Algerian Women “Start Somewhere” to Create their Own Destiny

“When women decide something, I think they can get to it,” says Nadia Aïssaoui, of the Mediterranean Women’s Fund as she tells this story about a group of women living in the mountains of Algeria who chose to come together around their own health care needs rather than waiting on healthcare services to arrive. Their self-started efforts then attracted support from outside their circle, including local government officials and the ministry of health.

By “starting somewhere” and “counting on themselves,” Aïssaoui tells us the women’s journey “to produce, to survive, and to impose themselves as citizens, as actors of their destiny.”

As we navigate new turns of the global COVID-19 pandemic along with our everyday personal and collective challenges, what can we learn from this small group of women about where to locate the starting point to our health and safety?





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About the Lead Author

April Doner
April Doner
April Doner is a community connector, artist, and mother who is passionate about igniting the intersection between re-weaving neighbor relationships, strengthening local economies, and healing / reconciling inequities and injustices. She is a Steward at the ABCD Institute DePaul University and, while not practicing neighboring in her own neighborhood, she trains, coaches, and consults in Asset Based Community Development. April also documents local resilience as well as group processes through various creative means including writing, photography, video, and graphic recording. Since 2020, she has curated content for

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