WCCI was founded in Bahrain in 2015 and began full-scale operations in January of 2016. WCCI has a team of over 100 people, including more than 115 volunteer certified advocates. Among the group, there are 20 languages spoken and a wide range of skills and expertise.
WCCI’s mandate is 3-fold:
- First, WCCI operates the first and only victim’s crisis advocacy program in the Arabian Gulf, providing emotional and informational support for women who have experienced domestic violence and sexual violence. Our two advocacy programs operate 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. All women are welcome to call the English helpline at 3844 758 or the Arabic helpline at 66710901. All services are 100% free of charge. All interactions are 100% confidential. Women can also visit us at our official partner American Mission Hospital, in Manama, Saar, and Amwaj.
- Second, WCCI provides ongoing medium and long-term casework management for advocacy clients who need or want a higher level of care, after their initial interactions with the advocate. WCCI’s casework manager calls all advocacy clients who request it to ensure that they are safe, happy, healthy and are achieving their goals. Casework clients are welcomed into the office to have regular goal-focused support sessions. All services for victims of abuse are 100% free of charge. And all interactions are 100% confidential except in the event that we have a well founded fear that someone is in grave danger. When appropriate, WCCI will also make referrals into the community for additional services such as with counsellor, lawyers, food or shelter assistance, educational or employment support, and/or anything else that comes up when meeting with the client.
- Third, WCCI provides a wide variety of community awareness and educational programs, which can include institutional support for hospitals, government institutions, schools or other relevant groups that are looking to initiate gender based violence response or other advocacy programming. WCCI also seeks to increase the general community awareness of these topics in order to reduce the overall prevalence by participating in community fairs, events, and awareness campaigns.
Founder & CEO
Mary-Justine Todd, an international humanitarian expert consultant, with more than ten years of experience, has a Master's Degree in International Public Health, from New York University, as well as a Master's of Arts in International Studies, from the University of Iowa. Both degrees and much of her work has been focused on refugees, internally displaced people, and specifically, women from under-privileged communities, post conflict zones, and humanitarian disaster areas. She is a New York State rape crisis counsellor, a certification which she earned from Columbia University Hospitals in New York City, where she was also the President of the advisory board for their violence crisis response program. She has been working in, managing, and evaluating humanitarian and health programs around the world including in places such as NYC, Liberia, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Kuwait. She is fluent in English, Swahili, French and is learning Arabic.
Rawan Atiyani, a nutritionist & biologist, has a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Bahrain, and a Masters degree in Human Nutrition, from the University of Surrey. She is a licensed crisis care advocate who previously volunteered with Women’s Crisis Care International.
Rawan is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and believes that compassion can help people reach their fullest potential.
Noora Al Moosa
Noora is an Economics student interested in intersectional feminism, world affairs and understanding social & economic systems. She believes in putting to work what she is constantly learning while being a support to her community. That being said, she has been involved in volunteer work for much of her young life. Areas she has worked in include, teaching assistant at RIA Institute, animal welfare, youth development & talent managat AIESEC. She is currently apart of WCCI staff and is a Women's Crisis Advocate after having completed her training in June 2017. Other interests she pursues are, performing and making music with her band, travelling to new places, writing, drawing, photography, videography, visiting antique & home good shops and last but not least, just talking to people.
Zoe is a highly trained social worker from South Africa who specializes in a broad base of human rights topics including gender based violence, vicarious trauma and women's crisis advocacy, with nearly ten years of experience. Zoe is an accomplished leadership facilitator and a fellow of International Navigator and Bright Young Minds, among others. She is a women's crisis advocate and is actively involved in social conscious movements in Bahrain. Additionally, she is currently completing her Master's Degree in humanitarian action and peace building.
Although she has spent lengthy periods in the United Kingdom, France and the United States of America, Tessa has lived in the Middle East for most of her life. As a qualified CELTA instructor, Tessa held teaching positions at the British Council and a number of private educational establishments before turning her attention to the charity sector. She has been involved in several altruistic projects in Bahrain and has coordinated substantial fundraising initiatives for a variety of international charitable organisations including Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, Cancer Research, Walk the Walk and Shelterbox UK. She is one of the founders of the annual Building Bridges Film Festival and helps oversee the deployment of funds raised to selected refugee programmes. Tessa holds a Diploma in Ancient History and Archaeology form the University of Leicester and is currently completing her honours degree in Humanities and Social Science. She speaks English and French fluently and has conversational Arabic. Tessa is a Certified Crisis Advocate and Secretary of Women's Crisis Care International board, providing counselling and urgent assistance to victims of domestic violence.
Social Media Coordinator
Fatima A.jalil is a recent member of the team. She has studied English Language and Literature, and minored in translation at University of Bahrain. She finds pleasure in helping people and interacting with them over social media platforms as this can be a judgment-free communication channel; where only words have the power, not the social statues or the ethnic background. Fatima’s motto is that “there’s always a room to make things better”. Fatima believes a woman's power comes from the moment she realizes her own worth
Social Media Coordinator
Kathryn is a Canadian expat who recently moved to Bahrain. She is a recent graduate of Queen's University, Ontario, where she studied Environmental Science and Gender Studies. During her time at Queen's University, Kathryn volunteered at a Sexual Health Resource Center, facilitated various sexual health and anti-oppression related workshops, and directed a feminist, social-action theatre production. Kathryn completed the Crisis Advocacy training in June of 2017. She is now teaching at a Montessori pre-school, enjoys drinking coffee and exploring the world.
Volunteer women's crisis advocates
The WCCI crisis advocates consist of a diverse group of committed and dedicated women from all walks of life. Among the group there are more than 20 languages spoken. There are lawyers, housewives, college students, social workers, PhDs, MDs, and many more. There is no required background to become a crisis advocate, other than completing the 40 hours training, and coming to the group with an open heart, an open mind and the desire to help. Many of the advocates also give extra time volunteering in the office as well as in various community projects.