WOMEN'S DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
The Women’s Development Association (WDA) is a 501C3 non-profit, initially known as the Pakistani Ministry, and was founded in 1997 by Karen Overton and Hannah Griffiths. While attending the Middle Eastern Prayer Seminar in Cypress, the two women from Greenwood Village, Colorado, met Josna Azim who shared her great love for the women in her hometown of Lahore, Pakistan.
Josna’s vision was to provide literacy and health education classes for those Pakistani women. As partners, WDA and Josna’s CWDA (Christian Women Development Association) began the first literacy class in 2000 with 25 women.
Since then, more than 5,000 women have been educated in ever-growing Life Impact classes, with 45% of them going on to seek higher education. The majority of the women we educate have raised their economic status. Currently there are 13 women’s classes, with 260 enrolled.
When the women implored us to educate their children as well, children’s classes were added. Currently there are six different groups of children in three areas of Lahore, with 145 children enrolled.
WDA focuses on Pakistani Christian women, who, because of their religion, are frequently the victims of physical and mental abuse. All women and children are welcomed whenever they come to us, and we love to interact with all who get involved.
“To educate a man is to educate a person. To educate a woman is to educate a family, ultimately a nation.”
“To encourage, train and support women and children in developing nations in literacy (including basic math), health education, and economic empowerment.”
Val Berg, Kristen Johnson, Jan Barreth, Hannah Griffiths, Karen Overton, Renee McPherson, Valerie Harding, Katie Cochran, Shera Eddy
Empower illiterate women and children by giving them reading and writing skills. Teach basic hygiene as well as specific reproductive health awareness. (Maternal mortality rate for Pakistani women is among the highest in the world.) Provide skills to the poorest of the poor so they can improve their economic situation. Promote self-confidence and self-esteem.