Kathryn McQuade

Grant awarded to CENCUDER

The Foundation is pleased to support CENCUDER vocational Training Center.

CENCUDER’s vocational training center in Upper Buduma village, is a career, financial empowerment and technology training project for economically disadvantaged women and girls. It targets school drop outs through computer literacy, sewing, and tailoring. The center aims to help them break poverty cycles, generate self-employment, become self-reliant and contribute to a sustainable economy. It is intended to provide hopes to those in despair, create job and employment opportunities to the poor through education and vocational training. Issues the center will address include: unemployment, abject poverty, hunger, sexual and reproductive rights, extreme marginalization and strife. This project has as main objective of reducing extreme suffering as a result of lack of opportunities and support for marginalized women, single mothers, school dropouts and teenage girls in Buduma through practical vocational trainings. Buduma village is a typical slum community in the South West of Cameroon, with above 90% of the households living below the UN poverty line. There are a very limited number of farm employment opportunities. There is also extreme marginalization of women and girls since many, by native laws and customs, don’t have access to land. CENCUDER’s vocational training center is going to help these groups by providing hope, a brighter future, and an opportunity to earn a livelihood. The center will operate two units with two shifts of intensive and practical training every working day. One unit will train women in practical sewing techniques and dress design to serve the general public. The other unit will train them in computer literacy and teach them how to use the internet. This will equip the beneficiaries with the social and vocational skills they need to succeed in life. The center will also provide the women information on menstrual hygiene, as well as their sexual and reproductive rights. CENCUDER intends to set up an interest free loan program that will facilitate the beneficiaries to set up their sewing/tailoring workshops as well as a cyber café upon completion of studies. Through this initiative, many women will be empowered with financials means to enable them to send their children to school, support themselves, and transfer the skills to their children, friends and relatives within their communities.

Grant awarded to Unlocking Communities

The Foundation is pleased to support Unlocking Communities.

Through Unlocking Communities research and work in Haiti, Unlocking Communities passionately believes that providing Haitians the tools to be their own catalysts for change is a more effective way to make a quality and long-lasting economic impact in the community than giving well-intentioned, but misguided handouts. To do so, their Community Partner gives aspiring entrepreneurs (majority women) a solid foundation by training them in business fundamentals. Then, they give these budding entrepreneurs access to either: 1. In-demand, environmentally beneficial products (water filters and clean-burning stoves) that they earn a commission from selling, 2. When there is no longer a need to sell these products the loans are repurposed to fund their own business ventures: resulting in cyclical economic growth. This has proven to be more successful by instilling a sense of dignity, empowerment, and ownership in Haitian communities.

This funding would cover the initial inventory of up to 100 water filtration systems and/or clean-burning stoves, Business Basics Training for Haitians, monitoring and evaluation, and on-going training from their in-country staff for each community.

Unlocking Communities focuses on helping low to middle-income Haitian communities (mainly women and children). These families lack access to unpolluted water and clean-burning stoves. The entire community benefits from gaining access to their environmental products and the resulting economic savings; however, the community entrepreneurs receive the additional benefits of business education and economic opportunity. Secondary beneficiaries are their families. Haitian families are typically 6 people (3-5 children, 1 mother, and sometimes a present father); therefore, 1 filter or stove is providing clean water or lowering second-hand smoke levels (and the risk of related illnesses) for multiple people. This is a major benefit considering: 1. Over 5,600 people die each year in Haiti from contaminated water, 2. Impoverished families are spending between $150- $400 a year (24% of their small annual income) on bottled water and charcoal.

Unlocking Communities has 2 communities in the center of Haiti (Goyave and Cange) that are currently conducting community readiness assessments. They are very keen to get started with the full model. They are interested in being an all-women operation and to support this they will be working with the local women’s organization as their Community Partner.

Grant awarded to Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada (CCSN)

The Foundation is pleased to support CCSN’s Immigration Assistance Program.

