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The Women and Girls Initiative (WGI)

WGI is a global movement focusing
on gender equity and youth development
through education, and training, health programming, economic empowerment,
research and advocacy interventions. 

The Women and Girls Initiative (WGI) is a global movement committed to social justice which aims to advance gender equity and the youth development agenda by targeting the most marginalized and disadvantaged girls and young women.

We serve those whose development and growth have been impacted by cycles of poverty, natural disaster and armed conflict through a holistic approach, offering educational, leadership development, health and economic self sufficiency opportunities.

What began as a pilot program in 2008 to support about 300 disadvantaged adolescent girls and young women in two different post-disasters and conflicts contexts (Rwanda, the 1994 genocide and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti), has now shifted to a longer-range vision aimed at strengthening the capacity of adolescents and girls and young women worldwide to later play an active role in contributing to the rebuilding of their country’s infrastructure.

Vision Statement:

Empowering adolescent girls to become future women ready to be effective leaders and social change advocates in their communities and industries, both in the Global North and Global South, by opening up paths for advancement regardless of the situation of one’s birth.


Didi Bertrand, Founder

Wingdie Didi Bertrand Farmer, MA, DEA, DESS is a medical anthropologist and community health specialist who has  worked  in  Rwanda  since  2005.  Born  in  Port-au-Prince,  Haiti,  Ms.  Bertrand Farmer  studied  social  science, community health, and health systems  management in Haiti and in France. For the last 15 years, she has worked  as a community organizer, program developer and implementer, activist for women and girls' rights, and researcher.  

Between  2006 - 2012,  she  served  as  the  Director  of  the  Community  Health  Program  for  Partners  In Health  Rwanda/Inshuti  Mu  Buzima and  from  2012 -­ to  present  she  is  the  Senior Advisor  on  Community  Health and Head of the Biosocial Research and Social Development Programs for Partners In Health. She has been the principal investigator on studies focusing on community health, malnutrition, reproductive health, adolescent youth and traditional healing in rural Rwanda.

She has co-authored several research papers.She serves as the Chair of the Haiti-­‐Rwanda Commission, initiated after the 2010 earthquake to promote South-South cooperation and exchange. She is the Co-­‐Founder and President of Women and Girls Initiative with programs in both Rwanda and Haiti.