Opportunity to Help Afghan and Rwandan Women Create Peace

Bidforpeace: World Wide
Opportunity to Help Afghan and Rwandan Women Create Peace
 To: POLITICAL EDITORS

NEW YORK,(rushprnews) April 13, 2007– The first new schools, shops and hotels are exciting in any new community, but in war-torn areas such as Rwanda and Afghanistan, they are the literal lifeline to peace and stability. Tangible evidence of peace-building results when women create businesses and community employment possibilities. When women are strong economically, they can sustain their families and strengthen their voices for peace.

One organization creating results and supporting women in this way in Rwanda and Afghanistan is the Business Council for Peace (Bpeace) with their ongoing work. An online auction (www.bidforpeace.cmarket.com) and the second annual Gala to be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, will raise funds for this important peace work. Bpeace’s international network of volunteer businesspeople help Afghan and Rwandan women build businesses so that they can sustain their families, create jobs, and strengthen their communities.

People all over the world can play a role building peace in these war-torn countries by participating in the online auction at www.bpeace.org. The Gala at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York City will attract more than 300 business professionals from the New York metropolitan area.

The 1994 genocide in Rwanda left thousands in poverty. Today, women are boosting the economy with exports of baskets, hand-knit sweaters, coffee and creating local service businesses including hotels, funeral parlors and beauty salons. In Afghanistan, under the Taliban, women risked beatings, even death, if caught conducting any sort of business, even home-based activities. Bpeace helps Afghan entrepreneurs unveil their true potential in businesses ranging from retail shops to fitness gyms.

“Over the past year, Bpeace’s membership has devoted thousands of volunteer hours to business activities that plant the seeds of prosperity,” relates Toni Maloney, the volunteer chairperson of Bpeace. “Among our projects are mentoring and first round funding to an Afghan woman who is building a new pre-school for 500 children; providing business consultation and mentoring to a Rwandan genocide survivor to open a new hotel that created 50 new jobs and sharing retail expertise with eleven Afghan women opening the first co-op shop in Kabul, thus providing a retail outlet for hundreds of artisans.”

The online auction is located at www.bidforpeace.cmarket.com and takes final bids on May 7th. The online auction will offer exciting experiences such as 3 days, 2 nights at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, plus a round of golf for two on their championship course. Visitors to the auction can also bid on prime tickets to a Yankees game, sailing the New York harbor on a classic schooner and a curator-led tour of the Guggenheim’s Richard Prince retrospective. Items are continually updated and the auction continues until May 7th. Live and silent auction items available at the Gala include tickets to the New York City Opera and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Also auctioned will be spa treatments, yoga lessons, stays at vacation homes and resorts, dinners at fabulous restaurants, a year of flowers from ZeZe Flowers and much more.

The Gala auction will also feature an exclusive work of art by Lisa Grubb, world-famous pop-artist, www.lisagrubb.com, entitled, Peace Dog. Lisa’s “Happy Dog” character is well known and collected and this new character promises be a collectible, especially in light of its philanthropic message. A live African drumming performance by The Jamani Drummers, a powerful women’s percussion group based in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, under the artistic direction of Maureen ‘Moe’ Jerant, will provide entertainment. The event will begin at 6:00 PM and end at 10:00 PM. For Gala tickets and information, call 212.851.6758, email celebrate@bpeace.org or go to www.bpeace.org for more information.

Individuals and businesses can donate auction items and purchase corporate tables at the Gala to promote social entrepreneurship and create jobs in these war-torn countries. Net proceeds from the Gala and the auction will help fund economic development programs for the women of Afghanistan and Rwanda.

About Bpeace

Bpeace has more than 200 volunteer business people who apply their talents, time and money to help women in war-torn regions build sustainable businesses through distance mentoring, on-the-ground training, providing access to international best business practices, financing and international markets. Bpeace members — all volunteers — believe that entrepreneurship creates a foundation for creating hope and stability. Bpeace has men and women business members throughout 23 states in the US, and in Canada, the UK, Austria and Australia. In conflict or post-conflict regions, Bpeace selects and assists the businesswomen most likely to succeed. These are women who demonstrate high potential by already operating businesses — often against all odds, and sometimes against cultural norms. Bpeace calls these emerging entrepreneurs Fast Runners because they are in the best position to create jobs for others, and to ultimately use their strong economic voices to work for peace in their communities. Bpeace is a 501(c) (3) organization; Federal Tax ID#20-1602122.

Contact: Jade Dressler, +1-212-427-9331, news@jadedressler.com; or Emily Bloch, +1-413-218-1826, ebloch@bpeace.org

SOURCE Business Council for Peace
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