NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network, hosted its second biennial gala on Wednesday, November 15th at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, raising 2.5 million dollars.
The event came just weeks after two major awards were presented to His Highness the Aga Khan. The United Nations Foundation presented him with the Champion for Global Change Award. He later received the Asia Society's Lifetime Achievement Award - the Society's most esteemed - at the organization's Game Changer Award ceremony. Both awards recognized his decades of work, dedicated to improving the lives of people everywhere.
The gala honored the Aga Khan Foundation's 50 years of innovative programs that improve the quality of life for millions. A member of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the world's largest development organizations, AKF partners with communities across Africa and Asia to build better futures together.
This year's theme, "Educate Today for a Brighter Tomorrow," focused on the Foundation's pioneering work in education. A key factor in breaking the cycle of poverty is access to quality education. The Network makes long-term investments, from early childhood programs to universities, that benefit 2 million students annually. Aga Khan Foundation is particularly proud of its longstanding work to educate girls and women in some of the world's poorest and most marginalized communities.
The gala was attended by Prince Amyn Aga Khan and Aleem Walji, CEO of AKF U.S.A., along with 500 supporters. The amount of money raised surpassed the fundraising goal by half a million dollars. The event also raised awareness among leading members of the business, media, political, civil service and academic communities.
Addressing the attendees, Prince Amyn referenced the 50th anniversary of the Aga Khan Foundation by recognizing education, from early childhood to lifelong learning as the foundation of development and a prerequisite for the quality of life of an individual and community. His Highness voiced, "Education and the cultivation of intellect plays an important role in society. Aqil, or intellect, is not something to be cultivated, but an obligation."
Ali Velshi served as emcee and the keynote speaker was Dr. Vartan Gregorian, Ph.D. Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry performed "Borrow Mine" and Naznin Khimji and Karim Rehmat co-chaired.
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) partners with communities, nonprofits, businesses, governments and local leaders to make long-term investments, build permanent institutions and cultivate an active civil society. WWW.AKFUSA.ORG.
PHOTO LINK: Patrick McMullan Company
SOURCE Aga Khan Foundation