress and a founding member) was in the service of her church school, St. Peters Lutheran High School.


As a Principal, Sarah had some administrative problems with the Parish Council for refusing to provide the needs of the students. This frustration led her to one of the Board members, Mrs. Mildred P. George to tell her of her intention to resign as a principal of St. Peters Lutheran high school.


One morning, Aminata Jalloh was strolling along Cheeseman Avenue in Monrovia, Liberia when she stopped to ask what a group of women were doing in front of a building. She was told that the place was the Foundation for Women, an NGO that was helping to empower women by providing them microloans to start their businesses.
Aminata Jalloh applied with the Foundation for Women for a “Unique Loan” (individual loan). Like other applicants, she had an interview before she received the loan. The interview is to get to know the applicant and the applicant’s ability to repay the loan.

Elsa, a Story of Empowerment and Success

It was over 7 years ago that Elsa joined our first borrowing centers in El Cajon City. She came to explore opportunities to generate sustainable income to support her family. Elsa has 3 children, 2 girls and 1 boy. She was living in a trailer, was unemployed, didn’t speak English and had no business experience.  It was through the Foundation that Elsa discovered that she could use her love of jewelry making to generate income for her family.
“It was the Foundation who taught me that I had a talent that I could use to start a business. They gave me the courage and inspiration that I needed to sell my jewelry in the marketplace."


The Foundation for Women is committed to ending poverty through microfinance.


The Foundation for Women is making a difference in communities with compassion, integrity, commitment and joy.