Awarded Grants

Grant awarded to International Rescue Committee (IRC) “She Leads” Project

The Foundation is again pleased to partner with the IRC for their “She Leads” project.

TheIRC was founded in 1933 by Albert Einstein to aid Germans suffering under Hitler. More than 80 years later, they are working in over 40 countries helping people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict or disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future.

Adolescent girls in Liberia are vulnerable to all forms of violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). Men in positions of power frequently use their resources and influence to control decisions made by adolescent girls and their parents, which in turn contribute to early sexual relationships, early pregnancy, and school dropout. Having access to opportunities and resources can enable adolescent girls to achieve their goals and reduce vulnerability to sexual exploitation and abuse. With a grant from the Kathryn B. McQuade Foundation, the IRC proposes to work with the 150 girls from the current and previous cohorts of the Irish Aid-funded She Leads1 project to develop adolescent girls’ social networks and reduce their vulnerability to violence. The IRC will expand on the She Leads Project by providing mentorship to five cohorts of girl groups using its Girls Shine curriculum. The Girls Shine Curriculum is a mentorship model designed to: • Build girls’ knowledge of their own health and wellbeing • Facilitate discussion and reflection on cultural norms that serve as barriers to girls reaching their goals • Help girls develop skills to build self-esteem and self-efficacy.

The IRC Liberia team proposes to utilize funding from the Foundation to build upon the gains made through the She Leads and Girl Empower projects in three specific ways: • Provide ten recent project graduates with academic scholarships and unconditional cash transfers. The scholarships will enable these girls to continue their education at primary and secondary levels. The unconditional cash transfers will allow girls to cover basic living expenses while in school. • Provide conditional cash transfers based on attendance to 150 participants in the next cohort of life skills trainees through the She Leads program, which begins December 2018. • Provide mentorship to five groups of graduates (150 total) from the 2017-2018 Girls Shine cohort to facilitate and lead a Girls Social Network. This will provide an opportunity for them to reach out into their communities to further expand their networks and share their learning with other girls in their communities.

The proposed program will provide mentorship to 150 recent Girls Shine graduates to equip them to serve as mentors to other adolescent girls in their communities under a new Girls Social Network. Participation in the networks will motivate the new mentors to continue applying knowledge gained through Girl Shine and growing their social networks. As prior participants of the program, their experiences and reflections of the Girl Shine curriculum and implementation will add value to IRC as well as to the next generation of girl groups.

Grant awarded to Blink Now

The Foundation is pleased to partner with Bink Now with a grant to provide scholarships to children in Nepal.  BlinkNow’s vision is a world where every child is safe, educated and loved. Their mission is to change the world by empowering Nepal’s children. The organization does so by providing quality education, a safe environment and through inspiring others. Their students are the most vulnerable children in Nepal who otherwise would not have access to a quality education. Furthermore, the students’ enrollment impacts their entire family not only by having educated children, but families are also provided resources like medical care, educational workshops, and first priority access for mothers to be enrolled in the Kopila Valley Women’s Center. Their approach is community–based and holistic. The nucleus of the community impact is the school, with additional programs such as their Women’s Center, Girl’s Hostel, Health Clinic, Children’s Home and Futures which collaborate in a symbiotic relationship with the school. Scholarship support and student enrollment is the foundation to our larger community impact. By supporting a student at the school, you are truly impacting the individual, family and community in Surhket.

Upon entrance, the organization strives to teach each of the children the importance of becoming a change maker. From sharing hygiene and basic nutrition best practices with their families at home to becoming critical thinkers instead of learning through repetition, the ways students are growing highlight the big and small changes across their lives. In most cases, this will be the first time students will have access to uniformed clothing, furniture like chairs and desks, and healthcare. They look at their graduating students pursuing their next steps, while simultaneously thinking how they plan to return to Surkhet and leave an impact for the next generation. With these students often being the first in their families to receive formal education, are goal is challenging and motivating them to be leaders within KVS and even more importantly, beyond.

