Asylee Women Enterprise helps women seeking asylum to rebuild their lives and their spirits. Asylee Women Enterprise (AWE) provides transitional housing, companionship and community to women seeking asylum by offering a safe and nurturing home, opportunities to connect with women in the larger community and each other.
The seeds of AWE began in January 2011 when the founder was asked to give shelter to a young woman from Afghanistan that was seeking asylum in the United States. While trying to find her safe housing it became apparent that there was a great unmet need in the area of housing for women seeking asylum. Housing was made available to her from a Catholic women's community. We quickly realized that the Sisters had space available and were willing to take in women in need. The women asylum seekers felt safe and nurtured living in community with other women. A total of eight faith communities came together to form a network of safety and support. Although AWE is supported by Catholic Sisters it is not a religious organization.
When these women arrive here they literally have no one to turn to. They flee their homeland because they have been persecuted and/or tortured. Ninety percent of the women referred to AWE have been sexually traumatized in their homeland. They were persecuted because of their gender, religion, political beliefs or ethnic group. They do not come here for a better life - they come here to save their life.