As we close out another calendar year, I’m reflecting on all that we have achieved and looking ahead to many exciting opportunities to partner with communities around the world in their quest for better lives. Your support means a lot to us, and if you haven’t already made a donation to Counterpart this year, you can do so by clicking here. We will be very grateful for your contributions.
Counterpart’s mission is as relevant today as it was more than 50 years ago when we were founded by a priest and a movie star who forged an unlikely collaboration to affect lasting change in the South Pacific. Today, we are a truly global organization carrying forward that legacy by teaming up with partner communities who want peace and security, better health care, quality education, human rights, and dignity for all people regardless of gender, race, religion. We work here at home to ensure that the resources of community health foundations reach the poorest and most marginalized in service to their mission, and collaborate to deepen and expand these relationships. Poverty and degradation know no boundaries and Counterpart’s work aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
In one of the many successes we had this year, we acquired the WomenLead Institute, which allows us to advance women’s leadership around the world. Thanks to very generous and long-standing support from the ExxonMobil Foundation, we hosted the Global Women in Management training which offered us the privilege of welcoming 26 women from 21 different countries to the United States for a month-long intensive program designed to enhance all aspects of their leadership, including their entrepreneurial skills. If anything will make a dent in poverty it is a global network of skilled women finding common cause. I come from a long line of women entrepreneurs, starting with my great aunt Alice who was named Woman of the Year in 1956 by the company where she worked for 43 years. I love exchanging ideas with this dynamic network of women, and we look forward to seeing all that they accomplish with their newfound skills and support. I’m also excited about our new business partnership with the Lilly Pulitzer company, since Lilly herself was an amazing and pioneering entrepreneur.
We had enormous challenges and sadness this year with the attack on our offices in Kabul. We drew strength from the outpouring of support the global development community offered to us, and were inspired by our Afghan colleagues who were determined to carry out the work in spite of grave dangers and continued threats following the attack. The violence and instability in Afghanistan undermines the hard-earned progress we have witnessed during our more than 14 years operating there, but we remain hopeful for peace and prosperity since we know the talent and commitment of so many good people and organizations there.
One of our most dynamic programs charts the course for internet security and governance, a critical issue for protecting civic space and the activists who promote it. In this coming year, we will be expanding our network of activities and continuing to lead the dialogue around how to advance this critical cause.
I wish all of you well for this new year and decade. From all of our talented team around the world working on the front lines of poverty reduction and community development, we wish you a peaceful, happy, healthy, just, and prosperous New Year.
President & CEO