The Foundation is pleased to award a grant to Fonkoze, USA. this organization is new to the Foundations support. Fonkoze was founded in 1994 by a group of Haiti grassroots organizations that wanted to empower the rural poor in Haiti. They choose to focus on Haitian women, who are considered the poto mitan (“backbone”) of the Haitian economy. 44% of households in Haiti are headed by single women, and they dominate the landscape of small commerce.-Fonkoze is a family of three institutions that work together to achieve a collective mission. The 3 arms are as follows: -Fonkoze is is the 501c3 arm for funding raising, technical assistance and outreach. -Fonkoze Financial Services (SFF) – is their microfinance institution. – Fonkoze Foundation – provides health and education services to their microfinance clients. Fonkoze is most well known for their microfinance services. SFF is the largest microfinance institution in Haiti and has a double bottom line; it aims to lift families out of poverty while operating in a financially self-sustaining manner. SFF offers loans from $50-$100,000, with an average loan size of $300. With over 44 braches, SFF also offers checking and saving accounts, currency exchange, payroll processing, and money transfers.
The Ti Koze Program is designed to reinforce clients’ resilience in the face of shocks and crises they encounter. The program looks to support microfinance clients with decision-making skills in the sectors of health, disaster mitigation, business, and others. At full scale, the program will reach over 60,000 clients in all SFF branches. Unfortunately the Fonkoze Foundation has been unable to consistently provide this program to all their clients, mainly due to financial constraints. The program was designed to train Center Chief’s to facilitate the Ti Koze discussion. In order to increase the efficiency and scale of the program, Fonkoze Foundation will partner with SFF to enable loan officers to deliver the program moving forward.
We look forward to watching the success of this program.
The Foundation is again proud to partner with R&W for a 4th year in support of the Rise Program.
R&W was established in 1999 in Morris County, New Jersey. Their mission is to provide young adults who age out of the foster care system in New Jersey with safe housing, educational support, case management, counseling, and life skills in order to empower them toward self-sufficiency. The founders of R&W felt that without adequate education, job training, and basic life skills, aged out foster youth face a much higher risk of homelessness, unemployment and incarceration than their peers.
The Grant will be used to help with expansion costs of their Union County Rise program. Roots & Wings was able to open an additional apartment in May of this year and are currently working on one more apartment to open in September. Roots & Wings is working towards opening a fourth Union County apartment in the fall of 2018, which will be a 3-bedroom unit for females. This will provide safe housing to an additional 3 aged out foster youth for a period of 2 to 4 years while they receive intensive services and work towards complete self-sufficiency.
Clients of R&W range in age from 18 to 24, split 50/50 between women and men. R&W accepts referrals from any county in New Jersey without regard to race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. In order to be eligible for residential services, clients must be in the process of aging out of the New Jersey Foster Care system or must have already aged out. Their mission and the mission of the Foundation are aligned in that R&W provides the appropriate education and skills training needed to break the cycle of poverty and crime. By addressing their client’s serious social, educational, financial, and health issues in a comprehensive manner, R&W provides their clients a real chance to succeed in life.
The Foundation is happy to again support the West End Center. This grant will support their Capital Campaign.
West End Center is, and has been for nearly 40 years, a key service provider that promotes success for disadvantaged children. With appropriate support, disadvantaged children will graduate from high school, obtain job skills or graduate from college, and become contributing members of their community who live fulfilling and self-directed lives.
West End Center enrolls approximately 150 school-aged children each year (grades K-12). Over 75% of the children live in poverty, and 75% live in single parent households. The average income of the families hovers around $20,000. Over 95% receive some form of public assistance. 87% are black, 6% biracial, 3% Hispanic, and 45 white. Over 21% have an identified special need for which they are receiving medical or educational services. Largely, the children served by West End Center are living in intergenerational poverty that will continue to self perpetuate without support from the community to help them achieve a more positive future. Specifically, their program seeks to improve academic skills by providing STEM education, reading classes, and tutoring; to develop social skills and leadership skills using the evidence-based program, Peacebuilders, and to promote wellness through nutrition education and a variety of physical activities.
West End Center moved to its location at 1226 Patterson Avenue in 1992. Nothing more than routine maintenance has been undertaken in the intervening twenty-five years. The Center’s space has always been simple and spare, and it has endured hard use by thousands of children. The facility needs updating with the kitchen and restroom facilities in most in need of renovation and are, in fact, on the verge of being unusable. Inspectors from the fire department, the health department, and child care licensing have all encouraged renovation, and the fear is that at some point, the facilities will not meet the standards of the inspections.
West End Center’s mission and its goals align with the foundation’s goals of providing education and skills training to children to break the cycle of poverty. They have been doing that for nearly forty years, but in order to keep providing such a valuable program, they will need funding to bring their facilities up to par.
The Foundation is pleased to again support the YWCA Central Carolina’s Women in Transition program.
