Avon Foundation for Women Expands Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women, Supports $125,000 in Grants to Five International NGOs

First Grants Presented at Global Partnership Mentorship Program to Support Domestic Violence Research, Prevention and Programs


New York, NY – May 23, 2011 – The Avon Foundation for Women expanded its support of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women – a collaboration among Avon and the Avon Foundation, Vital Voices and the U.S. Department of State – by funding a total of $125,000 for grants to five non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The five beneficiary NGOs from Eastern Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East will use the grants to fund research and development projects focused on ending violence against women in their countries. The Avon Foundation announced the grants at the Global Partnership Mentorship Program, a partnership among the Avon Foundation, Vital Voices and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.


The Mentorship Program is the latest project of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women, which launched in 2010 with $1.2 million in donations to Vital Voices from Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women. At a Summit in Washington, D.C., in March 2010, the Global Partnership convened 15 country delegations composed of leaders from diverse sectors – business, government, law enforcement, the NGO community, academia and others – in a first-of-its-kind global forum to share insights and forge collaborations. Since the Global Partnership’s launch, it has held regional conferences in New Delhi, India, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, to advance its delegations’ work. The conferences featured performances by famed local actors in the extraordinary play Seven to raise awareness of the devastating impact of violence against women around the world. In 2011, the Avon Foundation provided additional funding of $750,000 to Vital Voices for the Global Partnership Mentorship Program, seed grants to accelerate Global Partnership collaborations, and a regional program to convene African and Middle Eastern delegates in Cape Town, South Africa, in October.


Vital Voices selected five of the 15 Global Partnership NGO delegates that have shown exceptional promise within their countries and regions to receive the first of ten seed grants to be awarded this year. Each NGO received a $25,000 Global Partnership grant to accelerate Global Partnership delegation collaboration in their country. The funded projects include work to conduct domestic violence research and analysis, establish centers to assist domestic violence victims and empower survivors, and develop community response initiatives to domestic violence.


The following five NGOs which received these first Global Partnership grants will use their funding in a variety of ways:


- ProFem (Czech Republic) will support the research and analysis of the economic impact of domestic violence in the Czech Republic. 

- Brazilian Peacewoman Association (Brazil) will use UN Resolution 1325 develop a popular education methodology to work with women and men to prevent and eliminate domestic violence in Brazil.

- Family Guidance and Awareness Center (Jordan) will support the establishment of a Family Justice Center located in the governorate of Zarqa and improve the capacity of the multi-disciplinary partners who will staff and operate this center.

- Association of Female Lawyers in Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo) will empower survivors of sexual violence, particularly those women and girls living in refugee camps for war survivors, by increasing their knowledge of human rights and improving their livelihood skills, enabling them to become agents for change in their communities.

- Nizhny Novgorod Women Crisis Center (Russia) will create a coordinated community response between the government and civil society organizations by developing an interdepartmental commission to combat domestic violence and by conducting trainings for police and local authorities. 


“The Avon Foundation is privileged to continue its support of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women by funding these first five Global Partnership grants, which underscore our commitment to end violence against women,” said Carol Kurzig, president of the Avon Foundation for Women. “As the company for women, Avon provides women with economic opportunities to succeed, but through Avon philanthropy we also serve as a change agent for critical issues that face women worldwide. We believe the answer to the complex problem of domestic and gender violence lies in supporting the local organizations that are already making a significant difference in their regions and funding collaborations that will help them accelerate change.” 


Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women Mentorship Program
The Global Partnership Mentorship Program assembled women NGO leaders from the Partnership delegations located in Brazil, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, India, Jordan, Liberia, Mexico, Russia, and Turkey. The delegates met for the first two weeks of May to participate in experiential, interactive and networking opportunities in Washington, D.C., New York City and Phoenix, AZ. The comprehensive program included meetings with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women Lynn Rosenthal, members of the Department of State's Office of Global Women's Issues, Commissioner Yolanda Jimenez of the New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, and other domestic violence leaders. Additional training and leadership building activities included one-on-one meetings with officials at the delegates’ respective embassies, visits to domestic violence shelters, and firsthand observations of how domestic violence calls are handled by the Phoenix police department.


The Mentorship Program is one of many Avon commitments to end violence against women through the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program launched by Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women in 2004. Through the end of 2010, Avon global philanthropy has awarded more than $30 million to support awareness, education, direct service and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence in more than 50 countries.


In 2011, Avon launched the $2 million Avon Global Believe Fund to identify and support an international network of outstanding nonprofit organizations to help them provide critical life-saving services for victims of domestic violence and their families. This global effort, in partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence, also aims to draw attention to the alarming lack of adequate services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence in communities everywhere. Avon advances its global efforts to end violence against women by raising funds through special product sales and events, as well as by raising awareness through the dissemination of educational information by more than 6.2 million global independent Avon Sales Representatives. 


About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Avon also responds generously to provide support for relief and recovery efforts in times of major natural disasters and emergencies.