HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – July 11, 2018 – Over US$750,000 was raised at the Asian University for Women (AUW) Hong Kong Support Foundation’s second annual fundraising benefit “In Honour of Daughters,” providing 50 one-year scholarships for women from the most marginalized communities in Asia — including Rohingya migrants and factory workers — to study at the liberal arts university based in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
More than 350 guests attended the benefit presented by title sponsor Lancôme and main event sponsor Marriott International at the JW Marriott Ballroom in Hong Kong. Guests were inspired by a lively panel discussion focused on the need for urgent action to accelerate progress in the region, titled “The Time is Right. Now.” The esteemed panel featured AUW Chancellor Cherie Blair; AUW Patron & Former Chief Secretary Anson Chan; and writer, activist & AUW Trustee Marina Mahathir. Emcee Sean Lee-Davies, a respected environmental activist and filmmaker, moderated the panel and enlightened the audience with poignant commentary. Corporate sponsors included Advantage Partners, Mayer Brown, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, Point72, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, FleishmanHillard, L’OREAL, Citi and many more.
Storytelling on the evening also featured a fireside chat with outstanding AUW graduates Kimsru Duth from Cambodia (AUW ’13) and Shekeba Ahmadi from Afghanistan (AUW ’18), led by Mallika Kapur of Bloomberg Asia Live. The women shared their ambitions for the future and their plans to lead change in their home countries. “One day, I hope to be the CEO of Amnesty International,” proclaimed Ahmadi. Kimsru Duth, from the first graduating class of AUW is now working in her hometown of Siem Reap for an NGO dedicated to educating and empowering youth in Cambodia.
Exclusive, culturally enriching experiences from around the world were on live auction presided by Christie’s Chairman of Asian art Jonathan Stone, including once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that included a private tour of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, and a private lunch and tour of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur with Marina Mahathir, daughter of newly re-elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed. Hong Kong Tatler covered the evening, sharing photos on their society page and publishing a comprehensive feature in celebration of AUW’s 10th anniversary.
The event was the second annual gala dinner organized by the AUW Hong Kong Support Foundation, and the funds raised will provide 50 one-year scholarships, allowing the most promising young women from marginalized communities around Asia and the Middle East to receive a high-quality tertiary education, changing their lives and communities forever.
“In Hong Kong, we tend to take gender equality and access to education for granted, but sadly it’s not the case in most of Asia,” said Lynne Anne Davis, Board Chair, AUW Hong Kong Support Foundation & AUW Trustee. “The warm response and incredible generosity that these women and their missions received at our benefit shows the Hong Kong community is making a meaningful difference — not only for the women of AUW, but for the region and the world as these students go on to transform their communities for the better.”
Sponsors & Partners
AUW wishes to thank the sponsors who made the benefit possible: Advantage Partners, AIA, Asia Alternatives, Awethentic Studio, Bloomberg, Brooks Brothers, Christie’s, Citi, Crystal Elegance Industrial Limited, Davis Polk, Debevoise & Plimpton, DFS, FleishmanHillard, FR Events, HCV Partners, Hong Kong Tatler, IREKA, Jack Morton, J.P. Morgan, Lancôme, Li & Fung, L’Oreal, Marriott International, Mayer Brown JSM, Media Outreach, MetLife, Morgan Stanley, Moving Concept, Point72, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Thomson Reuters, Western Asset Management, VF Corporation.
About Asian University for Women
Founded in 2008 and located in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Asian University for Women is the first of its kind: a regional institution dedicated to women’s education and leadership development — international in outlook, but rooted in the contexts and aspirations of the people of Asia. Students from 15 countries attend AUW. This University exists solely to support a rising network of women leaders, entrepreneurs and change makers from across the region. It seeks out women who have significant academic potential and demonstrate courage and a sense of outrage at injustice and are empathic to the woes of other people. A majority of AUW’s students are first in their family to enter university; and nearly all are on full or near-full scholarship funded by private donors from around the world. A majority of AUW graduates find employment in the private sector in their home countries while about 25% go on to pursue graduate studies. AUW graduates or former students have been admitted to Stanford, Oxford, Columbia, Brandeis, Surrey and a host of other leading universities in the world.
About AUW Support Foundation
The Asian University for Women seeks to graduate women who will be skilled and innovative professionals, service-oriented leaders, and promoters of intercultural understanding and sustainable human and economic development in Asia and throughout the world. The AUW Support Foundation, a 501(c)(3)-registered nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the principal source of funding mobilization for the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh.