The Foundation is pleased to continue its support of WGEF. The mission of Women’s Global Empowerment Fund is to provide women with the framework necessary to create viable opportunities for themselves and their families. Through grassroots strategies, marginalized women are given the tools necessary to alleviate poverty, thus facilitating sustainable development and empowerment.
The funds will be used in 4 of their programs:
-Credit Plus, loan program, for approximately 225 women (loans and training). Women’s Global Credit Plus program combines microcredit services with literacy, leadership development, health initiatives and basic business education into a single service, reaching women in underserved, rural and peri-rural areas. This integrated approach has been proven to alleviate poverty and empower women.
-Healthy Periods Initiative: for supplies and materials. To address the issues around menstrual health, and the challenges women and girls face with regards to access and education, WGEF is continuing and expanding the Healthy Periods Initiative, creating local manufacturing centers in vulnerable regions. Their first expansion center in Lwengo District, opened last year in southwestern Uganda. By producing products locally, they aim to create local economies; providing resources and economic opportunities to women and communities thru manufacturing and microenterprise. This will enable a grassroots, sustainable, and impactful process.
-Literacy 2020: WGEF, in consult with the Ministry of Education, has developed a literacy program that is effective and responsive to the needs of their clients. The adult literacy program is not merely about basic skills of reading and writing, it is about providing women with the ability to understand their lives and social environment as well as equipping them with problem-solving skills, family planning, nutrition and parenting information and resources.
-Community conversations, leadership development and celebrations. Each year at Gulu Women’s Resource Centre (GWRC), a WGEF project, they host meaningful and lively discussions and conferences around topics chosen by the leadership council. In 2019, they hosted a conference called Celebrating the Day of the African Child: Human Rights in Action. The day focused on the issues of child marriage the launch of the girls decide campaign. Over 300 leaders, officials and citizens were in attendance. In 2020, they will again host a graduation again for literacy participants who complete their training and pass thru the examination process. Also, they are planning an event around reproductive health care, including reducing teen pregnancy, access and information.
The Foundation is pleased to support iDE, Community Business Facilitator and Plant Doctor Training Programs. iDE is an international development organization that transforms the lives of marginalized communities in 11 developing countries around the world, through creating lasting income and livelihood opportunities for rural families.
Approximately 80% of the population in rural Nepal depends on agricultural, however, climate change is threatening the production and livelihood of many farmers. Rainfall uncertainty and the introduction of new pests, such as the devastating Fall Army Worm and the Tuta Absoluta, are having severe negative impacts on farming. Most rural farmers, especially women farmers, do not have the necessary agronomic knowledge or the inputs necessary to improve their baseline productivity or to cope with these new and emerging challenges. Additionally, weak market systems fail to reach small farmers with necessary services and information they need to be prosperous and resilient. Finally, women face specific social and cultural challenges that most men do not. Restrictive social norms have kept women from engaging in agricultural production and the traditional workplace. A grant from the McQuade Foundation will help iDE develop and train women in Nepal to become Community Business Facilitators and Plant Doctors. Community Business Facilitators (also known as a Farm Business Advisors) are small-scale entrepreneurs trained to deliver agronomic advice and sell seeds and inputs to farmers. They operate on a commission basis and provide a valuable service to farmers, linking them to markets and information. They are also an important vehicle for giving farmers, especially women and marginalized groups, a collective voice in communicating their needs.
Many Community Business Facilitators are however not trained on addressing the increasing threats of new pests, such as the Tuta Absoluta and Fall Armyworm. In 2017, iDE devolved their Plant Doctor program to train individuals to help understand and thwart these very dangerous pests and the devastation they can cause to local agriculture. Many of the individuals trained to become Community Business Facilitators and Plant Doctors thus far are women. They serve as a first line of defense in rooting our pests and identifying different solutions to rid of them. iDE’s goal is to maintain at least 50% of the Community Business Facilitators and Plant Doctors as women. They will need to travel into new communities in order to meet this standard.
This grant will give local farmers access to ergonomic knowledge and the tools required to help reduce risk and empower farmers to enhance their economic resiliency, profits, and better able to adapt to climate change. Additionally, with the enhanced focus to bring women into these roles, women will be better suited to increase their economic independence and play a greater role in their family decision making.
The Foundation is pleased to announce a grant to the Philomera Hope Center.
