CFNI Fund Development Manager Helen McKeever, (left) joins Anna Lo MLA (Centre) and Dr Joan Smyth, Steering Committee Chair, at the launch of Women’s Fund at Stormont.
New Fund backs Northern Ireland women
A new Fund has been launched to help local women achieve their full potential.
Managed by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, the new Women’s Fund for Northern Ireland was launched today (Thurs. May 24, 2012) at Stormont.
A target of £25,000 has been set for the first year of the fund and a call has been made for local people and businesses to pledge their support through a number of ways.
These include raising the profile of the Fund amongst their own networks and local communities and contributing towards the fundraising target.
Explaining why the Fund had been established, Dr Joan Smyth CBE, Chair of the Steering Committee set up to oversee the Fund, said; “I imagine most people can recall a time in their life when the supportive action of another allowed them to advance their career, their education or perhaps even take a brave step into the unknown.
“The Women’s Fund aims to help women overcome the barriers currently preventing their personal development, by providing small grants to foster and develop new opportunities in their own lives.
“I firmly believe that this is our opportunity to work together to empower local women to take the next important step in their own lives, in order to fulfil their potential. “I do hope everyone, male or female, will join me and others in support of this important initiative.”
In the first year of operation, the priority of the Fund will be to support young women, aged 18-30, to help build confidence and self-esteem, leadership skills, new knowledge and skills, to improve health and wellbeing or literacy and numeracy.
Helen McKeever, Fund Development Manager with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, believes; “A Fund focussed on women in Northern Ireland could make a huge difference to our society and indeed our economy.
“To paraphrase the current US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton; investing in the potential of local women is one of the surest ways to achieve economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for women in Northern Ireland.
“We have already seen the contribution women have brought to the peace process, with women taking part on the floor of the Assembly and participating right up to Executive level at Stormont, where the Fund was launched.
“The message must ring out clear to all our women and girls – you can reach your potential, and the Women’s Fund for Northern Ireland is here to help you.”
For further information, or to make a contribution to the Women’s Fund for Northern Ireland, visit www.communityfoundationni.org/donate.