2016 27th february

Nine French corporate foundations join forces for women

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Nine Foundations – AIR FRANCE, CHANEL, ELLE, KERING, ORANGE, RAJA-Danièle Marcovici, Sanofi Espoir, SISLEY-D’Ornano and Solidarity AccorHotels – have joined forces for the first time to address the situation of women around the world through a major audiovisual event entitled “WE ARE WOMEN”.

Nils Tavernier[1] has directed a series of 11 short programmes, produced by Imagissime, which will be broadcasted on all France Télévisions channels and websites from 5 to 15 March 2016.

Meeting women in China, Cameroon, Senegal, Nicaragua, the United States, Ethiopia, France, Cambodia and Brazil, “WE ARE WOMEN” reveals the exemplary paths these women have chosen through a series of highly intimate portraits, filmed in their homes with their loved ones and in the places that are symbolic of their actions.

These 11 portraits also demonstrate the astounding work carried out on a daily basis by the associations supported by these nine foundations. Their commitment to improving maternal health, fighting violence against women, encouraging economic empowerment through training, and promoting access to education and rights, is highlighted through the accounts of these 11 women, who can now stand on their own two feet, and support their communities thanks to these organisations.

Each portrait depicts an issue that must be tackled to ensure women’s rights and serves as a reminder of a situation that, although progressing in some areas, continues to represent a big challenge.

Karine Guldemann, Chief Representative of the ELLE Foundation, is behind the project. For her, the empowerment of women is both a victory and the solution to a world that is moving forward; by changing their daily lives, women can transform the lives of their families, communities, and even their countries.

This collection points to a dynamic and innovative example of patronage. The nine foundations participating in this project are convinced that joining forces to support a single cause will have an important impact. Although from different industries, all these foundations have their own strong identities and share the same values of commitment and solidarity.

Find out more at:

# WeAreWomen   #LeurHistoire   #EnAvantToutes

Press contact: Marie-Camille Aubagnac: + 33 (0)1 45 38 19 16 –

Founded in 1992, the Air France Foundation has been supporting projects in favour of children, a cause dear to Air France staff. It finances projects in favour of sick, disabled and underprivileged children in countries where Air France operates. The Foundation is motivated by the conviction that access to education, training, leisure and culture is the best way for young people to arm themselves for life. For over twenty years, the Air France Foundation has funded over 1,200 projects in France and worldwide, thanks to a close partnership with associations and the support of members of staff.

Deborah’s story (Brazil)

Debora comes from a favela in Rio. At the age of 17, she fell pregnant for the first time. She left school in 9th grade. Because she was pregnant at such a young age, Deborah could not work and still lives in precarious conditions today. She is now 25 years old and is expecting her fourth child.

Terra dos Homens association

The CHANEL Coporate Foundation was created in 2011 to support and accompany projects improving the social and economic condition of girls and women in the world. It promotes access to economic resources and entrepreneurship, education and training, leadership and decision making, health and social protection, sports and culture supporting social and economic integration.   

Tiné’s story (Senegal)

As a farmer in the Kayar area, Tiné has worked the land for more than 30 years and is president of the national network of rural women. Supported by the Enda Pronat association, she now trains women to healthy and sustainable agriculture practices and encourages them to make their voices heard and assert their rights. She campaigns for equality between men and women in access to agricultural land.

ENDA PRONAT association

The ELLE Foundation, created in 2004 by the Lagardère Active Group, supports projects run by Non-Governmental Organizations to promote women’s emancipation, girls’ education, unskilled women’s vocational trainings in France and abroad.

The ELLE Foundation is used to establish partnerships with all companies or organisms, which can emphasize its action. Twelve years after its creation, the ELLE Foundation has supported more than 70 projects and contributed to help and empower thousands of women all around the world.

Min’s story (Cambodia)

Min left school at a very early age to work and help her family. Thanks to the NGO Friends International, she resumed her studies to learn how to read and write, and to start a training program as a beauty therapist.

Friends International association

Launched in 2009, THE KERING CORPORATE FOUNDATION combats violence against women. In line with Kering’s operations, the Kering Foundation’s combats focus on three regions with a key cause selected for each one: sexual violence in the Americas; harmful traditional practices in Western Europe (France, Italy and United Kingdom); domestic violence in Asia (China). The Kering Foundation supports NGOs’ projects and social entrepreneurs and organizes awareness campaigns involving the 38 000 Group’s employees.

Samantha’s story (United States)

Samantha is 21 years old and studies music at Syracuse University. She has been a victim of rape twice during her time at college. Now, she is involved in the “It’s on us” campaign, which combats sexual violence on American campuses.

