• Photo Credit: KickStart International

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Learn more about Building Tomorrow

1. Tell us about your mission.

Founded in 2006, Building Tomorrow’s mission is to galvanize communities to support thriving schools in underserved areas in Uganda and ensure all children can access an inclusive, transformative education. A thriving school is one which is supported by the community, effectively managed by school leadership, accessible by all children, and committed to producing positive student outcomes. With the support of 150 Ugandan university graduates recruited as Building Tomorrow Fellows and a corps of more than 3,400 Community Education Volunteers (CEVs, see below), we have brought 55,143 out-of-school children back to school, built 81 primary schools, and drastically improved learning outcomes for 13,001 primary learners through our remedial literacy and numeracy program, Roots to Rise. This is all happening in a country that is experiencing its worst education crisis in a generation, with 1.2 million children out of school even before the COVID-19 pandemic (UNESCO and UNICEF, 2013). Primary school completion rates in Uganda are among the lowest in East Africa; only 35% of children will complete the full seven years of primary education. Most worryingly, of those children who attend school, only 6% of Primary 4 students can read a paragraph, and only 2% can solve a simple math problem. These troubling statistics are at the core of why we seek to unite school and community actors in pursuit of better learning outcomes for all children.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has been a dedicated partner since 2013, generously providing biennial, unrestricted operational support for our programs. Though the scope of our work has evolved since 2013, The West Foundation has been steadfast in their commitment to our shared vision of a world where every child can access their full potential through a quality education.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is the West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Education is a global public good, and when adequately supported, creates a healthier and more prosperous society. The focus of our work has always been to ensure education is supported in the communities we serve and that our impact long outlives our programs.

Partners like The West Foundation help us to implement sustainable models, engage local community stakeholders and build their capacity to support access to quality education for their children. Our CEV program, for example, is comprised of some 3,400 parents, retired civil servants, and talented community leaders who wish to serve as a lasting voice for quality education in their communities. CEVs are empowered with valuable skills and an official platform through which they can effect positive change, and we have seen firsthand that CEVs can and will champion education long after our programs end.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

COVID-19 is exacerbating an already precarious education situation in Uganda, where nearly 1.2 million students were out of school and learning outcomes were severely lacking even before the pandemic struck. Today, some 20 million children across the country remain out of school, which is likely to continue until at least early 2021. The longer children are out of school, the more learning gains are lost. The international community recognizes the catastrophic effects of COVID-19 can only be fully reversed when education is a central part of the response, which is why we are scaling our efforts and launching the Tomorrow is Now initiative. The ultimate goals of Tomorrow is Now are to enroll all out-of-school primary children in school in five districts and to ensure they are up to grade level in literacy and numeracy. This initiative builds on achievements of the Thriving Schools program, which is a community-centered initiative led by Building Tomorrow Fellows and CEVs aimed at providing primary-age students with access to a thriving school. Tomorrow is Now will take place parallel to Thriving Schools by creating opportunities for local government – with the support of Building Tomorrow Fellows Alumni as Technical Advisors – to expand the reach of the CEV model and Roots to Rise program, thus making the program even more scalable and sustainable. This initiative is a massive undertaking, but the future of some 20 million students depends on us and other organizations setting the bar high to create a sea change.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Building Tomorrow’s work is continually inspired and informed by the communities we serve and partner with. We are locally led, as 70 of our 75 staff are East African. Everything we do is in close partnership with the Ugandan government because we believe it is the most sustainable way to enact systems-level change and scale efforts that are visibly improving learning outcomes for children.

6. How can people reading this help you?

The belief that we achieve more together than we can alone is at the heart of our work, which is why we are constantly looking to add new members to the Building Tomorrow fan club! Check out some ways you can join the team and support our work:

  • Network
    • Do you know some folks who might really like the work we’re doing and want to get involved? If so, we’d love to meet them and hope you’ll encourage them to drop us a note at info@buildingtomorrow.org.
  • Partner with Us
    • Our work comprises many components to improve student outcomes. In addition to the above, we also focus on making education more inclusive for some of the most vulnerable, including those with disabilities. We are currently busy adapting our Roots to Rise program for distance learning and working to develop Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) capabilities to bring learning to some of our most vulnerable out-of-school children. To learn more about areas for potential partnerships, please check out our website!
  • Join the Ambassador’s Council
    • The Ambassador’s Council is a group of motivated and passionate young professionals in the Indianapolis area who garner support for Building Tomorrow just because they want to! Click here if you’d like to learn more.
  • Become an Intern
    • Want to go a step beyond classic volunteering, and really contribute your time and talents to a specific project or two? If so, interning might be for you! Send us a note at info@buildingtomorrow.org.
  • Fundraise
    • Any contribution, no matter the size, will make an impact! You could donate for your birthday, organize a virtual 5K, or partner with a local restaurant for a dine and donate night – totally up to you! If you need help getting started, just reach out and we’d be happy to brainstorm the next best COVID-19 friendly fundraising opportunity.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We are working to achieve systems-level change, and our ambition is to eliminate all out-of-school children and help transform the way students learn in Uganda. Before COVID-19 struck, we had enrolled 55,000 learners through our Thriving Schools Program. Millions of children remain out of school as we write this, and we recognize how daunting this goal now seems – but this is why we rely on strategic partners to help us create expansive impact by investing heavily in local communities, teachers, and change-makers. We are always looking to add more partners like The West Foundation to our portfolio, partners who share in our vision and continually support our ambitious endeavors.

Photo courtesy: Building Tomorrow

Learn more about Care 2 Communities

1. Tell us about your mission.

Care 2 Communities (C2C) has created a new approach for community healthcare delivery in Haiti: we’ve combined a sustainable social enterprise model with philanthropy and a partnership with the Ministry of Health to deliver affordable, high-quality primary care in underserved communities. Our innovative approach effectively addresses a decades old challenge in Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation, where primary health care quality and accessibility are inconsistent and severely lacking.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

With the support of The West Foundation, C2C works to demonstrate significant strides towards our three central goals:

  • To guarantee that poor families are able to access high-quality health services
  • To improve health outcomes for local communities
  • To create viable social businesses that ensure health services to a community for the long term

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

As C2C expands its clinic network, we are constantly asking the question: are our efforts making an impact on the health of the communities we serve? To answer this question, we developed an initial Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework which was greatly supported by the West Foundation. We have since further structured our plan based on a detailed results framework to fully develop and implement the tools and processes needed to measure the specific indicators we have identified to reduce morbidity and mortality of adults and children in North and Northeast Haiti.

As sustainability is a core component of our model, C2C believes that providing high quality healthcare at an affordable price creates a predictable and manageable revenue source that ensures sustainability of services. We are proud to say our clinics have already achieved over 80% cost recovery on average (up from less than 70% just 2 years ago).

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Our unique model is delivering results. The momentum is building from our Public Private Partnership (PPP) as Haiti’s Ministry of Health has seen our success at improving efficiency and quality of care. C2C’s is now transitioning to scale with plans to rehabilitate 3-5 additional government clinics by year-end 2021. With our proven model and a very satisfied partner, C2C has a clear path to scale by taking on many more government clinics.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Our commitment to local capacity building and staffing. 95% of our staff is Haitian and based in-country. We also make every effort to procure supplies and equipment locally.

6. How can people reading this help you?

  • Learn more about C2C’s work to bring high-quality primary care to Haiti
  • Sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with how C2C is delivering quality primary care to vulnerable communities
  • Make a lifesaving donation or start a campaign of your own to support one of our many new or ongoing programs
  • Take action by helping us spread awareness of the need for quality healthcare in Haiti

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

With the success of our model, C2C is getting ready to scale but our only constraint is funding to commit to clinic expansion. While our social enterprise model lessens donor burden, philanthropic funds are needed to cover start-up clinic rehabilitation and operating costs. We welcome partnerships to expand our mission and work in Haiti!

Photo caption: Care 2 Communities

Learn more about H2O for Life

1. Tell us about your mission.

H2O for Life offers a service-learning opportunity designed to engage, educate and inspire

youth to take action to solve the global water crisis by raising awareness and funds to support

implementation of water, sanitation, and hygiene education (WASH) projects for global partner

schools.

H2O for Life activates U.S. youth to fight the global water crisis. We do this by engaging and

educating youth about water issues and the water crisis and they implement local actions and

lead service-learning projects that bring awareness and funding for WASH projects for schools

around the world.

H2O for Life’s unique program allows U.S. youth to be key partners in promoting solutions for

clean water locally and for their peers around the world. Through activities and projects, such

as “walks for water,” youth raise money to support clean water projects. H2O for Life’s student

to student, school to school approach allows youth to recognize that they can change the lives

of others around the world.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

Thanks to the generosity of The West Foundation, H2O for Life has been able to continue

pursuing and amplifying our mission to impact youth around the world. The West Foundation’s

support allows us to increase our recruitment of U.S. schools, teachers, and students, and helps

us create new educational resources for our stakeholders. The materials that we have created

broaden the impact of water resource conservation education around the nation.

H2O for Life involves students and educators in the design and dissemination of innovative and

compelling service-learning projects that raise awareness and funds to support WASH for our

global partner schools. These service-learning projects usually entail engaging the larger school

community in the conversations of water conservation and access. The more people that our

youth service-learning projects reach, the more assistance we can provide to schools in need

around the world. West Foundation’s support has been critical to increasing out impact.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is the West Foundation’s

philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation’s support with a two-year grant helped us become more sustainable and

allowed us to plan better for the future and be nimble when we needed to be. This spring when

Covid-19 spread throughout the world, H2O for Life was ready and adjusted quickly to the new

reality of distance learning. Our staff created new virtual tools and action activities that could

be done by individual students and shared with their school teams. Multi-year funding is critical

for the sustainability of nonprofits nationwide.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

This year has been a challenging year for everyone and especially for educators and global

humanitarians. There have been so many unforeseen and sudden challenges since the

beginning of the pandemic. However, we have been able to navigate and pivot to better meet

the needs of our stakeholders.

We have realized the importance of having easily accessible online educational materials for

students and teachers, so we have created an online program, “Water Guardians” that is

launching this school year focused on water scarcity and the conservation of water for grades 5-

8 that will inspire students to change their behavior and become champions of water and role

models for peers, parents and the community.

We have also recognized that there are certain communities that have been hit especially hard

by the pandemic, so we have focused a lot of energy and focus on projects in areas like the

Navajo Nation.

H2O for Life has always been able to help others learn about and engage with issues that are far

away. Now more than ever we need to be willing to learn about and help others at a safe

distance. We have the potential to keep teaching about the global water crisis and keep fighting

for clean water and sanitation at a time when people are realizing how desperately important

those issues are.

We have seen that students who participate in H2O for Life’s U.S. programs gain a personal

connection to the importance of water, cultural competency, and empowerment to be agents

of change. U.S. students develop critical thinking, problem solving ability, and project

management expertise. These skills are crucial for success in school and future careers.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

We would like people to know that the work we do is not just about water. Our organization

might be called H2O for Life, but water is simply the start of the conversation. What we do is

teach students about the importance of being aware of global issues and to care about how

those issues impact other people just like them. What our students learn is that water connects

to education, public health, economic prosperity, gender inequality, poverty, environmental

sustainability, and these issues impact people throughout their life. H2O is the start of our

organization’s name, but the “for Life” part is what we are all about.

History has shown us that youth education and activation are the most effective tools in driving

long-term change. H2O for Life is educating a generation of global citizens who are bettering

the world.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Since 2007, H2O for Life has educated and impacted over 723,000 U.S. youth about the global

water crisis who have raised over $3.7 million for nearly 1,000 water, sanitation, and hygiene

education projects for schools in the developing world helping over 414,000 global students

have clean water and sanitation.

Still, nearly half of the world’s schools lack clean drinking water, toilets, and hand-washing

facilities, putting millions of children at risk of disease. The problem is immense, and we need

to scale our work to solve the water crisis. If you are…

• A parent, prompt the idea to your student’s teacher about connecting with H2O for Life.

• An educator, consider bringing our program into your classroom.

• A student, bring our service project to your student council.

• A donor, please consider supporting our work! The ripple effects of donations spread

further than you think!

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

H2O for Life would like every student in the world have access to clean water, sanitation, and

hygiene by 2030. With climate change, population growth, and other factors putting pressure

on water resources around the world, it is imperative that we teach young people about the

importance of water conservation and water quality and empower them to be leaders of

change.

H2O for Life is inspiring students to be global citizens and leaders in their community through

taking local and global actions around water. But we need help to reach more students who can

impact their local community and raise funds to provide WASH to those in need around the

world. Please check out our website and resources at h2oforlifeschools.org and get involved.

Photo courtesy: H2O for Life

Learn more about Hesperian Health Guides

1. Tell us about your mission.

Hesperian Health Guides addresses urgent, emerging, and primary health needs, structural inequalities, and their root causes together with the people most directly affected. Our mobile apps, digital, and print tools help individuals and communities around the world take action and work to eliminate the underlying causes of poor health.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation’s grant support to Hesperian enables us to create, user-test, release, and distribute materials and health guides across issue areas of critical importance to physical and psychological well-being, including environmental health, workers’ health and safety, reproductive health, living with chronic illness and disabilities, children’s and primary health care. The Foundation also serves an invaluable role as a thought partner and connector.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation’s philanthropic support funds comprehensive, multilingual resources, such as Hesperian’s signature project, NEW Where There Is No Doctor. Institutional and individual donors often focus on a single disease, health issue, or country. The Foundation’s flexibility makes it possible for us to respond quickly to developments impacting people’s health and well-being, while maintaining momentum with our partners on multiple projects simultaneously.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Hesperian’s 300 health resources are available in over 85 languages. Our materials are used by millions of people annually in 221 countries and territories.

Hesperian collaborates with thousands of community health workers, peer promoters, medical professionals, movement leaders, and organizers worldwide. We partner with respect for the knowledge, skills, priorities, opportunities, and constraints that individuals and organizations possess. Together, we develop, publish, and share vital, user-centered information that is culturally appropriate and action-oriented.

Our approach to ensuring that all people have accessible, up-to-date health information is distinguished by:

  1. Clear language and illustrations in our world-renowned style with translations by native speakers skilled in presenting health information in easily understood terms.
  2. Harm reduction alternatives when the best response is just not possible.
  3. Global partner networks at the international, regional, national, and community levels nurtured with care over more than 40 years that facilitate rapid delivery of our life-saving information to the most vulnerable communities, hard to reach populations, and geographically remote regions.
  4. A trusted global brand to counter the infodemic of health rumors, hoaxes, fake treatments, and “cures” spread online and person-to-person in the absence of reliable, relatable health information.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Hesperian produces and shares easy-to-understand health information for people worldwide.

Hesperian strives for a world in which people and communities are equipped to achieve health for all. Our mission is to provide information and educational tools that help all people take greater control over their health and work to eliminate the underlying causes of poor health.

Hesperian’s long-term goal is Health for All, a systemic change that eliminates health disparities based on gender, sexual identity, ancestry, religion, disability, age, or citizenship. We will know that our vision is realized when individual and collective agency enables all people worldwide to address urgent, emerging, and primary health needs and their root causes effectively without fear of violence or other reprisal.

A woman-led organization since 1996, nearly all Hesperian’s small, dedicated staff have advanced technical skills, as well as organizing or advocacy experience related to one or more of our issues. Among others, we identify as women (82%), people of color (29%), and immigrants, members of immigrant households, or first-generation Americans (41%). Our staff includes bicultural/bilingual speakers of Chinese, French, and Spanish. Most of the native English speakers are proficient in one or more additional languages.

6. How can people reading this help you?

For over 45 years, Hesperian has worked a movement builder for social justice, to create a world where everyone has access to knowledge for action and can take action for health.

Here are three powerful ways to join us:

Use Hesperian’s mobile apps, digital, and print resources. Share them widely with your personal and professional networks. Many are free.

Partner with us through your organization or as an individual to translate, update, or test materials to ensure they are accurate and easy-to-use.

Tell the world your story and amplify our call for Health for All Now!

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

People’s ongoing health needs do not disappear when other health problems, like the COVID-19 pandemic, arise. They become more challenging and more essential to resolve than ever. COVID-19 made Hesperian adjust our operations, develop a new area of work to address the virus, and recalibrate our work plan.

Hesperian needs flexible short-term and multiyear funding to address three priorities, identified with our global partners, to mitigate the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people living in the hardest hit communities:

  1. Developing and releasing free NEW Where There Is No Doctor mental health modules in digital and PDF formats in multiple languages, including mental health. Hesperian is creating four chapters on mental health that will cover: 1) mental health promotion; 2) substance abuse; 3) trauma; and 4) perinatal depression.
  2. Expanding, translating, and promoting our Workers’ Guide to Health and Safety to ensure that labor leaders, organizers, peer promoters, and clinicians are equipped to effectively advocate, counsel or treat women in low-wage industries who are experiencing a “double pandemic.” Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation praised the first edition as “an incredibly practical, respectful resource…Full of accurate technical information and motivational stories.” This project takes a major step toward ensuring that low-wage workers, especially women, have the information they need to take action to protect their health— and can do so without fear of stigma, marginalization, or danger of violent reprisal.
  3. Continuing to get reliable COVID-19 information to countries and areas in the United States where underfunded healthcare infrastructure makes adults and children especially vulnerable to infection, severe illness, and co-morbidities that increase the likelihood of long-term health problems or death.

Hesperian released a free, downloadable COVID-19 Fact Sheet in early March. After enlisting over 40 partners, it is now available in 31 languages and formatted for accessibility to people with reading impairments. People in 163 countries and all 50 US states engage with it directly online. International organizations, including Communicating with Disaster-Affected Communities (CDAC) Network, Clean Clothes Campaign, and World Association of Medical Editors, link to it on their websites. So do public agencies, libraries, health associations, service providers, advocacy organizations, and media outlets across the US. In the past two months, more than 45,000 people have viewed this information on Hesperian’s website.

In May and June, we released additional resources requested by our partners with translations completed or underway in 20 languages:

  • Is your sickness COVID-19?
  • Staying well in the time of coronavirus
  • Caring for a sick person at home
  • Breathing
  • Health protection and security for protest marches
  • Making masks, face shields, handwash stations, hand sanitizer, and soap
  • Managing stress and anger

We regularly hear that these resources are transformational from people as geographically dispersed and culturally different as a doctor treating her patients in a family clinic in Zimbabwe to an advocate for indigenous migrant workers and their relatives in an isolated Mexican valley to the medical staff at a major public hospital in the US. Working with our translation partners, Hesperian will continue to update them, adding new languages, and ensuring that the content is consistent with the most current information and medical guidance.

Photo courtesy: Hesperian Health Guides

 

Learn more about Mali Health

1. Tell us about your mission.

Mali Health improves maternal and child health by supporting women, communities, and the community health system to create local solutions that ensure every mother and child has access to high-quality primary care.   

 2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

We are proud to call The West Foundation a partner and supporter. Not only is the philanthropic support needed and helpful, but we most appreciate being able to work with a partner who is aligned with our values. We believe in building local, bottom-up leadership, and in doing our work in a durable and equitable way. Being able to discuss the challenges we face, and have a partner truly understand them, makes such a difference in our ability to pursue our mission.

 3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation has been a long-term partner who shares our values of supporting community ownership and leadership of solutions to eliminate poverty and improve health. Creating more equitable community-led health systems, and putting women at the heart of them, takes time and the flexibility to adapt to local needs. Unrestricted support from the West Foundation allows us to be adaptive, by allowing us to meet the greatest needs. Their partnership allows us to be a better partner.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

We work with thousands of families across peri-urban communities in Bamako, using four different strategies to improve health. We have worked with communities to find effective solutions for over a decade and now that we have, we are looking for ways to sustain the impact of those solutions with local leadership and local financing. This is a challenging, long-term, and non-linear pursuit, but the one that is necessary and in our experience, the best way to ensure that every mother and child has access to quality healthcare, always.

 5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Everything we achieve is through a partnership with marginalized communities. We believe in strengthening existing community health systems by building local leadership and resources. We are guided by community priorities and community needs, not our own models and methods. 

Many look at the families and communities we serve and find them too poor to be active participants, often regarding them as the passive recipients of services only. We respect the agency and voice of all those with whom we work, and we support them in their desire to improve their communities and health. We believe that community ownership and leadership, especially among the most marginalized, is the key to achieving health for all in Mali’s decentralized health system.

 6. How can people reading this help you?

At the moment, donations are our greatest need. Responding to COVID-19 has required us to stretch in a lot of ways, including financially. We have had to spend less time fundraising and more time responding to ensure that the mothers and children we serve do not lose access to healthcare at this critical time. There is so much uncertainty for Mali and the world, but we are trying to prepare for whatever may be ahead. Buying a bar of our soap is another great way to support our mission, share the story of women we serve, and ensure that we all stay healthy during this pandemic.

 7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?  

We need more partners like The West Foundation! Not only is there a need for more funders to operate in true partnership with flexibility and trust, but there is a great need for funders who look at the impact a bit differently and put the needs of communities ahead of metrics, ideology, or marketing. For The West Foundation, good development is truly about the impact, and we truly need more partners like them.

Photo courtesy: Mali Health

Learn more about Nurturing Minds

1.Tell us about your mission.

Nurturing Minds’ mission is to support quality education, life skills, and entrepreneurship to help vulnerable girls in Tanzania become leaders in their communities. Nurturing Minds achieves its mission through the development and support of the SEGA Girls’ School, a secondary, boarding school that improves the quality of life for vulnerable Tanzanian girls.

Nurturing Minds and the SEGA Girls’ School address the issue of inequitable access to and poor quality of education opportunities for Tanzanian girls, especially the poorest, as SEGA targets girls who are out-of-school, extremely poor, are often orphaned, and/or subject to exploitative forms of child labor. SEGA was established with a purpose of improving the quality of life for vulnerable Tanzanian girls through the construction and running of a quality, academically sound, sustainable, secondary girls’ boarding school that fosters the development of strong values, life skills, healthy self-esteem, and independent thinking skills among its students. The majority of SEGA students were forced to drop-out of school due to extreme poverty, or were deemed at-risk of dropping out, but are bright and motivated. Selected from over 20 different communities from throughout Tanzania, half of the girls are orphans and most come from families who are too poor to pay the school fees necessary for them to enter secondary school.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has supported Nurturing Minds since 2015 by initially providing funding for SEGA’s Career Preparedness Program that was at the time fairly new. The goal of this program, which focuses on Form IV students who are in their last year of secondary school, is to ensure that each student has an individual plan following her graduation and is prepared to continue working toward her goal of leading a healthy, financially self-sufficient, and fulfilling life. The Career Preparedness Program helps students apply to continuing education, places students in internships, offers an entrepreneurship certificate, and assists with job placement. This program is critical to the success of our students making a smooth transition from SEGA to further education and employment. Since that time, The West Foundation has provided unrestricted funding that aids in the running costs of the SEGA Girls’ Secondary School and provides basic needs and a safe environment for girls to have the opportunity for academic success.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

SEGA uses a holistic approach to education that encompasses academic, social, and mental factors to help girls escape exploitation and have the communication and leadership skills to stand up for themselves. In addition to a rigorous academic program, SEGA teaches computer literacy; environmental stewardship; life skills that teach public speaking, self-awareness, sexual reproductive health and human rights; career counseling that aids in the transition from secondary school to continued education or employment; and entrepreneurship training where students learn business creation, marketing, management skills, and customer service.

