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Philanthropic embrace of Puerto Rican women

Memorial Fund begins fundraising campaign to support non-profit organizations that defend women who are victims of violence

In order to contribute to social initiatives to protect women who are victims of violence at a time when this social evil has intensified in Puerto Rico, a new campaign was initiated this month to collect funds for the Shonali Choudhury Fund of Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico (FCPR).

Since 2015, the memory of Dr. Shonali Choudhury has inspired donations to support local non-profit community organizations dedicated to protect women’s rights, particularly those organizations that protect women from violence and educate them to protect themselves.

Shonali’s mother, Barbara Southard – retired professor of the Department of History at Universidad de Puerto Rico – established the Shonali Choudhury Fund as a way to perpetuate her legacy after she passed away due to a brain tumor. Shonali, who was born and grew up in San Juan, stood out for her qualitative research on sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico and for the feminist outlook of the courses in Public Health that she taught as professor at the University of Miami. Shonali was drawn to causes that addressed the disparities and disadvantages that women face. She did not promote charity, but the empowerment of disadvantaged women.

“The establishment of the Fund has allowed me to honor the legacy of my beloved daughter. My work raising funds for the cause she passionately supported has deepened my understanding of the challenges faced by women in our society, particularly in the current environment of social dislocation caused by the COVID 19 pandemic,” says her mother.

Since the establishment of the Fund, Barbara, together with a group of friends, has embarked on an annual fundraising adventure to raise funds for organizations that work to promote the cause dear to her daughter’s heart. The goal in 2021 is to support community organizations that will work for the protection of women by offering programs that encourage the empowerment of victims of stalking, harassment and assault as well as domestic violence, and thus help to avoid tragedies like the deaths of Andrea Ruiz Costa and Keishla Rodriguez Ortiz.

To donate, visit www.fcpr.org. From the main menu, tap DONATE NOW. Once there, follow the instructions and select the Shonali Choudhury Fund when donating.

The Fund has awarded a total of $26,000. The non-profits that received support offer the following services, among others: shelter and protection, legal advice, guidance to achieve financial independence, and therapy to overcome emotional trauma. Las organizaciones beneficiadas son: Casa Protegida Julia de Burgos, Centro de la Mujer Dominicana, PROMANI Inc., Hogar Ruth Albergue para Mujeres y Taller Salud . A Fund committee that includes a representative of the FCPR does a rigorous evaluation of each proposal before awarding funds.

Thank you for your donation!

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