Empowering Disadvantaged Women in Poverty Reduction : Women helping women

Empowering Disadvantaged Women in Poverty Reduction : Women helping women

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Women helping women- PWR Foundation, is both a practitioner experimenting and
building sustainable operation model creating and supporting women employment, , as
well as being the leading NGO as public policy advocator for women, children's welfare.
Helping women cope with both work and family by providing affordable, close-by care
services for children and the elderly can help resolve difficult issues of the low fertility rate and the
ageing population. In addition, offering well-compensated care giving jobs to (female) residents
all over the country can improve family finance and stimulate community economy.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

1. The Predicaments of Female Career in Taiwan According to the findings of the 2009 Manpower Survey, 44% of Taiwanese women, approximately one million and five hundred thousand, had the ability to work but chose to stay home because of marriage, child-raising or the need to care for family members . “Women’s Marriage, Fertility Rate and Employment Survey” also revealed that in Taiwan the rate of women leaving jobs because of marriage and child-raising was quite high and the rate of returning to employment very low. 2. Low fertility rate and the ageing population In recent years, Taiwan also faces the issue of low fertility rate and the ageing population. There were 326,000 babies born in 1996, while there were only 206,000 babies born in 2005, nearly 40% reductions during ten years. 40 years later, elderly population will reach 40%. Such kind of society cannot subsist.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

As a non-profit organisation, the Peng Wan-Ru foundation earned and built trust and distinctive recognition from the public, making them willing to entrust their housework and care work to "strangers". Therefore, the foundation designed an employment support system to 2 provide professional assistance to empower thoose disadvantaged. PWRF also helped to unionize these women to ensure their rights and benefits. The employment support system is an effective poverty lifting model. The foundation worked together with business partner, Taiwan’s Johnson & Johnson, to build and enhance its management and quality control skill. It effectively resolved non-profit organization’s predicament of “market blindness,” made an adjustment to the training method and introduced the concept of service procedures and the standardization of the training curricula.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The Foundation’s range of care systems offers high-quality, affordable universal care services for people 0-99years of age, and at the same time the Foundation has advocated for the government to incorporate these projects into state policies. It had developed the “Community Care Welfare Service Support System,” and created job positions for childminders, afterschool care workers, housekeepers, post-natal care workers, and care service workers etc. The objectives of PWR caring projects are: • To offer women caring job, thus creating employment opportunity (see other section on performance metrics) • To advocate and implement egalitarian sharing of caring services.
About You
The Peng Wan-Ru Foundation
About You
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About Your Organization
Organization Name

The Peng Wan-Ru Foundation

Organization Country

, TC

Country where this project is creating social impact

, TC

How long has your organization been operating?

Please select

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

In 1996, feminist activist Peng Wan-Ru was murdered. The case has never been solved. Her
husband and other members of women’s movement decided to establish a foundation to
transform tragedy into hope.
Liu Yu-hsiu, a feminist activist and the visionary leader of PWRF, is also the chief program
developer for the foundation, (a university professor by profession) . She has studied and worked
on the concept of a universal care system based on the Scandinavian model, and continuously
refined and experimented with in accordance with the particular needs and conditions of Taiwan
society enhancing women’s opportunity to have equal access to labour markets and labour

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

1. Strategic Partnerships between PWRF, service users, and caring workers to form a
women help women-community interdependent caring system.

2. Social partnership with Johnson & Johnson, a for-profit enterprise , on service
optimization and management capability, to have formed a creative and collaborative
3. Quality service and effective management w sustainable viability
The effect of this model can be seen from the number of jobs created and the service
results. At present, the Foundation, with 99 staff members, has helped over 12,000 users and
over 5200 service workers annually. PWRF has become the biggest and the most efficient
poverty lifting model in Taiwan. By creating new jobs with quality training, it has resulted in both
strong market awareness and overwhelming demands, as well as significant increase in small
regular (monthly) donations, ensuring the sustainability of both the support system and job

How many people have been impacted by your project?

More than 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?


How will your project evolve over the next three years?