BlinkNow envisions a world where every child is safe, educated and loved. They also know investing in women is one of the fastest ways to break the cycle of poverty and make positive community change happen. They realize that talent is distributed evenly, but opportunity is not. They are providing opportunity to the future change makers in Nepal through a quality and free education. They are also providing opportunity for many women in the community to shine bright and have their voices be heard today. The Kopila Valley School is the foundation of their work—-where all of the other programs stem—- and support for students at the school is the best way to also impact the entire community.

Grant awarded to TechnoServe

The Foundation is pleased to again support TechnoServe with a 2 year grant.  TechnoServe’s mission is to work with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. Their success is measured by increased financial benefits for the people whom they engage. These benefits enable them to improve their resilience and reduce their poverty.  To guide their efforts TechnoServe released a Gender Policy in 2015 which commits them to ensuring that their work engages, empowers and benefits both females and males with the aim of transforming gender relations to achieve gender equality.

The effectiveness of the current Gender Practice is exemplified by the growing internal and external requests for the Global Gender Director’s time to support program development and implementation. Programs throughout their portfolio are requesting technical assistance from their practice and their donors are, in part, funding the practice lead function for institutional capacity building activities, staff training, and strategy and design workshops. The goal is for TechnoServe to become a distinctively effective catalyst of gender transformative development. Both through optimizing their own programming and enabling impact at scale through adoption and replication by third parties. To this end, the gender practice is responsible for achieving the following objectives: 1) Improve gender practices across TechnoServe’s programming. 2) Increase TechnoServe’s influence on gender transformative development. 3) Increase and diversify funding for TechnoServe’s gender initiatives. 4) Establish a sustainable funding model for the gender practice’s leadership.

With the Foundation’s support TechnoServe can continue to make substantial improvements in gender practice and the development of more effective interventions to lift women out of poverty.

Grant awarded to Butterfly Effect Center, under Lighthouse Peace Initiative

Butterfly Effect Center is addressing the problem of providing education and supplemental food to Syrian children in refugee camps in Lebanon. This grant will benefit the Syrian refugee children in the Siknaf and Khalaf camps in the Bekaa Valley. These children have a huge gap in their education and have nothing to do in these refugee camps. These funds pay for transportation to the building where educational classes are held and supplemental food is provided for them. This grant will cover this year’s spending costs. The impact that it will make on the community is allowing the children to learn computer programming as well as reading, writing, math and other skills that will allow them to pursue a better life when they get out of these camps. Progress is measured through how the kids progress in their basic skills, motivation and behavior. Education and supplemental food allows for these children to grow physically, emotionally and intellectually so that their future is better and they can assist their families.

Grant awarded to Strategies for International Development ( SID)

SID was founded for the purpose of finding better strategies for reducing rural poverty. In 1996, they began working in the Altiplano region of Bolivia, helping dairy farmers reclaim land and increase productivity and income. They then helped quinoa farmers do the same. In 2000, they began a program in the Sierra Sur of Perú to help local NGOs achieve environmental and agricultural goals in the same project. They currently help dairy farmers near Lake Titicaca increase their cows’ productivity and reclaim pastureland, while also providing small loans to dairy farmers and cattle fatteners.

(SID) addresses two problems: the poverty of women farmers in developing countries and their inequality. Small farm families in developing countries are 75% of the world’s poor, and women farmers bear more than their fair share of this poverty. They share the farm labor, but they also do most of the rearing of the children, cooking and household chores. In addition, men die younger, they often leave the family farm for salaried labor in cities or other countries, and sometimes they just leave. As such, there are more women single-head-of-household family farms.

SID is now scaling up it’s coffee program to the three major coffee-growing municipalities of Alta Verapaz. There are 18,380 coffee-farming families in the three municipalities, and the coffee program will give them a chance to learn the practices they need to adopt to graduate from poverty. In addition, farmers in at least 50 communities that agree to adopt all the practices will receive twice-monthly technical assistance in doing so. This is the only technical assistance available in building family-farm enterprises in these municipalities. It represents a wonderful opportunity for women to build businesses, either with their husbands or by themselves. As such, SID wants to scale up the women’s program. The beneficiaries of this new women’s program are at least 1,200 women in the 50 communities who will receive monthly assistance that ensures they participate equally in the technical assistance and building family-farm enterprises. Also, one woman in each of the 50 communities will have a part-time job in providing the technical assistance in adopting the practices that increase productivity, price, and income from coffee. In addition, the women in 18,380 coffee-growing families will have a chance to learn the practices by which they can graduate from poverty.