Philomera Hope Center Foundation was founded in February 2012 by a group of young students from the Makerere Universita Kampala. The organization started as a weekend outreach program by students from the university visiting different schools in and out the island talking to peers about different life changing skills, sharing knowledge and information on their sexual reproductive health and rights, along with the importance of finishing school. Now, it is a youth led non-profit organization focused on youth empowerment programs with an emphasis on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention and livelihood support actives). Through their work the address the need to empower and build capacities of young people to lead on a youth led advocacy and accountability for increased scale up of quality sexual reproductive health and rights, youth friendly services and youth corners for better life changing opportunities.
Philomera Hope Center Foundation is requesting the funds for the implementation of the Girls Empowerment and Innovations Village. This is a mega project aimed to empower adolescent girls and young women in the island district of Kalangala in L. Victoria, Uganda. The project is aimed at improving girl’s attendance in school and enabling her to finish school without any hindrances, support girls who drop out of school and acquire employable skills.
Through the Girls Empowerment Center, the Foundation will train school-aged girls in the district on menstrual hygiene, health management and the production of reusable sanitary pads. They will increase school-aged children’s access to clean water and sanitation facilities by installing water harvesting tanks and hand washing facilities. With this funding, this project will contribute to improve hygiene and health management among girls, which will result in increased school attention and education outcomes for children. In addition, they will start a vocational training center for adolescent girls and young women between the ages of 10-25. Courses will focus on tailoring, making confectionaries, liquid soap and making crafts (dresses, shirts, skirts, belts, open shoes, wallets and bracelets). These are all in high demand in the district. They will also set up an area of computers and wifi to help these women learn soft skills in a digital era. The aim is to provide these young women with an alternative to commercial sex work.
A grant has been awarded to Friends of Hand in Hand International.
Founded in 2003 in South India, Hand in Hand is a global network of NGOs who share a vision of reducing poverty and building gender equity through a community-based approach, characterized by self-help, entrepreneurship and community development. The network works towards women’s economic empowerment and resilient livelihoods to create sustainable change for families.
The issue being addressed is the deep level of rural poverty and hunger in Nawabad Arabha, Afghanistan, which is exacerbated by gender inequality and the lack of women’s economic empowerment. Located in Balkh Province, women and families in Nawabad Arabha are highly vulnerable due to this entrenched poverty, lack of opportunity and skills, climate threats and the marginalization of women. This will be addressed using Hand in Hand’s integrated training program surrounding livelihoods, enterprise creation and women’s economic empowerment. By training women to run microenterprises, the project will vitalize community income generation, with ongoing revenue through local market linkage. Evidence shows that women fund basic needs (health, education) at double the rate that men do. Further independent studies of Hand in Hand’s work in Afghanistan shows significant improvement for women’s empowerment, with up to 99 percent of female participants reporting improved mobility, access to markets, self-confidence and capacity to influence decisions around household spend. Moreover, local men report improved attitudes towards women’s autonomy and economic independence.
The funds will support poverty reduction and economic empowerment for Afghan women through Hand in Hand’s proven 4-step model: 1) Mobilization: Following an inclusive mobilization process, Hand in Hand will create a number of supportive Self-Help Groups (SHGs) for social empowerment and savings. The SHGs will be trained in group management, leadership, and life skills including numeracy and literacy. The trainers will be local women recruited as Village Enterprise Facilitators (VEFs) to embed knowledge in the community and ensure cultural sensitivity. This also reduces travel which is more secure and cost effective. 2) Training: SHGs will be trained in finance, business and vocational skills to support the creation of 100 profitable, climate-adapted microenterprises. Hand in Hand will hire Vocational Trainers to give vocational skills training that are relevant to local markets and climate resilient. Approximately half the enterprises will be in layer poultry, with others in livestock (e.g. goat rearing), handicrafts, services (e.g. tailoring) and more. 3) Productive Assets: Once members’ business plans have been approved, Hand in Hand provides them with enterprise start-up kits of core productive assets, e.g. coop, feed and chickens for a layer poultry enterprise. 4) Access to Markets: Hand in Hand supports members to reach markets through value addition training and linking members to co-operative micro-processing associations for sustainable revenue. Hand in Hand facilitates SHG cross-fertilisation visits for members requiring additional support to engage in peer learning, strengthening the local network of members.
Striving to make sustainable improvements in women’s and children’s rights, education and welfare is core to this request. Through the project, highly vulnerable and marginalized women will be socially empowered through building supportive networks and radically increasing their mobility and agency. When women earn an income, the benefits for children in health, education and housing are significant, with research showing that women entrepreneurs spend far more than men on their families. To get more children into school and with brighter futures, empowering their mothers is essential.
The Foundation is pleased to continue its support to KinderUSA.