YWCA Central Carolinas has been an important part of the Charlotte community since 1902, investing in the lives of women, children and families and working toward racial justice for all. Women In Transition (WIT) s 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. Last year, 83% of women who participated for four months or longer exited the program into permanent housing, successfully moving from a situation of instability to one of security.
WIT served a total of 107 women last year. Eligible participants earn less than 50% of area median income and have suffered homelessness. Last year roughly 72% of participants were African American 24% Caucasian, 2% as American Indian or Alaska Native, 1% Asian or Hispanic/Latino and their ages ranged from 18 to 74 years in age. From a studied conducted by UC Berkeley/Harvard, Charlotte ranked dead last (50th out of 50) among major cities in terms of economic stability. This means if you born to a low-income family in Charlotte, your chances of escaping poverty are less likely in Charlotte than any other major city in America. WIT specifically works to lessen this probability and gives women a chance obtain permanent housing and jobs.
The Foundation is pleased to partner with My Little Patient, Inc (MLP) for their program with Puerto Rico Construction crews.
The goal of MLP is to work towards equitable, sustainable healthcare across the globe. This includes but is not limited to education, medical and dental services, housing and clean water, all essential to good quality of life. Since its recent inception, MLP has been successful in partnering with other non-profits to provide education, services and construction in multiple countries including Haiti, Puerto Rico and India.
Since Hurricanes Maria and Irma devastated Puerto Rico, housing has been a concern for a large percentage of the population across the island. MLP will provide assistance in this regard by sending teams of construction crews in waves to provide the needed services so that people are again living in structurally sound houses. There has already been work done, however, there is still a large need and federal funding is running low. They will identify specifically, households in which children live, to work towards providing a sound environment for the children to thrive. This grant will be used to provide adequate, structurally sound housing for families with children, in which their current structures are unlivable or not structurally sound, which present a challenge to living a healthy life, which then impacts the children’s ability to learn, grow, attend school and live the most productive lives possible. The ultimate beneficiaries will be children and their families who are struggling in the aftermath of death and destruction caused by Hurricane Maria and will receive much needed housing assistance.
The Foundation is pleased to again partner with The Foundation for Tomorrow (TFFT) whose mission is to secure quality education and emotional support for orphaned and vulnerable children so that they may reach their full potential and thrive in their communities. Their new initiative – The Learning Centre – will expand and strengthen TFFT’s commitment to the students, teachers, families, and communities that they have been working with for over 10 years. TFFT has a proven track record in Tanzania, developing sustainable pathways toward opportunity. This Centre is designed in partnership with the local government (Ministry of Education and Social Welfare) and with the support of their most steadfast partners.
The Grant will provide funding for the Higher Education Advisory and Scholarship Centre, an integral part of The Learning Centre. This dynamic community centre will provide multifaceted services, including a space dedicated to guiding young Tanzanians on the path of higher education. Funding specifically from this grant will underwrite the tools needed in this effort, most specifically the costs of constructing this facility within the Learning Centre. Support of The Learning Centre and, more specifically the Higher Education Advisory and Scholarship Centre, will ensure that Tanzania’s best and brightest and most tenacious won’t miss out on their opportunity of pursing their educational dreams due to lack of funding or understanding of the possibilities available to them. The Higher Education Advisory counsellor will be the students’ advocate, mentor and greatest cheerleader in a process that is challenging and stressful to even the world’s most affluent and connected young people. Providing a bridge of support in the form of experienced counselling as well as application and testing assistance on the long path of academic achievement is a highly sustainable undertaking and will yield myriad results. The immediate effect of The Learning Centre intended will have a multitude of initial impacts on the community. The first would be the simple presence of this leading edge facility at the base of Mt. Meru. Designed using the One Planet Framework, the sustainable nature of The Learning Centre is a significant differentiator. This space will transform the way individuals look and think and that includes the building itself. The long-term sustainability of it lies not only in the building itself – the nuts and bolts commitment to the community – but also in the ongoing programs that will provide access to educationally enriching learning opportunities for Tanzania’s youngest learners, young people eager to continue on to higher education and professional pursuits, and adults who seek to expand their possibilities through entrepreneurial endeavors.
The Foundation is pleased to partner with 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.