The indirect beneficiaries are the children of these women. Studies show that women are more likely to use additional income on behalf of their children, especially their health and education. Also, women with more confidence, leadership, empowerment, and equal participation are more likely to encourage the same in their children and especially their daughters. And they are role models for their daughters (and sons) to follow. Also, at least 10% of the households are single women head-of-household, and their children rely exclusively on them for their support.

Grant Awarded to Global Women’s Fund, Association for women’s promotion and endogenous development (A.W.P.E.D)

A.W.P.E.D, under the Global Fund for Women, is a local feminine organization which supports woman, young girls and children in hard situation in South Kivu Province, the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The organization was created by the militants’ woman in October 16th, 1999 at Kiliba, City, Uvira Territory, DR CONGO. Their mission is to encourage the women autonomous efforts relative to the protection and the promotion of their human rights in general and to the improvement of their social, health and economic situation.

This grant will benefit Women that are victims of sexual violence living in Uvira city and villages around the city for the next 2 years. In Uvira city, there is no facility or center to provide these women with psychological care, which can teach these women skills like reading and writing, assure their socio-economic reintegration and help contribute to educating them about these women’s rights. Victims of sexual violence are only able to get medical care after they are abandoned by their families. These women are faced with rape and illiteracy, traumatization, poverty and rejection. Due to these horrible circumstances, this situation is often the cause of these women committing suicides.

The funds will be used to build and equip a women’s psychoeducational center in which victims of sexual violence will be able to learn to read and write, get psychological support and learn income generating activities and their human rights. It will also pay for the training and educational fees for women and girls over 2 years. Buy materials and tools which will be used in the women’s psych educational center, while also paying salaries to the center’s workers.

Grant Awarded to Give Foundation, Haritika

Haritika works with people whose lives are dominated by extreme poverty, illiteracy, disease and other handicaps. With multifaceted development interventions, Haritika strives to bring about positive change in the quality of life of the poor people of Bundelkhand, India.

Bundelkhand region is presently classified as a region with low agro-productivity, that has a lack of sustainable livelihood sources, a low literacy rate, recurring drought and stagnant economic growth. Agriculture has decreased due to the low yield, degrading soil, low aquifer level and low water retaining capacity that is due to rock and sudden climatic variation. This has lead to diseased livestock, lack of proper treatments, decreased human health, a weakening economy and frequent death/droughts. The proposed grant will benefit the two villages of ChakRamsagar and Nichroli of the district Datia MadhyaPradesh, India. Haritika is working with various intuitions to research the issues of Natural Resource Management, Agriculture and allied business support. This is to improve the productivity and sustainability of fruit and vegetable productions systems that meet market demand. In addition, they aim to develop new approaches to human capital development that is driven by technology dependent economic opportunity and entrepreneurship within the horticultural sector in various villages. These programs also help with workshops for training. A mobile based program for dissemination to farmers to help boost productivity, diversify crops and vary income. In rural production areas, a network of agro-entrepreneurs is setup to help the farmer with crop inputs and ICT based advisory for growing nutrient rich crops. For model vegetable farms, it is used for renewable energy, creation of model school, fruit orchard development and agriculture resource tools.

The project proposed will ensure improvement in the life of women and children’s education. The project will decrease cases of water-related diseases by 50%. Other health impacts specific to women include a reduction in urinary infections, reduced incidence of back pain by not having to carry water long distances, reduced mental stress, and less sick infants. The project will decrease the amount of time women spend collecting water. They’ll be reduced from 1-2 hours to 15-20 minutes. This will allow women to pursue other activities such as farming. This will result in a much better and sustainable life for women and their families.

