Here at Southwest Airlines, our love of People and Community is our most powerful fuel, which is why we have a rich history of helping Customers and Communities through nonprofit support. We are committed to making a difference in the community because we understand that in order to thrive, we need strong relationships. We invite you to learn how United Women of East Africa is promoting mental health and wellbeing for the immigrant community, women and families in San Diego. They have created a safe space where they can be themselves, connect with their peers, and get the support they need to live healthy lives. Good things happen when people work together.
United Women of East Africa
San Diego is home to diverse groups of people from places around the world, including the East African community. To accommodate the needs of this growing community, United Women of East Africa (UWEAST) was founded. UWEAST is a community-based nonprofit organization that provides health services, education, and advocacy for the well-being of the East African community, women, and families.
Since their formation in 2008, they have supported over 11,000 members of the East African refugee and immigrant communities in San Diego and have established special programs to foster growth and stability. Providing a sense of community for East Africans in San Diego is the core of their organization, allowing refugees and immigrants to come together and support one another, to hear and be heard.
Above and beyond having the space to have an open dialogue about their struggles and gaining strength from other members, it is also about creating resources and programs that help them find their footing and succeed here. UWEAST has established a variety of programs that are fundamental to helping their members build healthy, stable lives such as programs that focus on physical and mental health, leadership, business skills, and more.
One such program is Bilal and Baraka. Launched in 2013, it is one of their flagship programs made up of women entrepreneurs in the community who operate the savings group and catering business. As Bilal and Baraka has grown, it offers more women the opportunity to develop business skills, gain opportunities, and access counseling which helps them “prioritize their emotional and physical health while keeping in mind their cultural traditions.”
Every organization can benefit from partnerships that help support their mission. There is strength in working together. Partnerships that help UWEAST continue to expand and deepen their services include Southwest Airlines, San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition, and the Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) Program. These partnerships help make life-changing programs possible.
UWEAST understands the value of their partners, “The past two years have been difficult for many, and yet, we know that when we unite to support community-driven solutions for a real change, we also shift the conversation. East African communities have much to offer San Diego and shape new stories, narratives and solutions that are rooted in communities.” UWEAST is doing amazing things to uplift their own people and our community as a whole.