Global Fund for Widows Honors the Graça Machel Trust & Novartis Global Health

(NEW YORK, New York – October 7, 2021) 
originally appearing on

Global Fund for Widows Honors the Graça Machel Trust & Novartis Global Health
The Global Fund for Widows is proud to announce its 13th Annual Fundraising Gala - November 11, 2021 – a virtual event.

This year, our virtual gala’s Honorees include the following leaders:


Former First Lady of Mozambique  and South Africa - The Honorable Graça Machel
Human Rights Activist – Humanitarian – Widow of President Nelson Mandela

His Excellency Ambassador Abdou Abarry
Permanent Representative of the Mission of the Republic of Niger to the United Nations
Incoming President of the United Nations’ Security Council

Ms. Racey Muchilwa

Country President & Head of Novartis Global Health, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Special Guest:
His Excellency Ambassador Carlos dos Santos

Ambassador of the Republic of Mozambique to the United States.

Ms. Kinneri Gondi
Activist – Director - Widow

“The plight of widows is one of the most underestimated human rights violations being experienced by women globally,” said Heather Ibrahim-Leathers, Founder and President of the Global Fund for Widows.  “Systemic disinheritance, discrimination, and harmful practices endured by widows not only result in the direct link between widowhood and poverty, but widowhood is also directly linked to hunger, poor health, poor education of widows’ children, human trafficking, extremist indoctrination/recruitment, child marriage, and the unconscionable phenomenon of the child widow.”

“Our innovative financial inclusion programming centers on the simple tenet of the Golden Rule: She who has the gold, makes the rules.”, continued Mrs. Ibrahim-Leathers.

Global Fund for Widows is the world’s largest non-profit organization economically empowering widows in the developing world. We do this by building “micro-banks” for widows, which provide them with a permanent source of capital from which they can launch micro-businesses. Thus far, we have empowered over 20,000widows and helped over 54,000 of their children across Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria, Cameroon, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, and India.

For more information about the Global Fund for Widow’s 13th Annual Fundraising Gala - November 11, 2021, visit or


About the Global Fund for Widows:

Global Fund for Widows (GFW) is the world’s largest international non-profit organization dedicated to economically empowering widows. Founded in 2008 by Heather Ibrahim-Leathers upon the passing of her grandmother as a young widow in rural Egypt, GFW is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in New York City. We dedicate our work on both the public policy front as well as financial inclusion programs for widows on the ground. We have impacted  20,000 widows in Africa, the Middle East, and India, as well as 54,000 of their children through our financial inclusion programs. Additionally, GFW leverages its success in the field to mainstream widowhood as a human rights issue at the United Nations, US Congress, and the UK’s House of Lords.  

Our microbanks, otherwise known as WISALAs (Widows’ Savings and Loan Associations), have been extremely well-received by both sovereign governments (Kenya, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Malawi, and Liberia), as well as the disenfranchised women and families whom we support.


Get in Touch

To find out more about what we do and how we are tackling issues around widowhood in our countries of programming and around the world, please contact us below.