WOMA is a charitable trust with a clear focus, made up of a small team experienced in working in Africa. Our aim is to help women across Africa who have been widowed or disadvantaged through war, famine or Aids.
We give small educational grants to individual women in order to help them gain skills that will enable them to support themselves and their families, lifting them out of poverty and giving them a real chance to improve their lives.
We are currently working with NGEN, (National Guidance and Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/Aids) Mildmay Uganda, the Institute for Infectious Diseases and Reach a Hand Uganda. Working on the ground in Uganda with people with HIV/AIDS these organisations are in a good position to act as advisors to WOMA about where our grants would help most and to help us identify women who could benefit from the courses we offer.
Karen is a former BBC foreign correspondent who spent nearly 15 years reporting across the African continent. Prior to that she was a general news correspondent and a Health Correspondent for the BBC, teaming up with Nora to cover global health issues. It was during their coverage of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 2000’s that the pair decided to establish WOMA. Karen currently lives in South Africa with her family but is a regular visitor to the UK.
Nora was a journalist at the BBC for 25 years and spent a considerable amount of time travelling across Africa with Karen covering the AIDS crisis for BBC News. She now works as a freelance journalist, media consultant and part-time lecturer. She was inspired by the courage and resilience of the women she met during her travels who were coping in terrible circumstances and became a founder of WOMA to try to do more to help.
I was delighted to become a WOMA trustee because of the deeply impressive work it does to help women who have often had all too few opportunities in life.
Both Uganda and Kenya have played an important part in my life. I lived in Uganda in the late 1960s, doing information work with agricultural and trading co-operatives and credit unions as a volunteer with Voluntary Service Overseas, VSO.
I was the BBC’s East Africa correspondent from 1982 to 1989, based in Nairobi, and I have travelled to Africa for reporting assignments on many occasions since then. Much of the day-to-day reporting I have done has essentially been about the challenges of making a living and the obstacles that women in particular face and that WOMA is working hard to overcome.