The 8th International Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) brought together 20 women leaders with disabilities from 20 different countries to Eugene, Oregon, USA from July 30th - August 21st, 2016. This intensive leadership training program served to strengthen leadership capacity, create new visions and build international networks of support for women with disabilities.
Women with disabilities who were selected for the WILD program demonstrated leadership potential. WILD is an investment in that potential which will “trampoline” them to the next level. Embracing the “Loud, Proud and Passionate®” theme, WILD women moved forward in their personal and professional roles as community, national and world leaders.
Delegates represented Armenia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Uruguay, and Vanuatu. These activists, representing diverse disabilities, brought expertise in fields such as law, policy, business, human rights, youth empowerment, education, health, media, HIV/AIDS, and violence prevention.
“As we met here by MIUSA, let’s keep the fire burning, even if you don’t know what to do in your country. Try to improvise. Try to make this fire we caught from MIUSA make it burn throughout the world. As 20 women from 20 countries throughout the world, we can make it.” – Boikhutso, WILD delegate from Botwsana
Through a series of intensive seminars and site visits, delegates focused on accessing reproductive health and gender-based violence prevention, using the media, implementing policy and legislation, networking with international allies, and improving employment and educational opportunities. Delegates also participated in team building activities such as an outdoor challenge course and river rafting, and learn about U.S. culture by staying with local families.
Building a pipeline of women leaders with disabilities is crucial for reaching development goals, such as alleviating poverty, achieving gender equality and accessing justice. The 20 women who participated in WILD 2016 join a cadre of over 200 WILD alumni around the world who are playing a critical role in contributing to the development of their communities. Beyond the training, the WILD 2016 alumni will scale up the WILD program by replicating trainings for other women and girls in their communities, reaching an additional 400 women with disabilities.
MIUSA would like to recognize the generous support of our 2016 WILD sponsors and community partners:
Mobility International USA
Open Society Foundations
Rotary Club of Eugene
Rotary Club of Springfield
Additional sponsors donated funds towards our Anniversary and Fundraiser event, which went to support WILD. Please see the list of sponsors on our Fundraiser page.
We would like to thank our other community sponsors supporting the WILD program such as the The Wesley Center, Wrap City, the City of Eugene and the YMCA.
WILD is also made possible by the support of MIUSA's 35th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser event sponsors. Learn more about our event sponsors. Be Loud, Proud and Passionate!®
Eugene, Oregon, USA