The Immigration Assistance Program (IAP) provides high quality, low cost or pro bono immigration services for foreign-born individuals and their families who seek to obtain or extend lawful immigration status, or who are seeking citizenship in the United States. Consultation is provided to determine eligibility, and provide assistance with nearly all affirmative immigration matters. This includes but is not limited to: processes such as Naturalization/U.S. Citizenship; Family-Based Petitions; applications for Lawful Permanent Resident status (as well as renewals and replacements) and employment authorization/work permit applications and renewals. In 2019, 52.78% of the cases opened by IAP were with women. 69.6% were from Mexico and the remaining 30.4% from 31 other countries around the world. The grant will help fund the portion of the IAP budget not covered by state and federal grants. Historically CCSN has funded IAP with income from their thrift stores, but vastly increased demand is leading to long wait times, even for urgent cases, and more funding is needed. Funds will be spent from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Funds will help make a sustainable difference by serving clients who desperately want and need to establish recognition of their legal right to live and work in this country, and clients who serve a vital role in their local community. Clients served will be brave, resourceful women who have taken a risk of leaving their homes and loved ones, to build a better life for their families.

To measure success, data collection and recording are performed by their immigration specialists, who enter records into relevant tracking systems. With the use of E-Immigration, a nationally recognized, cloud-based tracking system, staff can evaluate client progress and program effectiveness.

Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada is dedicated to providing support to those in need in the Reno/Sparks community as well as across rural Nevada. They help people of all cultures and beliefs rise up out of poverty and overcome the barriers to self-sufficiency. They do this through a broad range of services, including food resources, case management, and residential programs. On average, over 20,000 individuals receive support from them on a monthly basis.

Grant awarded to World Health Organization (WHO)

The world is facing an unprecedented challenge with communities and economies everywhere affected by the growing COVID-19 pandemic. The world is coming together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic bringing governments, organizations from across industries and sectors and individuals together to help respond to this global outbreak. The outpouring of global solidarity and support sparked by this shared challenge has been phenomenal.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading and coordinating the global effort, supporting countries to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic.

Everyone can now support directly the response coordinated by WHO. People and organizations who want to help fight the pandemic and support WHO and partners can now donate through the COVID-Solidarity Response Fund for WHO at www.COVID19ResponseFund.org.

Donations received will go towards funding the activities of the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which include among others:

  • Putting in place activities to Track and understand the spread of the virus;
  • Ensuring patients get the care they need
  • Buying and ship essential supplies such as masks, gloves and protective wear for frontline workers
  • Producing evidence based guidelines and advice, and make sure health workers and responders get the information and training to detect and treat affected patients;
  • Producing guidance for the general public and for particular groups on measures to take to prevent the spread and prevent themselves and others
  • Accelerating efforts to develop vaccines, tests and treatments.

Donations are greatly appreciated in the global effort supporting the  ability of all countries to respond to COVID-19, especially where the needs are greatest and in countries with less access to global markets and lower resources.

Feed the Children grant awarded For COVID 19 work

Feed the Children is taking action to ensure our neighbors aren’t forgotten. They’re supplying their community partners (like food pantries and soup kitchens) with the bulk items they need to help people. Their trucks are moving across the U.S. to bring support to families who need it. And they expect their work to increase during this time of crisis.

They’re working every day with our community and corporate partners to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry. Whether it’s through door-to-door home delivery, or drive-through pick-up of food, water, and essentials, their community partners are finding new and effective ways to make sure that families get what they need.

Here are the latest updates on their work:

    • They’re working with community partners coast-to-coast to make sure food and essentials get into the hands of families who need it most. Whether it’s home deliveries to the elderly or door-to-door meals for students, they are dedicated to supplying our community partners with the resources families need.
    • Through donations from corporate partners such as The NASCAR Foundation, StarKist, Teleperformance, Herbalife Nutrition, Tyson Foods, Niagara Bottling, KIND Snacks, Clif Bar& Company, Americold, Avon, Office Depot, Fab Fit Fun, Mattel, Elmhurst Milked and Frito-Lay, they are able to keep trucks rolling down the highway to serve our communities.
    • Overseas, Feed the Children is focused on community safety. They demonstrate and model good public health behaviors, encourage good handwashing, and equip community leaders with sanitation practices and educational resources. Hygiene kits and meals will be distributed as needed.
    • Feed the Children’s partnership with City Care OKC continues to support those in need. Through this partnership, City Care OKC has distributed over 5,000 books to their students, along with food.
    • Feed the Children has delivered 104 cases of ready meals to the Joseph Project Mobile Food Pantry in Western New York, for distribution to those in need.
  • In Honduras, Feed the Children has mobilized to ensure that quarantined families have enough to eat. We have donated over 28,000 pounds of fortified rice and sardines, which were delivered to over 2,000 families.

grant awarded to Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF)

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.


Grant awarded to International Development Enterprises (iDE)

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.





Grant awarded to Philomera Hope Center Foundation

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

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.

Grant awarded to KinderUSA

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.