At MAWA we believe in the advancement of African women. We believe change comes from within and do work that leads to social and systems change.
MAWA takes pride in the positive results it continuously achieves and celebrates the fact that:
- All African seniors in our AGILE after-school program began gaining admission into colleges from the 2012 academic year the college attendance program was initiated, raising the percentage of African girls going to college after high school from 15% as reported in the NW Hennepin survey of 2007 to 100% for MAWA girls.
- In a 3-year period, State funding enabled MAWA to train 219 Low-income African women as Certified Nursing Assistants with 27 specializing as Trained Medication Aides thus raising their earning potential.
These programs were instituted as a result of the needs expressed by African women in the Twin Cities. In addition, over 5,000 Africans benefit annually from short term programming – workshops, seminars, and meetings - that offers health education, environmental awareness, financial literacy, civic engagement, and more using MAWA models and culturally appropriate curricula. These are some of the ways, MAWA lives up to its mission which is: to promote the health and well-being of African refugee and immigrant women and their families in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul through research, education, advocacy and programming. It is a mission MAWA staff is committed to and carries out wholeheartedly.
MAWA was founded in March of 2002 and serves African women and girls annually through two main programs: the African Girls Initiative for Leadership & Empowerment (AGILE) and the African Women’s Empowerment (AWE) Network.
MAWA went into a 2-year hiatus in 2017 following the Executive Director’s sabbatical leave. During this time, in order to respond to ongoing community needs, MAWA provided volunteer services to its participants and the community on a smaller scale, mostly one-to-one service. In 2019, the organization resumed its services on a full-time basis. At this time MAWA found former participants and new referrals anxiously waiting and requesting that the full range of MAWA’s services like the girls’ After-school program, AGILE, be reinstituted as the need for college attendance programming and health education has increased within the target community. The current set of African High school girls express a need for the additional support from MAWA to assure they gain the college education opportunities and newly arrived African immigrants still need the cultural orientation that MAWA gives them in understanding new concepts and American ways especially with employment, financial literacy, environmental issues and more.
With the advent of the Coronavirus – Coviad-19 – in order to continue to serve the ongoing needs of the community, MAWA developed a new approach serving African women and girls. MAWA now provides services following MDH recommendations for working with the reality of Covid-19 and will continue doing so for as long as it is deemed necessary. As things get back to normal, MAWA will implement two new initiatives in its programming – preventive oral health in the community and increased civic participation education, a need realized over the past couple of years. MAWA will also continue delivering service to continue to meet the needs in the community amid the challenges the community is facing with the Covid-19 Pandemic.
MAWA is a pan-African women’s nonprofit organization providing programming of interest to women and girls from all African countries living in Minnesota.
MAWA is governed by a board that is made up of African and American women and men who have remarkable perspective of the issues that face African women and their families in the Twin Cities and a commitment to assist them in overcoming any obstacles.
5701 Shingle Creek Parkway, Ste. 600B, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430 –