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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





What We Do

The Foundation for Women is committed to helping women accomplish their dreams and reach their true potential.

Since the Foundation for Women was established in 1997, our organization has supplied eligible women with microfinance loans to help them start a business, develop job placement skills, or pursue education for themselves and their children.

What is the local problem/need?

  • Local poverty rate is at a 50-year high (San Diego County 2010 statistics)
  • 33% of 3.1m population is struggling with economic hardship living below 200% of FPL (Federal Poverty Level)
  • 14.8% (449,060) live below FPL
  • Of the 157,028 families living below FPL, 49% (76,944) are female-only head of household
  • 19% of children live below FPL
  • Poverty rates for African-Americans and Latinos are double that for Caucasians
  • California has designated San Diego County as a “Refugee-Impacted County”

What is microfinance?

  • Proven successful  microfinance programs make small loans for income-generating activities to those who cannot qualify for loans from traditional financial institutions
  • Microloan amounts typically range from $250 - $1,000 in the U.S. and $100 globally
  • Microloans provide access to capital to establish a small business or educational opportunities

Why focus on women?

  • Microfinance programs empower women
  • Empowering women is a cost-effective way to help families and communities work their way out of poverty with dignity, achieving greater rates of economic growth and social equity
  • A woman’s successful  participation in a microfinance program has positive impact on the health and welfare of children—as many as 5 family members share impact of loan program


What is FFW’s role?

  • FFW is the only organization in the U.S. reaching the poorest of the poor,  using the Nobel Prize-winning Grameen microfinance model as part of its approach
  • Since 1997, FFW has helped more than 1 million women and families with microloans in India, Zambia, Niger, Liberia, and the U.S.
  • In 2004, FFW expanded its microfinance efforts to directly serve very poor immigrant and refugee women in San Diego County
  • Since 2004, FFW has issued and managed loans to nearly 500 San Diego  women
  • After the loan is repaid, it goes back into the pool to be distributed, thus perpetuating the lending capital
  • FFW microfinance participants receive mentoring and education about financial and business management


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.