Generation Progress association

Xia Ying’s story (China)

A victim of domestic violence, Xia Ying pressed charges against her husband. Following a long legal battle, she won the case but has been waiting to see her son again for the last two years.

Association Maple Center

The Orange Foundation committed to three areas of philanthropy: education, health and culture.
In relation with Orange's core business, it hopes to use digital technology to help populations in these three areas, such as young people who are struggling at school or who have no qualifications, women in unstable situations and people with autism to help them better integrate into society.
The Orange Foundation takes action to ensure that digital technology, which has become essential, is an opportunity for all. A digital solidarity foundation, it is currently active in 30 countries, with 8,000 committed employees.

Mrs Adamou Hawaou’s story (Cameroon)

A few years ago, she could neither read nor write. Today, Amadou Hawaou leads an association which fights illiteracy in Cameroon. Originally from a poor neighbourhood in Yaoundé, she never went to school. Forced into marriage at the age of 16, she found herself on the streets with four children following the death of her husband.

Hausa Women's Association for Development (AFHADEV)


For almost 10 years, the RAJA-Danièle Marcovici’s Foundation, working under the aegis of the Fondation de France, has been has been working to secure greater freedom and better living conditions for women all over the world. Funded by the RAJA Group, every year the Foundation supports community projects in such domains as education and training, professional integration and support, campaigning against violence and defending women’s rights. Since its creation in 2006, the Foundation has co-financed 330 projects in 46 countries reaching over 55,000 women and distributing almost €3.8 million.

Antonia’s story (Nicaragua)

Antonia lives in the neighbourhood of Pantanal, a shanty town in Granada, where women are particularly affected by unemployment and poverty. Thanks to the Habitat Cité association, she has learnt building skills to build her own house straight from clay. She now trains other women to do the same.

Habitat Cité association

The Sanofi Espoir Foundation was created in October 2010 by the Sanofi Group to capitalize on over 20 years of international commitment to solidarity. It is tasked with helping reduce health inequalities among populations who are most in need by means of a socially responsible approach. Its work focuses on three main areas: fighting childhood cancers in developing countries, figh­ting maternal and neonatal mortality, and ensuring access to healthcare for the most vulnerable communities in France. In 2015, the Foundation supported the development of 36 programs that provided medical care to some 800,000 people and training for 2,900 health players in 31 countries.

For more informations:

Dr Mulu Muleta’s story (Ethiopia)

Mulu Muleta has dedicated her career to treating and taking care of women and as such, she has played a major role in the development of maternal and neonatal healthcare projects in Ethiopia. She is the second female gynaecologist/obstetrician in the country.

Waha association

The Sisley-d’Ornano Foundation was created in 2007 by Hubert and Isabelle d’Ornano, founders of the cosmetic company Sisley. The Foundation acts in the field of education, culture, health, environment and solidarity, in France and internationally. Philippe d’Ornano, Sisley’s President: « We are personally involved in each of our projects. The Foundation supports a wide variety of initiatives, from the creation of a shelter for homeless women to a program to tackle school failure. No matter the project’s size or scale, what really matters is that our action proves to be useful, on the long term ».

Alexandra’s story (Paris, France): 

Alexandra has a two-year girl to whom she would like to read stories, something she cannot do as she can neither read nor write. After a long period of inactivity and precarious accommodation, thanks to ARES and its readjustment to working life workshops, Alexandra found a new job, self-confidence and the necessary strength to relearn basic knowledge.

ARES association

Solidarity AccorHotels aims to combat the economic and social exclusion of very vulnerable people through professional insertion. To achieve this, it focuses on two types of initiative: vocational training by supporting apprenticeship programs, and economic development by supporting and creating revenue-generating activities suited to local cultures and needs.  AccorHotels employees are involved in every project and their involvement ensures that hospitality of the heart extends beyond borders.

Hafidha Sahal’s story (Marseille, France):

Hafidha Sahal lives in Marseille, she dedicated her life to her family, her children. She left school at a young age and did not have the chance to study. In 2015, she decided to submit her application for the “Des Etoiles et de Femmes” project launched by the Marseille association, la Table de Cana. She was chosen among 90 women from Marseille’s northern neighborhoods to follow a 9-month cooking traineeship with the Chef of the Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port hotel.

La Table de Cana association

Ghada’ story (France)

In France, Ghada Hatem-Gantzer, head of the Delafontaine maternity ward of Saint Denis, works to improve women’s health. She is currently working to open a safe house, to help women victims of violence and sexual mutilation. This “House” is a project supported by several foundations, as Air France, ELLE, Kering and Raja-Danièle Marcovici.

Delafontaine maternity, Saint Denis

[1] French filmmaker known for his films and documentaries for cinema and television.

Press contacts

Marie-Camille Aubagnac
+ 33 (0)1 45 38 19 16