Crowd-funding initiative to help women and children in need

Women for Women (Malta) is a Facebook group which was set up in 2015 by Francesca Fenech Conti to offer a safe online space for women to talk about important issues and offer support to each other.

The community of Women for Women (Malta) today has over 31,000 members and has evolved into a platform where women in desperate situations can seek financial aid, emotional support and expert advice.

Fenech Conti has announced the launch of a crowd-funding initiative with the aim of setting up the Women For Women Foundation, this will enable the community to continue to offer financial and expert support to women and children in desperate situations.

The Social Fund will cater for the emergency financial needs of women with children and will be working closely with organisations and experts in the field of domestic violence, poverty and homelessness.

€7,000 out of initial €10,000 benchmark raised

Within a few days days of the social fund’s first crowd-funding initiative hosted by Zaar, over €7,000 out of the initial €10,000 benchmark was raised.

The online group has already offered invaluable help to women and children thanks to the collaboration with various entities and experts including St. Jeanne Antide Foundation, Soar, Djakunija M’Scala, Migrant Women Association, Women’s Rights Foundation and other local organisations.

Thanks to the community’s generosity, over the years the following help was provided to those in need:

• An over-ground swimming pool for a children’s care home in Zabbar – €750
• Hearing aid for a domestic violence survivor who needed it for her studies – €800
• Raised funds to pay electricity bills for various families – €3000
• Supported 3 girls in Africa to complete their education – €6,500
• Donated money to Djakunija Marsascala to help families in their locality – €550
• Bought 2 laptops and printer to enable vulnerable women to return to education – €2000
• Raised money to loan women (without interest) €5,125
• Bought and delivered food, clothes and other donations to various families around the island – over €3,000
• Paid medical bills for various medication – €600
• Acquired washing machines, fridges, heaters and other household appliances through their network of contacts – over €2,000
• Provided free legal advice and paid for court expenses for victims of domestic violence – priceless
• Provide nappies, powered milk, baby clothes and other baby equipment on a regular basis – priceless

Taking into consideration the number of anonymous requests for desperate help that roll in every day through the Women For Women group, Francesca Fenech Conti together with a core team of women, namely Ilona Busby, Joanne Falzon, Rama Krishna, Vanessa Farrugia, Charmaine Calleja, Joannie Grima, Edmea Debattista, Dr. Carina Nagiah, Rose Vassallo, Anthea Brincat and Antoinette Gouder, decided it was time to create a system where people who are ready to help can donate easily, and help can be offered to those in need through the funds collected. This is where the Women for Women Foundation and Social Fund was born.

Women and their children will be at the heart of this fund

The Women for Women Foundation and its Social Fund will cater for the emergency financial needs of women with children. Women and their children will be at the heart of this fund because research shows that single women with children have specific and differing needs to other socioeconomic groups.

To raise money efficiently and effectively and to guarantee transparency and accountability The Women for Women Social fund will be managed by the Women for Women Foundation. As has been done so far, funds will be generated through fundraising from the community members but also by organising activities and events, commercial activities and by inspiring others to do the same. Francesca and her core team of professionals who will be running the Foundation are all volunteering their time and services for free.

“We believe in empowering women by giving them the financial support they need in difficult times to enable them to raise their children, in a safe and nurturing home environment. To fulfil these goals we will continuously be working closely with organisations and experts in the field of domestic violence, poverty and homelessness,” said Fenech Conti.

“Just the first step”

”This is just the first step towards our big dream of creating the biggest women and children centred social fund Malta has ever seen, where everyone is part of its creation and its benefits. One day we will be donating towards it and one day we or our children might be needing it. So please encourage your friends, families and colleagues to organise activities to raise funds for the women for women social fund.” She posted on the group.

The social fund’s first crowd-funding initiative where they are aiming to raise at least €10,000 to cover the following by January 2020 was launched on 22nd November and has already garnered over €7,000 in a few days.

The fund will cover:
• The initial set up of the fund and the foundation including all the requirements set out by law.
• For the provision of interest-free microloans. To empower women to improve their long term prospects by investing in the short term.
• To be able to support women and children in vulnerable situations by providing monetary assistance/free products, vouchers and services to enable them to overcome unexpected difficult circumstances such as illness or homelessness.

Whoever wishes to be part of this movement may visit the Zaar website and follow the instructions to donate amounts starting from €5. People are also encouraged to share the link on social media.