WOAM Team to Trek Across Kyrgyzstan in Support of Women Survivors of War
Updated: Feb 14
Singapore, February 2020 - An independent, self-funded team of twelve women from around the world under the banner of Women on a Mission (WOAM), a non-profit organisation headquartered in Singapore that supports and empowers women survivors of war and abused, will embark on a twelve-day expedition to Kyrgyzstan in September 2020.
For this next expedition, WOAM’s 11th to date, the team will need to trek 150km on foot in just eight days. The women will be crossing mountainous landscapes, between 2,500m and 4,000m in elevation, while camping on the trail, or staying with local nomadic families in their yurts.
The expedition’s objective is to raise $100,000 SGD for Women for Women International – UK, a charity which provides women survivors of war and conflict with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. WOAM, now in its eighth year of operation, has raised $1,150,000 Singapore dollars to date, to support organisations that advance the position of women around the world. In addition to Women for Women International, the team also champions and raises funds for the following charities: the International Justice Mission, UN Women, AWARE - Singapore’s leading gender equality advocacy group and Pertapis Home for Women and Girls in Singapore. The past ten WOAM expeditions have been to regions of the Himalayas, the Middle East, Africa, Mongolia, South East Asia and the Arctic Circle.
Brita Fernandez Schmidt, Executive Director of Women for Women International - UK stated, “The women we work with live in some of the world’s most dangerous places – it can be hard for us to imagine their daily challenges. I find it so inspiring that WOAM push themselves far outside their comfort zone in order to raise money and awareness for women survivors of war. Each trek they take on is just as challenging as the last, and WOAM members truly go the extra mile to leverage their networks and raise incredible sums of money, which make a real difference to the women we serve.”
Kyrgyzstan, one of central Asia’s most fascinating countries, is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, China to the east, Tajikistan to the south, and Uzbekistan to the west. It is a destination renowned for its breath-taking scenery and rich nomadic culture. From Soviet-era Bishkek, to the stunning Tien Shan mountain range and the ancient Silk Road, the women will explore dramatic gorges and splashing rivers, trek through lush forests and climb up to mountain passes as high as 4,000 metres in altitude, where they will enjoy stunning views of Lake Issyk Kul, the seventh deepest lake in the world.
Furthermore, it is one of the least populated countries on earth, with less than 30 people per square kilometres of land. Mountains cover 80% of Kyrgyzstan and the country’s nickname is “the Switzerland of Central Asia”. The nation's largest ethnic group are the Kyrgyz, a Turkic people, which comprise 70.9% of the population. Other ethnic groups include Russians (9.0%) concentrated in the north and Uzbeks (14.5%) living in the south. Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country, its highest point is Jengish Chokusu (7,439m), and it has 11 national parks - the team’s journey certainly promises to be a breath-taking experience even if challenging.
Ultimately, WOAM’s objective is to inspire women to want to leave their comfort zone, their families and homes for a certain period of time, while pushing their limits in an effort to rally support for a worthy cause. At the core of their culture is a passion for adventure and a deep respect and love of nature. They seek to travel and explore the world, and as a result make new discoveries, flourish as individuals, but most importantly, contribute to society. By travelling in such challenging conditions, WOAM hopes to bring international attention to the need for societies, governments and corporations to get involved and help end violence against women and girls.
FIND OUT MORE
WOAM is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Singapore, which combines challenging, self-funded, expeditions and treks to remote and majestic locations around the world, with inspirational fundraising events and workshops in Singapore and abroad, to raise awareness and funds for women who have been subjected to violence and abuse. WOAM’s strategy is to organise and promote yearly campaigns and challenging expeditions to increase visibility, and to raise money for specific charities. WOAM partners with existing established non-profit institutions that already have well run programmes and structures in place dedicated to serving the underprivileged, with a particular focus on women's issues. http://www.womenmission.com
About Women for Women International (WfWI)
When there is an outbreak of war or violence, women suffer most – they experience trauma, sexual violence and the death of loved ones. After the conflict is over, the world’s attention moves on, but these same women are left to rebuild their families and communities. Women for Women International supports women who live in some of the world’s most dangerous places. Women enrol on the charity’s year-long training programme, where they learn how to earn and save money, improve their family’s health and make their voices heard at home and in their community.
Since 1993, the charity has helped more than 500,000 marginalised women survivors of war in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan. With your help, women can graduate from the Women for Women International programme with the skills, knowledge and resources to become successful entrepreneurs. They will pass on their knowledge to their neighbours and children, creating a ripple effect. Find out more at womenforwomen.org.uk or follow @WomenforWomenUK on social media. Women for Women International is a UK registered charity no. 1115109.
WOAM Team Profiles
Twelve intrepid women of diverse nationalities and backgrounds form the team of this ‘Women on a Mission’ Expedition to Kyrgyzstan 2020. Most are based in Singapore but some will hail from the Asia, Europe and the Americas. While they are all incredibly well accomplished in their careers, they are equally passionate about supporting charitable causes and helping the less privileged.
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This WOAM expedition is in support of Women for Women International UK.