The West Foundation helped us grow at a critical time allowing us to double our class size and increase our presence in the community. We now support 260 girls per year on the school campus and nearly 600 girls (and growing!) in our Msichana Kisasa (Modern Girl) Community Outreach program that brings our life skills program to girls in communities throughout Tanzania with an aim to keep girls in school and help to avoid early marriage and early pregnancy.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Tanzania has one of the lowest secondary school enrollment rates and one of the highest dropout rates for girls. Although the secondary school enrollment rate is similar for girls and boys, retention drops off significantly for girls as they reach adolescence, mainly because of a high rate of teenage pregnancy, pressure for young girls to get married, a lack of adequate toilet facilities, and high levels of sexual harassment at school. In addition, financial barriers to attending school and deeply entrenched gender roles relegate girls to domestic duties.

SEGA removes barriers to education and impacts students’ lives by providing a quality academic education while nurturing each girl toward being an empowered young woman, capable of planning and shaping her own future. SEGA has demonstrated that poor girls, given basic needs, safety, and remedial learning can have academic success. Seven classes of students have graduated with very high pass levels (97-100% compared to 70% nationally). In 2020, 100% of graduates were eligible to go on to continuing education programs in nursing, teaching, business, non-profit management, and A-levels (an additional two years of advanced level high school required to enter university). Currently, 16 SEGA graduates attend university. Continuing education scholarships are provided for every SEGA student who chooses to pursue that path.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

SEGA has a major effect on its students in knowing their human rights, being able to speak knowledgeably and confidently, and teaching them a range of skill sets that help them tackle the myriad societal issues affecting their lives negatively. Each girl who passes through SEGA’s program graduates knowing that she has the same intrinsic value and the same rights as anyone else on this earth.

6. How can people reading this help you?

  • Visit the school and stay at the SEGA Lodge!
    • We are unique in that we offer accommodations for up to 24 people on our 30-acre campus that is securely protected by a gated, supervised entrance and fenced perimeter. Visitors are encouraged to share your skills and expertise with SEGA students such as computer training, media projects, arts/crafts, or sustainable farming. In return, SEGA students will give you lessons in preparing Tanzanian snacks, traditional dancing, and engage in storytelling and debate. Revenue from the Lodge provides a critical element to SEGA’s financial sustainability goals.
    • https://www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org/involved/#stay-at-sega
  • Sponsor a SEGA student.
    • Sponsoring a student at SEGA is a meaningful way to support our important work and connect with and follow the progress of one SEGA student. It provides a scholarship for their education and gives you first-hand experience seeing how your contribution to the school is making a difference, offers a cultural exchange and helps girls improve their English. Committing to 4 years is a great and stable way for the girls to get to know their sponsors, and also for you to cheer them on throughout their time at SEGA.
    • https://www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org/donate/#sponsor
  • Donate
    • Whether you choose to make a general donation, or contribute to our student sponsorship program, we are committed to keeping you informed about how your support is making a difference.
    • https://www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org/donate
  • Volunteer
    • In Tanzania
      • Volunteering at SEGA is a great way to have a positive impact on the lives of every student at the school. We offer week-long or three-month service learning opportunities for volunteers that offer capacity-building skills such as English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Marketing and Communications.
    • In the U.S.
      • Your help is critical to our success! There are many ways to volunteer with Nurturing Minds to feel connected to SEGA and the students. Join (or start) a regional chapter, become a school partner by starting a SEGA club at your school. Engage your church or community group to become involved.
    • https://www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org/involved

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Our deepest need is financial support for salaries and training for SEGA’s 22 teachers.

The SEGA School’s academic success depends on well-educated and highly qualified teachers and teacher-training. Throughout Tanzania, insufficient investment in the educational system has resulted in extremely high failure rates due to poorly trained teachers and a Tanzanian pedagogy that stresses top-down, rote memorization. This has created a barrier to advancing education across the country.

SEGA knows that its teachers are the glue that holds the school together and are the role models who inspire our students. SEGA does its best to select and retain strong, qualified teachers who adhere to a participatory approach to education. They are supported through ongoing teacher training and peer observation, encouraged to continually provide input to improve the school, and given a competitive salary in an effort to reduce a traditionally high teacher turnover rate.

Photo courtesy: Nurturing Minds

 

Learn more about ASAP Empowers

1. Tell us about your mission.

A Self-help Assistance Program’s (ASAP) mission is to cultivate self-reliance for women and youth through entrepreneurship and education projects and to foster cross-cultural understanding. For nearly thirty years ASAP has created and implemented projects that have helped over 100,000 families worldwide become self-reliant. This is achieved by collaborating locally and internationally with other NGOS, individuals, companies, and foundations.

Today, Tools for Empowerment (TFE) in Newnan GA, works to provide trade tool kits to vocational school graduates around the world.  These young women and men graduate with the knowledge and drive to succeed in their respective trades; but without tools oftentimes they are still unable to find independence. Working in partnership with The Salesian Missions of Don Bosco, who provide vocational skills training in 130 developing countries, ASAP collects and restores local tool donations for use by successful graduates. These young people are then able to practice their trade, provide for their families, rebuild their communities, and reap the emotional benefits of independence. To date, ASAP has provided tools to over 1,600 students in Haiti, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.

Currently, we are collecting and restoring tools for a new collaboration in Peru. Our volunteers remain diligent in preparing these kits for young women and men in an effort to promote self-reliant communities in this part of the world.

We also practice what we preach and work to generate program-related income for ASAP. Our longest-running endeavor, “Tinovaka” (‘We build’ in the Shona language), was a carpentry-with-production training center in Zimbabwe. Local residents gained training in carpentry while building school furniture kits that were later purchased by international donors for use in rural schools. This project covered overhead costs for ASAP for ten years while providing training and tools for over 100 carpenters annually. Further, these schools benefitted from both the new furniture as well as the local carpentry expertise to maintain furniture and school buildings in their remote rural area.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation was essential in providing vital funding for our Tools for Empowerment program. Since the initial grant, ASAP has gone on to help over 1,600 families worldwide. In addition to this assistance and program, The West Foundation has also driven our marketing strategy and helped us increase recognition within our community.

 3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

While tool donations help us create tool kits for vocational school graduates, philanthropic support is equally as important to continue our mission. With your help, we are able to fund expenses such as purchasing cleaning materials to refurbish tools, pay for gas when picking up donations from the community, and providing our volunteers with a space to clean and package tools. These donations keep our program running so that we may focus on gathering the right tools for the right students.

 4. How are you realizing your potential?

ASAP has created multiple programs to foster self-sufficiency in communities plagued by poverty or a lack of opportunity. Our partnerships with international organizations help further our mission and TFE creates a tangible program both locally and internationally. We are constantly moving forward and helping those we can along the way.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

ASAP is a labor of love; working to bridge divides, foster cross-cultural understanding, and strengthen our common humanity. Only when we work together across cultures for a common goal can we achieve sustainable, positive change that overcome stereotypes, quell fear, and help create World Citizens.

6. How can people reading this help you?

You can go to our website, asapempowers.org and click-on “Ways to Help”. Anywhere in the world, you can hold a fund raiser to support our work. Be creative!  Dedicate your next marathon, bake sale, or event to help foster cross-cultural understanding and self-reliance. Choose Click & Pledge, Mighty Cause, GoFundMe, or Global Giving. Your tax-deductible monetary donation is welcomed too. If you are within driving distance to Newnan, GA or Peachtree City, GA – we can always use your tools or your time!  We accept hand tools, power tools, sewing machines, and gardening tools to name a few. Many of our volunteers hold tool drives in their neighborhoods, at churches, or within their businesses. At the very least, simply spreading the word about ASAP and our projects goes a long way in helping us connect with communities.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We desperately need a permanent place to call our own! We currently rent space in a warehouse that while allows our volunteers a workshop, is in a desolate location and just does not have the space or facilities we need to succeed (like running water!). Any donation towards this goal will go far in helping us root and grow within our community and help change lives worldwide – one tool at a time.

Learn more about blueEnergy

1. Tell us about your mission.

blueEnergy works to create a more equitable, sustainable world by empowering healthy families and resilient communities. We work in direct, long-term partnerships with communities in Nicaragua and Ethiopia to unlock leadership capacity and sustainable access to essential services in themes of renewable energy; food security; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH). We work in an integrated and holistic manner.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The story of blueEnergy is ultimately told in two elements. First, our deep commitment to unlocking access to basic services in partnership with marginalized and vulnerable communities. We achieve this by supporting the development of leadership capacity within the communities, fostering cross-sectoral partnerships of action, and direct technical intervention delivery. Second, we believe deeply in projecting our success throughout our network. This takes the form of knowledge sharing, partnership with other organizations, capacity building, and promoting South-South collaboration. The West Foundation’s organic approach to funding gives us the mobility and agility to respond to timely needs both in our community development and global projection through knowledge sharing. Yet what truly sets The West Foundation as a leader in their space is the true partnership mentality. The Foundation actively promotes connections within their portfolio, germinates new ideas, and serves as a catalyst to ensure leaders within their portfolio are supported, engaged, and communicating.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Unrestricted funding is often the most difficult to secure. Unrestricted funding with an entire network of partnership and accompaniment is rarer even still. The West Foundation’s philanthropic support is difficult to value because the partnership with the Foundation implies more than just funding support. We are able to use the funds to support our most timely or difficult to fund challenges, which unlocks our internal ability to be sustainable, efficient, and responsive to the needs of communities that are marginalized and vulnerable. The willingness of Foundation staff to be a sounding board thought partner, and resource represents the magical X factor often lacking between Foundations and field partners. blueEnergy values the relationship, not just the funding, of The West Foundation deeply and that partnership represents a foundation to our success.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

blueEnergy has been working in Nicaragua for 15 years, unlocking access to basic services on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua for some of the most vulnerable indigenous communities in the region in the themes of water, sanitation, and hygiene; renewable energy; and food security. Approximately five years ago, we began a long-term partnership in Ethiopia to serve renewable energy access needs, including in refugee camps. We continue to explore and look for opportunities to share our rich learnings, experience, and methodologies with our partners. While we formed to serve a very specific set of needs in Nicaragua, we have always prioritized our global knowledge sharing and over the past few years have begun orienting our international administrative structure to support that effort, supporting the evolution of local partners, professional networks, leadership capacity, and South-South knowledge sharing.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

We are, at our core, catalysts. We are intervention-agnostic and are always seeking growth, partnership, and innovation. We believe that bottom-up, decolonized, and sustainable development is achievable when you have a spectrum of actors who are working collaboratively to build a more sustainable, equitable world. While we use technical interventions as the vehicle to achieve that vision, at our core we unlock capacity within the community. While this work is slow, deliberate, and methodical, it is the true key to sustainable development and empowerment.

6. How can people reading this help you?

blueEnergy is always looking for partnerships. We are a small, agile organization deeply focused on investing our resources into our mission. As such, we actively seek to grow our network of supporters in a direct and organic manner. We are always excited about an opportunity to discuss our approach, methodology, tools, or resources and to learn from others in our network of influence. From donors to community members, we view our constituency as an interlocked network that must operate with transparency, integrity, and long-term commitment. We look forward to welcoming new people, such as yourself, into that network of action as we work to continue to empower healthy families and resilient communities.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Get the word out! We build our support through word-of-mouth, boots on the ground visits, and meaningful relationships.

Photo courtesy: blueEnergy

Learn more about ProLiteracy

1. Tell us about your mission.

Our mission is to change lives and communities through the power of adult literacy.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has been collaborating with ProLiteracy for more than 20 years. Our relationship started in 1999 when this organization was known as Laubach Literacy International (LLI). Leadership from The West Foundation allowed ProLiteracy/LLI to launch our Women in Literacy initiative, which ultimately grew to reach to 125 grassroots partners in 65 countries. The West Foundation worked directly with the international division for many years and helped us not only financially but strategically in connecting with other NGO partner organizations such as Care International. The West Foundation has funded many international projects integrating literacy into various development areas such as health literacy, women’s economic empowerment, and human rights. Their hands-on approach and leadership have been invaluable in growing ProLiteracy’s international division.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation’s leadership and involvement over the past 20 years have helped ProLiteracy connect with other strategic partners both to leverage new streams of funding and to develop new programmatic initiatives such as our international intern/volunteer program as well as Women in Literacy.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

As an organization, ProLiteracy developed a Theory of Change and accompanying measures of impact to better understand how our work helps local programs. We have learned over the past few years that our reach is quite large, touching at least one million learners worldwide through our member programs and publishing customers. While we hope to maintain our reach, growing it to help even more literacy programs and learners is our true goal. To do that, we are solidifying partnerships that make teaching literacy easier, meeting new organizations external to literacy so new learners can be reached, and raising awareness of the issue so more learners and tutors step forward.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

We want others to know the importance of adult literacy and that it is truly one of the most solvable social issues that would make a major impact on the world. When adults go from low literate to literate, it has immense effects on their lives especially in the areas of personal and family economies—one report showed that learners who study for over 100 hours earn $10,000 more in a year than those who do not reach this milestone. Additionally, improved health is an area where we see change—low-literate adults have a hard time understanding health risks and precautionary measures. Imagine how real this issue is in the midst of a global pandemic. A more literate population can not only affect the public’s health but also public dollars as well.

6. How can people reading this help you?

If you are reading this and want to help, we can always use financial support, especially during this time when the pandemic has caused distance education to replace in-person instruction. ProLiteracy recently launched the Literacy Relief Fund, which will give digital education tools and books to local programs so they can continue working with adult learners. If financial support is not possible, we encourage you to consider being trained as a volunteer tutor or offering other help to a local program. In the U.S., you can check out the National Literacy Directory to find a local program or contact info@proliteracy.org for international contacts.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

As an organization working in adult literacy, we have a long list of needs. What would help us the most is for the general public to recognize that literacy is a basic human right. So often, people assume that all adults are literate, but 760 million adults around the world are not. To improve our society, we first need to recognize and examine the inequities that exist and why they exist. Then we need help to create and distribute tools—such as literacy education—so we can start to solve the problem. Literacy is a basic building block of education and communication, so the more people who understand that and support our work, the better off we will all be.

Photo courtesy: ProLiteracy

Learn more about Global Partnerships

Disclaimer: this is not an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities. Offers are made only following verification of eligibility and solely pursuant to a fund’s private offering materials.

1. Tell us about your mission.

Global Partnerships (GP) is a nonprofit, impact-first investor dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. Our funds make loans and early stage investments in social enterprises delivering products and services that empower people to earn a living and improve their lives. Our investments seek social impact on four dimensions:

  • Broadening Opportunity: We have a holistic understanding of poverty, so we invest across all facets of poverty – livelihoods, education, energy, health, housing, and sanitation.
  • Deepening Inclusion: We invest at the edge of the market, emphasizing approaches that include people marginalized by depth of poverty, gender, and/or geography, including women and the rural poor.
  • Serving Millions: We believe that every person matters, and we aim to expand opportunity for as many people as possible. We therefore focus on sustainable approaches that can, over time, scale to serve millions of people living in poverty.
  • Improving Lives: We only invest where evidence convinces us that people living in poverty value the opportunity being delivered and are empowered by it – economically or otherwise – to improve their lives.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

For over a decade, The West Foundation’s support for GP has allowed us to grow and expand our work. That growth has expanded our impact significantly in service of our mission to expand opportunity for households living in poverty. As of June 30, 2020:

  • Our funds have deployed more than $441 million in cumulative impact-led capital to over 155 partners across 23 countries.
  • Our current fund portfolio of $122 million serves people living in poverty across 15 initiatives, from urban sanitation to women-centered finance with education.
  • Our efforts to provide economic opportunity, better health, cleaner energy, safer and more secure housing, and other human services have cumulatively impacted 19.3 million lives.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Philanthropic support from The West Foundation and other mission-driven supporters has strengthened our operations while allowing us to stretch to increase our impact. In recent years we have launched new investment funds, developed new initiatives to address the varied facets of poverty, increased our lending volume to social enterprises, and expanded into sub-Saharan Africa, all while building a sustainable staff structure to support those efforts.

GP also has a dedicated research and impact team that is largely funded by philanthropic support like that of The West Foundation. From researching new potential partners dedicated to social impact, to developing impact screening tools, our research and impact team continually enhances our ability to improve lives for people living in poverty.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

For 25 years, GP funds have invested in sustainable solutions that help impoverished people increase their incomes and improve their lives. During that time, we have continually reviewed and improved our approach. Our analysis starts from the household: what products and services are truly making a difference for people and families living in poverty? What social enterprises are providing those products and services affordably and at scale? Can GP help them do more?

We use leading-edge impact management tools, and we have a learning mindset. That means that we are constantly evolving to make sure we are meeting needs and striving toward our mission.

As the world is responding to the economic and health crisis posed by COVID-19, GP is committed to walking alongside our 80+ social enterprise partners and the millions of people living in poverty whom they serve. We hope to help our partners as they navigate through to the other side of this pandemic and emerge sustainable, resilient, and impactful for the long-term.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

GP is an impact-first investor, which means investing in a way that seeks the highest possible social impact, while seeking to preserve capital with a modest financial return for investors.

Impact-first investing is distinctly different from return-first investing, which seeks the highest possible financial return, often without consideration of social or environmental consequences, and from the broader definition of impact investing which seeks to offer market rate or near-market rate financial returns that can be a tradeoff to truly maximizing impact.

We believe that impact-first investing has an essential role to play in advancing sustainable solutions to poverty for millions of people worldwide.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Learn more about GP’s response to COVID-19 and about the investment initiatives GP develops to address different facets of poverty. If you are interested in making a philanthropic impact with GP, please contact us.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

GP is seeking catalytic philanthropic supporters to make five-year commitments to Global Partnerships. An impact-first approach to investment requires significant resources to ensure positive impact truly comes first. GP is more than 90 percent of the way toward our goal of raising $15 million in philanthropy over five years to support impact-first work related to the portfolio of our funds. For Global Partnerships, philanthropy is more than a donation. We are enormously grateful to The West Foundation for providing catalytic philanthropic support for over ten years.

Photo courtesy: Global Partnerships

Learn how Educate! is responding to a global pandemic

In a new article on Medium, Boris Bulayev, Educate! CEO & Co-Founder & Loren Crary, Educate! Director of Revenue Strategy share how their social enterprise is rethinking and reorganizing to survive the peak of the pandemic and thrive in the new world it creates.

Read the article here.

 

Learn more about MAP

1. Tell us about your mission.

MAP International provides high-quality medicines and health supplies to millions of the worlds

poorest, most vulnerable people so that they may experience life to the fullest.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

Most recently, The West Foundation played a critical role by partnering with MAP to provide funding to help train and equip midwives in rural Liberia. One of the world’s poorest countries, Liberia also has one of the highest maternal/infant mortality rates. The MAP and West Foundation partnership has helped save lives and led to a decrease in the number of maternal/child deaths.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

By partnering with MAP to provide education and educational resources in some of the world’s poorest countries, the West Foundation is helping empower communities and creating lasting change for future generations.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Educating people is vital to the long-term health of any community — particularly in more remote, rural areas where medicines and trained caregivers are in short supply.

MAP International and its partners are providing both the critically needed education and the resources necessary to maintain and build healthier, more sustainable communities.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

We believe that all people should have access to life-changing, quality medicines and proper healthcare no matter where they were born or their financial circumstances. Worldwide, there are more than 2 billion people – most of whom are children – who do not have access to the most basic of medicines that we in the developed world take for granted. Through our work in 98 countries – many of them among the poorest in the world — MAP’s life-changing medicines and health supplies impact the lives of more than 13 million people annually.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Global health needs are tremendous, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic raging. MAP relies on the generous support of our donors to get lifesaving medicines and health supplies to where they are needed. When you hear about a natural disaster with survivors without access to clean water or hygiene supplies or people who are suffering from curable illnesses because they don’t have access to basic medicines, please consider making a gift to MAP International.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

As the worst global health crisis in living memory, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact in MAP’s work. We have received many emergency requests for personal protective equipment from healthcare providers and local governments in the United States and other countries around the world.

These emergency requests are in addition to our scheduled shipments of medicines and health supplies to countries in dire need. With medical mission teams unable to travel to areas decimated by coronavirus, MAP is also sending more medicines and health supplies to our existing partners on the ground to fill that gap.

With no definitive end to the pandemic in sight, MAP continues to respond to these increased demands. But to do so, we need more funding to cover these emergency shipments and the additional medicines we are sending.

Gifts of any size are deeply appreciated and will help bring health and hope to a world in desperately in need of both. Please visit www.map.org to learn more.

 

Photo courtesy: MAP

Learn more about mothers2mothers

1.Tell us about your mission.

mothers2mothers (m2m) is an Africa-based non-governmental organization (NGO) with a simple and effective mission – to ensure healthy, thriving families and an end to pediatric AIDS. Our success and impact are rooted in the Mentor Mother Model of peer mentorship, role modelling, and high-impact interventions. We train and employ local women living with HIV, often society’s most marginalized population, as Mentor Mothers,—frontline health workers who educate and support women and their families to access healthcare, initiate any care they need, and adhere to their treatments. Our evidence-based programs are designed to reach, educate, and engage the most vulnerable women, children, and families, strengthen public health systems, and catalyze the achievement of the UNAIDS 95-95-95 Fast Track Targets for HIV epidemic control as well as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Since 2001, m2m Mentor Mothers have provided life-saving services to more than 11 million women and children under two years of age, and by virtually eliminating pediatric AIDS among our clients for the last six years, have contributed to the reduction of pediatric HIV in the countries in which we operate. From a single site in Cape Town, South Africa, we have expanded our footprint across sub-Saharan Africa, created jobs for more than 11,000 women living with HIV as Mentor Mothers, and empowered millions more women to actively drive positive health outcomes for themselves and their families. From an initial focus on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, m2m now delivers a range of services including early childhood development, adolescent health, screenings for malaria and tuberculosis, and support for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), to ensure the whole community not only survives, but thrives.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has been a dedicated m2m partner since 2013, recognizing the game-changing role of Mentor Mothers at the heart of addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing families in sub-Saharan Africa. Its President and Executive Director, Emily West, has been an important advocate on behalf m2m’s belief in the power of mothers to ensure healthy, thriving families, and end pediatric AIDS.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation supports m2m by providing us with the most valuable grants possible, the unrestricted funding which affords us the flexibility and trust needed to be creative in program design, while allowing us to cover both programmatic and operational expenses. As an organization that prioritizes the social and economic mobility of women, their families, and communities, The West Foundation gives m2m the mobility to allocate funds where the needs are more urgent and greatest, which in turn ensures the sustainability of our programs across Africa.

