The Lotus Circle is a community of committed individuals working together to empower girls and women across Asia through the Women's Empowerment Program. By joining the Lotus Circle, you will enable girls and women to change their lives.
"Asia is thriving, but women and girls are still not encouraged to be leaders. They are also seriously at risk and vulnerable to violence, ill health, and poverty. The statistics are sobering, but to me they serve as a motivation. I was born in Asia and was lucky – I was educated and encouraged. But it could have gone another way." - Lotus Circle Founding Member Masako Shinn (Read an interview with her in The Asia Foundation's blog, In Asia)
"The Asia Foundation's Women's Empowerment Program has a proven track record and is among the most innovative we have witnessed. It is a true model for others to emulate, having improved the lives of so many women and girls throughout Asia. We are proud to be founding members of the Lotus Circle." - Michael and Victoria Callen
Meet the Lotus Circle Advisors.
3rd Annual Lotus Leadership Awards Luncheon
The Lotus Leadership Awards recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that have made major contributions to the well-being of women and their communities in Asia. At this 3rd annual event, The Asia Foundation's Lotus Circle highlighted its work on human trafficking - one of the world's foremost human rights abuses. Read more about this event here.
Become a Member
To become a Member of the Lotus Circle, please make a donation to the Women's Empowerment Fund of $1,000 or more. Your membership enables us to expand our current programs and launch new ones to help women leaders throughout Asia forge new paths and inspire change in their communities. We look forward to learning more about your vision for improving the lives of girls and women in Asia!
As a Lotus Circle member you will receive:
- Updates on innovative programs for women and girls that are made possible through your support;
- Special invitations to exclusive events and gatherings;
- Opportunities for site visits with our expert local staff and partner organizations where you can learn about the impact of your contribution first-hand; and,
- The Asia Foundation Bulletin
Girls' Education in Afghanistan
Thanks to the generous support of Lotus Circle members and others, The Asia Foundation secured two matching grants from the National Geographic Society and the Sheridan-Urbanski family raising a total of $160,000 in 2010 for girls' education in Afghanistan. Major improvements were made to two schools in Kabul severely damaged by years of conflict. These include roof repairs, refurbishing classrooms, and renovating the community conference hall. Additional funding from the Janet Ketcham Family Foundation provided three new classrooms and 325 desks. Together, these schools provide education for over 6,000 Afghan girls!
Microcredit for Poor Women in Aceh, Indonesia
Launched in collaboration with United Way International and with the support of our generous Lotus Circle donors and others, lending cooperatives throughout Aceh are administered by local women and have provided loans to 42 women's groups that have a combined membership of over 1,500 women. These loans are enabling entrepreneurial women to seize emerging economic opportunities and help their communities rebuild after the devastating 2004 tsunami.
Vocational Training and Job Placement for Disadvantaged Women in Vietnam
The Lotus Circle launched a vocational training program in Can Tho, Vietnam for disadvantaged women and those at risk of trafficking and exploitation. This program trains women in market-based skills and assists with job-placement after the training is completed. Participants in the program are being trained in culinary arts and hotel services, and will receive assistance to find jobs in the growing tourist industry. With additional Lotus Circle support, we recently expanded this successful program to include HIV-positive women in the province of Phu Tho.