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"This is the year of #MeToo and I wanted to find a way to help heal wounds and empower women," said WAMF's Executive Director Ingrid Walter, "With David's many pieces that focus on women, his history of giving back and the extraordinary work WGEF is doing in Uganda, I suggested we work together. Thankfully, everyone said yes."
WGEF has been on the ground providing women with access to micro-credit loans, business and leadership development training, literary and health initiatives since 2008.
"Northern Uganda is a post-conflict region, where women and children experienced horrific violence and chronic poverty," said WGEF Executive Director Karen Sugar. "Through the microfinance and social capital programs of WGEF we see what is possible when women are treated with dignity, and given the tools necessary to begin the process of healing, which leads to economic progress, and, ultimately, empowerment."
Kibuuka, who fled Uganda during the political turmoil following General Idi Amin's 1971 coup, understands the challenges post war societies face. "In my paintings I often pay tribute to women for the strength they show, caring for children and families in harsh environments. I hope many will benefit from this holiday effort," the artist said.
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Sugar said that the 25 year conflict left much of Uganda's north unstable, lacking in economic activity, and vulnerable to food and human insecurity. She notes that to date WGEF has provided over 14,000 loans, given more than 4,000 women literacy training, and supported women farmers. Some have even gone on to contest political office.
With funds from the December 2018, campaign WGEF hopes to reach deeper into rural communities to provide economic opportunities, literacy, business and leadership training, as well as expand its sanitary products access project.
About David Kibuuka (https://wamf-biz.myshopify.com/blogs/news/david-kibuuka-collected-by-celebrity-sports-figures-actors-musicians-plus )
Artist and philanthropist David Kibuuka was born in Uganda and started painting at age five. At 15 he had already built a reputation as an exceptional artist. He enrolled at Kampala's Makerere University School of Fine Arts, but fled his home during the strife-torn rule of Idi Amin. After studying human anatomy, painting, graphic design and illustration at art schools in Kenya, he moved to Canada in 1983. There, after further studies, his art career took off and today his vibrant, colorful African scenes are collected by many celebrities, including basketball great Shaquille O'Neal, boxing legend Lennox Lewis, pop icon Dionne Warwick, and actress and choreographer Debbie Allen. Kibuuka is a strong advocate for a wide range of international charitable causes.
About When Art Meets Fashion (http://www.whenartmeetsfashion.com/ )
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When Art Meets Fashion is a pop-up gallery, artist agency and online merchandising business, established in 2016 by former Canadian journalist Ingrid Walter. Based in downtown Toronto, Canada, it represents over twenty established and emerging artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds. When Art Meets Fashion sells art, including abstract and figurative paintings, photography, sculpture and mixed media works that celebrate, depict and examine society's relationship with fashion and style. It also offers a "couture" service that sources art for clients.
About Women's Global Empowerment Fund (https://wgefund.org/)
The Women's Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF) is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 that provides women in northern Uganda with economic, social, and political opportunities. WGEF runs several unique programs that aim to build social capital and increase the potential for women's empowerment and success. These include providing women with access to micro-credit loans, business and leadership development training, as well as literacy and health initiatives. The mission statement of WGEF is to "empower women through economic, social and political programs; creating opportunities while addressing inequality, strengthening families and communities."
"I'm hopeful because my children will go to school. I'm peaceful because now I am sure I can have what to eat today and tomorrow." Joan, WGEF micro-loan beneficiary- Omoro District Northern Uganda
FILES AND MEDIA AVAILABLE: WGEF Breaking the Violence Training document, WGEF client quotes - letters and surveys, WGEF Literacy Program Report, Marie Claire article featuring Karen Sugar, Golden Women Tailoring Group-Micro-Loan recipients photo, David Kibuuka Bio and photo, Broadcast quality videos on WGEF's work in Uganda
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