The Hegg Hoffet Fund assists graduate women (and in special cases tertiary women students) who have been displaced as a result of war, political upheaval or other serious emergencies. Some are fleeing gender-related atrocities in their home countries, such as rape, honour crimes, forced marriage and female mutilation. Others fear for their lives because of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Arriving in a new country, most face complex challenges to integration, among them language difficulties, unemployment, rejection of foreign qualifications and the need for retraining.
GWI’s Hegg Hoffet Fund provides short-term grants for refresher courses for re-entry into the candidates’ professional field (or if that is not possible, training courses leading to some other employment), and for language training and other courses to assist with integration into their new countries. In addition to financial assistance, GWI’s national and local groups also provide the graduate refugees with moral support to help them to adjust to life in a different country.
In the case of serious natural disasters, GWI’s national federations and associations may apply for short-term grants on behalf of university women or women students within their countries who have suffered hardship due to the disaster and who wish to continue their work or studies.