Mary Tal, South Africa

Mary Tal
South America

iLEAP International Fellow, 2013

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Mary’s Story

Mary Tal Yuin is the Founder and Organizational Director of Whole World Women Association, a non-profit organization in South Africa that works to empower refugee women, including migrants and asylum seekers, from different countries in Africa displaced by war, political conflict and economic distress. Mary was born in Cameroon but has worked throughout the continent, and now lives in South Africa. As an advocate for women’s rights, she explains that “within our continent women face many cultural, religious, and institutional factors that impede their human rights, as well as their political and economic participation.” Mary is dedicated to raising awareness and making social change for women not only in South Africa, but around the entire continent. She views the iLEAP Fellowship as a way in which she can build up her own capacities in leadership and, in turn, empower women leaders throughout Africa. “I see this as an opportunity to increase my knowledge and practical skills in leadership,” she says, “not only for self advancement and growth, but for encouraging women in my community as potential leaders.”

Mary comes to iLEAP through a partnership with the International Development Exchange (IDEX). Since its founding in 1985, IDEX has supported more than 500 grassroots, community-led projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Annually, IDEX’s partners serve approximately 1.2 million people in impoverished communities, including marginalized women, small farmers, indigenous communities, low-income urban residents, sexual and ethnic minorities, and youth. Click here for Mary’s profile on the IDEX site.

Watch Mary Speak About Her Work

Whole World Women Association – South Africa from opal ayo on Vimeo.