The importance of unrestricted funding has never been more apparent than now, as m2m pivots to address the double pandemics of HIV and COVID-19. Our recently launched “Virtual Mentor Mother” platform allows us to deliver a sophisticated virtual system for providing emergency COVID-19 interventions in addition to our in-person core m2m health services.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Since its infancy, m2m has consistently made measurable strides in reaching its mission to eliminate pediatric HIV and create health and hope in the families and communities we serve. Within the last year we have launched programs in three new countries—Angola, Ghana, and Tanzania—bringing our total countries of operation to ten.

In 2019, we enrolled almost 1 million new clients, and reached 27% more adolescents and 20% more children compared to 2018. Just 0.08% of pregnant or breastfeeding women who were HIV-negative when enrolled in m2m’s program contracted HIV in 2019, which is 45 times lower than a 2020 estimate of the rate across sub-Saharan Africa (3.6%).  95% of our clients reported consistent condom use, up from 68% in 2018. 97% of infants born to HIV-positive mothers received anti-retroviral drops, a key preventative measure, up from 90% in 2018. And 84% of children born to an HIV-positive mother received a final HIV test between 18 – 24 months of age, a vital step to ensuring the child has not become infected during breastfeeding, up from 73% in 2018.

Most notably, with a transmission rate of just 1.9%, m2m has achieved virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV among enrolled clients for the sixth consecutive year!

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

The m2m Mentor Mother Model is a robust strategy that empowers, trains, and employs women from local communities, and has been proven to be adaptable and well suited to address myriad issues beyond our initial mandate to end pediatric HIV. By creating local role models and breaking the cycle of stigma and discrimination, the model is ideal for eradicating and curtailing other noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney diseases.

To ensure that we’re supporting women and families at all stages of life, we offer a wide range of services:

  • Women (ages 15-49) – Essential health services include: sexual and reproductive health (i.e. HIV/STI prevention and treatment, family planning); screening for malaria and TB; ensuring healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and quality postnatal care; treatment initiation, retention and adherence support for HIV-positive pregnant and postnatal women to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; strengthening economic wellbeing and food security.
  • Children (ages 0-9) – m2m is committed to ensuring that every child thrives, not just survives, by integrating services to protect and improve the health of development of infants into our core Peer Mentor program by: providing early childhood development support and education; tailoring support for HIV-positive or -exposed children and families including testing, disclosure, treatment initiation, adherence and retention support; nutrition education and immunizations; and assistance with registering births and accessing social services.
  • Adolescents (ages 10-24) – m2m supports adolescents and young women to make healthy choices and protect themselves from HIV by providing peer-led, age-appropriate interventions in schools and communities that link to services at health centers. Services include: sexual and reproductive health education and services; age-appropriate interventions to prevent new HIV infections and unplanned pregnancies; prevention of mother-to-child transmission services for HIV-positive pregnant and postnatal adolescent girls and young women.

6. How can people reading this help you?

We are always looking for a variety of partners – from individuals, corporations, and government agencies, to other nonprofit organizations. In terms of monetary support, there are many ways you can support us in reaching our mission – organize virtual events to create awareness and collect donations, spread the word to friends and family, create Facebook fundraisers, and follow us on social media.

On October 25th, we will host Cycle2Zero@home, our first virtual adventure. Usually taking place in an African country where m2m operates, this year, we are bringing the cycle to you. Together we will collectively pedal more than 3,000 miles, day and night, over 36 hours. We cycle in solidarity with our incredible Mentor Mothers, who need our support now more than ever during this global health emergency. For more ideas, please check out our website www.m2m.org.

And finally, because mothers2mothers Mentor Mothers have been deemed essential frontline workers, they are putting their lives on the line every day to combat the double pandemic of HIV and COVID-19.  Your financial support can help us continue to meet the changing health needs of the one million women and families that rely on us across nine African nations as we scale up our response and adapt our services.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

As m2m works to ensure healthy, thriving families and an end to pediatric AIDS, we rely on the dedication, passion, and support of tireless partners and funders around the world. Ending HIV is just the start, and we are bent on achieving impact on a global scale. We know that women and mothers are central to any and all long-lasting systems change. We need to reach all women and children everywhere. We are looking to expand the Mentor Mother Model to ensure that, whether they live in Louisiana or Lesotho, every family is able to access life-saving care.  We welcome you to join us as we change the face of healthcare, putting the Mentor Mother Model at the center of the solution to eliminate pediatric AIDS and provide health and hope for families everywhere.

 

Photo courtesy: mothers2mothers

Learn more about the African Wildlife Foundation

1. Tell us about your mission.

Founded in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has since its inception worked to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. AWF takes a multifaceted approach, to protect wildlife and their natural habitats, empower communities through conservation enterprises and human development, and engage African leadership at all levels to support conservation. In 2020, AWF adopted a new 10-year strategic plan, driven by its vision of an Africa where human development includes thriving wildlife and extensive wild lands as a cultural and economic asset for Africa’s future generation.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

AWF initially began as a leadership academy to equip African nationals to manage conservation efforts on the continent. AWF continues to invest in building African capacity and leadership for conservation. These efforts reflect AWF’s fundamental understanding of wildlife education as a means of cultivating conservation leaders and developing a population that recognizes their role in developing and maintaining positive conservation outcomes. Consequently, AWF understands that in order to achieve its vision, it must empower African youth as conservation gains will only be sustainable if future generations subscribe to this mission.

The West Foundation is supporting AWF’s advocacy effort to engage African youth in conservation and environmental sustainability discussions and enhance their leadership skills. AWF has partnered with the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) to build the capacity of youth from Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe to advocate for biodiversity issues and to engage with conservation policy discussions in their home countries. After participating in training workshops, young people will be provided the opportunity to participate in global convenings on biodiversity. This training and experience will empower African youth by building their leadership skills, exposing them to high-level national policy discussions, and providing them an opportunity to define their perspectives and to share input into the post-2020 biodiversity framework. Furthermore, The West Foundation’s support of AWF heightens a sense of ownership and agency among African youth as it relates to wildlife conservation.

The West Foundation has supported AWF since 2001. Previously, The West Foundation supported AWF’s conservation and social development work in the Limpopo Heartland (South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique) to train young African research scientists, strengthen the management capacity and infrastructure of protected area systems, and explore new sustainable conservation enterprises. In addition, the foundation contributed greatly to AWF’s Easements for Education program to provide scholarships for the children of families who agree to conserve wildlife, forests, and fisheries in the ecologically significant Sekute Chiefdom—located in the region where Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia intersect. The West Foundation enabled AWF to distribute and train teachers on the use of ZeduPad tablets to improve classroom learning, establish a small vegetable garden at the Lupani Primary School, as well as install solar panels in two of the six classrooms to permit adult literacy classes in the evenings. The West Foundation also contributed to AWF’s project to distribute improved cooking stoves among Simien Mountain communities to reduce deforestation and environmental pollution in Ethiopia.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

With the support of The West Foundation, AWF is working to ensure youth presence and leadership in defining dialogues about biodiversity conservation to shape strategic goals and targets as well as the corresponding actions by key stakeholders which inevitably influence not on conservation, but the nature in which Africa develops. Though African youth constitute a large proportion of the population on the continent, they are often overlooked in the development of programs to improve societal wellbeing. By engaging African youth in policy dialogues, AWF will help to shape the trajectory of Africa’s future in a more sustainable manner that gives precedence to the importance of biodiversity in ensuring healthy economies and ecosystems. This program is instrumental in advancing AWF’s critical objective to generate greater awareness of biodiversity issues and develop future leaders that will prioritize conservation.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

AWF is taking a more holistic approach, as guided by its country strategies and priorities, to ensure that conservation is mainstreamed into larger discussions of economy building and sustainable development. AWF is also prioritizing its engagement with youth and women because they are key drivers of change across Africa. AWF recognizes that its work would be impossible without the contributions of these two constituencies who make up the majority of the population on the continent today.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

While AWF serves to promote conservation of biodiversity in Africa, the impact of doing so serves to the benefit of the global community. This is evidence in the fact that threats to African wildlife are not an “African” problem. For instance, illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife parts heightens regional and global security issues. Meanwhile, healthy ecosystems are vital to continued economic growth and to creating new business opportunities in Africa. Furthermore, increased global demand for wildlife and wildlife products intensifies the risk of iconic wildlife – often those that play a key role in ecosystems – becoming extinct. As development continues in Africa, AWF will continue to work to ensure that conservation agendas are linked to economic and social development.

6. How can people reading this help you?

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Africa’s magnificent wildlife species at risk of disappearing forever. In the last few decades alone, the world has lost more than 60 percent of forest elephants and more than 40 percent of lions. Poaching, driven by global demand, is at crisis levels. However, habitat loss poses the most extensive threat to African wildlife. The state of rainforests in Africa and around the world is an example. Scientists estimate that if current deforestation rates go unchecked, rainforests will be gone in 100 years — and most of their inhabitants with them. The picture is bleak, but not set in stone. In fact, change has already taken root. There is a growing consciousness that thoughtful economic and infrastructure development can and should incorporate conservation priorities. AWF helped bring about this change and works tirelessly every day to ensure a positive future for Africa’s wildlife and wild lands. AWF seeks to create strong alliances that bring together the public and private sectors, as well as individuals, to support efforts to overcome the challenges of wildlife protection and conservation.

Photo courtesy: African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)

 

Learn more about Ubuntu Pathways

1. Tell us about your mission.

Ubuntu Pathways’ mission is to break the cycle of poverty by providing South Africa’s most vulnerable children with what all children deserve––everything, every day. Operating out of a state-of-the-art campus in the heart of Port Elizabeth’s townships, we provide transformative health, education, and household stability services to 2,000 children and their families. The Ubuntu Model, our revolutionary theory of change, encompasses four guiding tenets:

• Cradle to career pathway out of poverty that includes dynamic educational programs, life-saving healthcare, and sustained household stability services

• Depth rather than breadth of impact by continuously improving program quality to meet clients’ evolving needs

• Localized, grassroots development to mitigate the specific challenges that Port Elizabeth’s townships face

• Sustainable investments in community leadership, capacity, and infrastructure

We target not just the symptoms, but the root causes of poverty. By offering individualized services to every client, we help them overcome hardships to lead healthy, financially stable lives. This comprehensive support system enables our clients to advance towards a lifetime of success.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has supported Ubuntu’s cradle-to-career for years. Ubuntu’s mission requires an individualized, grassroots approach to development. Our community’s needs are constantly evolving, and we must be ready and equipped to meet them.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation has allowed us to achieve this mission not only through its steadfast support, but also by trusting us enough to provide unrestricted funding to our operations. Nothing better exemplifies the importance of this funding approach—and the sustainability and mobility it provides—than the COVID-19 pandemic. This outbreak has posed an existential threat to disadvantaged communities around the world. Within a matter of weeks, Ubuntu had to pivot away from “normal” operations to become a COVID-19 response center. We not only had to prepare for the impending medical crisis in the townships, but also the food security and domestic abuse crises brought on by the region’s economic collapse. In this moment of critical need, our team could rely on funding from The West Foundation as we sought to respond to an unforeseen and unprecedented challenge.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

For the past two decades, Ubuntu has sought to expose and break down deeply rooted barriers to prosperity and success in our community. In South Africa, the country’s entrenched social inequality oppresses the Black majority. Abject poverty is pervasive, and the gap between the rich and poor grows ever-wider. Port Elizabeth’s townships are reminders of apartheid’s systemic segregation—while health care and education systems are composed of well-funded, private facilities for the wealthy, the poor are relegated to overcrowded, under-resourced, public facilities.

Over the past few months, COVID-19 has shown a spotlight on these fissures of social inequality across the world. Those who have the most limited access to health care and education—such as the people of Port Elizabeth’s townships—are the ones who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. While Ubuntu has pivoted our service provision to best mitigate the effects of the pandemic in the townships, this pivot is, in essence, a more targeted and intensified version of our previous 20 years of service to our community. While our response project will provide immediate, life-saving services to those in greatest need, it will just as urgently contribute to our core mission, breaking down social inequalities and affirming every human’s right to live a healthy, fulfilling life. In this way, we are realizing the full vision and potential of Ubuntu.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

At Ubuntu, we do not measure success by the number of children we reach, but by how deeply we impact each child’s life. As a result, our clients are re-writing their own futures and the wider narrative of what disadvantaged communities can accomplish.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Donate! During this unprecedented crisis, every dollar matters. The generosity of our donors literally translates into medication, food on the table, and other life-saving interventions for children and families in need. You can also get creative––create a birthday fundraiser, run a race, start a school Ubuntu club, or become a monthly THRIVE member. From cryptocurrency to planned giving, there are so many ways to contribute to our work in a meaningful way. Plus, you can always create awareness of our work and mission in your own networks.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

As Ubuntu continuously seeks to grow and develop as an organization, we have a deep and urgent need for funders who understand and support our theory of change. Ubuntu seeks to fundamentally change the lives of each child and family we serve. Just as any parent or caregiver knows, supporting a child’s growth and development is a long, hard, and often non-linear process. Every individual has their own unique needs, as well as their own moments of triumph and setbacks. Ubuntu aims to be holistic and unwavering in our support – but in order to achieve this ambitious goal, we need funders who follow the example of The West Foundation and trust those on the ground to possess the experience and judgement needed to best utilize unrestricted funds. Ubuntu does not decide to spend any dollar lightly—resources are scarce in our community and thus extraordinarily valued. To have the trust and mutual understanding of additional funders who understand this dynamic would be game-changing not only for Ubuntu, but the entire industry.

Photo courtesy: Ubuntu Pathways

Learn more about Strategies for International Development (SID)

1. Tell us about your mission.

The mission of Strategies for International Development (SID) is to design, prove, and promote better methods for eradicating rural poverty.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has partnered with us over the years to fulfill our mission in Guatemala’s poorest regions. First, with coffee farmers in the western highlands and now with coffee farmers in the northern highlands. When The West Foundation chose to focus on women and girls, that encouraged us to think about them as well. In a smaller area of the northern highlands we added a women’s component to the coffee program and in the last two years we have expanded our reach to cover a whole region of thousands of coffee-growing families and thousands of women.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

In 2018, with the support of The West Foundation, SID started a new regional approach in the northern highlands. With this new approach, we were able to help over 18,000 small farmers.

Coffee is the major cash crop of the region. The core activities of the program include:

1. Farmers define the practices they need to adapt to graduate from poverty

2. Local officials promote the practices among the general population

3. Conduct demonstration fairs in the practices

4. Provide twice-monthly technical assistance to early-adopter communities that become an example to others

5. Gives special assistance to women

4. How are you realizing your potential?

We designed a new idea that fulfills our mission in ways which we have not before: to help farmers conserve their natural resources at the same time as they increase their income. We have also helped them adopt business practices and we helped women increase their personal growth, but now we are doing it at a large scale. This innovation brings assistance to thousands of farmers who never had any help before. This is very important because, a lot of small farmers around the world do not have access to technical assistance.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

75% of the world’s poor are small farmers. We can do a lot for farmers to help increase their income. Agricultural projects are also great vehicles for addressing the conservation of natural resources and women’s equality.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Learn about SID and participate in our annual individual donor campaign, Friends of SID.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

To enhance our visibility and find channels to spread our ideas

Photo courtesy: Strategies for International Development (SID)

Learn more about Shared Interest

1. Tell us about your mission.

Shared Interest mobilizes the resources for Southern Africa’s economically disenfranchised communities to sustain themselves and build equitable nations. We provide entrepreneurs, smallholder farmers, women, and other unbankable borrowers with the financial and social capital they need to invest in their businesses, farms, families, and communities. We do this by providing loan guarantees to local African banks, moving them to extend credit to “high risk” borrowers who otherwise would not have qualified for credit. By moving local banks to lend to their own communities, we help build sustainable, vibrant economies that are not dependent on international capital for development. Since our founding in 1994, we have benefitted 2.3 million Southern Africans.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has partnered with Shared Interest for many years, by providing grant support for both general operations, with a focus on institutional strengthening, and specific projects, such as our work with women seed entrepreneurs in Malawi. The West Foundation’s support is particularly crucial to our work because it is flexible, helping ensure that we have the organizational resources that are required to produce strong and impactful programs.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Most recently, The West Foundation has helped Shared Interest adapt to the new working conditions imposed by the pandemic. We used 2019 grant funds to upgrade our technological capabilities – moving to cloud-based file storage, improving staff hardware, and investing in new donor management and prospecting software. In some cases, these changes were made a matter of weeks before our offices in New York were closed due to Covid-19. Because of these enhanced IT resources, Shared Interest was able to transition smoothly to remote work, keeping in close contact with our local partners and beneficiaries as well as our donors and investors.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Shared Interest was founded to push for economic justice in post-apartheid South Africa, and our success there has helped demonstrate that African countries’ own financial institutions are not only capable of serving the majority market but are critical to driving inclusive economic growth. We are now expanding our model across the Southern African region, where financial exclusion is similarly widespread, especially in agriculture and among women borrowers. Working in new geographies (e.g., Malawi, Zambia, and eventually, Tanzania) and in high impact focus areas (e.g., climate change adaptation) is helping us leverage our investors’ capital to impact another 100,000 individuals by 2024, creating jobs and small enterprises, increasing incomes, and building community infrastructure.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Shared Interest has investors as well as donors, and for more than 25 years, we have been responsible stewards of their capital. We have made 100% of interest payments in full and on time, and we have had zero losses of investors’ principal. To make an investment in Shared Interest, contact martha@sharedinterest.org

6. How can people reading this help you?

Shared Interest is holding its first Virtual Gala this year on September 9th, 2020, and we would love to have you as our guest! For more information, please go to https://www.sharedinterest.org/26thanniversarygala

The event is free! This year, we celebrate the power of women in Southern Africa; accordingly, the event will honor Sophia Williams de Bruyn, anti-apartheid activist and leader of the 1956 women’s march, and Felicia Mabuza-Suttle, South African talk show host, activist, and entrepreneur. The event will also feature an after-party, with beats by DJ AQ.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We are always in need of partners – of all types – who understand the long-term nature of this work. Changing financial systems that were built, in large part, by and for settler colonialism is a painstakingly slow process. The results are not always easily measured, and progress is not linear or steady. Our most prized relationships are with like-minded organizations who understand these challenges yet remain steadfast in working toward our common goals.

 

Photo courtesy: Shared Interest

Learn more about CARE

1. Tell us about your mission.

CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

Helping advance girl’s empowerment, security and prevention of early child marriage in areas of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

CARE is very intentional about where we choose to work and where we can provide sustainable impact around communities. We hand pick marginalized communities to raise their standard of living knowing that we can offer sustainable development.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

With CARE’s knowledge of 75 years in the field, we have become experts and scaling up our programs. We are piloting models and programs that were very successful in part of Asia to try in Africa with tweaks. With the correct resources, CARE can go to scale on the number of very successful programming around the world to benefit and increase our impact trifold.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

CARE is a dual mandate organization – essentially that means, we are working in communities before a crisis starts, during the crisis and then afterwards.

Our experience in previous emergencies has shown us that one of the most important things we can do is to continue and adapt our existing programming, where we can do so safely, in a way that “does no harm” to our staff or the communities we work in.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Please visit care.org to learn more and raise CARE’s brand in your local community!

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We want to have flexible funds and mobilize resources to bring growth to impoverished communities that are not covered in the media and not shed light on newspapers—We are committed to truly serving the last mile of population that are often forgotten. We want to be able to give a voice to women, girls and the communities that are waiting to achieve their full potential.

 

Photo courtesy: Care

 

Learn more about TechnoServe

1. Tell us about your mission.

TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 29 countries, we work with hardworking men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. By linking people to information, capital, and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation is currently supporting our efforts to reduce poverty by helping women smallholder cocoa farmers in San Martin, Peru to sustainably improve their livelihoods and ensure the full integration of women farmers into the cocoa market. In the past, The West Foundation has supported many other impactful projects, such as strengthening our Monitoring and Evaluation systems for our projects with small-scale entrepreneurs, as well as supporting smallholder farmers in Tanzania’s tea industry to improve their livelihoods.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The support of The West Foundation over the past several decades has enabled TechnoServe to become a catalyst for transformation in market systems, industries, and most importantly, people’s lives in the communities where we’ve implemented projects. Together, we’ve helped families around the world send their children to school, access healthcare, buy nutritious food, and build safer homes.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

TechnoServe was founded in 1968 on the premise that the power of private enterprise can transform lives, and that hardworking individuals in the developing world can lift themselves out of poverty. In 2019 alone, TechnoServe helped directly transform the lives of 317,493 people (38% women) by targeting improvements in farms, businesses, and industries. Our efforts generated over $200 million in increased revenues and wages for our beneficiaries and we helped hardworking individuals’ access $27 million in financing to help grow their businesses and farms. Last year, TechnoServe was also rated the world’s #1 nonprofit at reducing poverty by an independent evaluator, ImpactMatters. They assessed over a thousand nonprofits across different categories and determined that for every program dollar spent, TechnoServe delivers the greatest income gains for enterprising women and men in the developing world.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

TechnoServe not only transforms individual lives—but also markets, sectors, and communities. We are committed to creating and measuring this lasting impact. We aim to report only the impact that is attributable to our work. We do this by establishing baseline data and using counterfactuals, control groups, or other methods to exclude the effects of variables outside of our control. We then analyze this data to identify successful project models and learn how to improve future approaches.

