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ProsperityME and In Her Presence partner to launch Immigrant Women's Economic Empowerment program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 17, 2020 – Portland, Maine

ProsperityME: The Center for Financial Education and In Her Presence are proud to announce they are the recipients of the 2019 Women’s Economic Empowerment Grant from the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation. The three-year $250,000 award will fund “Charting Your Course,” a joint program helping low income immigrant women build pathways to financial security through personal empowerment and financial education.

The partnership brings together two proven, immigrant-led and founded organizations dedicated to empowering members of the immigrant community and driving economic growth in Maine. A Portland area pilot program will launch this spring, with participant recruitment beginning in February. A planned two-year program expansion into Cumberland, Androscoggin, and Kennebec counties will bring “Charting Your Course” to communities in central Maine bringing connection and economic opportunity to over 150 immigrant women.

“We are very pleased and honored to have been selected as the co-recipients” said Claude Rwaganje, Executive Director of ProsperityME, founded in 2008 to bring financial literacy education to the Central African immigrant community. ProsperityME has grown to include complimentary programs in education and housing and have helped over 4,500 immigrants take control of their financial lives.

According to Claudette Ndayininahaze and Abusana Micky Bondo, Co-Founders of In Her Presence, “Women and children make up three-quarters of all immigrants to the United States. However, women’s issues and the unique personal, economic and health challenges facing them are rarely talked in particular as part of public discourse.” In Her Presence, founded five years ago, currently has over 80 immigrant women from 16 different countries involved in self-empowerment programs supporting English language acquisition, mental and physical health, and career development.

"In light of the many ways that immigrants contribute to the Maine economy, we are proud to support this important financial education initiative for female immigrants in Maine," said a spokesperson for the foundation. "The Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation is delighted to partner with ProsperityME and In Her Presence. These two organizations have strong leaders, engaged boards and a dynamic collaborative project for three great communities."

Program Contacts:

Claude Rwaganje

Executive Director

(207) 797-7890

Claudette Nydayininahaze

Co-Founder of In Her Presence

(207) 347-9891

Media Contact:

Matteson Nadeau

Marketing and Event Manager


About the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation

Founded in 1987, the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation is a private charitable foundation with interests in the fields of education, healthcare, youth development, economic development, the environment, and human/social services for the underprivileged. The Foundation makes grants primarily to Maine-based organizations and projects, with a special focus on Central Maine.

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