Shirley Edgar of Wellington WI is the new representative of ACWW for the Herefordshire Federation.  Welcome Shirley!

11 July 2022


In April 2021 a vote was taken to delay the Triennial World Conference from May 2022 to 2023 and so it will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This has been delayed due to Covid and has resulted in an amendment to the Constitution to extend the period between world conferences. If by 2020 the situation has not resolved itself sufficiently the Board of ACWW will have to make different plans to ensure its Constitutional obligations are met. The current committee members continue to serve for the extended period if they are so willing.
Sept 28th is World Rabies Day. The Global Alliance for Rabies Control helps promote awareness of Canine-Mediated Rabies and its impact on rural communities. They provide free training for ACWW member societies.
Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted through the saliva or nervous system tissues of an infected mammal to another mammal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system and causes severely distressing neurological symptoms, disease in the brain, and, ultimately, death.
Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can pass from other animals to humans. Rabies is the deadliest disease on earth with a 99.9% fatality rate.
ACWW is proud to be working in partnership with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), and supporting the 'Zero by 30' initiative to eradicate canine-mediated rabies deaths globally by 2030.
Rabies is found on every continent except Antarctica. In Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, canine rabies is a wide-spread problem and contributes to over 90% of rabies cases world-wide. In developed nations and island nations, rabies is either well-controlled amongst domesticated animals, or it is non-existent.
Today, over 90% of rabies deaths are in Africa, Asia and the Middle East where canine rabies is widespread.
Estimates suggest that over 5.5 billion people live with the daily risk of rabies, with 59,000 deaths every year. Over 95% of these deaths are in Africa and Asia, with the majority occurring from rabid dog bites. Around half of the people who die are children.
In western nations, deaths are rare (1-3 deaths per year in the United States), with cases of clinical rabies occurring typically in people who did not realize that they had been exposed.
Some of the world’s poorest people are those most at risk of the disease.
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a course of vaccines administered urgently after exposure to the virus from a rabid animal. PEP stops the onset of clinical symptoms and certain death. However, it comes at a high price, sometimes several times a household's monthly income.
Families living in rural areas of Africa and Asia often face the desperate choice of selling livestock (on which they depend for food) to pay for the cost of rabies treatment or dying (or allowing a family member to die) of the disease.
Currently, PEP costs the global economy 10 times the amount it would cost to eliminate canine rabies at source (by vaccinating dogs). Overwhelmingly, this cost is paid for by the world's poorest people, perpetuating their poverty.


ACWW aims to:

raise the standard of living for rural women and their families through education, training and community development programmes;

  • provide practical support and help set up income generating schemes;
  • support educational opportunities for women and girls, and help eliminate gender discrimination;
  • give rural women a voice at an international level through links with the UN, within which ACWW has Special Consultative Status.

ACWW web site  -

ACWW is one of the largest development organisations for rural women, working with 470 member societies and affiliates, to represent more than 9 million women in 75 countries worldwide. It engages with and advocates for women at local, national and international level.

HFWI has ACWW Society Membership and therefore all WI members in Herefordshire are members of ACWW, as are most UK Federations.

Anyone interested in the work of ACWW can become an individual member and will receive a copy of The Countrywoman Magazine each quarter.


In 2018 ACWW introduced a new system for funding projects called the Women Empowered Fund – WE Fund. They have identified 6 Priority Focus areas

Education and Capacity Building

Nutrition, Good Health & Wellbeing

Sustainable Agriculture, Training & Development

Income Generation and Livelihood

Sustainable Water, Sanitation & Energy

Maternal & Reproductive Health

Donors select which of these areas they would like their donation to go to.

Projects may come under these wide headings;

  • Small local agricultural schemes, kitchen gardens/ animal husbandry
  • Income generating skills
  • Healthcare, nutrition and home economics
  • A safe and reliable water source, and sanitation
  • Literacy, basic education and civic awareness

Requests for funding comes from the women themselves, nothing is imposed from the outside.

Local monitoring ensures that help is given to that target group and that only viable and worthwhile projects are funded. Ongoing evaluation and monitoring confirms projects are progressing as planned and that the money is spent correctly. Ongoing feedback confirms that the money is spent correctly.

Projects are community based and women led.Anyone can sponsor a project via the WE Fund and no amount is too small. Pledges and donations of any amount are welcome.

On average 24 projects are funded each year.


The Pennies for Friendship Fund enables ACWW to support projects worldwide. WI Pennies for Friendship – WIPFF – funds are ring-fenced for funding projects via the WE Fund and are not used for office staff or board of Trustee costs.


On 29th April each year, ACWW encourages women across the globe to walk in support of ACWW, raising awareness of the work that they do.


Midlands Supporters Day

Meetings are held Spring and Autumn each year at WI Derbyshire House, Derby

Information is on Derbyshire WI's website

European Area Conference

These are held every 3 years.

The last meeting ws 4-8 September 2017 Tirgu Mures, Romania

Next meeting tbc

Triennial World Conference

2013 Chennai, India

2016 University of Warwick, UK

2019 Melbourne, Australia

2022 Pahang, Malaysia