1. Research and develop adjacent services: Care for the elderly
As our housekeeping service kept on expanding, we found the project is serving more and more families with very old members; it enables us to accumulate experiences in looking after the very old people.The project aims at serving the slightly disabled or very old and frail elderly, providing a combined service of personal care and housekeeping.
2. Reform childminders management system to ensure an affordable and high-quality
Since 1997 PWRF has begun the project of“the Community Child-Minders’ Support
System”,screening and training middle-aged women as professional child-minder , to offer the trusting community child-minder for double-income family. We will look to revamp and 2 scale up the program.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

When a non-profit organization attempts to make itself business-like, a few restraints
arise: 1. Conflict and mis-alignment between our mission and "business" operation; 2. lack of
market understanding and inefficient command of information; 3. lack of understanding of
the customers' demand (due to our mindset of “giving” and helping the disadvantaged).
When the P.W.R. Foundation’s employment support system was expanded due to
popular demand, dealing with numerous problems to do with the service users and workers
took a great amount of time and energy, which resulted in an increase in management cost
and a dilemma between management and expansion for the Foundation.
These were subsequently alleviated to a large degree with the support of Johnson and
Johnson senior management's advise. However, we still need to regularly revisit our
mission, our strategic priorities as well as measurement of our "success" as we serve our

Tell us about your partnerships

In 2003 in an attempt to carry out its social responsibilities, Taiwan’s Johnson & Johnson
organized a managerial level volunteer team and formed a long-term partnership with the
P.W.R. Foundation, offering the Foundation various information and management skills.
Consequently, the P.W.R. Foundation was able to have a breakthrough for its project and
began to grow rapidly.
Under the leadership of Angela Chang, Managing Director of the company, who led a volunteer
team of JJ managers in 2003-2006 , advised us at PWR on our operation, marketing(surveying
both worker, employers, publicity and communication program), training(reviewed effectiveness
to revamp program, meeting actual customer requirements, building the right competencies),
deployment(improve matching needs and capability), customer services (before and after start
of employment). The company also provided "micro" financing arrangements for unemployed
women in need of proper training as housekeeper, bridging the income needed for their family
during the month-long training. The loan was repaid in instalments once they started their job.
The amount of loan was NTD2million, or USD 71,400, created over the years more than
USD3million worth of employment income for the women and still counting and mounting. Loan
being revolving, the original amount is still "working"! This is the best investment with
extraordinary "return"!

Explain your selections

The high tax rates in northern European countries are the foundation on which their universal
welfare policies are constructed. The Peng Wan-Ru foundation has decided to transform the
Scandinavian model of “using tax money to collectively buy care services” into “having the user
pay the majority, with government appropriations in support.” Therefore the foundation lower the
dependence on government’s subsidies, and began to design a user-contributed “mutual support
donations” mechanism, getting regular donation from their service users

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

1. Keep on understanding the customers’ needs and levels of satisfaction and enable the
Foundation to have up to date understanding of the market
2. Expand our service scale and develop diversified service to satisfy people’s need.
3. Put more effort on lobbying for national policy and public service to build up a precious sense of
public trust and interconnectedness.

Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.




Lack of access to information and networks


Lack of skills/training

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

Although PWRF does not employ the caring workers directly, and only serve as a facilitator, (and does NOT charge any fee except request for a token of donation, USD11 per month) , the foundation continue to provide them on-the-job training to refresh and augment , and helping them to build up and operate their own union. These women’s situations are improved because they can earn a family wage from the job to raise their families on. Users get efficient and affordable services, so they could focus on their career without worries. The existence of the system is like a platform between two sides to pass message or offer assistance when they are in need. The interdependent support "system" of the three parties can perpetually feed and fuel it's own success.

Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.


Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices


Enhanced existing impact through addition of complementary services


Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

We will keep on responding the emergence of ageing society and fewer babies to in the
immediate future. We have three main plans:
1. Collaborate with the government to build up 3 non-profit/public daycare centers in the
southern and northern Taiwan as showcase model to facilitate scaling and adoption by
government certified private operators.
2. Develop diversified childminder service, such as Post-Delivery Care and childcare service at
parent’s home.
3. Design flexible and efficient service item and pricing- strategy for either full-time or part-time
workers encouraging native workers to perform at-home senior /elderly care services.
Meanwhile, PWR will continue to be active and proactive in advocating our universal care

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Government, For profit companies.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

The foundation does more than just focus on the details of its programs: it also looks at the big picture of national policy. Achievements thus far include the incorporation of after-school guidance into the Child and Youth Welfare Act in 2003, and the policy of babysitting management and subsidies, which went into effect in 2008.

Business partner - Johnson & Johnson Taiwan
What PWRF got from J&J wasn’t financial assistance, but their management experience. J&J formed a volunteer group to provide effective management skill, such as optimising PWRF’s service process and enhance training programs. Consequently, the PWRF was able to enjoy breakthrough for its project and began to grow rapidly.