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Pioneering Program Addresses Trauma Head-On

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

For a decade, the Victims of Trauma Treatment Program has worked with Sri Lanka to heal the psychic wounds of war and natural disaster. When Covid-19 arrived, the pieces were in place to tackle the trauma of lockdowns.

The Asia Foundation Hosts Annual Leadership Awards Celebration

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

San Francisco, September 23, 2020 — In 2020 with lives and livelihoods disrupted, leaders are confronting extraordinary challenges in a time of uncertainty. Join us to livestream Leaders on the Frontlines on September 24, 6pm PT, as we recognize exceptional leaders of today and tomorrow. Learn about past honorees. The Asia Foundation’s leadership awards, including the Visionary Leader Award, Chang-Lin Tien Distinguished Leadership Award, and Lotus Leadership Award, honor prominent individuals from government, business, and philanthropy; extraordinary leaders advancing Asia’s progress; and inspiring changemakers in gender equality. Former head of Tata Group and philanthropist Ratan Tata; Lieutenant Governor of California Eleni Kounalakis; and UN human rights icon and peacemaker Radhika Coomaraswamy will share their powerful vision of what makes a leader. Leaders on the Frontlines will also celebrate the achievements of The Asia Foundation Development Fellows, transformational young leaders trained and equipped by The Asia Foundation who are changing the idea of what a leader looks like. We will travel from Afghanistan to the Philippines to Bangladesh to Mongolia to meet Development Fellows. In Dhaka, Bangladesh, one of the most environmentally challenged places in the world, journalist Sohara Mehroze is engaging young people to live more sustainable lifestyles and making a business case for the private sector for sustainability. And in the Southern Philippines, Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba is breaking the glass ceiling in Muslim Mindanao, implementing a hard-won a peace agreement as Attorney General. California’s Golden State Warriors’ CFO Jennifer Cabalquinto, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, vice chair of the Asia Foundation Board of Trustees, and Sunder Ramaswamy, chair of the Board will present at the event. The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote international cooperation. Read more about the Foundation’s work. For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter,  LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Safe Home Initiative Supports Pakistan Communities Hit Hard by Covid-19

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

Pakistan emerged strong from the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, but the coronavirus is a crisis of a different color. In a society already suffering from poor and inequitable healthcare and social services, the pandemic has had an outsized impact on the most vulnerable populations.

Wall Street Journal Highlights Lana Condor’s Vietnam Girls Scholars Program

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

August 11, 2020 — The Wall Street Journal features The Asia Foundation in a profile of 2019 Lotus Circle honoree Lana Condor. Since 2017, Condor has worked with the Foundation to support female scholars in Can Tho, Vietnam. And you do philanthropy work for the Asia Foundation too. [Condor has supported the organization’s girls scholarship program since 2017, financing education for girls in Can Tho, Vietnam, where she was adopted from as a child.]   My scholarship is like my baby. The most important thing I’ve done in my career thus far is to put Vietnamese girls through school and give them education, because [for girls] in Vietnam education is not a right, particularly good education. Obviously knowledge is power and girls are vastly intelligent. Just open the door a little bit and they’ll knock it down. Watch a short film of Condor’s recent visit to Can Tho on IGTV. 

The Visa Foundation and The Asia Foundation Partner to Respond to the Impact of Covid-19 on Women and Girls in Asia

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

August 11, 2020 — The Visa Foundation and The Asia Foundation launched a new partnership to support women’s economic advancement and address rising incidences of gender-based violence (GBV) across Malaysia, Myanmar, and Nepal. This partnership is part of The Visa Foundation’s commitment to support small and micro-business that aligns with its long-term focus on women’s economic advancement and inclusive economic development, and to address urgent needs from local communities following the spread of Covid-19. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to play out in countries and communities across Asia, with acute effects on women and girls. The gendered challenges that women entrepreneurs ordinarily face, including accessing capital, markets, and technology to sustain and grow their micro and small businesses, are exacerbated in the face of the pandemic and associated stay-at-home orders and economic slowdown. The financial strain put on many families, as well as the fear and anxiety arising from extended lockdowns, have exacerbated unequal power relations between women and men and has contributed to a severe increase in GBV, including domestic violence. At the same time, the services for survivors of violence have been weakened or disrupted or are at maximum capacity. In addition, many survivors face economic insecurity and lack of livelihood support, creating more barriers for them to escape safely. In partnership with The Visa Foundation, this multi-country initiative will respond to the heightened risk of GBV among women and girls, especially women entrepreneurs and informal workers, as well as to support women to increase their economic security. The project will provide women entrepreneurs with targeted training, mentoring, and networking activities to improve digital and financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills to improve their business models and access new markets. In responding to the GBV crisis, the project will support community outreach and education activities on the nature of GBV and prevention strategies, provide critical assistance to service providers, and provide psychosocial counseling in communities. Across these interventions, The Asia Foundation will build in a learning and sharing component that allows us to identify key high-impact materials and rapidly translate and adapt them to other Asian contexts…. Read more

Funding Women Entrepreneurs on Mongolia’s Covid Front Line

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Mongolia has been a Covid-19 success story, but the early lockdown that kept the virus at bay has also battered the economy, and no one has felt it more than Mongolia’s small businesswomen.