KinderUSA is the leading American Muslim Organization focused on the health and wellbeing of Palestinian children. Founded in 2002 by American physicians and humanitarian relief workers to alleviate the suffering of children and their families in Palestine and beyond, regardless of ethnicity or religious beliefs, KinderUSA seeks to provide a free, just, and peaceful future where children thrive and look forward to a productive future, like children everywhere. The charity has built 3 platforms to provide aid to the women and children who inhabit the most densely populated area in the world, with 2 million people living in 360 square kilometers of Gaza Strip
Women and children are always the most vulnerable, and in Gaza it is more drastic with over 70% unemployment for women. With the defunding of UNWRA and the halt of USAID funding to the Palestinian territories, organizations are doing their best to continue important projects in education, infrastructure, and bulk dry foods for families. To date, KinderUSA is the only organization working to empower female-headed households in Gaza through chicken farming, a unique, yet viable enterprise for women to pass on to their children. This project aims to promote the empowerment of women heads of household while focusing on the United Nation’s sustainable development goals of eradicating poverty while building economic growth. This project equips female-headed households, many raising children and caring for extended family members on their own, with 200 chicks and the necessary education, tools, and marketing skills to begin raising chickens. KinderUSA purchases the first round of live, roaster chickens for distribution in our farmer’s food basket distribution for needy families. From here, we replenish their chicks, allowing the women to continue selling on the open market to local chicken dealers and private customers, assisting them in partnering with the appropriate customers. The selected beneficiaries have an average income of roughly $1.5 a day, with a potential outcome of approximately $8 a day depending upon production. Metrics are gathered at the start of the project, income of household, living conditions, number of family members. During the project we visit the women and make sure their needs are met and document production of chickens along with monthly sales. Upon completion, they measure the same metrics coming back 1, 2, 3, and 6 months afterwards to document success or failure.
The Foundation is pleased to again support WIT, a program at YWCA Central Carolinas, WIT is the primary comprehensive transitional housing program in the greater Charlotte area serving single women who have suffered homelessness. They can house up to 66 women at a time on their Park Road campus, where participants receive case management services, have access to their fitness center, educational workshops and social activities. Women can participate for up to 18 months while they gain the skills and resources necessary to attain and maintain permanent long-term housing.
WIT served a total of 105 women last year. Of those, 45 women graduated from our program and 34 (of 76%) successfully moved into permanent housing. Of the 45 who graduated, 42 women (or 93%) successfully eliminated at least one identified house barrier; a reduction of eviction/utility debt, increased/maintained savings and increased/maintained income. Of the women we could contact 6 months post exit, 90% remained permanently housed. They measure the number/percent of participants who invest themselves in the WIT program for a minimum of four months and enter permanent housing after completing the program; the number/percent of participants who remain permanently housed six months after successfully completing the program; the number/percent of participants who identify housing barriers and create steps to eliminate them within 2 months of entry; the number/percent of participants who have successfully eliminated at least one of the identified housing barriers at exit; the number/percent of participants who establish or maintain financial stability (by reducing or eliminating debt, increasing or maintaining savings, establishing credit, repairing credit scores, etc.).
The Foundation is pleased to again support Paso Pacifico with a grant that matches my passion for the environment and endangered species and the Foundation’s mission of helping Women and Children through their”Building community and environmental leaders through the mentorship of women .”
Founded in 2005, Paso Pacifico’s mission is to restore and protect the endangered dry tropical forests and coastal ecosystems of Mesoamerica. In working towards their mission, Paso Pacifico empowers local people to develop more sustainable livelihoods in eco-tourism, fishing, agriculture, and forest management. They also look to advance women and children as environmental leaders, while developing strong relationships with private landowners.
Through the funding received from the McQuade Foundation in 2017, Paso Pacifico was able to support their sea turtle ranger program. This project made it possible for women receive multiple trainings in leadership, sea turtle monitoring, and also provided the opportunity for two of their female rangers to present their conservation efforts to an international audience. The growth in these women has been tremendous and they are poised to support women and girls in their communities. Funding from the McQuade Foundation will be used to cover the wages of five female rangers during a six-month period. In addition to these women rangers taking care of the sea turtle nurseries, they also conduct environmental education lessons that 50-100 children twice a month. Additionally, funding will also be used to help pay for the costs of workshops and meetings for a group of 20 young women, ages 15-20, as they learn about environmental education. Finally, funds will be used for t-shirts for the students and to help repair the Paso Pacifico bus, which is needed for field trips for these young women.
