ODWEP: Overcoming Devastation and Opening Doors to

Wholeness, Empowerment, and Possibility

We are ODWEP, a community-based organization of African women and men – we are Congolese, Rwandan, Burundian, Somali, South Sudanese, Sudanese, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Tanzanian, and Kenyan. Our lives have been affected by war or natural and man-made disasters. We are resilient African human beings. We are ODWEP, using our collective knowledge and experience to tackle the problems faced by our communities.

We began in 2009 at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya as “Orphans, Disabled, Widows, and  Educational Programs,” with a focus on helping the most vulnerable within the refugee community. Our programs and mission have expanded through the years, though we remain centrally committed to Women’s Empowerment, Youth Education, and the Rights of the Disabled. We are currently working at Kakuma Camp in Kenya, Uvira in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Juba, South Sudan, and Rutumo and Rumonge provinces in Burundi, confronting poverty, violence, gender inequality, discrimination, and lack of education and opportunity. We are ODWEP: Overcoming Devastation and Opening Doors to Wholeness, Empowerment, and Possibility.

We invite international partners to join with us as we deepen our vision and our work.

At ODWEP we listen to the voices of the people, as they express their experience, their needs, and their knowledge. We believe that any durable solution to a social problem requires the empowerment of those suffering from the problem. We seek to release everyone’s innate power for self-development. 

We draw on our African traditions, rich in the wisdom of collective problem-solving and community support, and we extend this wisdom across tribal, ethnic, and national boundaries. At the same time, we open ourselves to all available knowledge and wisdom of the twenty-first century. We know we have much to learn from, and much to teach, the world.