Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment


. To break the cycle of violence and sexual assault against women and children.


. To provide holistic and sustainable support services to women and children survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; educate the public-at-large; advocacy with critical stakeholders; and training to service providers on the issues of domestic violence and sex


The WISE-UP program provides a comprehensive range of services including counseling, training and development, advocacy, and support to meet the needs of victims and their families. Our support programs include temporary housing, health care, legal assistance, telephone hotlines, and emergency financial and general welfare support. We have created an extensive partner network and continue to collaborate with institutions and individuals to end the cycle of violence. WISE strives to complement existing services through collaborating with other agencies to provide integrated advocacy, education, training and counseling services that improve the living conditions of women and children survivors of violence in our community.

Counseling: WISE employs trained and experienced counselors to provide counseling services for survivors who are in crisis and are victims of violence. WISE's main purpose is to help these survivors find proper coping mechanisms and to empower them to go on with their lives. To ensure clients receive the necessary additional support, WISE has developed an extensive referral system that ensures clients' access to our partner service providers. In addition to our WISE Wellness Center, we have partnered with institutions throughout Ghana to ensure survivors can access our services. Counseling partner sites include:

FIDA, DOVVSU, Korle- Bu Poly Clinic, Kanesehie Poly Clinic, Buduburam & Krisan Refugee Camps

Training & Development: Through trainings and workshops, WISE builds build the capacity of survivors, partners, service providers, and staff. We conduct a wide range of trainings and workshops that target, women, men and children. We have trained government officials, community leaders, journalists, refugees, school children, market women, social workers, counselors, doctors, police and lawyers. In addition to capacity building, all of our trainings and workshops work to sensitize the participants to violence against women and children and enhance their ability to respond to incidents of violence in their communities.

Advocacy: WISE mobilizes communities to identify and take responsibility for changing the aspects that legitimize the abuse of women and children. In addressing the abuse of women and children in our communities, it is clear that the role of culture, tradition and institutional structure must be seriously addressed and challenged. Because the effectiveness of any advocacy program targeting cultural and traditional practices depends on how involved the community is, the WISE Advocacy team implements strategies that involve communities. Our programs target various stakeholders and gatekeepers of practices which contribute to the vulnerability of survivors of violence.


Support Services: Through a closely knit network of services and information providers, WISE and her partners are working to make the necessary services available to survivors of violence. Our referral system taps into a large network of service providers, mainly through the WISE founded Gender Violence Survivor Support Network. A network of volunteer doctors and nurses ensure medical care for the abused. WISE joins forces with our partner FIDA and other legal advocates to provide legal assistance and information. Financial assistance is made available to cover costs of prescription, transportation and other emergency needs, when no other option is available. We work with lawyers who are willing to champion the legal cause of a battered woman, doctors who understand the importance of documentation and are willing to testify to their findings, police and welfare professionals who can attend to both the physical and psychological safety and needs of survivors. All these groups working as a network provide a reliable and successful support system.


WISE piloted the WEED program in 2004 by targeting one of its survivor support groups. The project seeks to promote women's economic independence and professional development through counselling, vocational skills training, business training

and micro-credit.

Survivors of violence in Ghana face many constraints that limit their   economic potential. Violence perpetrated against women creates obstacles to their ability to participate equally with men and have access to and  control over resources and benefits of development. Financial dependence is a principal reason why many survivors remain in abusive relationships.

Our program works to remove the constraints that limit survivors' economic potential by providing:


Access to Credit: to provide access to credit and specialized services that are sensitive to the circumstances of domestic abuse survivors and improve their ability to compete in the open market.


Skills Training: to equip borrowers with the necessary skills to give them the best possible chance of achieving success and meeting the demands of loan repayment.


Counseling and Support: to provide a forum for survivors to collectively confront and discuss issues of abuse and dependency, and to increase self-esteem and self-confidence through psychotherapy.


Advocacy: to raise public awareness about domestic abuse issues and lobby towards policy changes and legislation enforcement.

The program draws on the fundamental benefits of counseling and integrates the advantages of micro-credit schemes, skills training and public advocacy campaigns to achieve the ultimate goal of empowerment. The program is self-reinforcing as each of its elements strengthens the effectiveness of the others. At the same time, each component offers a unique capacity for empowerment to survivors in order to have a direct and positive effect on their well-being.


The Peace Education was a WISE/UNHCR program initiated on the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana. The educational program was aimed at providing learning opportunities for participants to imbibe attitudes and skills that will help them contribute to conflict prevention and peaceful co-existence among residents of the camp. The program focused on individual attitudes while covering issues ranging from tribal reconciliation, respect and equality for all, gender equity in decision making; forgiveness and non-violent approaches to conflict resolution. Peace from within is the key message the program emphasized.


  • Workshops, beginning in late 2004, targeted community and opinion leaders so they can disseminate the message of peace and the lessons of conflict resolution to their communities.
  • The First Annual Peace Festival was facilitated by WISE, with the support of UNHCR, which engaged past participants of the workshops and the greater community in conflict resolution exercises.




Key information

Operation level:
Works with age groups:
Organisation type:
NGO - non governmental organisation


Organisation mandate

, Children 0 - 18

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