The funds with be used to:
Expand the team from 15 to 45 girls of multiple nationalities
Hire a full-time, permanent country director who can help oversee expansion, manage staff, and apply for grants
Hire an American fellow and help him move to Jordan
Provide a bus to transport the girls to practice and English class
Offer stipends to interns to enable them to come and work in the program
Send girls to English immersion camp at King’s Academy,
“Why Squash?” This is a natural question given that squash is not one of the world’s most commonly played sports. However, the belief is that squash offers a unique opportunity for refugee girls in Jordan for several reasons: 1) Studies have demonstrated that it is the best workout in sport form. 2) Playing sports in general promotes physical and mental health as well as discipline, hard work, and teamwork. 3) Throughout the United States, and in four other countries, the effectiveness of urban squash programs for under-resourced youth has been demonstrated in programs such as SquashBusters, StreetSquash, and the Squash + Education Alliance. These programs work with over 2,000 students annually, and have helped their participants to achieve a 95% high school graduation and college matriculation rate, in addition to many other benefits. 4) As opposed to sports like soccer and basketball, the professional squash circuit is not nearly as saturated, meaning that dedicated squash players have a greater chance of achieving competitive success. Accomplished squash players can receive scholarships to study in prestigious boarding schools and universities as well as make a career out of competing and coaching abroad. 5) Playing squash enables the girls to bridge the class divide. Squash is typically thought of as a wealthy person’s sport. Not only are they making a sport accessible to them that they would not normally have encountered, but they are also helping them interact with Jordanians from different classes. Thus, bridging both a class divide and a refugee-local divide.
Squash Dreamers matches with the McQuade Foundation’s priorities as both organizations aim to empower young girls who have faced injustices. Both seek to provide for the welfare and education of young girls. Both seek to provide girls with skills that will enable them to succeed in life.
Project Gateway has been granted funds for the continuing efforts of their Empowerment Program. The Empowerment Program is run through the Gateway School of Fashion Fusion with Craft and Business Training and Mentoring. Through the Program, over 1000 students have been trained in hard skills such as woodwork, metalwork, electrical training as well as Fashion Design, sewing and craft development. It has also assisted more than 250 developing entrepreneurs in better business practice and mentored the leaders of these groups until they are secure in Business knowledge. Over 70% of the entrepreneurs were still running successful businesses 2 years after their training. Most of the trainees are unemployed women, who are given the opportunity to improve their hard skills of Craft making and / or Fashion Design as well as Business Skills training. This enables them to generate income for themselves and their families.
Funds from this grant will be used to support individuals unable to pay the fees associated with the Program. Learners would under normal circumstances be required to pay a fee structure. While this is built into the budget the reality is that most of the learners are unemployed, out of school, under-educated learners. Project Gateway is a development program and does not offer “hand-outs” as such. The learners are already paying transport costs to reach the center 3 days a week. They travel for over an hour to get there and over an hour to get back home. They desperately need to generate income for themselves and their families and they feel that if they were better qualified in the hard skills of Fashion Design and sewing and had a greater understanding of Business, they would be able to increase their income and build sustainable businesses.
The project is making a sustainable different by addressing unemployment and the lack of skills and business education. By educating and up-skilling 20 – 25 learners per year in Fashion Design and Fusion with Craft and by assisting 90 people per year with the Paradigm Shift Business Training program and encouraging them to go on to the next 2 Modules which tracks their Business growth and success for a period of at least 18 sessions, the organization believes that it makes a difference to the quality of each person’s life. History has shown that most of the learners who study through Gateway School of Fashion continue to generate income at varying levels for a number of years after the course. The Paradigm Shift Course has been offered to over 2000 people in South Africa. Results so far indicate that over 70% have increased their Business Income, and 34% of the people are now saving on a regular basis.
Humanity Crew is a grassroots non-governmental non-religious-non-profit organization founded in November 2015 by Adv. Maria Jammal and Dr. Essam Daod, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, who joined a rescue mission to respond to the influx of Syrian refugees arriving in Lesvos, Greece. During the mission they identified the deep threat to the refugees’ wellbeing. In particular they became concerned with mental health of the refugees brought on by despair, loss, pain and fear from the unknown future and flight to safety. During the mission, they development Humanity Crew to deal with these issues.
The Foundation is pleased to again support Humanity Crew for the 3 project areas that were funded last year.
*Violence and Protection – new living conditions that women face when moving to these camps exposes them to unsafe environments. Many of these women were used to strong support systems from family and friends. After joining the camp they quickly realized they did not have anyone to rely on. Additionally, they are at a greater chance of domestic violence from their husbands who once was the proud family patriarch, to someone who is helpless and without purpose. Using this situation to carry out domestic violence on their wives and children.
* Mental Health – Many women in these camps have come from war zones in the Middle East, experiencing trauma, personal loss, abuse and sometimes severe torture. Arriving at the camps women further face security issues and often face symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia and many other symptoms.
* Cultural Gaps and Integration – Throughout their journey, many times the humanitarian aid these women receive is usually received without any cultural or lingual sensitivity by locals and other volunteers who speak different languages and lack cultural understandings. The direct beneficiaries of this project will Syrian, Iraqi and other Arabic speaking women and young girls living in refugee camps in Greece. The indirect beneficiaries are the community of the camps/centers including other refugees, professionals, volunteers and staff.
Humanity Crew believes they are making a sustainable difference by empowering women and helping integrate themselves into their new communities. Their programs work to provide women with life skills that help them in taking steps towards their own education and career as an active part of the refugee society. Additionally, Humanity Crew looks to involve the whole community, in hopes of educating and then preventing violence against women. Their goal is to create a holistic community based change towards a healthy family life and healthy overall society.