World Food Program USA Announces Spring 2020 Grantees for the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund

Published March 8, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C./ March 8, 2020 — World Food Program USA is proud to announce two new grantees for the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education.

Women and girls make up a majority of the world’s hungry people—mostly as a result of unequal access to education, resources, and tools for economic and personal success. By empowering women and girls with knowledge, training, and leadership skills, the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education is helping the world achieve zero hunger.

This Spring, the Fund awarded two organizations – Nurturing Minds and Girl Up Initiative Uganda – with grants to expand their programs and make an even greater impact on the lives of the women and girls they serve.

Nurturing Minds

Nurturing Minds is 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.

“Nurturing Minds is profoundly grateful for the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund’s grant to support the Msichana Kisasa (Modern Girl) Outreach Program in opening six new centers,” says Julie Bourgoin, Program Officer.

“Expanding this important program will have a tremendously positive impact on the lives of some of Tanzania’s most vulnerable girls, who are at risk of teen pregnancy and early marriage, as it teaches financial literacy and business skills and increases their knowledge of girls rights, sexual reproductive health, and hygiene, while learning communication skills to improve their self-confidence and be leaders in their own lives.”

Girl Up Initiative Uganda

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.

GUIU implements several programs that work to achieve this, one of which is the Adolescent Girls Program (AGP), which expands access to female-focused education and empowers adolescent girls to be leaders, reach their full educational potential, and make healthy and informed choices. Another is Big Sisters Network, which ensures that AGP alumni continue to access female-focused education and stay involved and engaged after they have graduated from the AGP training program.

Funds from the Bertini grant will support a key part of this program – Big Sister Camp – an annual, multi-day overnight experience. Through trainings and education, the camp 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.

“Girl Up Initiative Uganda is truly honored to receive a grant from the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund,” says Kimberly Wolf, the Deputy Executive Director and Co-Founder. “It means that we are now able to expand our four-day residential Big Sister Camp 2020 to 260 at-risk adolescent girls coming from urban slum areas of Kampala who will have the chance to learn, play and reflect on what it means to be a girl leader in today’s world.”


About World Food Program USA 

World Food Program USA is a 501(c)(3) charity that proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the leading humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, WFP reaches nearly 90 million people with lifesaving food assistance in 83 countries across the globe. By mobilizing individuals, lawmakers and businesses in the U.S. to advance the global movement to end hunger, World Food Program USA bolsters an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world.

About the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education  

After winning the World Food Prize in 2003, Catherine Bertini, the former executive director for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), recognized an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for women’s empowerment. Bertini used her winnings to establish the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education, a fund that supports innovative grassroots initiatives around the globe that boost access to training and educational opportunities for girls.