This Spring, two inspiring organizations will bring to life the vision of Catherine Bertini, the former executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP).
After winning the World Food Prize in 2003, she decided to use the prize money to bolster women’s empowerment across the globe. Supporting initiatives that boost access to training and educational opportunities for girls, the fund has awarded more than 22 grants over the last decade.
Meet the award winners!
Starfish empowers indigenous female leaders to help break intergenerational cycles of exclusion and poverty in rural Guatemala. Its mission—to unlock and maximize the potential of young women to lead transformational change.
Founded in 2007, Starfish’s goal was to address a variety of problems affecting young girls across rural communities: teen pregnancy, school dropouts, and poverty. Now, more than a decade later, the organization is transforming the lives of almost 250 young girls and their family members.
“When a woman has opportunity and access to education, health care and finances, she is much more likely to allocate her new resources and knowledge to her children,” said Hannah Bick, Starfish’s Director of Strategy and Operations. “Our whole model is centered around reaching young women and equipping them with knowledge and access to opportunity before those cycles take hold.”
Starfish primarily works with young girls at risk of dropping out of school after sixth grade. By providing academics, peer support and mentorship as core activities at the Starfish Impact School, these girls take part in a robust curriculum over a six-year period. Training topics include study skills, financial literacy, civic engagement, reproductive health, and vocal empowerment.