By Praveen Prasad, WAM NY Chair
I can remember it clearly... two years ago, our steering committee was full of expectation, energy and excitement. The fundraiser event was finally happening!! WAM-NY held its first scholarship fundraiser event in 2010 at Moore Brothers Wine Company. In keeping with the mission of “advancing leadership and development opportunities for women”, we took an undertaking to support women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to attend specialized training programs that they would not otherwise be in a position to afford. Our intention was that such opportunities provide women a pathway to improve and develop their leadership skills, so that they can become more effective and empowered in the various roles in which they work in.
We recognize that while microfinance does not address all the barriers to women’s empowerment, microfinance programs, when properly designed and structured, can make an important contribution to women’s empowerment and in lifting them out of extreme poverty. To this end, effective leadership is critical in understanding barriers to women’s economic empowerment as well as designing services and products that take into account the special needs of women is extremely important. Our scholarship fund is intended to support aspiring women leaders within the microfinance sector, through personal and professional development to become effective leaders within their respective organizations and in the communities in which they work. Our scholarship initiative seeks to support women in accessing opportunities which build upon their already excellent achievements. Our vision is that empowering women to become leaders will in turn help empower other women to achieve economic security and financial independence and become the agents of change in their communities.
Our first fundraiser was a huge success. We are extremely thankful to our friends, family and members who supported us in our humble beginnings. We are proud to share that we raised over $8,200 in donations! What a start! Our special thanks to Moore Brothers Wine Company, who very generously donated their space and excellent wine and hosted our event. The event included wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres from Le Grand Dakar restaurant, raffle and silent auction and a fascinating speaker, Christine Roth, Deputy Executive Secretary from the United Nations Capital Development Fund.
As the night ended, our steering committee was already looking forward to the next fundraiser and we were equally excited for all our scholarship recipients as they begin their trainings and apply new skills and knowledge to empower other women.
WAM NY Marketing Committee.