Mission & History

Our Mission

The Global Fund for Widows is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering widows and female heads of households to overcome poverty through skills-based training, job creation, and micro-finance. Ultimately, our goal is to help widows achieve financial stability, self-sufficiency, accountability, and importantly, become a role model to her own children and to others.

The Global Fund for Widows applies its programs throughout the developing world by forming strategic partnerships with local NGOs, which are dedicated to the empowerment of widows. These local NGOs work in close collaboration with the Global Fund for Widows to develop unique solutions for empowering widows that are culturally and socially appropriate, as most importantly – Sustainable.

Moment of Obligation

Founder Heather Ibrahim-Leathers discovered a new career in philanthropy upon the passing of her grandmother in 2008. Eugine Awadalla was widowed in her mid-30s, with four young children, in a middle-class neighborhood in Alexandria, Egypt.  As a direct result of her widowhood, Ms. Awadalla slipped into abject poverty overnight as her rights to inheritance were egregiously ignored by her brothers-in-law.  She was forced to sell what little remained after addressing the healthcare debts of her late husband, and was forced to take desperate decisions such as selecting only one of her children to educate.  Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers realized in her grieving that this single event of widowhood destroyed the family, and all the generations that followed – indeed, the Event of Widowhood launched a vicious cycle of poverty.