6. How can people reading this help you?

They can help by joining our efforts to change lives around the world. Every day, our supporters help us continue in our mission to assist hardworking men and women in the developing world to build sustainable farms, businesses and industries. Even during these challenging times, we are committed to helping our clients continue their fight to overcome the toughest obstacles, care for their families, and fulfill their true potential. None of this work would be possible without support from generous individuals.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

The support we receive from foundations and individuals is critically needed, especially at this critical time. Funding for important projects like our work with cocoa farmers in Peru often depends upon TechnoServe’s ability to leverage and strategically utilize unrestricted and private support. Furthermore, unrestricted funding or strategically directed support is critical to our ability to innovate or pilot new types of interventions. These funds allow us to design programs before larger funding is awarded, to leverage funding after receiving an award and to continue implementing programs while honoring timelines related to specific large donors’ commitments.

Photo courtesy: TechnoServe

Learn more about the Qudrat School Project

1. Tell us about your mission.

My mission is multifold. First, we support two schools that are located in a remote and densely populated rural area in  northern Afghanistan and work to educate a large block of women who – during the Taliban administration – were deprived of education. In providing educational opportunities, such as vocational training we can reach widows who have no education or ability to earn a living wage other than by begging door-to-door, pleading for food to feed their family. Many in this region have large families and without a breadwinner this can be challenging.

One of the goals we’ve put forth is to increase the education level for women who participate through participating in the basic literacy courses offered.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has been a substantial donor of funds for our initiative and this has helped provide not only educational supplies but teacher income for  the adult female literacy program. Women who have completed the basic course have gone on to land fullfiling jobs to sustain their families.

3. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Many women have achieved great things such as pursuing higher education and quality jobs. It is empowering to witness a widow – whose life was subject to begging transform themselves into a business owner.

4. How can people reading this help you?

You can make a financial contribution so that we can continue to fund the schools. We have well over 500 students enrolled and 50% are female. Also, we would like to ensure that Hakim Wardak who is on the ground and championing the cause has the funds to pay teachers he hires and supervises for the basic adult female literacy training.

6. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Ideally, we’d like to find someone who has a high level of interest to continue to support Hakim and his work in transforming an entire generation of uneducated women and educating them; enabling the women to improve their lives.

Photo courtesy: Qudrat School

 

Learn more about Lifewater

1. Tell us about your mission.

At Lifewater, we are Christians committed to ending the global water and sanitation crisis one village at a time. We believe that every child deserves a safe drink of water, access to life-saving sanitation and hygiene, and the love of Jesus.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation’s gifts allow Lifewater greater opportunity and mobility to carry out sustainable safe water and community solutions in extremely poor communities across the globe. In Ethiopia, Cambodia, Uganda, and Tanzania, The West Foundation supports Lifewater’s mission to bring safe water to every child, improved health for all, and the love of Jesus in everything we do.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

With The West Foundation’s generous giving, we’re able to employ local staff to travel house by house in our target communities. Knowing the language and culture, they build relationships to empower communities to make cost-effective, life-saving health improvements like constructing a hand washing device and a latrine of their own. Our skilled team of WASH engineers, hydrogeologists, drilling team, and the wisdom of the local community work together to construct a safe water solution unique to the needs of the village or school. With The West Foundation’s support, Lifewater’s able to carry out a grassroots program to end the global water and sanitation crisis, beginning with extremely poor communities in hard-to-reach corners of the world.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

In 2019, Lifewater constructed 207 sustainable, safe water solutions built to last for generations in the globe’s poorest regions, a record-breaking number. As more families than ever gain the health that comes with access to safe water, more children go to school and parents go to work, increasing both income and education. The West Foundation’s mission to eliminate poverty and Lifewater’s mission to end the global water crisis are realized.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

At Lifewater, it’s not about the quantity of results, but the quality. It’s about creating a change that will last. Designing high-quality, locally-sourced safe water solutions customized to the population and hydrogeology of each village is priority at Lifewater because people are priority. When we can serve the globe’s poorest communities with commitment and care, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Every 60 seconds, the world loses another child to unsafe drinking water and a lack of basic sanitation. This is entirely preventable. A gift to Lifewater is a gift to a child or family in need.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We are always seeking ways to connect our generous partners to our mission in a meaningful way. Our Vision of a Healthy Village program is a grassroots, sustainable answer to the global water crisis, and it’s been tested, proven, and improved with every year. Our deepest needs as an organization are developing ways to draw others into this proven process to finally put an end to the crisis together.

 

Photo courtesy: Lifewater

Learn more about KickStart

1. Tell us about your mission.

KickStart International’s mission is to provide technology that enables millions of people in Africa to break the cycle of poverty quickly, cost-effectively and sustainably through smallholder irrigation. KickStart’s innovative, high-quality, and affordable technologies allow subsistence farmers to break their dependence on seasonal rain-fed farming, unlocking year-round harvests and a pathway to financial freedom, climate resilience, and social empowerment for farming families across Africa.

With KickStart’s MoneyMaker irrigation pumps, farmers can access available ground water, grow crops year-round to eat and sell for a better profit when food is scarce and market prices are higher. Farmers using KickStart’s pumps increase their annual income through irrigation alone by almost 500% on average—from $150 to $850. With the new money they earn, farmers can afford additional quality inputs for the next planting season and sustainably grow their farming business. Many go on to make additional investments in livestock and poultry, diversifying their income and securing their livelihoods. KickStart’s empowerment-based model enables farmers to earn significantly more income, properly feed and educate their children, afford healthcare, and plan for their futures.

2. How is the West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation is supporting KickStart’s advocacy efforts to catalyze the promotion and uptake of irrigation interventions across Africa through our work with diverse stakeholders to develop, test, and scale new high-impact irrigation solutions, and advocate for systems-level changes. Through our partnership with The West Foundation, KickStart leveraged our reputation as a leading provider of affordable irrigation technologies along with evidence of our direct livelihood impacts on farmers to spotlight this critical issue within the development sector and influential policy circles. This fosters an enabling environment for expanding small-scale irrigation across the continent by influencing global dialogue, policies, and investment strategies related to agricultural development.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

KickStart continued its Irrigate Africa! advocacy campaign with support of The West Foundation by employing our social impacts and urging influential international, continental and sub-national actors to increase irrigation access for the smallholder farmer. To highlight, the Malawi government endorsed MoneyMaker pumps as a highly reliable technology and KickStart was invited to help draft the Malawi Irrigation Investment Strategy. As proven by our country study of Malawi, with smart-subsidies, policy focus, and investments in support of a wide array of systems change, we can drastically increase large-scale uptake of low-volume irrigation technology across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), enabling millions more to break the cycle of poverty.

With The West Foundation’s philanthropic support, KickStart participated in the AGRA Forum, where we successfully networked with ministers of agriculture from across SSA and representatives of the African Union. In addition, KickStart’s leadership team attended and demonstrated the use of MoneyMaker pumps during a main program session on irrigation at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa Forum (AGRF), generating enthusiasm among influential policy makers to incorporate low-volume irrigation into their agriculture programs. Consequently, the World Bank continued its promotion of small-scale, farmer-led irrigation, by hosting a side event at Stockholm World Water Week and ordered thousands of MoneyMaker pumps for supported projects in Malawi, Angola, and Mozambique.

4. How are you realizing your potential? 

KickStart has scaled the adoption of MoneyMaker pumps and the resulting impacts by deepening and expanding our network of key partners across 16 countries in SSA, and increasing their appreciation for the benefits of irrigation. This partnership-based model has yielded exciting successes, lending new flexibility and increased reach to farmers in highly remote areas and to those experiencing newfound pressures due to social upheaval, political strife, and climatic changes.

KickStart has continued its efforts to build livelihood capacities at the grassroots level through the development and delivery of innovative technology and design. KickStart’s livelihoods interventions combine two critical commitments: income and food security. These two resources are essential for community resilience, providing the capacities to weather life’s unexpected challenges, from storm surges to civil conflict, and from drought to epidemics.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

To date, KickStart’s smart irrigation pumps have enabled over 1.3 million people to take a major step out of poverty across Africa, and are being used to grow immune-supporting fruits and vegetables to meet the nutritional needs of 13 million people every year. Through year-round irrigation, KickStart’s tools have also led to the creation of 260,000 profitable and sustainable farming businesses, generating $220 million in new profits and wages annually.

With the support of organizations like The West Foundation, KickStart aims to provide 2 million people with the technology to take a major step out of poverty in half the time that we served 1 million people.

6. How can people reading this help you?

KickStart has helped eliminate poverty for farming families across the continent, but more work is needed to reach millions of others. The challenge is great, but every small gesture of support can make a difference.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Spread the word!
  • Donate
  • Partner with KickStart

Get the full details here: http://kickstart.org/get-involved

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a new context for KickStart and our vast network of farmers. In Africa, the virus is already exacerbating existing inequalities and cutting off critical livelihood supporting activities where food insecurity is already endemic. Providing tools that increase food production independently of climate and global supply chains will be critical to avoiding protracted famine. Despite the challenges, KickStart remains committed to protecting and growing local food production capacities and income generating opportunities for smallholder farmers across SSA through access to affordable, high-quality irrigation tools.

Given this outlook, KickStart is working strategically to fast-track our response mobilization through the design and distribution of the lowest-cost human-powered pump available, the Starter Pump—offering unprecedented and scalable affordability. By providing unprecedented financial access through our new Starter Pump and with extended reach through diverse mission-aligned partners, KickStart is better equipped to ensure year-round harvest, greater profits, and food security to more farming families than ever before. To learn more and support our response fund please visit: http://kickstart.org/

Photo courtesy: KickStart

Learn more about Educate!

1. Tell us about your mission.

Educate!’s mission is to develop young leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa.

Nearly 50% of all Africans are younger than 18, and that number is growing. These demographics, along with a scarcity of jobs, have led to dramatic rates of youth unemployment. Education systems in Africa already face challenges — current curricula and teaching methods are designed for a 1900s economy, consisting of rote memorization and exam-driven learning which do not prepare students to succeed in today’s economy. The current status quo perpetuates lack of opportunity and cycles of poverty — allowing the enormous potential of youth to remain untapped.

Educate! believes that by transforming educational pathways in East Africa, we can equip youth with the skills to disrupt the systemic problem of youth unemployment and realize their full potential. We believe post-primary education is the most untapped resource across the continent for cultivating talent and for development more broadly, and we aim to work both within the existing educational infrastructure and outside of the system to impact youth life outcomes at scale.

Our mission therefore aims to prepare youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy. We tackle youth unemployment by partnering with schools and governments to reform what schools teach and how they teach it, so that students in Africa have the skills to attain further education, overcome gender inequities, start businesses, get jobs, and drive development in their communities. Our goal is to make this practical, skills-based model part of national education systems across Africa.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

Since our inception in 2009, Educate! has worked to build a replicable and cost-effective solution to prepare youth with the skills to attain further education, overcome gender inequities, start businesses, get jobs, and drive development in their communities. We started in 24 schools and reached 830 youth, and today, Educate! has dramatically scaled our program by nearly 40x and has directly impacted more than 100,000 secondary youth across 1,000 schools. This has been achieved over the years due to the support of partners like The West Foundation that have contributed to making us the largest youth skills provider in East Africa! Additionally, urging us on through our commitment to deepening our impact in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, while expanding our reach to out-of-school youth for the first time and developing a strategy to support education reforms in other countries in the future.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Educate! aims to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year. Long term, we aim to fully incorporate our skills-based education model into national education systems across Africa. With the support of the West Foundation, we are able to experiment with different ways to sustainably and cost-effectively deliver and scale our evidence-based solutions as we grow towards that goal and position ourselves for greater and more sustainable impact each year.

The West Foundation’s philanthropic support goes further to aid project implementation, including training and empowering teachers and youth Mentors – who are at the core of delivering our model to Scholars. Through the Educate! Experience – our flagship program, Scholars are taught an entrepreneurship, leadership, and workforce readiness course, which includes practical experience starting a business or community project in each secondary school.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Our impact philosophy relies on periodic, rigorous external evaluations to measure medium- and long-term outcomes, coupled with ongoing monitoring to continuously manage program quality and track immediate impact for students.

Rigorous evaluations of our solution, including a randomized controlled trial (RCT), found that participants earn nearly 2x the income of their peers towards the end of secondary school. A follow-up RCT in Uganda assessed medium-term outcomes for students four years after they graduated from the Educate! program. The evaluation looked at the same student cohort as the prior RCT and found strong impacts on: 1) soft skills—improved grit, creativity, and self-efficacy; 2) gender-related outcomes—less domestic violence, fewer sexual partners, fewer children, and more egalitarian views; and 3) educational attainment—increased secondary school completion, increased tertiary enrollment for women, and greater likelihood of selecting higher-earning-potential majors (business and STEM areas of study). Importantly, after Educate!, girls were essentially as likely to graduate from secondary school as boys.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Educate! prepares youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy through an innovative model with proven impact. Our model is built on best scaling practices and constant self-evaluation and was specifically designed to scale having spent the last 10 years building the most replicable and cost-effective solution possible that can reach massive scale. We are now the largest youth skills provider in East Africa. We reach a large number of youth at a low cost by delivering our model using existing infrastructure, engaging exceptional Educate! graduates as mentors, and implementing innovative technologies to manage and monitor our programs across great distances. While doing this, we work hand-in-hand with governments towards system-level adoption of our solution to sustainably integrate our model into national education systems.

6. How can people reading this help you?

With over ten years of experience operating our flagship program in schools, we’ve tested, refined, and continually strengthened our model to ensure the maximum impact on youth – impact that is both cost-effective and sustainable. We’ve developed our capacity to provide technical advisory services and support to national education systems, actively working with the governments of three countries to facilitate practical, skills-based secondary education that prepares youth to succeed in today’s economy.

Incredible partners like the West Foundation and other friends and champions allow us to continue to work towards a world where all youth receive the skills they need to succeed in life after school. We so appreciate anyone who is able to invest in youth. Your support will propel us forward into our next decade of work. It’s especially critical now, when a lot is changing and amidst the uncertainty created by COVID-19, we see opportunities for adaptation and innovation.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Over next two years, Educate! is continuing to work towards our vision of measurably impacting millions of youth across Africa each year by (1) scaling our direct delivery model to drive towards our goal of achieving full scale in Uganda as we iterate for long-term sustainability, (2) continuing to build education system capacity to implement Rwanda’s Competency-Based Curriculum while testing innovative school sustainability and incentive strategies that can sustain the reform, and (3) deepening our government partnerships in Kenya to support the ongoing national curriculum reform, while experimenting with a new model that brings Educate!’s impact to out-of-school youth.

 

Photo courtesy: Educate!

CoCoDA Febrero Fiesta

We are proud, at the West Foundation, of our commitment to supporting our partners in projects big and small. On February 26, the West Foundation joined CoCoDA for Febrero Fiesta in support of their water, public health and education projects in El Salvador and Nicaragua. The West Foundation team enjoyed a delicious meal, watched lively dance, and learned more about CoCoDA’s upcoming projects and initiatives.

Through its dedication to cooperating in projects for democratic, community-based social and economic development in Central America, CoCoDA seeks to build strong relationships and communities between people in the U.S., El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Receiving the second installment of a three-year, $21,000 flexible funding grant will assist CoCoDA in experimenting with new fundraising efforts and planning future programs. Learn more at CoCoDA.

Learn more about Building Tomorrow

1. Tell us about your mission.

Founded in 2006, Building Tomorrow’s mission is to galvanize communities to support thriving schools in underserved areas in Uganda and ensure all children can access an inclusive, transformative education. A thriving school is one which is supported by the community, effectively managed by school leadership, accessible by all children, and committed to producing positive student outcomes. With the support of 150 Ugandan university graduates recruited as Building Tomorrow Fellows and a corps of more than 3,400 Community Education Volunteers (CEVs, see below), we have brought 55,143 out-of-school children back to school, built 81 primary schools, and drastically improved learning outcomes for 13,001 primary learners through our remedial literacy and numeracy program, Roots to Rise. This is all happening in a country that is experiencing its worst education crisis in a generation, with 1.2 million children out of school even before the COVID-19 pandemic (UNESCO and UNICEF, 2013). Primary school completion rates in Uganda are among the lowest in East Africa; only 35% of children will complete the full seven years of primary education. Most worryingly, of those children who attend school, only 6% of Primary 4 students can read a paragraph, and only 2% can solve a simple math problem. These troubling statistics are at the core of why we seek to unite school and community actors in pursuit of better learning outcomes for all children.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has been a dedicated partner since 2013, generously providing biennial, unrestricted operational support for our programs. Though the scope of our work has evolved since 2013, The West Foundation has been steadfast in their commitment to our shared vision of a world where every child can access their full potential through a quality education.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is the West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Education is a global public good, and when adequately supported, creates a healthier and more prosperous society. The focus of our work has always been to ensure education is supported in the communities we serve and that our impact long outlives our programs.

Partners like The West Foundation help us to implement sustainable models, engage local community stakeholders and build their capacity to support access to quality education for their children. Our CEV program, for example, is comprised of some 3,400 parents, retired civil servants, and talented community leaders who wish to serve as a lasting voice for quality education in their communities. CEVs are empowered with valuable skills and an official platform through which they can effect positive change, and we have seen firsthand that CEVs can and will champion education long after our programs end.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

COVID-19 is exacerbating an already precarious education situation in Uganda, where nearly 1.2 million students were out of school and learning outcomes were severely lacking even before the pandemic struck. Today, some 20 million children across the country remain out of school, which is likely to continue until at least early 2021. The longer children are out of school, the more learning gains are lost. The international community recognizes the catastrophic effects of COVID-19 can only be fully reversed when education is a central part of the response, which is why we are scaling our efforts and launching the Tomorrow is Now initiative. The ultimate goals of Tomorrow is Now are to enroll all out-of-school primary children in school in five districts and to ensure they are up to grade level in literacy and numeracy. This initiative builds on achievements of the Thriving Schools program, which is a community-centered initiative led by Building Tomorrow Fellows and CEVs aimed at providing primary-age students with access to a thriving school. Tomorrow is Now will take place parallel to Thriving Schools by creating opportunities for local government – with the support of Building Tomorrow Fellows Alumni as Technical Advisors – to expand the reach of the CEV model and Roots to Rise program, thus making the program even more scalable and sustainable. This initiative is a massive undertaking, but the future of some 20 million students depends on us and other organizations setting the bar high to create a sea change.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Building Tomorrow’s work is continually inspired and informed by the communities we serve and partner with. We are locally led, as 70 of our 75 staff are East African. Everything we do is in close partnership with the Ugandan government because we believe it is the most sustainable way to enact systems-level change and scale efforts that are visibly improving learning outcomes for children.

6. How can people reading this help you?

The belief that we achieve more together than we can alone is at the heart of our work, which is why we are constantly looking to add new members to the Building Tomorrow fan club! Check out some ways you can join the team and support our work:

  • Network
    • Do you know some folks who might really like the work we’re doing and want to get involved? If so, we’d love to meet them and hope you’ll encourage them to drop us a note at info@buildingtomorrow.org.
  • Partner with Us
    • Our work comprises many components to improve student outcomes. In addition to the above, we also focus on making education more inclusive for some of the most vulnerable, including those with disabilities. We are currently busy adapting our Roots to Rise program for distance learning and working to develop Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) capabilities to bring learning to some of our most vulnerable out-of-school children. To learn more about areas for potential partnerships, please check out our website!
  • Join the Ambassador’s Council
    • The Ambassador’s Council is a group of motivated and passionate young professionals in the Indianapolis area who garner support for Building Tomorrow just because they want to! Click here if you’d like to learn more.
  • Become an Intern
    • Want to go a step beyond classic volunteering, and really contribute your time and talents to a specific project or two? If so, interning might be for you! Send us a note at info@buildingtomorrow.org.
  • Fundraise
    • Any contribution, no matter the size, will make an impact! You could donate for your birthday, organize a virtual 5K, or partner with a local restaurant for a dine and donate night – totally up to you! If you need help getting started, just reach out and we’d be happy to brainstorm the next best COVID-19 friendly fundraising opportunity.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We are working to achieve systems-level change, and our ambition is to eliminate all out-of-school children and help transform the way students learn in Uganda. Before COVID-19 struck, we had enrolled 55,000 learners through our Thriving Schools Program. Millions of children remain out of school as we write this, and we recognize how daunting this goal now seems – but this is why we rely on strategic partners to help us create expansive impact by investing heavily in local communities, teachers, and change-makers. We are always looking to add more partners like The West Foundation to our portfolio, partners who share in our vision and continually support our ambitious endeavors.

Photo courtesy: Building Tomorrow

Learn more about Care 2 Communities

1. Tell us about your mission.

Care 2 Communities (C2C) has created a new approach for community healthcare delivery in Haiti: we’ve combined a sustainable social enterprise model with philanthropy and a partnership with the Ministry of Health to deliver affordable, high-quality primary care in underserved communities. Our innovative approach effectively addresses a decades old challenge in Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation, where primary health care quality and accessibility are inconsistent and severely lacking.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

With the support of The West Foundation, C2C works to demonstrate significant strides towards our three central goals:

  • To guarantee that poor families are able to access high-quality health services
  • To improve health outcomes for local communities
  • To create viable social businesses that ensure health services to a community for the long term

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

As C2C expands its clinic network, we are constantly asking the question: are our efforts making an impact on the health of the communities we serve? To answer this question, we developed an initial Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework which was greatly supported by the West Foundation. We have since further structured our plan based on a detailed results framework to fully develop and implement the tools and processes needed to measure the specific indicators we have identified to reduce morbidity and mortality of adults and children in North and Northeast Haiti.

As sustainability is a core component of our model, C2C believes that providing high quality healthcare at an affordable price creates a predictable and manageable revenue source that ensures sustainability of services. We are proud to say our clinics have already achieved over 80% cost recovery on average (up from less than 70% just 2 years ago).

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Our unique model is delivering results. The momentum is building from our Public Private Partnership (PPP) as Haiti’s Ministry of Health has seen our success at improving efficiency and quality of care. C2C’s is now transitioning to scale with plans to rehabilitate 3-5 additional government clinics by year-end 2021. With our proven model and a very satisfied partner, C2C has a clear path to scale by taking on many more government clinics.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Our commitment to local capacity building and staffing. 95% of our staff is Haitian and based in-country. We also make every effort to procure supplies and equipment locally.

6. How can people reading this help you?

  • Learn more about C2C’s work to bring high-quality primary care to Haiti
  • Sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with how C2C is delivering quality primary care to vulnerable communities
  • Make a lifesaving donation or start a campaign of your own to support one of our many new or ongoing programs
  • Take action by helping us spread awareness of the need for quality healthcare in Haiti

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

With the success of our model, C2C is getting ready to scale but our only constraint is funding to commit to clinic expansion. While our social enterprise model lessens donor burden, philanthropic funds are needed to cover start-up clinic rehabilitation and operating costs. We welcome partnerships to expand our mission and work in Haiti!

