We are thrilled to announce that ASSET has been selected to be one of Dining for Women’s featured programs for 2013.  ASSET will receive $45,000 over two years to send 20 high-potential young Ugandan women from disadvantaged backgrounds to college and to support a group of impoverished women artisans.

Sixteen out of 100 children in Uganda go to high school. 7 are girls. Only 3 will graduate, and even fewer will go to college.

We are changing that. For several years, ASSET has been opening doors to higher education for bright young people in Uganda, providing leadership training and mentorship along with scholarships for university tuition. Now, we get to do it on an even bigger scale, providing 20 bright young women with university scholarships and offering a more robust, longitudinal leadership curriculum. Our minds are already racing, wondering who these 20 young women will be and what they will go on to become—lawyers, nurses, computer programmers, engineers, public health workers? We can only imagine.

The grant will also support an existing group of female artisans from impoverished backgrounds by providing training in product design and development, financial literacy and entrepreneurship and by ensuring that they earn a fair wage. We have already seen how connecting these artisans with a market makes a huge difference in their lives and the lives of their families. Research shows that when a woman earns money, she invests it back into her family–health care and education for her children, nutritious food, etc. We look forward to working more with these women in the coming years.

Dining for Women is a non-profit organization that operates educational dinner giving circles. Chapter members come together once a month to dine, pot-luck, and learn about programs that empower women worldwide. The donations they raise at these dinners go to support international programs that focus on women’s economic development, education and healthcare. You can read more about Dining for Women’s great work here: www.diningforwomen.org.