Grant awarded to African Girl Empowerment Network

African Girls Empowerment Network (AGE Network) was established in October 2015 as community based group with the primary focus to end child marriage and break barriers to girls’ education through support and community advocacy and also to empower those young women who are economically disadvantaged and victims of domestic violence, rape, teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS through woman2woman counseling, life skills, leadership training and micro credits to empower them economically. Their mission is to empower, support and protect the human rights of vulnerable African women and girls for our generation and most importantly, the generations next.

This project “Girls Empowerment Hub”, Odukpani, Cross River focuses on the issues affecting underprivileged women and girls, including girls who have dropped out of school due to child marriage and teenage pregnancy, victims of domestic violence, rape and those at risk of child marriage. Through vocational education and training for women, African Girls Empowerment Network, believes it can help build the capacity needed by creating a skilled workforce that could make enough income to support themselves and their families instead of forcing teenage girls into child marriage to settle their debts. Girls Empowerment Hub, Odukpani is also an opportunity for economically disadvantaged young women and girls, who are married as children and domestic violence survivors to have access to safe co-working spaces, collaborate with each other, learn about their bodies through sexual reproductive health & rights education and woman2woman counselling, acquire vocational skills including ICT and be financial inclusive in Cross River State Nigeria; this is because, despite the growing number of co-working space market in Cross River County, none of them cater to the need of young women’s bodily and economic rights. The fund will be used to set up Girls Empowerment Hub”, Odukpani LGA, Cross River, a resource center and safe space for underserved young women and girls in the 13 wards/communities of Odukpani LGA who are at risks of child marriage and those who have already dropped out of school due to child and early forced marriage, rape, teenage pregnancy and domestic violence to resuscitate and help them enroll back in schools or acquire vocational skills. The fund will cover the cost of setting up the center and vocational equipment including computers to provide ICT training/vocational skills, Adult literacy skills, entrepreneurship training/supports, mentoring and woman2woman counseling for young women and adolescent girls in the 13 wards/communities of Odukpani LGA Cross River. The fund will also cover the cost of the training staff, raising awareness on women’s economic rights and campaign against Money for woman child marriage practice in Cross River. This project will provide direct benefits for 12,000 vulnerable and underserved teenage girls every year in the hard-to reach communities of Odukpani LGA who are at risks of child and early forced marriage and for 5,000 young women every year who are child marriage/domestic violence survivors to resuscitate and help them meet their education and socio-economic needs. The project will provide a safe co-working space, resources and training including free ICT training, early incubation of female tech and media entrepreneur and vocational skills for 1,200 economically excluded young women including those who are victims of child marriage, teenage mothers and HIV every year to empower them economically. This will help to advance gender equality in women in tech and ICT entrepreneurship by empowering vulnerable and economically disadvantaged young women in Tech and media skills that will help them become financial and economic inclusive.

Grant awarded to Women for Women International (WfWI)

The Foundation is pleased to again support the work of WfWI in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).  The organization was founded by Iraqi-American humanitarian and entrepreneur Zainab Salbi in response to the horrific atrocities committed against women in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war.

This grant funding would benefit WfWI target population of ‘marginalized’ women in the KRI. WfWI’s program targets women who have limited access to resources, including single heads of household and widows. These women are often survivors of gender-based violence, victims of human rights violations, whose lives have been shattered by conflict through the loss of family, loss of property or displacement. Specifically, this grant will support the training of 700 Syrian and vulnerable host country Iraqi women in Daratu, Erbil. The funds will be used to accomplish the following: Deliver a social and economic empowerment program to 700 marginalized women in the KRI: In this second year of operation in KRI, WfWI will enroll 700 women from Daratu, Erbil in our training in December 2018. Comprised of Syrian refugee and vulnerable host country Kurdish women, project beneficiaries will be chosen based on WfWI’s tested criteria that ensures that we reach those most marginalized, based on social, economic and conflict-related vulnerabilities. WfWI’s baseline data from the first group of women in the 12- month program in the KRI reveal that their lives were typified by hardship and lack of opportunity when they joined the training: 100% of women were living below $1.90/day poverty line, while only 7% of women were earning an income and 27% had no formal education. We expect that target beneficiaries in this second year will align with this profile. Once selected and enrolled, women will come together in classes of 25 to build immediate support networks and have access to a safe space as they complete WfWI’s core curriculum. Regular classes will enable groups to form tight social circles of support—breaking isolation and promoting cohesion and trust between women from the Syrian refugee and Kurdish host communities.

