Sylvia Charles, President of the Organization of Women of the Americas (OWA), and its Board of Directors, warmly welcome all those who enter this virtual space to discover who we are and what we do.

The page will provide you with information about our Organization and the various cultural and social activities that we organize to raise funds to support the work of charitable organizations and programs that address the problems faced by women and children in the Americas.


About Us

The OWA, a non-profit, charitable organization operated under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, was founded in 1997. Its members comprise lady Ambassadors, accredited to the Organization of American States (OAS) as Permanent Representatives or Observers, the wives of Ambassadors, who are Permanent Representatives and Observers to the OAS, Alternates, wives of Alternates, the wife of the Secretary General, the wife of the Assistant Secretary General; as well as associate members.

The principal objectives of the OWA are to sensitize the public on the needs and problems of women and children in the Americas, to strengthen the ties between member countries of the OAS; and to unite the diplomatic community and citizens of the Americas who live in the metropolitan area of Washington D.C., with a view to organizing and promoting fund-raising and other activities that assist institutions and programs that promote the well-being of women and children in the Region.  OWA also seeks to showcase the cultures of the member countries of the OAS.

Since it was founded, the OWA has made contributions to numerous organizations, including the Oncology Section of the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; the Caribbean American Intercultural Organization; the OAS program to help landmine victims in Central America; the “Casa Rosada” home for children with AIDS in the Dominican Republic; Programs of Mother Theresa of Calcutta’s Missionaries of Charity in Washington, D.C.; the Arc en Ciel Orphanage in Haiti; the “Mundo Mejor” Foundation in Colombia; and the Sisters of Mother Theresa in Peru.

The programs funded during the period 2010 and 2013 include:

Support for the reconstruction of Haiti, following the 2010 earthquake; program of Assistance to children with special needs in the rural area, El Salvador; assistance to adolescents and children in high risk social situations, Fundacion Arcoiris, Bolivia; program for boys, girls and adolescents experiencing social vulnerability, Hogar Escuela Dona Chucka, Dominican Republic; early childhood education (roving caregivers), Child Fund Caribbean, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines; provision of recreational activity for children in extremely poor communities, AOES, Costa Rica; capacity building and skills training for marginalized and vulnerable youth, Amazing Grace Foundation, Antigua; prevention of violence, exploitation and trafficking in persons, AMVA, Guatemala; acquisition of library furniture for the Audio-visual Centre, Escuela Fernando Garcia, Chile; breast and cervical cancer care, Pink Lily Cancer Care, St. Kitts and Nevis and Pediatric care, the Spanish Catholic Center, Washington D.C.

One of its main fund-raising events is the Food Festival of the Americas which is held on the grounds of the OAS in the spring. The Festival showcases the cuisines, music, dance and other performances from among the countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and Observer members of the OAS.  In addition, a raffle, offering patrons a chance to win excellent prizes such as airline tickets, traditional art work, electronics, and regional food and drink, is held during the Festival.

Another important activity is the Gala/Musical Night, which takes place in November in the Hall of the Americas.  For this event, as in the case of the Food Festival of the Americas, the OWA relies on its valuable partnership with  the Permanent and Observer Missions to the OAS as well as the generous support of many individuals and corporate entitites.



BOARD OF DIRECTORS (January 2014 - December 2015)

  President Dr. Sylvia Charles (Dominica)
  Honorary Chair Georgina Nuñez de Insulza (Mexico)
  First Vice-President Lisa Vasciannie (Jamaica)
  Second Vice-President Noris Alderson (Panama)
  Recording Secretary Michelle Maluwetig (Canada)
  Corresponding Secretary

Michelle Gibbons (Barbados)

  Treasurer Gabriela Pardi (Venezuela)
  Assistant Treasurer Maria Cristina Melero (Spain)
  Director Arena Ortega (El Salvador)
  Ex Officio Member Ana O'Brien (OAS Protocol Director)


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