Africa Indigenous Women Empowerment

AIWE Background and History

AIWE was founded in 2018 by Ruth Nyaleel Kai Thoat, a young girl who found herself in the harsh reality of Kakuma refugee camp in 2002, where the challenges of life tested her resilience. She  was Born during civil wars in  Sudan, her childhood was marked by displacement, uncertainty, and a constant struggle for survival.

In the heart of Kakuma, a place that became both a sanctuary and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, Ruth faced the unambiguous truth of being a refugee. Clothes were a luxury, and education seemed like a distant dream. It was here, amidst the dust and uncertainty, that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) extended a helping hand to the young Ruth and her fellow refugees, providing her with the essentials for life and a reflection of hope for the future.

Inspired by the kindness she experienced during her time in the refugee camp, Ruth made a promise to herself—a promise fueled by gratitude and a deep-rooted desire to make a difference in her country. “One day, if I grow up,” she vowed, “I will form an Organization like UNHCR to help my people in South Sudan same as UNHCR did to me.” Little did she know that this promise would become the driving force behind a transformative journey.

In 2018, Ruth’s dream materialized into reality with the establishment of the African Indigenous Women  Empowerment (AIWE).  Fueled by her personal experiences and the challenges she witnessed in her homeland, Ruth devoted herself to empowering women, girl’s child, and youth in underprivileged communities of South Sudan.

Over the last six years AIWE became a beacon of hope, reflecting Ruth’s journey from a refugee in need to a compassionate leader amplifying a voice of women, young girls and youth, while extending a helping hand to those facing similar struggles. AIWE focused on education, healthcare, sanitation, livelihoods and Peace Buildings, aiming to break the cycle of gender inequality and poverty that had gripped the lives of many in South Sudan.

Ruth’s  story is  a  testament  to the  transformative  power  of  compassion  and resilience. From the dusty grounds of Kakuma to the helm of AIWE, she turned her personal hardships into a force for good, embodying the principle that one person’s determination can create ripples of change for an entire community.

Ruth’s  journey  reminds  us  that  sometimes,  out  of  the  most  challenging circumstances, incredible stories of hope and empowerment can emerge.