Working closely with Partners for Change Ethiopia (PfCE), we are holding an auction of art - ART for CHANGE - to raise funds for entrepreneurial women in Ethiopia, a country hard hit by natural disasters and disease. Ethiopia's economy has grown at an annual rate of nearly 10 per cent for the last seven years, making it one of the fastest growing economies. But the country is starting from a very low base in terms of development and equal rights for women.
Girls and women face many barriers to personal development, not least cultural traditions, early marriage and/or pregnancy and often, a school environment that does not cater for adolescent girls with such basic requirements as toilets to maintain personal hygiene. By directly addressing these issues we can help girls and women to gain equal access to education and jobs and by so doing, contribute meaningfully to the family income and society as a whole.
Our initiative is "Woman2Woman" which sponsors a woman to train, and start her own business with seed money consisting of 60% grant and a 40% interest free loan. Once the loan is repaid, the money is recycled to support another woman.
A NEW project is the Partnership between PfCE, the Centre for Global Equality, and Cambridge University's Global Challenges Forum to develop a research base in Ethiopia for Cambridge academics, innovators and researchers to bring together intellectual rigour, wide-ranging local experience and know-how.
This augurs well for future development.
The brilliance of the auction is that it is a win/win for everyone. Artists who generously donate their work gain wide exposure through the pre-auction, 5-day exhibition; bidders go home with beautiful art and the projects in Ethiopia are revitalised.
A central, beautiful and historic venue has been given free-of-charge and everyone involved is volunteering their time and expertise. Steven Drake of Willingham Auctions has generously offered to run the auction itself. Help us to make it a great occasion!
All funds raised by you and the sale of art will go directly to the projects.