MEDIA & EVENTS

Events

Annual Fundraising Gala 2020

Join us for our virtual Annual Fundraising Gala on November 2, 2020 and help us empower widows!
WATCH NOW
2017 Fundraiser
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2016 Benefit
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3rd Annual Benefit
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Womensphere Summit 2010
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2nd Annual Benefit
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1st Annual Benefit
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1st Soiree, Florida
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2nd Soiree, Florida
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Fresco's Brunch, NJ
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Help us empower widows!

  • $10,000 - Builds 4 Micro-banks for 100 Widows Kenya
  • $5,000 - Builds 2 Micro-banks for 50 Widows in Sierra Leone
  • $2,500 - Builds 1 Micro-bank in Malawi
  • $1,000 - Builds vegetable stands or chicken farms for 10 widows
  • $500 - Empowers 5 widows

Meet our Distinguished Guests of Honor

Chief Guest of Honor
Cabinet Secretary Professor Margaret Kobia
Kenya's Minister of Public Service and Gender
We are humbled to welcome one of the world's foremost leaders in the widowhood movement. Professor Kobia co-sponsored the first UN Side Event on Widowhood at the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018, then quietly began changing 6 laws in Kenya to support and protect widows. In 2020, Minister Kobia instructed her government to partner with Global Fund for Widows and our implementing partner Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization to launch 30 Brookbanks to support 750 widows in rural Kenya. Minister Kobia has dedicated her Ministry to widows' empowerment in Kenya and beyond.

Minister Kobia was nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta as Cabinet Secretary for the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs in 2018. Prior to her current position, she served as the Chairperson of the Kenya Public Service Commission. Professor Kobia has received a number of awards, including the "Order of Grand Warrior" (OGW), the order of "Chief of Burning Spear" (CBS) and the "Commonwealth Gordon Draper Award". She was elected as the Vice President and board member of the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM), in October 2014. She is a fellow at the Kenya Institute of Management and at the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya.
Guest of Honor
His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Alie Kabba
Permanent Representative of the Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations Global Goodwill Ambassador for Widows in Peace and Security
Ambassador Kabba - a strong champion of gender equality - has committed his Mission at the United Nations, and his country of Sierra Leone, to introduce seminal legislation on the floor of the United Nations, protecting widows in conflict and post conflict contexts. He leads the world in this endeavor, and we are grateful for his compassion, dedication, and leadership.

Dr. Kabba served as Sierra Leone's Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation beginning in June 2018 until May 2019. From 2007 to 2017, he served as Executive Director at the United African Organization in Chicago, IL. Prior thereto, Dr. Kabba was a Public Service Administrator for the State of Illinois in the United States. From 1991 to 1997, he served as a researcher associate and instructor in the Department of African American Studies and Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Guest of Honor
Her Excellency Ambassador Victoria Sulimani
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations
Ambassador Sulimani's passion for the widowhood movement is informed by her understanding o the plight of widows in her native Sierra Leone, where a prolonged brutal civil war left uncounted widows in its tragic wake. A daughter of a widow as well, her understanding of widowhood's horrific intersectionalities is uniquely personal. Ambassador Sulimani has drawn in the leadership of her Mission, and her country into championing a resolution at the United Nations to establish seminal laws to  to protect widows. We salute her intrepid vision, courage, and compassion.

Prior to serving as Deputy Permanent Representative of the Mission of Sierra Leone as Political Attache, Ambassador Sulimani served as Counsellor and expert on Human Rights issues, including  gender, children, and social development, as well as head of Humanitarian Affairs. Ambassador Sulimani advised the Mission on all thematic issues before the UN Security Council relating to Women, Peace and Security, Children and Armed Conflict. And she also advised the Mission on all thematic issues before the UN General Assembly relating to human rights, humanitarian and affairs as well as social development issues.
Guest of Honor
Phaustine Wekesa
Brookbank Chairwoman, Advocate, Widow
Ms. Phaustine Wekesa found herself a young widow after her husband was killed in post-election violence. Choosing dignity and poverty over humiliation and violence, Phaustine and her 4 children were disinherited from her home and property, ultimately finding her way to Korogochu, one of Africa's largest urban slums. Phaustine heard about GFW's WISALAs - called Brookbanks in Kenya - through our partner Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization. Believing in its potential, Phaustine became the chairwoman of Kenya's first Brookbank. We salute her unbridled success!
Guest of Honor
Ms. Bukola Adebayo
CNN Africa Senior Producer, Harvard Neiman Fellow, Advocate
We are privileged to honor Ms. Bukola Adebayo, CNN Africa Producer, for her unwavering Advocacy of Widows Around the World. In the summer of 2020, Ms. Adebayo became the first journalist to break the story of widows' human rights abuses in American media. Taking 16 months to pen her work, her emotional account of the horrifying abuses endured by widows was one of CNN's top stories of the year. Ms. Adebayo remains committed to issues of gender equality, taking her passion to Harvard, where she is currently a Neiman Fellow. We salute Ms. Adebayo's unwavering commitment to widows and look forward to working with her to #MakeWidowsMatter!
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