Connecting with American Women for International Understanding (AWIU)

celebrated women from around the world are honored at a dinner.

Inviting UB students to connect with American Women for International Understanding (AWIU) on mentored projects.

Project description

American Women for International Understanding (AWIU) was founded to promote woman-to-woman interaction and understanding with over 50 years of citizen diplomacy through delegations, grants, awards, local chapter outreach and educational programs.

Delegations have traveled to over 60 countries to date with the first group of American women to visit China after the 1973 detente, to visit Russia in 1976, and to visit Libya in 40 years in 2009. Recent delegations traveled to Myanmar (Burma) in 2014, Chiapas, Mexico in 2015, Ethiopia in 2016, Nicaragua in 2017, and upcoming delegation to Morocco in January 2019. Delegations meet with leaders in government, business, and charitable organizations and visit embassies, institutions, historical sites and private homes, sharing updates with all AWIU members via return via presentations and communications.

AWIU awards grants to non-profit organizations focused on training and empowering women and girls in the areas of leadership, technology, health care and journalism. Past grantees include NGOs that support women photojournalists from developing countries, victims of human trafficking in Uganda, jurists from Muslim countries, teachers in Kenya, and technology workers in Afghanistan. Recent business-focused grants include support for jewelry-making project in Peru and sewing and tailoring co-op in Uganda. Recent health-focused grants include cervical cancer screening in Nicaragua and clean water cistern at a girl's school in the Ivory Coast.

Since 2008 AWIU has collaborated with the U.S. State Department to recognize women around the globe who have made a substantial difference in the lives of women in their host countries. AWIU hosts the International Women of Courage Celebration awards and grants awards to every honoree designated by the State Department. The AWIU Internationalism Award is also presented at the Celebration to an American woman who has made exceptional contributions to world understanding and betterment.

AWIU is pleased to invite UB students to work on mentored projects related to key areas of programming. 

Project outcome

Current project opportunities include:

1) Research women's organizations in a developing country working for the advancement of women.

Upon completion, research findings will be made available to AWIU grant committee. This committee provides grants to grassroot women's groups in developing countries for short-term, concrete projects. These projects typically support advancement for women in areas of education, skill training, health, entrepreneurship, and advocacy.

2) Research progress/challenges faced by former AWIU grant recipient or IWOC awardee. Students can view list of past AWIU grant recipients (1991 to 2019) and IWOC awardees 2011 to 2019) at grants

Updated information culled by students may be posted on AWIU website, at discretion of associated committees 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment  About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Anytime
Level of collaboration Varies
Benefits Varies
Who is eligible Anyone
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.

Core partners

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning, Director of

Experiential Learning Network

Phone: (716) 829-2834



To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. 

To get started, contact the project mentor using the contact information above to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge. Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor

Preparation guidance

Once you have registered for the Project Preparation Digital Badge, you will receive further instructions related to the activities you will need to complete. In addition, you will also complete the following preparation activities for this particular project:

  • Provide a personal statement that indicates professional interests and experiences in relation to AWIU mission and program 
  • Become familiar with AWIU programs and activities
  • Participate in a Passport to the Future teleconference, connecting with members and learning about featured project or topic