Image depicting Catherine Bertini  Award
Catherine Bertini Award

The mission of the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education is to improve access to training and education for girls by supporting innovative efforts to reach and empower girls.

As the host of this initiative, WFP USA stewards the evolution of the Fund based on Ms. Bertini’s vision. Catherine Bertini was the driving force behind reform of WFP from 1992 to 2002, when she served as executive director. After winning the World Food Prize in 2003 for her contributions to food security, Ms. Bertini used her $250,000 reward to start the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education.

Catherine Bertini

Fall 2020 Grantees

Her Future Coalition: Located in India, this organization is on a mission to provide education and a “full circle” of services to high-risk girls and survivors of gender-based violence so they can remain independent and pursue their dreams. Since 2005, Her Future Coalition has worked with survivors of human trafficking and gender-based violence, helping free thousands of girls through long-term, intensive programs including education, vocational training, employment and shelter. Her Future Coalition has been so successful that it was internationally recognized as part of Michelle Obama’s Global Girls Alliance.

With the grant from the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund, Her Future Coalition is launching a new project in Kolkata offering computer training, intensive English instruction, and entrepreneurship and business skills training to survivors and vulnerable girls in red-light areas.

Speak Up For The Poor:  Speak Up, located in Bangladesh, was founded in 2004 to provide legal protection for girls who had been trafficked into sexual abuse and exploitation. Today, programs include educating girls in poverty to address a root cause of their vulnerability to exploitation. Speak Up’s mission is to create a new reality for these girls by transforming them into empowered community leaders. In 2012, Speak Up launched their Girls Education Program (GEP) with just 20 girls from three villages in Khulna Division, Bangladesh. Eight years later, the GEP now enrolls 1,405 girls from 30 villages.

Thanks to the grant from the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund, Speak Up will be able to expand their GEP program and launch The Parent Meetings project – a monthly community meeting in the local villages where GEP operates.

Spring 2020 Grantees

Nurturing Minds: A nonprofit on a mission to educate Tanzanian girls who are poor, marginalized and at risk of becoming involved in exploitative forms of child labor. Since 2008, Nurturing Minds has provided financial and technical support to Secondary Education for Girls’ Advancement (SEGA) for the development and operation of a high-quality secondary boarding school for vulnerable girls in Morogoro.

The purpose of the SEGA Girls’ Secondary School is to foster the development of girls’ academic excellence, strong values, healthy self-esteem and independent thinking, with an emphasis on leadership, social responsibility and environmental care. Half of SEGA’s students are orphans, and the majority were forced to drop out of other schools due to extreme poverty. Thanks to SEGA, these girls are now able to continue their studies.

Girl Up Initiative Uganda (GUIU): Works to advance educational and economic opportunities for young women and adolescent girls in urban slum areas of Kampala. It’s currently building a vibrant movement of girls through transformative leadership, skills development, and sexual and reproductive health education. GUIU envisions a gender-equitable world where girls thrive and lead. Through trainings and education, GUIU aims to equip girls with the social and personal competencies necessary to reach their full potential as leaders by increasing their self-esteem, self-awareness, assertiveness, and decision-making and communication skills.

Want to support the Bertini Fund?

To donate via U.S. mail, please make your check payable to World Food Program USA, add “Catherine Bertini Fund” to the memo and mail to:

World Food Program USA
1725 Eye Street NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20006

For more information about the Bertini Fund, please contact us at