Designer Gelila Assefa Puck and Superchef Wolfgang Puck Report Progress in Philanthropy Work in Ethiopia

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Gelila Assefa Puck is Founder and Chairman of DFFAF and a noted haute couture fashion designer. Her work has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and she is the focus of a major profile on CNN International. Her husband, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, has been the official caterer of the Governor’s Ball at the Academy Awards for many years and will repeat that role for the 2011 Oscars Ceremony on February 27.

We are now seeing tangible results of a dream I have had for years to provide vocational training and life-lasting skills to Ethiopian children who are most at risk.

Gelila Assefa Puck and her husband, Wolfgang Puck, are reporting major progress in their philanthropy efforts inside Ethiopia.

In January, Dream for Future Africa Foundation (DFFAF), founded by Gelila Puck to support opportunity and education in Africa, announced a $500,000 grant from the Annenberg Foundation that will be used to build and open the Gelila Assefa Puck Vocational Center in Aleltu, Ethiopia. The Center is located in a remote rural section of Ethiopia, 55 miles from the nation’s capital at Addis Ababa, and will initially provide three career-training programs: Informational Technology, Hotel and Tourism, and Design.

A foundation-sponsored fashion show on New Year’s Eve in Addis Ababa drew DFFAF board members and guests from as far away as Hong Kong and Los Angeles. The event, which raised additional money for the Ethiopian orphans sponsored by DFFAF, was held at the Sheraton Addis Hotel where guests also enjoyed an in-hotel concert by R&B music sensation R Kelly. Outreach efforts since the year-end events have raised more than $50,000 in additional funds, donated by DFFAF supporters for educational uses inside Ethiopia.

Gelila Assefa Puck is Founder and Chairman of DFFAF and a noted haute couture fashion designer whose work has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and is the focus of a major profile on CNN International. Her husband, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, oversees more than two dozen restaurants and affiliate companies across three continents and is a DFFAF board member. For many years, he has also been the official caterer of the Governor’s Ball at the Academy Awards and will repeat that role for the 2011 Oscars on February 27.

Said Gelila Puck: “I have been extraordinarily lucky in my life. My principal focus is certainly my family but I have never forgotten my Ethiopia where I was born. I am delighted that we are now seeing tangible results of a dream I have had for years to provide vocational training and life-lasting skills to Ethiopian children who are most at risk.”

About Dream for Future Africa Foundation

Dream For Future Africa Foundation was founded by Gelila Assefa Puck in 2010 and is dedicated to providing opportunity and equity for those most in need in Africa.

Gelila Assefa Puck is an internationally known fashion designer, and an award-winning international philanthropist who was born and schooled in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more than a decade, Ms. Puck has been active in supporting women’s global health initiatives and the advancement of orphaned children in Africa. Her commitment to her East African heritage and to the communities of her Ethiopian homeland was the subject of a recent and admiring major feature viewed by millions worldwide on CNN International.

The Gelila Assefa Puck Vocational Training Center, sponsored by the Dream For Future Africa Foundation and funded by a generous grant from the Annenberg Foundation, will be located in Aleltu, Ethiopia. An Information Technology lab and program will be the first phase of this new vocational complex. As the training center expands, the center plans to offer vocational programs in Hotel and Tourism and in Design and Sewing.

Dream For Future Africa Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization designated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Visit us at http://www.dffaf.org.

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