Photo caption: Care 2 Communities

Learn more about H2O for Life

1. Tell us about your mission.

H2O for Life offers a service-learning opportunity designed to engage, educate and inspire

youth to take action to solve the global water crisis by raising awareness and funds to support

implementation of water, sanitation, and hygiene education (WASH) projects for global partner

schools.

H2O for Life activates U.S. youth to fight the global water crisis. We do this by engaging and

educating youth about water issues and the water crisis and they implement local actions and

lead service-learning projects that bring awareness and funding for WASH projects for schools

around the world.

H2O for Life’s unique program allows U.S. youth to be key partners in promoting solutions for

clean water locally and for their peers around the world. Through activities and projects, such

as “walks for water,” youth raise money to support clean water projects. H2O for Life’s student

to student, school to school approach allows youth to recognize that they can change the lives

of others around the world.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

Thanks to the generosity of The West Foundation, H2O for Life has been able to continue

pursuing and amplifying our mission to impact youth around the world. The West Foundation’s

support allows us to increase our recruitment of U.S. schools, teachers, and students, and helps

us create new educational resources for our stakeholders. The materials that we have created

broaden the impact of water resource conservation education around the nation.

H2O for Life involves students and educators in the design and dissemination of innovative and

compelling service-learning projects that raise awareness and funds to support WASH for our

global partner schools. These service-learning projects usually entail engaging the larger school

community in the conversations of water conservation and access. The more people that our

youth service-learning projects reach, the more assistance we can provide to schools in need

around the world. West Foundation’s support has been critical to increasing out impact.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is the West Foundation’s

philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation’s support with a two-year grant helped us become more sustainable and

allowed us to plan better for the future and be nimble when we needed to be. This spring when

Covid-19 spread throughout the world, H2O for Life was ready and adjusted quickly to the new

reality of distance learning. Our staff created new virtual tools and action activities that could

be done by individual students and shared with their school teams. Multi-year funding is critical

for the sustainability of nonprofits nationwide.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

This year has been a challenging year for everyone and especially for educators and global

humanitarians. There have been so many unforeseen and sudden challenges since the

beginning of the pandemic. However, we have been able to navigate and pivot to better meet

the needs of our stakeholders.

We have realized the importance of having easily accessible online educational materials for

students and teachers, so we have created an online program, “Water Guardians” that is

launching this school year focused on water scarcity and the conservation of water for grades 5-

8 that will inspire students to change their behavior and become champions of water and role

models for peers, parents and the community.

We have also recognized that there are certain communities that have been hit especially hard

by the pandemic, so we have focused a lot of energy and focus on projects in areas like the

Navajo Nation.

H2O for Life has always been able to help others learn about and engage with issues that are far

away. Now more than ever we need to be willing to learn about and help others at a safe

distance. We have the potential to keep teaching about the global water crisis and keep fighting

for clean water and sanitation at a time when people are realizing how desperately important

those issues are.

We have seen that students who participate in H2O for Life’s U.S. programs gain a personal

connection to the importance of water, cultural competency, and empowerment to be agents

of change. U.S. students develop critical thinking, problem solving ability, and project

management expertise. These skills are crucial for success in school and future careers.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

We would like people to know that the work we do is not just about water. Our organization

might be called H2O for Life, but water is simply the start of the conversation. What we do is

teach students about the importance of being aware of global issues and to care about how

those issues impact other people just like them. What our students learn is that water connects

to education, public health, economic prosperity, gender inequality, poverty, environmental

sustainability, and these issues impact people throughout their life. H2O is the start of our

organization’s name, but the “for Life” part is what we are all about.

History has shown us that youth education and activation are the most effective tools in driving

long-term change. H2O for Life is educating a generation of global citizens who are bettering

the world.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Since 2007, H2O for Life has educated and impacted over 723,000 U.S. youth about the global

water crisis who have raised over $3.7 million for nearly 1,000 water, sanitation, and hygiene

education projects for schools in the developing world helping over 414,000 global students

have clean water and sanitation.

Still, nearly half of the world’s schools lack clean drinking water, toilets, and hand-washing

facilities, putting millions of children at risk of disease. The problem is immense, and we need

to scale our work to solve the water crisis. If you are…

• A parent, prompt the idea to your student’s teacher about connecting with H2O for Life.

• An educator, consider bringing our program into your classroom.

• A student, bring our service project to your student council.

• A donor, please consider supporting our work! The ripple effects of donations spread

further than you think!

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

H2O for Life would like every student in the world have access to clean water, sanitation, and

hygiene by 2030. With climate change, population growth, and other factors putting pressure

on water resources around the world, it is imperative that we teach young people about the

importance of water conservation and water quality and empower them to be leaders of

change.

H2O for Life is inspiring students to be global citizens and leaders in their community through

taking local and global actions around water. But we need help to reach more students who can

impact their local community and raise funds to provide WASH to those in need around the

world. Please check out our website and resources at h2oforlifeschools.org and get involved.

Photo courtesy: H2O for Life

Learn more about Cooperative for Education

1. Tell us about your mission.

In 1996, Jeff and Joe Berninger founded Cooperative for Education (CoEd), a Cincinnati, Ohio-and Guatemala City-based 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of helping Guatemalan schoolchildren break the cycle of poverty through education. Over the years, we have reached nearly 225,500 Guatemalan students through textbook, computer, reading, and youth development programs.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission? 

The West Foundation is supporting CoEd’s work and operations, expanding our four core educational programs to reach thousands more youth in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, which exhibits one of the most extreme combinations of systemic poverty, illiteracy, and inequality in the hemisphere.

  • According to the UN, the two elements that improve the quality of education in developing countries the most are 1) providing textbooks and 2) making sure that the teachers are engaged and prepared. CoEd’s Textbook Program does both. With The West Foundation’s support, we now have 207 schools and 26,400 students in our Textbook Program.
  • CoEd Computer Centers deliver high-quality technical training, providing marketable skills that enable rural Guatemalan students to compete for higher-wage jobs and break the cycle of poverty. 95% of program graduates find a job or continue their education in high school!
  • Our Spark Reading Program provides children’s literature and training in effective reading instruction to primary-school teachers, transforming rural Guatemalan schoolchildren into enthusiastic, competent, and lifelong readers. Currently, 24,000 students and 912 teachers at 94 schools are benefiting from the Spark Reading Program.
  • The Rise Youth Development Program removes economic barriers to education and involves young people in leadership development and community service activities. Thanks to The West Foundation’s support, 731 students are still in school and on their way to graduation. 

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility? 

True to our organization’s name, we work “cooperatively” with parents, teachers, principals, and students to create strategies for educational development in their communities. We also build local capacity by training teachers and administrators to manage and maintain their programs. A fee-based revolving fund model makes the Computer and Textbook Programs financially sustainable. Students pay a small fee each month which goes into a fund managed by CoEd. These fees are then used to replace the books and computer equipment after approximately five years. The Spark Reading Program achieves a lasting impact by transforming teachers into literacy professionals that will educate an entire generation of Guatemalan schoolchildren. The Rise Youth Development Program enables students who otherwise would be forced to drop out to complete the 12 years of education necessary to permanently break out of poverty. Graduates then contribute to the academic and economic success of their younger siblings and future children.

In early March, Guatemalan schools closed to keep their students safe during the pandemic. With many students lacking access to the Internet, Guatemala’s Ministry of Education struggled—even more so than our own school systems—to reach kids with education during stay-at-home orders. Luckily, 26,800 students in 207 schools still have access to high-quality CoEd textbooks that allow them to continue studying from home! Our Spark Reading Program and Textbook Program teams also rose up the challenge by beginning to train teachers online. The Computer Centers Program team is creating video tutorials that students can watch at home, while developing a strategy to condense course content for when students return to school, ensuring every student gets the opportunity to learn what they would have covered in class during the pandemic. The Rise Program team has been making phone calls to students, checking on their health, and sending out homework assignments. We also started a COVID-19 Student Relief Fund to provide additional financial support to students whose families are struggling to meet their basic needs and to cover scholarships for students whose sponsors are unable to continue their support. The West Foundation’s support is especially critical during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic because support of core operations enables this flexibility.

4. How are you realizing your potential? 

CoEd started as a kitchen-table operation run by two brothers who saw a need in the world, to help children in Guatemala rise out of poverty through education. In just 24 years, it has grown into an award-winning international development organization with offices in two countries and a staff of more than 60. The first successful textbook cooperative we started way back in 1996 has been replicated in 207 communities, benefiting more than 26,000 students with 102,500 textbooks each day. That very first textbook school still has textbooks today, and has even renewed their own books multiple times with money saved in their revolving fund—with no further investment needed from outside supporters! CoEd even expanded this sustainability model into developing computer centers, youth development, and primary school reading programs. 

Over the years, support from the West Foundation has helped our programs’ reach grow to the impressive numbers above, but it has also done so much more. As we’re learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the strong network of educational resources we’ve built over time means that we’re well-positioned to lead the way in continuing education for Guatemalan students during stay-at-home orders. For example, when in-person teacher trainings were suspended, teachers in our Spark Reading Program had already received a jump drive full of instructional videos covering the program’s methodology for the year. Even though these videos were originally intended as review materials, our team was able to quickly revise the training curriculum so that the videos could serve as the primary learning tools. Thanks to our programs’ many innovative components like the Spark videos, we’re able to continue having an impact in students’ lives even now, during these challenging times. Although this unprecedented global shutdown is certainly affecting all of our programs in Guatemala, it has also pointed to ways in which our ability to adapt and quickly pivot to reaching students through virtual means are leading the charge in responding to the needs of our changing world. 

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization? 

Today, indigenous Maya in the Western Highlands of Guatemala suffer from poverty, malnutrition (rates of which rank among the worst in the world), poor health outcomes, high rates of illiteracy, and low levels of educational attainment. Four out of five indigenous Guatemalans live in poverty and nine out of ten kids living in poverty never graduate from high school. Compounding the problem, the majority of Maya do not have access to affordable, quality education. Teachers in rural schools often lack formal training and resources—like books and computers—they need to facilitate learning. As a result, educational attainment is low, and illiteracy and dropout rates are high. Young people lack the education to secure higher-paying jobs, and the cycle of poverty continues. Parents in these remote towns and villages want more for their children, and they know that education is the only pathway out of poverty. 

Through the generosity of our donors, we provide educational opportunities to impoverished Guatemalan schoolchildren that help them learn to read, stay in school, learn valuable skills, gain access to better jobs, discover their value, achieve their potential, and give back to the world. This is especially important for young girls in Guatemala, who often get left behind. It’s been proven that educating girls improves the health and survival rates of infants and children, leads to higher rates of school attendance and completion in the next generation, improves the status of women within families, communities, and the political arena, and much more! Through education, these vulnerable young people can lift themselves, their families, and their entire communities out of poverty—breaking the cycle, once and for all.

6. How can people reading this help you? 

You can help by joining us on the evening of October 17, 2020 for our first ever virtual fundraising gala, Fall Fiesta! We invite our supporters and your friends and family to join us online from the comfort and safety of your own home to watch our livestream event, bid on auction items, and play games, all while helping to break the cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education. There is no cost to attend the livestream event!

You can also help by sponsoring a student in CoEd’s Rise Youth Development Program. Each year, with the help of sponsors, CoEd provides full academic scholarships to hundreds of indigenous Maya students in impoverished communities throughout Guatemala. In addition to removing economic barriers to education, the Rise Program also provides a support system to help students rise above the challenges they face. We’ll keep you regularly updated on your student’s progress, and you will also have the opportunity to exchange letters and photos with your student and even visit them in Guatemala! You’ll experience the joy and pride of helping your student grow as you become part of each other’s stories.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization? 

Our deepest need as an organization is support for our Thousand Girls Initiative, a primary focus of our current strategic plan. In Guatemala, girls are not traditionally supported in their desire to go to school. Often, when parents have to decide which child to educate on their meager earnings, they prioritize the boys, and the girls get left behind. In some parts of Guatemala (where we work), there is a boy and a half in school for every girl. In Guatemala as a whole, 80% of men are literate, compared to only 58% of women. The Thousand Girls Initiative is a massive expansion of the Rise Youth Development Program that will help 1,000 girls and 250 boys across the country rise out of poverty for good. The main limiting factor in the number of new students the program can reach is our ability to find sponsors for these students as described above, so helping introduce our work to new audiences who may be interested in sponsoring is always appreciated!

 

Photo courtesy: Cooperative for Education

 

 

Learn more about Hesperian Health Guides

1. Tell us about your mission.

Hesperian Health Guides addresses urgent, emerging, and primary health needs, structural inequalities, and their root causes together with the people most directly affected. Our mobile apps, digital, and print tools help individuals and communities around the world take action and work to eliminate the underlying causes of poor health.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation’s grant support to Hesperian enables us to create, user-test, release, and distribute materials and health guides across issue areas of critical importance to physical and psychological well-being, including environmental health, workers’ health and safety, reproductive health, living with chronic illness and disabilities, children’s and primary health care. The Foundation also serves an invaluable role as a thought partner and connector.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation’s philanthropic support funds comprehensive, multilingual resources, such as Hesperian’s signature project, NEW Where There Is No Doctor. Institutional and individual donors often focus on a single disease, health issue, or country. The Foundation’s flexibility makes it possible for us to respond quickly to developments impacting people’s health and well-being, while maintaining momentum with our partners on multiple projects simultaneously.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Hesperian’s 300 health resources are available in over 85 languages. Our materials are used by millions of people annually in 221 countries and territories.

Hesperian collaborates with thousands of community health workers, peer promoters, medical professionals, movement leaders, and organizers worldwide. We partner with respect for the knowledge, skills, priorities, opportunities, and constraints that individuals and organizations possess. Together, we develop, publish, and share vital, user-centered information that is culturally appropriate and action-oriented.

Our approach to ensuring that all people have accessible, up-to-date health information is distinguished by:

  1. Clear language and illustrations in our world-renowned style with translations by native speakers skilled in presenting health information in easily understood terms.
  2. Harm reduction alternatives when the best response is just not possible.
  3. Global partner networks at the international, regional, national, and community levels nurtured with care over more than 40 years that facilitate rapid delivery of our life-saving information to the most vulnerable communities, hard to reach populations, and geographically remote regions.
  4. A trusted global brand to counter the infodemic of health rumors, hoaxes, fake treatments, and “cures” spread online and person-to-person in the absence of reliable, relatable health information.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Hesperian produces and shares easy-to-understand health information for people worldwide.

Hesperian strives for a world in which people and communities are equipped to achieve health for all. Our mission is to provide information and educational tools that help all people take greater control over their health and work to eliminate the underlying causes of poor health.

Hesperian’s long-term goal is Health for All, a systemic change that eliminates health disparities based on gender, sexual identity, ancestry, religion, disability, age, or citizenship. We will know that our vision is realized when individual and collective agency enables all people worldwide to address urgent, emerging, and primary health needs and their root causes effectively without fear of violence or other reprisal.

A woman-led organization since 1996, nearly all Hesperian’s small, dedicated staff have advanced technical skills, as well as organizing or advocacy experience related to one or more of our issues. Among others, we identify as women (82%), people of color (29%), and immigrants, members of immigrant households, or first-generation Americans (41%). Our staff includes bicultural/bilingual speakers of Chinese, French, and Spanish. Most of the native English speakers are proficient in one or more additional languages.

6. How can people reading this help you?

For over 45 years, Hesperian has worked a movement builder for social justice, to create a world where everyone has access to knowledge for action and can take action for health.

Here are three powerful ways to join us:

Use Hesperian’s mobile apps, digital, and print resources. Share them widely with your personal and professional networks. Many are free.

Partner with us through your organization or as an individual to translate, update, or test materials to ensure they are accurate and easy-to-use.

Tell the world your story and amplify our call for Health for All Now!

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

People’s ongoing health needs do not disappear when other health problems, like the COVID-19 pandemic, arise. They become more challenging and more essential to resolve than ever. COVID-19 made Hesperian adjust our operations, develop a new area of work to address the virus, and recalibrate our work plan.

Hesperian needs flexible short-term and multiyear funding to address three priorities, identified with our global partners, to mitigate the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people living in the hardest hit communities:

  1. Developing and releasing free NEW Where There Is No Doctor mental health modules in digital and PDF formats in multiple languages, including mental health. Hesperian is creating four chapters on mental health that will cover: 1) mental health promotion; 2) substance abuse; 3) trauma; and 4) perinatal depression.
  2. Expanding, translating, and promoting our Workers’ Guide to Health and Safety to ensure that labor leaders, organizers, peer promoters, and clinicians are equipped to effectively advocate, counsel or treat women in low-wage industries who are experiencing a “double pandemic.” Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation praised the first edition as “an incredibly practical, respectful resource…Full of accurate technical information and motivational stories.” This project takes a major step toward ensuring that low-wage workers, especially women, have the information they need to take action to protect their health— and can do so without fear of stigma, marginalization, or danger of violent reprisal.
  3. Continuing to get reliable COVID-19 information to countries and areas in the United States where underfunded healthcare infrastructure makes adults and children especially vulnerable to infection, severe illness, and co-morbidities that increase the likelihood of long-term health problems or death.

Hesperian released a free, downloadable COVID-19 Fact Sheet in early March. After enlisting over 40 partners, it is now available in 31 languages and formatted for accessibility to people with reading impairments. People in 163 countries and all 50 US states engage with it directly online. International organizations, including Communicating with Disaster-Affected Communities (CDAC) Network, Clean Clothes Campaign, and World Association of Medical Editors, link to it on their websites. So do public agencies, libraries, health associations, service providers, advocacy organizations, and media outlets across the US. In the past two months, more than 45,000 people have viewed this information on Hesperian’s website.

In May and June, we released additional resources requested by our partners with translations completed or underway in 20 languages:

  • Is your sickness COVID-19?
  • Staying well in the time of coronavirus
  • Caring for a sick person at home
  • Breathing
  • Health protection and security for protest marches
  • Making masks, face shields, handwash stations, hand sanitizer, and soap
  • Managing stress and anger

We regularly hear that these resources are transformational from people as geographically dispersed and culturally different as a doctor treating her patients in a family clinic in Zimbabwe to an advocate for indigenous migrant workers and their relatives in an isolated Mexican valley to the medical staff at a major public hospital in the US. Working with our translation partners, Hesperian will continue to update them, adding new languages, and ensuring that the content is consistent with the most current information and medical guidance.

Photo courtesy: Hesperian Health Guides

 

Learn more about Boys Hope Girls Hope

1. Tell us about your mission.

The mission of Boys Hope Girls Hope is to nurture and guide motivated young people in need to become well-educated, career-ready “men and women for others.” We firmly believe that children have the power to overcome adversity, realize their potential, and help transform our world. Children create these successes when we remove obstacles, support, and believe in them, and provide environments and opportunities that build on their strengths.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

Operating in 16 cities in the United States and Latin America, Boys Hope Girls Hope uses programming adapted to the needs of each community, unique curriculum, and partnerships with local schools and universities. The West Foundation supports our mission through its ongoing commitment to Esperanza Juvenil, a Guatemalan affiliate of Boys Hope Girls Hope. Esperanza Juvenil was established in 1991 to support the nation’s disadvantaged population. Since then, it has served youth from impoverished communities around Guatemala, helping them develop their academic and leadership potential to break the cycle of poverty for them and their families. Responding to the need for access and quality education, Esperanza Juvenil has created its own school from 3rd grade to 12th grade, which offers a rigorous curriculum and personalized attention to prepare students for college and beyond.

Developing well-rounded, well-educated individuals in Guatemala is an important goal because nationally only 8% of the population enrolls, and only 2% graduate from college. In contrast, all students who enter our program enroll and complete college. 2020 graduate Ericka Barrios expressed her appreciation: “Esperanza Juvenil has been a great blessing- not just for me, but for my whole family. It allows young people to fulfill their dreams and create change in society.”

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Boys Hope Girls Hope relies on West funding to help maintain operations and flexibly provide critical resources for Esperanza Juvenil youth and their families. At Esperanza Juvenil, we always work hard for all our scholars to continue their education with no setbacks. Under normal conditions, this means a team is working together and serving the psychological, academic, social, and spiritual guidance and support. Right now, the challenges are significant as scholars live outside of our program residences and study remotely. Even as technology cannot substitute dedicated in-person support by professionals, providing educational and personal guidance through Boys Hope Girls Hope is proving vital for Esperanza Juvenil scholars to keep making progress. Executive Director Lucas Pinzon offers his gratitude after leading a time of significant expansion: “We are very grateful for all the support the West Foundation has given us over the years. Thanks to your support, we have grown to support 186 boys and girls from all over Guatemala. We already have 32 students at the university level and 10 who have already graduated.”

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Esperanza Juvenil has made a long-term commitment to scholar excellence and achieved a huge goal last year, opening its new high school campus thanks to the support of a local construction company and other businesses, families, foundations and individuals. With this great step, two new grades (11th and 12th grade) were added to its high school program, and we will celebrate the first graduating class of the Esperanza Juvenil High School in November 2020. Of course, this group is coping with many different pressures now — academically, economically and emotionally — as most of them are helping their parents generate income as the crisis has increased their financial burdens. We are doing all we can to make sure all scholars perform well academically this year, despite the circumstances, and keep motivated to pursue their degrees and dreams.

In the big picture, of course, Boys Hope Girls Hope realizing its potential is when our scholars are realize their potential. A great example of this is Esperanza Juvenil’s Luis Ángel Hernández Sandoval, who will soon graduate as a lawyer from Landivar University. He is an ambitious young man drawn to business law, plus Luis also wants to give back by serving on the board of an organization like Esperanza Juvenil: “Always think about the future. Vaya por mas. Go for more.”

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Boys Hope Girls Hope’s commitment to its youth is comprehensive and endures for years. It means accompanying them on a developmental journey that extends through college while honoring their strong ties to their families, cultures, and home communities. And in return, they become the “young men and women for others” that are so needed to face today’s tough challenges.

6. How can people reading this help you?

People can help Boys Hope Girls Hope in a wide variety of ways:

• Volunteer leadership through the International headquarters and our 16 affiliates

• Face-to-face and digital community service as coaches, mentors, houseparents and more

• Assisting with logistical needs at residences like cooking, repairs, etc.

• Making referrals for promising youth in need

• Providing fundraising support and contributions

• Joining us as community partners and dedicated employees

The Boys Hope Girls Hope website is an excellent place to learn more about our affiliates and operations, to follow us on social media, and to connect with our many support opportunities!

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

While Boys Hope Girls Hope has an outstanding +40 year record of service, we still continuously strive to improve on behalf of our young people. Right now, our greatest needs are deepening programs and resources that ensure the whole-child development of our youth as young men and women for others. Looking ahead, these needs include developing additional pathways to service-learning and 21st-century skills, keeping our students as safe and healthy as possible, and strengthening our online educational tools.