Virtual Event – A New World is Possible: Gender Lens and Social Inclusion Philanthropy in a Time of Covid-19

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Further Reading on Gender and Social Inclusion Philanthropy Interactive Menti Resources As Covid-19 has swept the globe it has had acute impacts on women and girls, especially for Indigenous women, other black and brown women, and those working in informal sectors. The pandemic has threatened progress made across sectors, including health equity, education, and access to justice. Responding to these challenges requires supporting projects, organizations, movements that empower women and girls, advance gender equality and social inclusion, and support diverse voices and leadership. On Tuesday, June 30, The Asia Foundation, Australian Communities Foundation, and Australian Women Donors Network hosted a webinar to discuss how grantmaking organizations and individual philanthropists can apply a gender equality and social inclusion lens to their giving. Featuring Maree Sidey, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Communities Foundation Deanne Weir, Director, WeirAnderson Foundation and Asia Foundation Trustee Julie Reilly, CEO, Australian Women Donors Network Tuti B. Scott, Interim CEO, Tides Foundation USA Lucy Lee, Technology Investor and Asia Foundation Lotus Circle Advisor Moderator Jane Sloane, Senior Director for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality, The Asia Foundation

Funding the Frontline: Rapid Response to the Gendered Impacts of Covid-19 in Asia

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have acute effects on women and girls in Asia. Thanks to the flexibility of our donors and partners, our existing projects have pivoted to confront the emergency. 

Virtual Lotus Leadership Awards

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

Embracing new ways to convene, on April 15 we honored women’s empowerment impacts across Asia. The program featured honorees Ziauddin Yousafzai, co-founder of the Malala Fund; Mastercard for its commitment to women’s economic empowerment and financial security with CEO Ajay Banga accepting on its behalf; and The Gender Lab in India. Covid-19 disproportionally impacts communities The Asia Foundation serves, especially women. The pandemic has already challenged all of us, but we have yet to see the economic and social impacts it will have on Asia’s women and girls. The Lotus Circle hosts the awards annually. Their generosity enables The Asia Foundation to invest rapidly to equip women and girls with the tools, networks, and influence they need most.

The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Leadership Awards 2020

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Ziauddin Yousafzai of Malala Fund, Mastercard, The Gender Lab Honored as Allies in the Fight for Gender Equality San Francisco, April 15, 2020 — The Asia Foundation, an international development nonprofit addressing Asia’s most urgent problems, celebrated its 2020 Lotus Leadership Awards: Allies in the Fight for Gender Equality in a virtual event on April 15. Presenters included broadcast journalist and Lotus Circle Advisor Sydnie Kohara and 2020 Awards co-chairs Leyli Zohrenejad and Janet Montag. The annual Lotus Leadership Awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations for their contributions towards women’s and girls’ empowerment in Asia. The 2020 Awardees are an extraordinary group of allies who are fighting for gender equality across business, nonprofit, and grassroots communities. Honoree Ziauddin Yousafzai co-founded the Malala Fund with his daughter Malala in 2013 to campaign for girls to go to school. During the Virtual Awards program, he remarked: “We need to have more feminist men, feminist communities, feminist governments to come forward and make gender equality a reality.” Together, Ziauddin and Malala champion every girl’s right to 12 years of free and safe quality education. Mastercard was honored for empowering women entrepreneurs with access to digital tools, financing networks, and skills training, creating a path to a better quality of life for women and their families. Ajay Banga, chief executive officer of Mastercard and a member of its board of directors, commented: “If you don’t do the right thing in society, you don’t allow society to grow, there’s no way your business can keep growing in a broken society…The fact is that we’ve got to allow the digital economy to work for everybody everywhere.” Co-founded by Akshat Singhal and Ayushi Banerji, The Gender Lab strives to change a patriarchal society one boy at a time. “We saw that one part of the problem not being talked about was how patriarchy pushes men and boys to be a certain way, and how certain behaviors and actions are also created, tolerated, and propagated because of how the system is…We decided to work at the root of the problem to unbox the very idea of masculinity and… Read more