Women for Women International presented President Bill Clinton the 2011 “Champion of Peace Award” at an event in New York on Thursday night.

“President Clinton’s support of women and girls through Clinton Global Initiative has single-handedly shifted the discussion from a marginal to a central discussion essential to world stability and success,” said Women for Women International’s founder Zainab Salbi. “His personal passion and commitment on the issue has touched many hearts and led to much action and his dedication to bringing real change has led to solid impact on women’s wellbeing through corporations and NGOs action.”

Now in its 18th year, Women for Women International has helped over 316,000 socially excluded women, in 8 different war torn countries, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Congo, Iraq, and South Sudan. WfWI provides female survivors of war, civil strife, and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies.

In choosing President Clinton as the 2011 Champion of Peace recipient, Ms. Salbi said, “History shall always know that it was his commitment that shifted the issue and gave it much needed attention. I, and all the women I work with are grateful, grateful and grateful for his leadership.”

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who sits on the board of WfWI and is an advocate for investing in women, served as Honorary Chair of the gala, while ABC News anchor Katie Couric acted as master of ceremonies. Grammy nominee Melky Jean performed. One of the women who graduated from both the WfWI and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women programs in Rwanda received the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award. The 10,000 Women initiative is a five-year campaign to foster greater shared economic growth by providing 10,000 under-served women around the world with a business and management education.

The Women for Women International 2011 Gala was held at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan and also included a private tour of the Willem De Kooning exhibition. All proceeds raised at the event will benefit WFWI, whose year long curriculum of programs provides participants with direct aid, rights awareness and leadership education, as well as business and vocational skills training that lead to sustainable income generation.

Source: Women for Women

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