Photo Courtesy: Boys Hope Girls Hope

 

 

Learn more about Mali Health

1. Tell us about your mission.

Mali Health improves maternal and child health by supporting women, communities, and the community health system to create local solutions that ensure every mother and child has access to high-quality primary care.   

 2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

We are proud to call The West Foundation a partner and supporter. Not only is the philanthropic support needed and helpful, but we most appreciate being able to work with a partner who is aligned with our values. We believe in building local, bottom-up leadership, and in doing our work in a durable and equitable way. Being able to discuss the challenges we face, and have a partner truly understand them, makes such a difference in our ability to pursue our mission.

 3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation has been a long-term partner who shares our values of supporting community ownership and leadership of solutions to eliminate poverty and improve health. Creating more equitable community-led health systems, and putting women at the heart of them, takes time and the flexibility to adapt to local needs. Unrestricted support from the West Foundation allows us to be adaptive, by allowing us to meet the greatest needs. Their partnership allows us to be a better partner.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

We work with thousands of families across peri-urban communities in Bamako, using four different strategies to improve health. We have worked with communities to find effective solutions for over a decade and now that we have, we are looking for ways to sustain the impact of those solutions with local leadership and local financing. This is a challenging, long-term, and non-linear pursuit, but the one that is necessary and in our experience, the best way to ensure that every mother and child has access to quality healthcare, always.

 5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Everything we achieve is through a partnership with marginalized communities. We believe in strengthening existing community health systems by building local leadership and resources. We are guided by community priorities and community needs, not our own models and methods. 

Many look at the families and communities we serve and find them too poor to be active participants, often regarding them as the passive recipients of services only. We respect the agency and voice of all those with whom we work, and we support them in their desire to improve their communities and health. We believe that community ownership and leadership, especially among the most marginalized, is the key to achieving health for all in Mali’s decentralized health system.

 6. How can people reading this help you?

At the moment, donations are our greatest need. Responding to COVID-19 has required us to stretch in a lot of ways, including financially. We have had to spend less time fundraising and more time responding to ensure that the mothers and children we serve do not lose access to healthcare at this critical time. There is so much uncertainty for Mali and the world, but we are trying to prepare for whatever may be ahead. Buying a bar of our soap is another great way to support our mission, share the story of women we serve, and ensure that we all stay healthy during this pandemic.

 7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?  

We need more partners like The West Foundation! Not only is there a need for more funders to operate in true partnership with flexibility and trust, but there is a great need for funders who look at the impact a bit differently and put the needs of communities ahead of metrics, ideology, or marketing. For The West Foundation, good development is truly about the impact, and we truly need more partners like them.

Photo courtesy: Mali Health

Learn more about Nurturing Minds

1.Tell us about your mission.

Nurturing Minds’ mission is to support quality education, life skills, and entrepreneurship to help vulnerable girls in Tanzania become leaders in their communities. Nurturing Minds achieves its mission through the development and support of the SEGA Girls’ School, a secondary, boarding school that improves the quality of life for vulnerable Tanzanian girls.

Nurturing Minds and the SEGA Girls’ School address the issue of inequitable access to and poor quality of education opportunities for Tanzanian girls, especially the poorest, as SEGA targets girls who are out-of-school, extremely poor, are often orphaned, and/or subject to exploitative forms of child labor. SEGA was established with a purpose of improving the quality of life for vulnerable Tanzanian girls through the construction and running of a quality, academically sound, sustainable, secondary girls’ boarding school that fosters the development of strong values, life skills, healthy self-esteem, and independent thinking skills among its students. The majority of SEGA students were forced to drop-out of school due to extreme poverty, or were deemed at-risk of dropping out, but are bright and motivated. Selected from over 20 different communities from throughout Tanzania, half of the girls are orphans and most come from families who are too poor to pay the school fees necessary for them to enter secondary school.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has supported Nurturing Minds since 2015 by initially providing funding for SEGA’s Career Preparedness Program that was at the time fairly new. The goal of this program, which focuses on Form IV students who are in their last year of secondary school, is to ensure that each student has an individual plan following her graduation and is prepared to continue working toward her goal of leading a healthy, financially self-sufficient, and fulfilling life. The Career Preparedness Program helps students apply to continuing education, places students in internships, offers an entrepreneurship certificate, and assists with job placement. This program is critical to the success of our students making a smooth transition from SEGA to further education and employment. Since that time, The West Foundation has provided unrestricted funding that aids in the running costs of the SEGA Girls’ Secondary School and provides basic needs and a safe environment for girls to have the opportunity for academic success.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

SEGA uses a holistic approach to education that encompasses academic, social, and mental factors to help girls escape exploitation and have the communication and leadership skills to stand up for themselves. In addition to a rigorous academic program, SEGA teaches computer literacy; environmental stewardship; life skills that teach public speaking, self-awareness, sexual reproductive health and human rights; career counseling that aids in the transition from secondary school to continued education or employment; and entrepreneurship training where students learn business creation, marketing, management skills, and customer service.

The West Foundation helped us grow at a critical time allowing us to double our class size and increase our presence in the community. We now support 260 girls per year on the school campus and nearly 600 girls (and growing!) in our Msichana Kisasa (Modern Girl) Community Outreach program that brings our life skills program to girls in communities throughout Tanzania with an aim to keep girls in school and help to avoid early marriage and early pregnancy.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Tanzania has one of the lowest secondary school enrollment rates and one of the highest dropout rates for girls. Although the secondary school enrollment rate is similar for girls and boys, retention drops off significantly for girls as they reach adolescence, mainly because of a high rate of teenage pregnancy, pressure for young girls to get married, a lack of adequate toilet facilities, and high levels of sexual harassment at school. In addition, financial barriers to attending school and deeply entrenched gender roles relegate girls to domestic duties.

SEGA removes barriers to education and impacts students’ lives by providing a quality academic education while nurturing each girl toward being an empowered young woman, capable of planning and shaping her own future. SEGA has demonstrated that poor girls, given basic needs, safety, and remedial learning can have academic success. Seven classes of students have graduated with very high pass levels (97-100% compared to 70% nationally). In 2020, 100% of graduates were eligible to go on to continuing education programs in nursing, teaching, business, non-profit management, and A-levels (an additional two years of advanced level high school required to enter university). Currently, 16 SEGA graduates attend university. Continuing education scholarships are provided for every SEGA student who chooses to pursue that path.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

SEGA has a major effect on its students in knowing their human rights, being able to speak knowledgeably and confidently, and teaching them a range of skill sets that help them tackle the myriad societal issues affecting their lives negatively. Each girl who passes through SEGA’s program graduates knowing that she has the same intrinsic value and the same rights as anyone else on this earth.

6. How can people reading this help you?

  • Visit the school and stay at the SEGA Lodge!
    • We are unique in that we offer accommodations for up to 24 people on our 30-acre campus that is securely protected by a gated, supervised entrance and fenced perimeter. Visitors are encouraged to share your skills and expertise with SEGA students such as computer training, media projects, arts/crafts, or sustainable farming. In return, SEGA students will give you lessons in preparing Tanzanian snacks, traditional dancing, and engage in storytelling and debate. Revenue from the Lodge provides a critical element to SEGA’s financial sustainability goals.
    • https://www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org/involved/#stay-at-sega
  • Sponsor a SEGA student.
    • Sponsoring a student at SEGA is a meaningful way to support our important work and connect with and follow the progress of one SEGA student. It provides a scholarship for their education and gives you first-hand experience seeing how your contribution to the school is making a difference, offers a cultural exchange and helps girls improve their English. Committing to 4 years is a great and stable way for the girls to get to know their sponsors, and also for you to cheer them on throughout their time at SEGA.
    • https://www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org/donate/#sponsor
  • Donate
    • Whether you choose to make a general donation, or contribute to our student sponsorship program, we are committed to keeping you informed about how your support is making a difference.
    • https://www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org/donate
  • Volunteer
    • In Tanzania
      • Volunteering at SEGA is a great way to have a positive impact on the lives of every student at the school. We offer week-long or three-month service learning opportunities for volunteers that offer capacity-building skills such as English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Marketing and Communications.
    • In the U.S.
      • Your help is critical to our success! There are many ways to volunteer with Nurturing Minds to feel connected to SEGA and the students. Join (or start) a regional chapter, become a school partner by starting a SEGA club at your school. Engage your church or community group to become involved.
    • https://www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org/involved

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Our deepest need is financial support for salaries and training for SEGA’s 22 teachers.

The SEGA School’s academic success depends on well-educated and highly qualified teachers and teacher-training. Throughout Tanzania, insufficient investment in the educational system has resulted in extremely high failure rates due to poorly trained teachers and a Tanzanian pedagogy that stresses top-down, rote memorization. This has created a barrier to advancing education across the country.

SEGA knows that its teachers are the glue that holds the school together and are the role models who inspire our students. SEGA does its best to select and retain strong, qualified teachers who adhere to a participatory approach to education. They are supported through ongoing teacher training and peer observation, encouraged to continually provide input to improve the school, and given a competitive salary in an effort to reduce a traditionally high teacher turnover rate.

Photo courtesy: Nurturing Minds

 

Learn more about ASAP Empowers

1. Tell us about your mission.

A Self-help Assistance Program’s (ASAP) mission is to cultivate self-reliance for women and youth through entrepreneurship and education projects and to foster cross-cultural understanding. For nearly thirty years ASAP has created and implemented projects that have helped over 100,000 families worldwide become self-reliant. This is achieved by collaborating locally and internationally with other NGOS, individuals, companies, and foundations.

Today, Tools for Empowerment (TFE) in Newnan GA, works to provide trade tool kits to vocational school graduates around the world.  These young women and men graduate with the knowledge and drive to succeed in their respective trades; but without tools oftentimes they are still unable to find independence. Working in partnership with The Salesian Missions of Don Bosco, who provide vocational skills training in 130 developing countries, ASAP collects and restores local tool donations for use by successful graduates. These young people are then able to practice their trade, provide for their families, rebuild their communities, and reap the emotional benefits of independence. To date, ASAP has provided tools to over 1,600 students in Haiti, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.

Currently, we are collecting and restoring tools for a new collaboration in Peru. Our volunteers remain diligent in preparing these kits for young women and men in an effort to promote self-reliant communities in this part of the world.

We also practice what we preach and work to generate program-related income for ASAP. Our longest-running endeavor, “Tinovaka” (‘We build’ in the Shona language), was a carpentry-with-production training center in Zimbabwe. Local residents gained training in carpentry while building school furniture kits that were later purchased by international donors for use in rural schools. This project covered overhead costs for ASAP for ten years while providing training and tools for over 100 carpenters annually. Further, these schools benefitted from both the new furniture as well as the local carpentry expertise to maintain furniture and school buildings in their remote rural area.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation was essential in providing vital funding for our Tools for Empowerment program. Since the initial grant, ASAP has gone on to help over 1,600 families worldwide. In addition to this assistance and program, The West Foundation has also driven our marketing strategy and helped us increase recognition within our community.

 3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

While tool donations help us create tool kits for vocational school graduates, philanthropic support is equally as important to continue our mission. With your help, we are able to fund expenses such as purchasing cleaning materials to refurbish tools, pay for gas when picking up donations from the community, and providing our volunteers with a space to clean and package tools. These donations keep our program running so that we may focus on gathering the right tools for the right students.

 4. How are you realizing your potential?

ASAP has created multiple programs to foster self-sufficiency in communities plagued by poverty or a lack of opportunity. Our partnerships with international organizations help further our mission and TFE creates a tangible program both locally and internationally. We are constantly moving forward and helping those we can along the way.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

ASAP is a labor of love; working to bridge divides, foster cross-cultural understanding, and strengthen our common humanity. Only when we work together across cultures for a common goal can we achieve sustainable, positive change that overcome stereotypes, quell fear, and help create World Citizens.

6. How can people reading this help you?

You can go to our website, asapempowers.org and click-on “Ways to Help”. Anywhere in the world, you can hold a fund raiser to support our work. Be creative!  Dedicate your next marathon, bake sale, or event to help foster cross-cultural understanding and self-reliance. Choose Click & Pledge, Mighty Cause, GoFundMe, or Global Giving. Your tax-deductible monetary donation is welcomed too. If you are within driving distance to Newnan, GA or Peachtree City, GA – we can always use your tools or your time!  We accept hand tools, power tools, sewing machines, and gardening tools to name a few. Many of our volunteers hold tool drives in their neighborhoods, at churches, or within their businesses. At the very least, simply spreading the word about ASAP and our projects goes a long way in helping us connect with communities.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We desperately need a permanent place to call our own! We currently rent space in a warehouse that while allows our volunteers a workshop, is in a desolate location and just does not have the space or facilities we need to succeed (like running water!). Any donation towards this goal will go far in helping us root and grow within our community and help change lives worldwide – one tool at a time.

Learn more about blueEnergy

1. Tell us about your mission.

blueEnergy works to create a more equitable, sustainable world by empowering healthy families and resilient communities. We work in direct, long-term partnerships with communities in Nicaragua and Ethiopia to unlock leadership capacity and sustainable access to essential services in themes of renewable energy; food security; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH). We work in an integrated and holistic manner.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The story of blueEnergy is ultimately told in two elements. First, our deep commitment to unlocking access to basic services in partnership with marginalized and vulnerable communities. We achieve this by supporting the development of leadership capacity within the communities, fostering cross-sectoral partnerships of action, and direct technical intervention delivery. Second, we believe deeply in projecting our success throughout our network. This takes the form of knowledge sharing, partnership with other organizations, capacity building, and promoting South-South collaboration. The West Foundation’s organic approach to funding gives us the mobility and agility to respond to timely needs both in our community development and global projection through knowledge sharing. Yet what truly sets The West Foundation as a leader in their space is the true partnership mentality. The Foundation actively promotes connections within their portfolio, germinates new ideas, and serves as a catalyst to ensure leaders within their portfolio are supported, engaged, and communicating.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Unrestricted funding is often the most difficult to secure. Unrestricted funding with an entire network of partnership and accompaniment is rarer even still. The West Foundation’s philanthropic support is difficult to value because the partnership with the Foundation implies more than just funding support. We are able to use the funds to support our most timely or difficult to fund challenges, which unlocks our internal ability to be sustainable, efficient, and responsive to the needs of communities that are marginalized and vulnerable. The willingness of Foundation staff to be a sounding board thought partner, and resource represents the magical X factor often lacking between Foundations and field partners. blueEnergy values the relationship, not just the funding, of The West Foundation deeply and that partnership represents a foundation to our success.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

blueEnergy has been working in Nicaragua for 15 years, unlocking access to basic services on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua for some of the most vulnerable indigenous communities in the region in the themes of water, sanitation, and hygiene; renewable energy; and food security. Approximately five years ago, we began a long-term partnership in Ethiopia to serve renewable energy access needs, including in refugee camps. We continue to explore and look for opportunities to share our rich learnings, experience, and methodologies with our partners. While we formed to serve a very specific set of needs in Nicaragua, we have always prioritized our global knowledge sharing and over the past few years have begun orienting our international administrative structure to support that effort, supporting the evolution of local partners, professional networks, leadership capacity, and South-South knowledge sharing.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

We are, at our core, catalysts. We are intervention-agnostic and are always seeking growth, partnership, and innovation. We believe that bottom-up, decolonized, and sustainable development is achievable when you have a spectrum of actors who are working collaboratively to build a more sustainable, equitable world. While we use technical interventions as the vehicle to achieve that vision, at our core we unlock capacity within the community. While this work is slow, deliberate, and methodical, it is the true key to sustainable development and empowerment.

6. How can people reading this help you?

blueEnergy is always looking for partnerships. We are a small, agile organization deeply focused on investing our resources into our mission. As such, we actively seek to grow our network of supporters in a direct and organic manner. We are always excited about an opportunity to discuss our approach, methodology, tools, or resources and to learn from others in our network of influence. From donors to community members, we view our constituency as an interlocked network that must operate with transparency, integrity, and long-term commitment. We look forward to welcoming new people, such as yourself, into that network of action as we work to continue to empower healthy families and resilient communities.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Get the word out! We build our support through word-of-mouth, boots on the ground visits, and meaningful relationships.

Photo courtesy: blueEnergy

Learn more about ProLiteracy

1. Tell us about your mission.

Our mission is to change lives and communities through the power of adult literacy.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has been collaborating with ProLiteracy for more than 20 years. Our relationship started in 1999 when this organization was known as Laubach Literacy International (LLI). Leadership from The West Foundation allowed ProLiteracy/LLI to launch our Women in Literacy initiative, which ultimately grew to reach to 125 grassroots partners in 65 countries. The West Foundation worked directly with the international division for many years and helped us not only financially but strategically in connecting with other NGO partner organizations such as Care International. The West Foundation has funded many international projects integrating literacy into various development areas such as health literacy, women’s economic empowerment, and human rights. Their hands-on approach and leadership have been invaluable in growing ProLiteracy’s international division.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation’s leadership and involvement over the past 20 years have helped ProLiteracy connect with other strategic partners both to leverage new streams of funding and to develop new programmatic initiatives such as our international intern/volunteer program as well as Women in Literacy.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

As an organization, ProLiteracy developed a Theory of Change and accompanying measures of impact to better understand how our work helps local programs. We have learned over the past few years that our reach is quite large, touching at least one million learners worldwide through our member programs and publishing customers. While we hope to maintain our reach, growing it to help even more literacy programs and learners is our true goal. To do that, we are solidifying partnerships that make teaching literacy easier, meeting new organizations external to literacy so new learners can be reached, and raising awareness of the issue so more learners and tutors step forward.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

We want others to know the importance of adult literacy and that it is truly one of the most solvable social issues that would make a major impact on the world. When adults go from low literate to literate, it has immense effects on their lives especially in the areas of personal and family economies—one report showed that learners who study for over 100 hours earn $10,000 more in a year than those who do not reach this milestone. Additionally, improved health is an area where we see change—low-literate adults have a hard time understanding health risks and precautionary measures. Imagine how real this issue is in the midst of a global pandemic. A more literate population can not only affect the public’s health but also public dollars as well.

6. How can people reading this help you?

If you are reading this and want to help, we can always use financial support, especially during this time when the pandemic has caused distance education to replace in-person instruction. ProLiteracy recently launched the Literacy Relief Fund, which will give digital education tools and books to local programs so they can continue working with adult learners. If financial support is not possible, we encourage you to consider being trained as a volunteer tutor or offering other help to a local program. In the U.S., you can check out the National Literacy Directory to find a local program or contact info@proliteracy.org for international contacts.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

As an organization working in adult literacy, we have a long list of needs. What would help us the most is for the general public to recognize that literacy is a basic human right. So often, people assume that all adults are literate, but 760 million adults around the world are not. To improve our society, we first need to recognize and examine the inequities that exist and why they exist. Then we need help to create and distribute tools—such as literacy education—so we can start to solve the problem. Literacy is a basic building block of education and communication, so the more people who understand that and support our work, the better off we will all be.

Photo courtesy: ProLiteracy

Learn more about Global Partnerships

Disclaimer: this is not an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities. Offers are made only following verification of eligibility and solely pursuant to a fund’s private offering materials.

1. Tell us about your mission.

Global Partnerships (GP) is a nonprofit, impact-first investor dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. Our funds make loans and early stage investments in social enterprises delivering products and services that empower people to earn a living and improve their lives. Our investments seek social impact on four dimensions:

  • Broadening Opportunity: We have a holistic understanding of poverty, so we invest across all facets of poverty – livelihoods, education, energy, health, housing, and sanitation.
  • Deepening Inclusion: We invest at the edge of the market, emphasizing approaches that include people marginalized by depth of poverty, gender, and/or geography, including women and the rural poor.
  • Serving Millions: We believe that every person matters, and we aim to expand opportunity for as many people as possible. We therefore focus on sustainable approaches that can, over time, scale to serve millions of people living in poverty.
  • Improving Lives: We only invest where evidence convinces us that people living in poverty value the opportunity being delivered and are empowered by it – economically or otherwise – to improve their lives.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

For over a decade, The West Foundation’s support for GP has allowed us to grow and expand our work. That growth has expanded our impact significantly in service of our mission to expand opportunity for households living in poverty. As of June 30, 2020:

  • Our funds have deployed more than $441 million in cumulative impact-led capital to over 155 partners across 23 countries.
  • Our current fund portfolio of $122 million serves people living in poverty across 15 initiatives, from urban sanitation to women-centered finance with education.
  • Our efforts to provide economic opportunity, better health, cleaner energy, safer and more secure housing, and other human services have cumulatively impacted 19.3 million lives.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Philanthropic support from The West Foundation and other mission-driven supporters has strengthened our operations while allowing us to stretch to increase our impact. In recent years we have launched new investment funds, developed new initiatives to address the varied facets of poverty, increased our lending volume to social enterprises, and expanded into sub-Saharan Africa, all while building a sustainable staff structure to support those efforts.

GP also has a dedicated research and impact team that is largely funded by philanthropic support like that of The West Foundation. From researching new potential partners dedicated to social impact, to developing impact screening tools, our research and impact team continually enhances our ability to improve lives for people living in poverty.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

For 25 years, GP funds have invested in sustainable solutions that help impoverished people increase their incomes and improve their lives. During that time, we have continually reviewed and improved our approach. Our analysis starts from the household: what products and services are truly making a difference for people and families living in poverty? What social enterprises are providing those products and services affordably and at scale? Can GP help them do more?

We use leading-edge impact management tools, and we have a learning mindset. That means that we are constantly evolving to make sure we are meeting needs and striving toward our mission.

As the world is responding to the economic and health crisis posed by COVID-19, GP is committed to walking alongside our 80+ social enterprise partners and the millions of people living in poverty whom they serve. We hope to help our partners as they navigate through to the other side of this pandemic and emerge sustainable, resilient, and impactful for the long-term.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

GP is an impact-first investor, which means investing in a way that seeks the highest possible social impact, while seeking to preserve capital with a modest financial return for investors.

Impact-first investing is distinctly different from return-first investing, which seeks the highest possible financial return, often without consideration of social or environmental consequences, and from the broader definition of impact investing which seeks to offer market rate or near-market rate financial returns that can be a tradeoff to truly maximizing impact.

