Margaret McNamara Education Grants (MMEG) was founded in 1981 in memory of Margaret Craig McNamara, who dedicated her life to improving the lives of underserved women and children at home and overseas. MMEG was originally called the Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF), and was rebranded in 2015.
Why investing in Women's Education Matters
Financing women's education is at the core of our programs. Investing in women’s and girls’ education is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth. At MMEG, we strive to empower women from developing countries through educational grants. We believe that education is essential to empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to reduce poverty, improve environmental sustainability and protect human rights.
Margaret McNamara has been recognized for her support to children's literacy in the United States, through the non-profit organization, "Reading is Fundamental." She expanded her advocacy for women and children worldwide during the 1970s, when her husband, Robert McNamara, served as World Bank President.
Margaret McNamara worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the importance of education for women and children in developing countries, and became a powerful advocate for women and children living in poverty. She was especially concerned that women and children not be overlooked in World Bank projects, and strongly advocated for the education of girls, and awareness of women and their needs.
Following Margarets's tragic death in 1981, two women who worked closely with Mrs. McNamara at the World Bank Family Network (WBFN), Babs Knox and Ruby Wingate, spearheaded the creation of the Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund. In gratitude for her support to the WBFN, and to pay tribute to her life-long dedication to improving the well-being of women and children worldwide, the Fund would provide financial resources to women from developing countries, enrolled at US universities, who were committed to returning to their countries to work to improve the well-being of women and children.
MMEG and the World Bank Group Today
Mrs McNamara was an effective advocate for The World Bank's Family (WBFN) Association, organized in 1970 by World Bank spouses, with the goal to better serve the needs of many World Bank families. Forty-six years later, the World Bank Family Network (WBFN) has become an effective provider of support services to thousands World Bank families, achieved almost entirely by volunteers.
Today WBFN provides offices space, in-kind and logistics support, and catalyzes passionate volunteers willing to serve the MMEG's cause.