DIWATA – Philippine Women’s Network in Europe
The Determined Independent Women in Action for Total Advancement (DIWATA), is a response to a long felt need of Philippine migrant women living and working in Greece to link together and forge unity to improve their situation and address specific issues affecting them. It seeks to develop an effective and liberating support system for them as well. DIWATA is a founding member of Babaylan – Philippine Women’s Network in Europe. Its office is at #42 Moschonision, Plateia Amerikes, Athens, Greece.
DIWATA aims to engage in a lawful mode of implementing programs and services for the primary and mutual benefit of women. Its objectives are:
- promote empowerment and full participation in the development processes through sharing of experiences, information and resources;
- provide alternative self-help and sustainable economic projects that will provide mutual financial support opportunities;
- empower women with cooperative control, democratic management and training;
- educate women and the greater community about the principles and practice of coordination and cooperation;
- provide a forum for women to discuss issues and problems directly and specifically affecting them and to find solutions through collective efforts;
- implement at the local level the programs and activities of Babaylan – Philippine Women’s Network in Europe; and
- establish links with women organizations that are supportive of women migrants in Greece and in other parts of Europe and other continents of the world.
To realize these objectives, DIWATA has the following projects and activities:
- In 1998, DIWATA has started a Savings and Micro Credit Cooperative, hence, trainings and seminars on principles and practice of cooperative, leadership, computer literacy and basic women orientation were conducted. To date the cooperative has effectively provided micro financial assistance to its members, mainly to meet the needs of their families in the Philippines.
- Continuing educational activities such as team building; cooperative management; personality development; skills development on giving first aid treatment, cooking, alternative medicine preparation; seminars on different issues, e.g., women’s reproductive health, updates on the magna carta of domestic workers, and updates on the current economic situation of the host country – Greece.
- Linkage development with other organizations in Greece to carry out various civic activities.
- In recognition of DIWATA’s social responsibility, it has forged a partnership with several organizations in the Philippines to be able to: give assistance in cash and in kind to victims of calamities; and to support entrepreneurial activities to alleviate unemployment problem in the rural areas.
- Celebrates the International Women’s Month through a program.
- Sponsors the cultural presentation for the
- Institutionalizes awarding of “The Outstanding Philippine Women in Greece (TOPWIG)”.
Seventeen years of putting these projects and activities into practice has made DIWATA what and where it is now. Strong, hence it is felt, seen, and continuously making a difference. In other words it is sustainable. Its members are in a better position to lead, to serve and to become agents of change. Eventually, become empowered Philippine women.