We believe that impact-first investing has an essential role to play in advancing sustainable solutions to poverty for millions of people worldwide.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Learn more about GP’s response to COVID-19 and about the investment initiatives GP develops to address different facets of poverty. If you are interested in making a philanthropic impact with GP, please contact us.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

GP is seeking catalytic philanthropic supporters to make five-year commitments to Global Partnerships. An impact-first approach to investment requires significant resources to ensure positive impact truly comes first. GP is more than 90 percent of the way toward our goal of raising $15 million in philanthropy over five years to support impact-first work related to the portfolio of our funds. For Global Partnerships, philanthropy is more than a donation. We are enormously grateful to The West Foundation for providing catalytic philanthropic support for over ten years.

Photo courtesy: Global Partnerships

Learn how Educate! is responding to a global pandemic

In a new article on Medium, Boris Bulayev, Educate! CEO & Co-Founder & Loren Crary, Educate! Director of Revenue Strategy share how their social enterprise is rethinking and reorganizing to survive the peak of the pandemic and thrive in the new world it creates.

Read the article here.

 

Learn more about MAP

1. Tell us about your mission.

MAP International provides high-quality medicines and health supplies to millions of the worlds

poorest, most vulnerable people so that they may experience life to the fullest.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

Most recently, The West Foundation played a critical role by partnering with MAP to provide funding to help train and equip midwives in rural Liberia. One of the world’s poorest countries, Liberia also has one of the highest maternal/infant mortality rates. The MAP and West Foundation partnership has helped save lives and led to a decrease in the number of maternal/child deaths.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

By partnering with MAP to provide education and educational resources in some of the world’s poorest countries, the West Foundation is helping empower communities and creating lasting change for future generations.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Educating people is vital to the long-term health of any community — particularly in more remote, rural areas where medicines and trained caregivers are in short supply.

MAP International and its partners are providing both the critically needed education and the resources necessary to maintain and build healthier, more sustainable communities.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

We believe that all people should have access to life-changing, quality medicines and proper healthcare no matter where they were born or their financial circumstances. Worldwide, there are more than 2 billion people – most of whom are children – who do not have access to the most basic of medicines that we in the developed world take for granted. Through our work in 98 countries – many of them among the poorest in the world — MAP’s life-changing medicines and health supplies impact the lives of more than 13 million people annually.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Global health needs are tremendous, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic raging. MAP relies on the generous support of our donors to get lifesaving medicines and health supplies to where they are needed. When you hear about a natural disaster with survivors without access to clean water or hygiene supplies or people who are suffering from curable illnesses because they don’t have access to basic medicines, please consider making a gift to MAP International.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

As the worst global health crisis in living memory, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact in MAP’s work. We have received many emergency requests for personal protective equipment from healthcare providers and local governments in the United States and other countries around the world.

These emergency requests are in addition to our scheduled shipments of medicines and health supplies to countries in dire need. With medical mission teams unable to travel to areas decimated by coronavirus, MAP is also sending more medicines and health supplies to our existing partners on the ground to fill that gap.

With no definitive end to the pandemic in sight, MAP continues to respond to these increased demands. But to do so, we need more funding to cover these emergency shipments and the additional medicines we are sending.

Gifts of any size are deeply appreciated and will help bring health and hope to a world in desperately in need of both. Please visit www.map.org to learn more.

 

Photo courtesy: MAP

Learn more about mothers2mothers

1.Tell us about your mission.

mothers2mothers (m2m) is an Africa-based non-governmental organization (NGO) with a simple and effective mission – to ensure healthy, thriving families and an end to pediatric AIDS. Our success and impact are rooted in the Mentor Mother Model of peer mentorship, role modelling, and high-impact interventions. We train and employ local women living with HIV, often society’s most marginalized population, as Mentor Mothers,—frontline health workers who educate and support women and their families to access healthcare, initiate any care they need, and adhere to their treatments. Our evidence-based programs are designed to reach, educate, and engage the most vulnerable women, children, and families, strengthen public health systems, and catalyze the achievement of the UNAIDS 95-95-95 Fast Track Targets for HIV epidemic control as well as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Since 2001, m2m Mentor Mothers have provided life-saving services to more than 11 million women and children under two years of age, and by virtually eliminating pediatric AIDS among our clients for the last six years, have contributed to the reduction of pediatric HIV in the countries in which we operate. From a single site in Cape Town, South Africa, we have expanded our footprint across sub-Saharan Africa, created jobs for more than 11,000 women living with HIV as Mentor Mothers, and empowered millions more women to actively drive positive health outcomes for themselves and their families. From an initial focus on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, m2m now delivers a range of services including early childhood development, adolescent health, screenings for malaria and tuberculosis, and support for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), to ensure the whole community not only survives, but thrives.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has been a dedicated m2m partner since 2013, recognizing the game-changing role of Mentor Mothers at the heart of addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing families in sub-Saharan Africa. Its President and Executive Director, Emily West, has been an important advocate on behalf m2m’s belief in the power of mothers to ensure healthy, thriving families, and end pediatric AIDS.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation supports m2m by providing us with the most valuable grants possible, the unrestricted funding which affords us the flexibility and trust needed to be creative in program design, while allowing us to cover both programmatic and operational expenses. As an organization that prioritizes the social and economic mobility of women, their families, and communities, The West Foundation gives m2m the mobility to allocate funds where the needs are more urgent and greatest, which in turn ensures the sustainability of our programs across Africa.

The importance of unrestricted funding has never been more apparent than now, as m2m pivots to address the double pandemics of HIV and COVID-19. Our recently launched “Virtual Mentor Mother” platform allows us to deliver a sophisticated virtual system for providing emergency COVID-19 interventions in addition to our in-person core m2m health services.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Since its infancy, m2m has consistently made measurable strides in reaching its mission to eliminate pediatric HIV and create health and hope in the families and communities we serve. Within the last year we have launched programs in three new countries—Angola, Ghana, and Tanzania—bringing our total countries of operation to ten.

In 2019, we enrolled almost 1 million new clients, and reached 27% more adolescents and 20% more children compared to 2018. Just 0.08% of pregnant or breastfeeding women who were HIV-negative when enrolled in m2m’s program contracted HIV in 2019, which is 45 times lower than a 2020 estimate of the rate across sub-Saharan Africa (3.6%).  95% of our clients reported consistent condom use, up from 68% in 2018. 97% of infants born to HIV-positive mothers received anti-retroviral drops, a key preventative measure, up from 90% in 2018. And 84% of children born to an HIV-positive mother received a final HIV test between 18 – 24 months of age, a vital step to ensuring the child has not become infected during breastfeeding, up from 73% in 2018.

Most notably, with a transmission rate of just 1.9%, m2m has achieved virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV among enrolled clients for the sixth consecutive year!

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

The m2m Mentor Mother Model is a robust strategy that empowers, trains, and employs women from local communities, and has been proven to be adaptable and well suited to address myriad issues beyond our initial mandate to end pediatric HIV. By creating local role models and breaking the cycle of stigma and discrimination, the model is ideal for eradicating and curtailing other noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney diseases.

To ensure that we’re supporting women and families at all stages of life, we offer a wide range of services:

  • Women (ages 15-49) – Essential health services include: sexual and reproductive health (i.e. HIV/STI prevention and treatment, family planning); screening for malaria and TB; ensuring healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and quality postnatal care; treatment initiation, retention and adherence support for HIV-positive pregnant and postnatal women to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; strengthening economic wellbeing and food security.
  • Children (ages 0-9) – m2m is committed to ensuring that every child thrives, not just survives, by integrating services to protect and improve the health of development of infants into our core Peer Mentor program by: providing early childhood development support and education; tailoring support for HIV-positive or -exposed children and families including testing, disclosure, treatment initiation, adherence and retention support; nutrition education and immunizations; and assistance with registering births and accessing social services.
  • Adolescents (ages 10-24) – m2m supports adolescents and young women to make healthy choices and protect themselves from HIV by providing peer-led, age-appropriate interventions in schools and communities that link to services at health centers. Services include: sexual and reproductive health education and services; age-appropriate interventions to prevent new HIV infections and unplanned pregnancies; prevention of mother-to-child transmission services for HIV-positive pregnant and postnatal adolescent girls and young women.

6. How can people reading this help you?

We are always looking for a variety of partners – from individuals, corporations, and government agencies, to other nonprofit organizations. In terms of monetary support, there are many ways you can support us in reaching our mission – organize virtual events to create awareness and collect donations, spread the word to friends and family, create Facebook fundraisers, and follow us on social media.

On October 25th, we will host Cycle2Zero@home, our first virtual adventure. Usually taking place in an African country where m2m operates, this year, we are bringing the cycle to you. Together we will collectively pedal more than 3,000 miles, day and night, over 36 hours. We cycle in solidarity with our incredible Mentor Mothers, who need our support now more than ever during this global health emergency. For more ideas, please check out our website www.m2m.org.

And finally, because mothers2mothers Mentor Mothers have been deemed essential frontline workers, they are putting their lives on the line every day to combat the double pandemic of HIV and COVID-19.  Your financial support can help us continue to meet the changing health needs of the one million women and families that rely on us across nine African nations as we scale up our response and adapt our services.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

As m2m works to ensure healthy, thriving families and an end to pediatric AIDS, we rely on the dedication, passion, and support of tireless partners and funders around the world. Ending HIV is just the start, and we are bent on achieving impact on a global scale. We know that women and mothers are central to any and all long-lasting systems change. We need to reach all women and children everywhere. We are looking to expand the Mentor Mother Model to ensure that, whether they live in Louisiana or Lesotho, every family is able to access life-saving care.  We welcome you to join us as we change the face of healthcare, putting the Mentor Mother Model at the center of the solution to eliminate pediatric AIDS and provide health and hope for families everywhere.

 

Photo courtesy: mothers2mothers

Learn more about the African Wildlife Foundation

1. Tell us about your mission.

Founded in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has since its inception worked to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. AWF takes a multifaceted approach, to protect wildlife and their natural habitats, empower communities through conservation enterprises and human development, and engage African leadership at all levels to support conservation. In 2020, AWF adopted a new 10-year strategic plan, driven by its vision of an Africa where human development includes thriving wildlife and extensive wild lands as a cultural and economic asset for Africa’s future generation.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

AWF initially began as a leadership academy to equip African nationals to manage conservation efforts on the continent. AWF continues to invest in building African capacity and leadership for conservation. These efforts reflect AWF’s fundamental understanding of wildlife education as a means of cultivating conservation leaders and developing a population that recognizes their role in developing and maintaining positive conservation outcomes. Consequently, AWF understands that in order to achieve its vision, it must empower African youth as conservation gains will only be sustainable if future generations subscribe to this mission.

The West Foundation is supporting AWF’s advocacy effort to engage African youth in conservation and environmental sustainability discussions and enhance their leadership skills. AWF has partnered with the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) to build the capacity of youth from Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe to advocate for biodiversity issues and to engage with conservation policy discussions in their home countries. After participating in training workshops, young people will be provided the opportunity to participate in global convenings on biodiversity. This training and experience will empower African youth by building their leadership skills, exposing them to high-level national policy discussions, and providing them an opportunity to define their perspectives and to share input into the post-2020 biodiversity framework. Furthermore, The West Foundation’s support of AWF heightens a sense of ownership and agency among African youth as it relates to wildlife conservation.

The West Foundation has supported AWF since 2001. Previously, The West Foundation supported AWF’s conservation and social development work in the Limpopo Heartland (South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique) to train young African research scientists, strengthen the management capacity and infrastructure of protected area systems, and explore new sustainable conservation enterprises. In addition, the foundation contributed greatly to AWF’s Easements for Education program to provide scholarships for the children of families who agree to conserve wildlife, forests, and fisheries in the ecologically significant Sekute Chiefdom—located in the region where Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia intersect. The West Foundation enabled AWF to distribute and train teachers on the use of ZeduPad tablets to improve classroom learning, establish a small vegetable garden at the Lupani Primary School, as well as install solar panels in two of the six classrooms to permit adult literacy classes in the evenings. The West Foundation also contributed to AWF’s project to distribute improved cooking stoves among Simien Mountain communities to reduce deforestation and environmental pollution in Ethiopia.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

With the support of The West Foundation, AWF is working to ensure youth presence and leadership in defining dialogues about biodiversity conservation to shape strategic goals and targets as well as the corresponding actions by key stakeholders which inevitably influence not on conservation, but the nature in which Africa develops. Though African youth constitute a large proportion of the population on the continent, they are often overlooked in the development of programs to improve societal wellbeing. By engaging African youth in policy dialogues, AWF will help to shape the trajectory of Africa’s future in a more sustainable manner that gives precedence to the importance of biodiversity in ensuring healthy economies and ecosystems. This program is instrumental in advancing AWF’s critical objective to generate greater awareness of biodiversity issues and develop future leaders that will prioritize conservation.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

AWF is taking a more holistic approach, as guided by its country strategies and priorities, to ensure that conservation is mainstreamed into larger discussions of economy building and sustainable development. AWF is also prioritizing its engagement with youth and women because they are key drivers of change across Africa. AWF recognizes that its work would be impossible without the contributions of these two constituencies who make up the majority of the population on the continent today.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

While AWF serves to promote conservation of biodiversity in Africa, the impact of doing so serves to the benefit of the global community. This is evidence in the fact that threats to African wildlife are not an “African” problem. For instance, illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife parts heightens regional and global security issues. Meanwhile, healthy ecosystems are vital to continued economic growth and to creating new business opportunities in Africa. Furthermore, increased global demand for wildlife and wildlife products intensifies the risk of iconic wildlife – often those that play a key role in ecosystems – becoming extinct. As development continues in Africa, AWF will continue to work to ensure that conservation agendas are linked to economic and social development.

6. How can people reading this help you?

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Africa’s magnificent wildlife species at risk of disappearing forever. In the last few decades alone, the world has lost more than 60 percent of forest elephants and more than 40 percent of lions. Poaching, driven by global demand, is at crisis levels. However, habitat loss poses the most extensive threat to African wildlife. The state of rainforests in Africa and around the world is an example. Scientists estimate that if current deforestation rates go unchecked, rainforests will be gone in 100 years — and most of their inhabitants with them. The picture is bleak, but not set in stone. In fact, change has already taken root. There is a growing consciousness that thoughtful economic and infrastructure development can and should incorporate conservation priorities. AWF helped bring about this change and works tirelessly every day to ensure a positive future for Africa’s wildlife and wild lands. AWF seeks to create strong alliances that bring together the public and private sectors, as well as individuals, to support efforts to overcome the challenges of wildlife protection and conservation.

Photo courtesy: African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)

 

Learn more about Ubuntu Pathways

1. Tell us about your mission.

Ubuntu Pathways’ mission is to break the cycle of poverty by providing South Africa’s most vulnerable children with what all children deserve––everything, every day. Operating out of a state-of-the-art campus in the heart of Port Elizabeth’s townships, we provide transformative health, education, and household stability services to 2,000 children and their families. The Ubuntu Model, our revolutionary theory of change, encompasses four guiding tenets:

• Cradle to career pathway out of poverty that includes dynamic educational programs, life-saving healthcare, and sustained household stability services

• Depth rather than breadth of impact by continuously improving program quality to meet clients’ evolving needs

• Localized, grassroots development to mitigate the specific challenges that Port Elizabeth’s townships face

• Sustainable investments in community leadership, capacity, and infrastructure

We target not just the symptoms, but the root causes of poverty. By offering individualized services to every client, we help them overcome hardships to lead healthy, financially stable lives. This comprehensive support system enables our clients to advance towards a lifetime of success.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has supported Ubuntu’s cradle-to-career for years. Ubuntu’s mission requires an individualized, grassroots approach to development. Our community’s needs are constantly evolving, and we must be ready and equipped to meet them.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The West Foundation has allowed us to achieve this mission not only through its steadfast support, but also by trusting us enough to provide unrestricted funding to our operations. Nothing better exemplifies the importance of this funding approach—and the sustainability and mobility it provides—than the COVID-19 pandemic. This outbreak has posed an existential threat to disadvantaged communities around the world. Within a matter of weeks, Ubuntu had to pivot away from “normal” operations to become a COVID-19 response center. We not only had to prepare for the impending medical crisis in the townships, but also the food security and domestic abuse crises brought on by the region’s economic collapse. In this moment of critical need, our team could rely on funding from The West Foundation as we sought to respond to an unforeseen and unprecedented challenge.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

For the past two decades, Ubuntu has sought to expose and break down deeply rooted barriers to prosperity and success in our community. In South Africa, the country’s entrenched social inequality oppresses the Black majority. Abject poverty is pervasive, and the gap between the rich and poor grows ever-wider. Port Elizabeth’s townships are reminders of apartheid’s systemic segregation—while health care and education systems are composed of well-funded, private facilities for the wealthy, the poor are relegated to overcrowded, under-resourced, public facilities.

Over the past few months, COVID-19 has shown a spotlight on these fissures of social inequality across the world. Those who have the most limited access to health care and education—such as the people of Port Elizabeth’s townships—are the ones who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. While Ubuntu has pivoted our service provision to best mitigate the effects of the pandemic in the townships, this pivot is, in essence, a more targeted and intensified version of our previous 20 years of service to our community. While our response project will provide immediate, life-saving services to those in greatest need, it will just as urgently contribute to our core mission, breaking down social inequalities and affirming every human’s right to live a healthy, fulfilling life. In this way, we are realizing the full vision and potential of Ubuntu.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

At Ubuntu, we do not measure success by the number of children we reach, but by how deeply we impact each child’s life. As a result, our clients are re-writing their own futures and the wider narrative of what disadvantaged communities can accomplish.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Donate! During this unprecedented crisis, every dollar matters. The generosity of our donors literally translates into medication, food on the table, and other life-saving interventions for children and families in need. You can also get creative––create a birthday fundraiser, run a race, start a school Ubuntu club, or become a monthly THRIVE member. From cryptocurrency to planned giving, there are so many ways to contribute to our work in a meaningful way. Plus, you can always create awareness of our work and mission in your own networks.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

As Ubuntu continuously seeks to grow and develop as an organization, we have a deep and urgent need for funders who understand and support our theory of change. Ubuntu seeks to fundamentally change the lives of each child and family we serve. Just as any parent or caregiver knows, supporting a child’s growth and development is a long, hard, and often non-linear process. Every individual has their own unique needs, as well as their own moments of triumph and setbacks. Ubuntu aims to be holistic and unwavering in our support – but in order to achieve this ambitious goal, we need funders who follow the example of The West Foundation and trust those on the ground to possess the experience and judgement needed to best utilize unrestricted funds. Ubuntu does not decide to spend any dollar lightly—resources are scarce in our community and thus extraordinarily valued. To have the trust and mutual understanding of additional funders who understand this dynamic would be game-changing not only for Ubuntu, but the entire industry.

Photo courtesy: Ubuntu Pathways

Learn more about Strategies for International Development (SID)

1. Tell us about your mission.

The mission of Strategies for International Development (SID) is to design, prove, and promote better methods for eradicating rural poverty.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has partnered with us over the years to fulfill our mission in Guatemala’s poorest regions. First, with coffee farmers in the western highlands and now with coffee farmers in the northern highlands. When The West Foundation chose to focus on women and girls, that encouraged us to think about them as well. In a smaller area of the northern highlands we added a women’s component to the coffee program and in the last two years we have expanded our reach to cover a whole region of thousands of coffee-growing families and thousands of women.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

In 2018, with the support of The West Foundation, SID started a new regional approach in the northern highlands. With this new approach, we were able to help over 18,000 small farmers.

Coffee is the major cash crop of the region. The core activities of the program include:

1. Farmers define the practices they need to adapt to graduate from poverty

2. Local officials promote the practices among the general population

3. Conduct demonstration fairs in the practices

4. Provide twice-monthly technical assistance to early-adopter communities that become an example to others

5. Gives special assistance to women

4. How are you realizing your potential?

We designed a new idea that fulfills our mission in ways which we have not before: to help farmers conserve their natural resources at the same time as they increase their income. We have also helped them adopt business practices and we helped women increase their personal growth, but now we are doing it at a large scale. This innovation brings assistance to thousands of farmers who never had any help before. This is very important because, a lot of small farmers around the world do not have access to technical assistance.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

75% of the world’s poor are small farmers. We can do a lot for farmers to help increase their income. Agricultural projects are also great vehicles for addressing the conservation of natural resources and women’s equality.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Learn about SID and participate in our annual individual donor campaign, Friends of SID.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

To enhance our visibility and find channels to spread our ideas

Photo courtesy: Strategies for International Development (SID)

Learn more about Shared Interest

1. Tell us about your mission.

Shared Interest mobilizes the resources for Southern Africa’s economically disenfranchised communities to sustain themselves and build equitable nations. We provide entrepreneurs, smallholder farmers, women, and other unbankable borrowers with the financial and social capital they need to invest in their businesses, farms, families, and communities. We do this by providing loan guarantees to local African banks, moving them to extend credit to “high risk” borrowers who otherwise would not have qualified for credit. By moving local banks to lend to their own communities, we help build sustainable, vibrant economies that are not dependent on international capital for development. Since our founding in 1994, we have benefitted 2.3 million Southern Africans.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has partnered with Shared Interest for many years, by providing grant support for both general operations, with a focus on institutional strengthening, and specific projects, such as our work with women seed entrepreneurs in Malawi. The West Foundation’s support is particularly crucial to our work because it is flexible, helping ensure that we have the organizational resources that are required to produce strong and impactful programs.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Most recently, The West Foundation has helped Shared Interest adapt to the new working conditions imposed by the pandemic. We used 2019 grant funds to upgrade our technological capabilities – moving to cloud-based file storage, improving staff hardware, and investing in new donor management and prospecting software. In some cases, these changes were made a matter of weeks before our offices in New York were closed due to Covid-19. Because of these enhanced IT resources, Shared Interest was able to transition smoothly to remote work, keeping in close contact with our local partners and beneficiaries as well as our donors and investors.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Shared Interest was founded to push for economic justice in post-apartheid South Africa, and our success there has helped demonstrate that African countries’ own financial institutions are not only capable of serving the majority market but are critical to driving inclusive economic growth. We are now expanding our model across the Southern African region, where financial exclusion is similarly widespread, especially in agriculture and among women borrowers. Working in new geographies (e.g., Malawi, Zambia, and eventually, Tanzania) and in high impact focus areas (e.g., climate change adaptation) is helping us leverage our investors’ capital to impact another 100,000 individuals by 2024, creating jobs and small enterprises, increasing incomes, and building community infrastructure.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Shared Interest has investors as well as donors, and for more than 25 years, we have been responsible stewards of their capital. We have made 100% of interest payments in full and on time, and we have had zero losses of investors’ principal. To make an investment in Shared Interest, contact martha@sharedinterest.org

6. How can people reading this help you?

Shared Interest is holding its first Virtual Gala this year on September 9th, 2020, and we would love to have you as our guest! For more information, please go to https://www.sharedinterest.org/26thanniversarygala

The event is free! This year, we celebrate the power of women in Southern Africa; accordingly, the event will honor Sophia Williams de Bruyn, anti-apartheid activist and leader of the 1956 women’s march, and Felicia Mabuza-Suttle, South African talk show host, activist, and entrepreneur. The event will also feature an after-party, with beats by DJ AQ.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We are always in need of partners – of all types – who understand the long-term nature of this work. Changing financial systems that were built, in large part, by and for settler colonialism is a painstakingly slow process. The results are not always easily measured, and progress is not linear or steady. Our most prized relationships are with like-minded organizations who understand these challenges yet remain steadfast in working toward our common goals.