The economic empowerment component of the program will train women in the following areas: (i) numeracy skills for those who need it; (ii) benefits of saving, basic household budgets, and opportunities for income generation; (iii) business basics, credit, entrepreneurship, planning, selling, and bookkeeping; (iv) working in a group or cooperative, collective decision-making; and (v) formal and informal savings and access to financial services. WfWI will also provide women with nine months of market-based vocational training. WfWI is currently running further market assessment to determine vocational tracks, matching demand and profitability with women’s capacities, interests and assets. Under the social empowerment component, women will be trained on health and wellness, their rights and decision making, and social networks and safety nets. This training will also include gender-based violence awareness and prevention. Finally, each woman will receive a monthly training stipend of $10 that she may use to meet family needs or begin saving towards her future.

The evidence from our own programs with women across conflict-affected countries as well as from development leaders such as the World Bank and the OECD show that investing in women’s empowerment, even in these fragile contexts, promotes sustainable growth, reduces poverty, and has a range of positive outcomes for families and communities. This is because women contribute their tremendous skills to social and economic domains, and extend any gains they make to their households, investing in education, healthcare, nutrition and assets – the building blocks of thriving societies. Our holistic approach provides women with vital skills, knowledge and resources to build self-reliance in the key areas of health and wellbeing, livelihoods and saving, rights and decision-making, and support networks.

Grant awarded to Western Virginia Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, Enhance Educational Environment

The Foundation is pleased to support Center in the Square’s effort to promote the sciences and fun learning experiences to the public education system. Center in the Square is visited by over 500,000 patrons annually, all of which have the opportunity to become educated through their free atrium and rooftop spaces, used in the Get Schooled! Program. In addition to this, the Get Schooled! Field Trip Program invites students to tour the facility and to learn with their qualified staff in a unique environment. Children learn in a multitude of ways, through reading, listening, playing, discovering and more. Center in the Square is an “outside of the textbook” resource for teachers, students, and the general public. They assist teachers with SOL compliant tours of atrium’s aquariums, coral lab, and green rooftop spaces. Being an educational resource is very important to them, and they are always striving to provide the most innovative, fun experiences possible.

The grant will be used  would be used to help fund new innovative approaches (like augmented reality) to the Get Schooled! Field Trip Program and to offer discounted pricing to the schools that need it the most in this area. Roanoke City Public Schools have some of the lowest scores on in the entire state of Virginia. With nearly 6,800 elementary students, they have the ability to impact thousands of children’s lives for the better. They would like to offer a drastically reduced Get Schooled! Field Trip rate for elementary students within Roanoke City Public Schools. Since school funding has been decreasing over the years, a reduction in cost for these schools would make a big difference as to whether or not they can visit Center in the Square. Evaluation forms will be emailed to teachers (and for their students) after they visit Center in the Square and experience Get Schooled! A comment box will also be set out for the general public. Attendance counts will also be taken for each aspect of The Get Schooled! Field Trip Program.

Their goal is for all children to have memorable learning experiences that carry well into their adult years. Center in the Square offers an 8,000 gal. saltwater tank full of amazing fish (like Nemo), an Amazon River tank, two jellyfish tanks, a predator tank, a turtle tank, green rooftop spaces, and so much more to the public at no charge. Adults and children of all ages can visit Center in the Square’s atrium and rooftop spaces MondaySunday any week of the year. To further enhance these educational environments, they’ve created The Get Schooled! Field Trip Program to help teachers with an SOL compliant resource unlike any other in the region. With funds from The Kathryn B. McQuade Foundation, they can sustain this resource, expand upon it, and offer a reduced rate to the Roanoke City Public Schools, serving thousands of low income students. Their goal is for all people to have the same opportunities for education at the Center in the Square.