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.

More information from Hazel Penwill 01584 711480


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


In January 2018 I  accepted the invitation to take over the role as Herefordshire ACWW Representative, however Brenda Drake, HFWI representative for 37 years, continues to support ACWW and is still happy to be invited to give talks.

I would also be pleased to visit your WI to tell you more about the role and the work of ACWW, its international projects and how Pennies For Friendship fits into this.

Please do get in touch by phone or email.

Hazel Penwill  -  Brimfield WI - - 01584 711480

Hazel Penwill, Herefordshire ACWW Representative 01584 711480