 

Photo courtesy: Shared Interest

Learn more about CARE

1. Tell us about your mission.

CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

Helping advance girl’s empowerment, security and prevention of early child marriage in areas of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

CARE is very intentional about where we choose to work and where we can provide sustainable impact around communities. We hand pick marginalized communities to raise their standard of living knowing that we can offer sustainable development.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

With CARE’s knowledge of 75 years in the field, we have become experts and scaling up our programs. We are piloting models and programs that were very successful in part of Asia to try in Africa with tweaks. With the correct resources, CARE can go to scale on the number of very successful programming around the world to benefit and increase our impact trifold.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

CARE is a dual mandate organization – essentially that means, we are working in communities before a crisis starts, during the crisis and then afterwards.

Our experience in previous emergencies has shown us that one of the most important things we can do is to continue and adapt our existing programming, where we can do so safely, in a way that “does no harm” to our staff or the communities we work in.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Please visit care.org to learn more and raise CARE’s brand in your local community!

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We want to have flexible funds and mobilize resources to bring growth to impoverished communities that are not covered in the media and not shed light on newspapers—We are committed to truly serving the last mile of population that are often forgotten. We want to be able to give a voice to women, girls and the communities that are waiting to achieve their full potential.

 

Photo courtesy: Care

 

Learn more about TechnoServe

1. Tell us about your mission.

TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 29 countries, we work with hardworking men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. By linking people to information, capital, and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation is currently supporting our efforts to reduce poverty by helping women smallholder cocoa farmers in San Martin, Peru to sustainably improve their livelihoods and ensure the full integration of women farmers into the cocoa market. In the past, The West Foundation has supported many other impactful projects, such as strengthening our Monitoring and Evaluation systems for our projects with small-scale entrepreneurs, as well as supporting smallholder farmers in Tanzania’s tea industry to improve their livelihoods.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The support of The West Foundation over the past several decades has enabled TechnoServe to become a catalyst for transformation in market systems, industries, and most importantly, people’s lives in the communities where we’ve implemented projects. Together, we’ve helped families around the world send their children to school, access healthcare, buy nutritious food, and build safer homes.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

TechnoServe was founded in 1968 on the premise that the power of private enterprise can transform lives, and that hardworking individuals in the developing world can lift themselves out of poverty. In 2019 alone, TechnoServe helped directly transform the lives of 317,493 people (38% women) by targeting improvements in farms, businesses, and industries. Our efforts generated over $200 million in increased revenues and wages for our beneficiaries and we helped hardworking individuals’ access $27 million in financing to help grow their businesses and farms. Last year, TechnoServe was also rated the world’s #1 nonprofit at reducing poverty by an independent evaluator, ImpactMatters. They assessed over a thousand nonprofits across different categories and determined that for every program dollar spent, TechnoServe delivers the greatest income gains for enterprising women and men in the developing world.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

TechnoServe not only transforms individual lives—but also markets, sectors, and communities. We are committed to creating and measuring this lasting impact. We aim to report only the impact that is attributable to our work. We do this by establishing baseline data and using counterfactuals, control groups, or other methods to exclude the effects of variables outside of our control. We then analyze this data to identify successful project models and learn how to improve future approaches.

6. How can people reading this help you?

They can help by joining our efforts to change lives around the world. Every day, our supporters help us continue in our mission to assist hardworking men and women in the developing world to build sustainable farms, businesses and industries. Even during these challenging times, we are committed to helping our clients continue their fight to overcome the toughest obstacles, care for their families, and fulfill their true potential. None of this work would be possible without support from generous individuals.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

The support we receive from foundations and individuals is critically needed, especially at this critical time. Funding for important projects like our work with cocoa farmers in Peru often depends upon TechnoServe’s ability to leverage and strategically utilize unrestricted and private support. Furthermore, unrestricted funding or strategically directed support is critical to our ability to innovate or pilot new types of interventions. These funds allow us to design programs before larger funding is awarded, to leverage funding after receiving an award and to continue implementing programs while honoring timelines related to specific large donors’ commitments.

Photo courtesy: TechnoServe

Learn more about the Qudrat School Project

1. Tell us about your mission.

My mission is multifold. First, we support two schools that are located in a remote and densely populated rural area in  northern Afghanistan and work to educate a large block of women who – during the Taliban administration – were deprived of education. In providing educational opportunities, such as vocational training we can reach widows who have no education or ability to earn a living wage other than by begging door-to-door, pleading for food to feed their family. Many in this region have large families and without a breadwinner this can be challenging.

One of the goals we’ve put forth is to increase the education level for women who participate through participating in the basic literacy courses offered.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation has been a substantial donor of funds for our initiative and this has helped provide not only educational supplies but teacher income for  the adult female literacy program. Women who have completed the basic course have gone on to land fullfiling jobs to sustain their families.

3. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Many women have achieved great things such as pursuing higher education and quality jobs. It is empowering to witness a widow – whose life was subject to begging transform themselves into a business owner.

4. How can people reading this help you?

You can make a financial contribution so that we can continue to fund the schools. We have well over 500 students enrolled and 50% are female. Also, we would like to ensure that Hakim Wardak who is on the ground and championing the cause has the funds to pay teachers he hires and supervises for the basic adult female literacy training.

6. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Ideally, we’d like to find someone who has a high level of interest to continue to support Hakim and his work in transforming an entire generation of uneducated women and educating them; enabling the women to improve their lives.

Photo courtesy: Qudrat School

 

Learn more about Outreach International

1. Tell us about your mission.

Problem statement: Issues of poverty persist and it’s hard for those affected to resolve them alone.

Mission statement: Outreach International is a global nonprofit that supports local leaders and community-led groups who develop lasting solutions to poverty-related issues.

Vision statement: We envision a world where communities are working together to overcome the challenges of chronic poverty.

Tagline: Together.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

One of the things that all of us at Outreach International deeply appreciate about The West Foundation is its desire to magnify results by helping organizations improve their systems. Their value comes not by an offer to cover reasonable overhead or fund a specific field project, but rather, by asking “how could you be more effective?”

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Helping an organization improve its technology, processes, and systems to become more effective or efficient is a defining characteristic of constantly improving in one’s sustainability and mobility. Outreach International provides one piece of evidence – with appropriate investments, we’ve lowered our overhead, improved our feedback loops, and built resilience in our headquarters and international communities. The West Foundation has been a partner in this process.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

We’re still on that journey, but our potential is realized in the company of others working toward similar worthwhile goals.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

We’re one of the highest-rated international charities in the world – and we try to earn that honor every day.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Investigate our work via external evaluators, financials, Annual Reports, and social media.  If empowering people to discover their own pathways out of extreme poverty – and then help their neighbors do the same – speaks to you, then partner with us in this great work.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

To no longer have the need to exist.

 

Photo courtesy: Outreach International

Learn more about Lifewater

1. Tell us about your mission.

At Lifewater, we are Christians committed to ending the global water and sanitation crisis one village at a time. We believe that every child deserves a safe drink of water, access to life-saving sanitation and hygiene, and the love of Jesus.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation’s gifts allow Lifewater greater opportunity and mobility to carry out sustainable safe water and community solutions in extremely poor communities across the globe. In Ethiopia, Cambodia, Uganda, and Tanzania, The West Foundation supports Lifewater’s mission to bring safe water to every child, improved health for all, and the love of Jesus in everything we do.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

With The West Foundation’s generous giving, we’re able to employ local staff to travel house by house in our target communities. Knowing the language and culture, they build relationships to empower communities to make cost-effective, life-saving health improvements like constructing a hand washing device and a latrine of their own. Our skilled team of WASH engineers, hydrogeologists, drilling team, and the wisdom of the local community work together to construct a safe water solution unique to the needs of the village or school. With The West Foundation’s support, Lifewater’s able to carry out a grassroots program to end the global water and sanitation crisis, beginning with extremely poor communities in hard-to-reach corners of the world.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

In 2019, Lifewater constructed 207 sustainable, safe water solutions built to last for generations in the globe’s poorest regions, a record-breaking number. As more families than ever gain the health that comes with access to safe water, more children go to school and parents go to work, increasing both income and education. The West Foundation’s mission to eliminate poverty and Lifewater’s mission to end the global water crisis are realized.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

At Lifewater, it’s not about the quantity of results, but the quality. It’s about creating a change that will last. Designing high-quality, locally-sourced safe water solutions customized to the population and hydrogeology of each village is priority at Lifewater because people are priority. When we can serve the globe’s poorest communities with commitment and care, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

6. How can people reading this help you?

Every 60 seconds, the world loses another child to unsafe drinking water and a lack of basic sanitation. This is entirely preventable. A gift to Lifewater is a gift to a child or family in need.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

We are always seeking ways to connect our generous partners to our mission in a meaningful way. Our Vision of a Healthy Village program is a grassroots, sustainable answer to the global water crisis, and it’s been tested, proven, and improved with every year. Our deepest needs as an organization are developing ways to draw others into this proven process to finally put an end to the crisis together.

 

Photo courtesy: Lifewater

Learn more about KickStart

1. Tell us about your mission.

KickStart International’s mission is to provide technology that enables millions of people in Africa to break the cycle of poverty quickly, cost-effectively and sustainably through smallholder irrigation. KickStart’s innovative, high-quality, and affordable technologies allow subsistence farmers to break their dependence on seasonal rain-fed farming, unlocking year-round harvests and a pathway to financial freedom, climate resilience, and social empowerment for farming families across Africa.

With KickStart’s MoneyMaker irrigation pumps, farmers can access available ground water, grow crops year-round to eat and sell for a better profit when food is scarce and market prices are higher. Farmers using KickStart’s pumps increase their annual income through irrigation alone by almost 500% on average—from $150 to $850. With the new money they earn, farmers can afford additional quality inputs for the next planting season and sustainably grow their farming business. Many go on to make additional investments in livestock and poultry, diversifying their income and securing their livelihoods. KickStart’s empowerment-based model enables farmers to earn significantly more income, properly feed and educate their children, afford healthcare, and plan for their futures.

2. How is the West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation is supporting KickStart’s advocacy efforts to catalyze the promotion and uptake of irrigation interventions across Africa through our work with diverse stakeholders to develop, test, and scale new high-impact irrigation solutions, and advocate for systems-level changes. Through our partnership with The West Foundation, KickStart leveraged our reputation as a leading provider of affordable irrigation technologies along with evidence of our direct livelihood impacts on farmers to spotlight this critical issue within the development sector and influential policy circles. This fosters an enabling environment for expanding small-scale irrigation across the continent by influencing global dialogue, policies, and investment strategies related to agricultural development.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

KickStart continued its Irrigate Africa! advocacy campaign with support of The West Foundation by employing our social impacts and urging influential international, continental and sub-national actors to increase irrigation access for the smallholder farmer. To highlight, the Malawi government endorsed MoneyMaker pumps as a highly reliable technology and KickStart was invited to help draft the Malawi Irrigation Investment Strategy. As proven by our country study of Malawi, with smart-subsidies, policy focus, and investments in support of a wide array of systems change, we can drastically increase large-scale uptake of low-volume irrigation technology across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), enabling millions more to break the cycle of poverty.

With The West Foundation’s philanthropic support, KickStart participated in the AGRA Forum, where we successfully networked with ministers of agriculture from across SSA and representatives of the African Union. In addition, KickStart’s leadership team attended and demonstrated the use of MoneyMaker pumps during a main program session on irrigation at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa Forum (AGRF), generating enthusiasm among influential policy makers to incorporate low-volume irrigation into their agriculture programs. Consequently, the World Bank continued its promotion of small-scale, farmer-led irrigation, by hosting a side event at Stockholm World Water Week and ordered thousands of MoneyMaker pumps for supported projects in Malawi, Angola, and Mozambique.

4. How are you realizing your potential? 

KickStart has scaled the adoption of MoneyMaker pumps and the resulting impacts by deepening and expanding our network of key partners across 16 countries in SSA, and increasing their appreciation for the benefits of irrigation. This partnership-based model has yielded exciting successes, lending new flexibility and increased reach to farmers in highly remote areas and to those experiencing newfound pressures due to social upheaval, political strife, and climatic changes.

KickStart has continued its efforts to build livelihood capacities at the grassroots level through the development and delivery of innovative technology and design. KickStart’s livelihoods interventions combine two critical commitments: income and food security. These two resources are essential for community resilience, providing the capacities to weather life’s unexpected challenges, from storm surges to civil conflict, and from drought to epidemics.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

To date, KickStart’s smart irrigation pumps have enabled over 1.3 million people to take a major step out of poverty across Africa, and are being used to grow immune-supporting fruits and vegetables to meet the nutritional needs of 13 million people every year. Through year-round irrigation, KickStart’s tools have also led to the creation of 260,000 profitable and sustainable farming businesses, generating $220 million in new profits and wages annually.

With the support of organizations like The West Foundation, KickStart aims to provide 2 million people with the technology to take a major step out of poverty in half the time that we served 1 million people.

6. How can people reading this help you?

KickStart has helped eliminate poverty for farming families across the continent, but more work is needed to reach millions of others. The challenge is great, but every small gesture of support can make a difference.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Spread the word!
  • Donate
  • Partner with KickStart

Get the full details here: http://kickstart.org/get-involved

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a new context for KickStart and our vast network of farmers. In Africa, the virus is already exacerbating existing inequalities and cutting off critical livelihood supporting activities where food insecurity is already endemic. Providing tools that increase food production independently of climate and global supply chains will be critical to avoiding protracted famine. Despite the challenges, KickStart remains committed to protecting and growing local food production capacities and income generating opportunities for smallholder farmers across SSA through access to affordable, high-quality irrigation tools.

Given this outlook, KickStart is working strategically to fast-track our response mobilization through the design and distribution of the lowest-cost human-powered pump available, the Starter Pump—offering unprecedented and scalable affordability. By providing unprecedented financial access through our new Starter Pump and with extended reach through diverse mission-aligned partners, KickStart is better equipped to ensure year-round harvest, greater profits, and food security to more farming families than ever before. To learn more and support our response fund please visit: http://kickstart.org/

Photo courtesy: KickStart

Learn more about Educate!

1. Tell us about your mission.

Educate!’s mission is to develop young leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa.

Nearly 50% of all Africans are younger than 18, and that number is growing. These demographics, along with a scarcity of jobs, have led to dramatic rates of youth unemployment. Education systems in Africa already face challenges — current curricula and teaching methods are designed for a 1900s economy, consisting of rote memorization and exam-driven learning which do not prepare students to succeed in today’s economy. The current status quo perpetuates lack of opportunity and cycles of poverty — allowing the enormous potential of youth to remain untapped.

Educate! believes that by transforming educational pathways in East Africa, we can equip youth with the skills to disrupt the systemic problem of youth unemployment and realize their full potential. We believe post-primary education is the most untapped resource across the continent for cultivating talent and for development more broadly, and we aim to work both within the existing educational infrastructure and outside of the system to impact youth life outcomes at scale.

Our mission therefore aims to prepare youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy. We tackle youth unemployment by partnering with schools and governments to reform what schools teach and how they teach it, so that students in Africa have the skills to attain further education, overcome gender inequities, start businesses, get jobs, and drive development in their communities. Our goal is to make this practical, skills-based model part of national education systems across Africa.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

Since our inception in 2009, Educate! has worked to build a replicable and cost-effective solution to prepare youth with the skills to attain further education, overcome gender inequities, start businesses, get jobs, and drive development in their communities. We started in 24 schools and reached 830 youth, and today, Educate! has dramatically scaled our program by nearly 40x and has directly impacted more than 100,000 secondary youth across 1,000 schools. This has been achieved over the years due to the support of partners like The West Foundation that have contributed to making us the largest youth skills provider in East Africa! Additionally, urging us on through our commitment to deepening our impact in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, while expanding our reach to out-of-school youth for the first time and developing a strategy to support education reforms in other countries in the future.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

Educate! aims to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year. Long term, we aim to fully incorporate our skills-based education model into national education systems across Africa. With the support of the West Foundation, we are able to experiment with different ways to sustainably and cost-effectively deliver and scale our evidence-based solutions as we grow towards that goal and position ourselves for greater and more sustainable impact each year.

The West Foundation’s philanthropic support goes further to aid project implementation, including training and empowering teachers and youth Mentors – who are at the core of delivering our model to Scholars. Through the Educate! Experience – our flagship program, Scholars are taught an entrepreneurship, leadership, and workforce readiness course, which includes practical experience starting a business or community project in each secondary school.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

Our impact philosophy relies on periodic, rigorous external evaluations to measure medium- and long-term outcomes, coupled with ongoing monitoring to continuously manage program quality and track immediate impact for students.

Rigorous evaluations of our solution, including a randomized controlled trial (RCT), found that participants earn nearly 2x the income of their peers towards the end of secondary school. A follow-up RCT in Uganda assessed medium-term outcomes for students four years after they graduated from the Educate! program. The evaluation looked at the same student cohort as the prior RCT and found strong impacts on: 1) soft skills—improved grit, creativity, and self-efficacy; 2) gender-related outcomes—less domestic violence, fewer sexual partners, fewer children, and more egalitarian views; and 3) educational attainment—increased secondary school completion, increased tertiary enrollment for women, and greater likelihood of selecting higher-earning-potential majors (business and STEM areas of study). Importantly, after Educate!, girls were essentially as likely to graduate from secondary school as boys.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

Educate! prepares youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy through an innovative model with proven impact. Our model is built on best scaling practices and constant self-evaluation and was specifically designed to scale having spent the last 10 years building the most replicable and cost-effective solution possible that can reach massive scale. We are now the largest youth skills provider in East Africa. We reach a large number of youth at a low cost by delivering our model using existing infrastructure, engaging exceptional Educate! graduates as mentors, and implementing innovative technologies to manage and monitor our programs across great distances. While doing this, we work hand-in-hand with governments towards system-level adoption of our solution to sustainably integrate our model into national education systems.

6. How can people reading this help you?

With over ten years of experience operating our flagship program in schools, we’ve tested, refined, and continually strengthened our model to ensure the maximum impact on youth – impact that is both cost-effective and sustainable. We’ve developed our capacity to provide technical advisory services and support to national education systems, actively working with the governments of three countries to facilitate practical, skills-based secondary education that prepares youth to succeed in today’s economy.

Incredible partners like the West Foundation and other friends and champions allow us to continue to work towards a world where all youth receive the skills they need to succeed in life after school. We so appreciate anyone who is able to invest in youth. Your support will propel us forward into our next decade of work. It’s especially critical now, when a lot is changing and amidst the uncertainty created by COVID-19, we see opportunities for adaptation and innovation.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

Over next two years, Educate! is continuing to work towards our vision of measurably impacting millions of youth across Africa each year by (1) scaling our direct delivery model to drive towards our goal of achieving full scale in Uganda as we iterate for long-term sustainability, (2) continuing to build education system capacity to implement Rwanda’s Competency-Based Curriculum while testing innovative school sustainability and incentive strategies that can sustain the reform, and (3) deepening our government partnerships in Kenya to support the ongoing national curriculum reform, while experimenting with a new model that brings Educate!’s impact to out-of-school youth.

 

Photo courtesy: Educate!

CoCoDA Febrero Fiesta

We are proud, at the West Foundation, of our commitment to supporting our partners in projects big and small. On February 26, the West Foundation joined CoCoDA for Febrero Fiesta in support of their water, public health and education projects in El Salvador and Nicaragua. The West Foundation team enjoyed a delicious meal, watched lively dance, and learned more about CoCoDA’s upcoming projects and initiatives.

Through its dedication to cooperating in projects for democratic, community-based social and economic development in Central America, CoCoDA seeks to build strong relationships and communities between people in the U.S., El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Receiving the second installment of a three-year, $21,000 flexible funding grant will assist CoCoDA in experimenting with new fundraising efforts and planning future programs. Learn more at CoCoDA.

Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides, a constituent of the West Foundation for the past 16 years, has released its latest book in a series of health manuals designed to assist people with little access to medical services in the Global South. Health Actions for Women assists women in creating change in their communities by providing inspiring activities, strategies, and stories that help challenge violence against women, improve access to family planning, foster safe motherhood, promote strategies for better sexual health, counteract restrictive gender roles, and improve health services for women and girls. For more information, visit Hesperian at www.hesperian.org.

Goodweave Honored

Constituent organization Goodweave was recently honored when its founder, Kailash Satyarthi, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with youth activist Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” Our congratulations to Mr. Satyarthi and Ms. Yousafzai for this recognition of their inspiring work.

Top ten recommended non-profits for donations to Nepalese Relief

Recently, TIME Magazine named constituent organizations MAP International and CARE International  as two of their top ten recommended non-profits for donations to Nepalese relief following the disastrous earthquake which hit the country on April 25. The West Foundation also endorses these organizations, as well as relief work being done by our other partners, International Development Exchange (IDEX) and READ Global. Each of these have strong representation on the ground in Nepal through indigenous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and an excellent capacity for assisting relief efforts. Additionally, all have a sterling reputation for responsible use of funding. To give to one of these non-profits, click on Constituent Organizations to find a link to that organization’s website.

Building Tomorrow

On April 17, the foundation’s Indianapolis-based partner, Building Tomorrow, held its annual “Build a School Night” benefit. I was in attendance along with our program officer, Samantha Alarie-Leca, and was privileged to see this young organization move and motivate its audience to give not just the $90,000 goal set for the evening, but to exceed it by $60,000 for a grand total of $150,000. This included an unexpected pledge from a donor for $30,000 – the cost of building an entire school in Uganda. Never let it be said that Midwesterners have no interest in international causes! Many will roll their eyes when I confess that I was so overwhelmed by this impromptu act of generosity that tears came to my eyes – let them. It was a wonderful evening that will allow the organization to build six of the sixty schools it plans to generate in Uganda by 2020 to complete its Clinton Global Initiative pledge. Congratulations to the Building Tomorrow staff and its Chief Dreamer, George Srour, on a job well done!