Paso Pacifico keeps detailed records of sea turtle monitoring efforts, including the date and times of ranger patrols and the measurement and identification of nesting sea turtles. This data enables them to track the activities of the rangers on duty. Paso Pacifico will document the experiences of the young women participating in the mentorship program through photography, anecdotal interviews, and through record-keeping that will track the level of participation in activities. To determine the feelings and attitudes of the young women participants, they will carry out a post-program survey. Finally, the Jr. Ranger program will be evaluated based on the number of graduates in 2020 and also through the number of children participants in citizen science events
The Foundation is pleased to again support Squash Dreamers. Positive stories coming out of refugee communities are hard to find. This is particularly true for young girls in Jordan, where cultural norms often prevent them from pursuing as many opportunities as their male counterparts. However, Squash Dreamers is combating that narrative. They are creating new opportunities for girls that will enable them to embark on promising athletic and academic careers. They are instilling confidence in the girls so that they can make greater achievements and make more positive impacts in their communities. By developing more prominent female athletic and academic figures, they hope to give future refugee and Jordanian girls positive role models to emulate.
Given the success that Squash Dreamers had with the current program, they are seeking additional resources that will allow Squash Dreamers to expand activities and serve more girls. The funds with be used to: Expand the team from 30 to 105 girls of multiple nationalities Have a new set of uniforms, racquets, shoes and team gear for new players. Host and official tournament in winter and summer in the Jordan Squash Federation. Hire two more Full time English Directors and two more Full-time Squash Coaches Hold 1 hour long classes on women’s empowerment, initiative, teaching young girls’ life-long skills on entrepreneurship, writing, public speaking, self-improvement and team building skills
The Foundation is pleased to award a grant to Muayenkeng Development Farmers (MDFCIG). MDFCIG mission is to carry out sustainable agricultural and environment protection activities with children and women’s group. To carry out community development projects in schools and communities. To campaign for education for all and support poor communities with renewable and affordable energy so as to better their living conditions.
The goal of the project is to install 12 solar panels of capacity (2500W) through a series of connections that will supply solar energy to 200 houses located in the Ebase village. The solar installation power plant project is aimed at providing a solution to the problem of lack of electricity in an isolated and abandoned village. It is intended to help break poverty and darkness cycles that exist among generations. Unfortunately, the area has reached a point where the poor inhabitants cannot afford fuel, commonly have sleepless nights and have lost loved ones through home fires. Program objectives: To provide solar energy to 200 houses located in a rural village called Ebase-Bajoh. To equip each household with 4 lamps of 12V and two sockets. To enable children to receive better grades while studying in a better environment. To prevent further incidences of fire burning homes and killing children. To provide an innovative cheap means of home lighting as opposed to kerosene and firewood, which are toxic. To relieve pressure put on the nature through unsustainable exploitation of forest for fuel. To enable women to operate small appliances like grinding machines that will reduce their energy in having to physically pound the mortar in the kitchen. Facilitate rural economic development by creating job opportunities in the Ebase village
The Foundation is pleased to again support Into Your Hands Africa (IYHA) with a grant. The mission of IYHA is to empower youth and families in rural Uganda through education and enterprise development.
A second year grant by the Foundation will allow IYHA to continue supporting the same 55 students through the school year. Continued assistance will provide each student with an education stipend and program admittance in the Life Skills program. In addition, they will receive ten workshop lessons focusing on emotional intelligence, professional development, exposure visit to demonstration farms, technical application and motivation. Year two funding includes three career development and employability lessons including career planning, resume writing, and personal budgeting in addition to three practical workshops. Year 2 skills: Life Skills and Employability and Personal Development. Project Management: quality control, risk management and value addition. Demonstration Farms: Agriculture and livestock (exposure visits). General Management of project: Adequate shelter, feeding and food quantities, alternative foods options during drought. Specific risk associated with project: basic veterinary procedures. Career guidance: Resume, applications and interviews. Decision Making: conflict management and resolution. Interpersonal Communication: communication skills, negotiation skills and teamwork. Parent works shops. Lunch and Learn Workshops.
The communities in Midwestern Uganda, served by IYHA are economically and geographically isolated. There are few support systems available to network and share resources. Additional challenges faced by the communities served include a shortage of skilled labor, lack of agricultural and veterinary expertise, along with physical access to schools. With 20 years of experience, IYHA has learned that education alone will not create a sustainable economic change in rural Uganda. As a response to this need, IYHA is implementing an entrepreneurial and professional development training program that combines education with entrepreneurship. This new program, Life Skills, includes in-class lessons, exposure visits and a livestock project to support students in self-funding their own education. This meets their immediate needs by funding the student’s secondary education while bringing long-term benefits of residual income, food security, and best practices in animal husbandry and economic opportunity for the local economy.