MEXICO CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today the Angélica Fuentes Foundation was officially launched at a press briefing at Club De Industriales in Mexico City. The Angélica Fuentes Foundation is a private foundation solely devoted to the empowerment of women and girls throughout Latin America. The foundation will give grants, scholarships and will advocate for women and girls to achieve equal opportunity by providing access to life skills, education, and financial independence. The foundation will support underprivileged women and girls from rural, urban and indigenous populations.
Latin American women today face the highest risk of gender inequality and income disparity in the world and the foundation aims to minimize these risks by supporting women’s rights, equality and cooperation. Mexico ranks 68th out of 136 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index and women lag behind men in terms of participation the workforce, representation in leadership positions and ability to earn equal wages, according to the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report.
“It’s time to give the women in Latin America a voice and to let them know that they have every right to stand side by side men in their journey to self-fulfillment and financial independence,” said Angélica Fuentes. “Women are the driving force behind economic prosperity in Latin America and they must understand the value they bring to their families, work place and society. It is our responsibility to give them the resources to realize their full potential and to help them build an identity that is not based on how they are viewed, counted or treated by their families and society, but defined by their own sense of self-worth. Empowering women isn't just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do,” she said.
The foundation will be helping more than 86,000 women in Latin America through inaugural grants of USD 1 Million each to the United Nation Foundation’s Girl Up Program in Guatemala to deliver access to education, improved health services, and leadership opportunities for young girls and to the ABC Foundation to provide women entrepreneurs with a wide range of training programs, health services and housing across Latin America in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru. The first educational scholarship has been granted to Paloma Noyola Bueno, a gifted young student from an underprivileged neighborhood in Mexico, to pursue a high-quality secondary education. The foundation is making its first open call for applications and will award a total of USD 1 Million in grants to non-profit and community-based organizations in Mexico, Peru and Colombia by September 2014.
“Educating women of their basic right to succeed is the first step toward women’s empowerment,” said Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. “The Angélica Fuentes Foundation’s underlying approach to promote a culture of deep curiosity and lifelong learning among women is a model that will spur new thinking and catalytic change necessary to elevate the position of girls and women, not just in Latin America, but globally. Angélica Fuentes has been an incredible role model for girls and women around the world and a powerful advocate for the women of Latin America on the global stage,” she continued.
Along with giving grants and scholarship, the Angélica Fuentes Foundation will undertake a massive, region-wide advocacy campaign to amplify the voice of girls and women across Latin America through a series of grassroots efforts and forums for women to share experiences, ideas and insights into how to better the lives of women across Latin America. The first forum will be held on May 20 in Mexico City and subsequent forums will be held Lima, Peru (July 12), SantaCruz, Bolivia (August 23), Medellin, Columbia (October 18) and Guayaquil, Ecuador (November 15).
Open Call for Applications
The Angélica Fuentes Foundation is accepting applications for grants from Peru, Columbia and Mexico. The application deadline is May 30, 2014 and selected projects will be announced on September 1, 2014. The Foundation is focused on three specific issue areas critical to women’s and girl’s empowerment:
- Life Skills: defined as transcendental leadership in women, based on the development of self-knowledge, self-esteem, decision-making, critical thinking, reflective thinking, communication and life planning
- Education: focused on nurturing a culture of curiosity and lifelong learning; ensure the academic completion of young women from rural or urban areas and who have leadership and academic potential
- Financial Independence: resulting from job and skills training, financial literacy and planning
All deserving girls and women, and non-profit and community-based organizations from Peru, Columbia and Mexico will be eligible and can submit applications online at www.fundacionangelicafuentes.org. Updates will also be available on Twitter @fundacion_af and Facebook www.facebook.com/fundacionangelicafuentes
About Angélica Fuentes
Angélica is the CEO of Grupo Omnilife and founder of Angelíssima. Prior to that, she was CEO of Mexican energy firm Grupo Imperial Corporativo and served as President of the Mexican Natural Gas Association and of the Business Energy Network of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement (APEC). Throughout her career, Angélica has been recognized as one of Latin America's most powerful women, receiving the Innovative Woman and Outstanding Leadership award from the President-elect of Chile, Michelle Bachelet. For more than 25 years, Angélica has been involved in women’s empowerment around the globe, launching the beauty line Angelíssima. Angélica also co-chairs the Mexico Gender Parity Taskforce, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.