Grant awarded to The International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

The Foundation is pleased to  award a grant to INARA. INARA’s mission is to provide life-altering and life-saving medical care for children from conflict areas who have catastrophic injuries and are unable to access treatment due to war. INARA steps in to fill the gaps in access to medical treatment when it is not provided by governments or other humanitarian organizations.

INARA is focusing on children aged less than one year old to eighteen years old that were injured during conflict or while living as a refugee. In addition, a second project was started in early 2017 targeting children suffering from clubfoot. INARA’s medical provision improves physical mobility by reversing disabilities caused by war or while living as a refugee, as well as preventing or reversing disabilities caused by a lack of access to medical treatment. This addresses both the child’s physical ability to accomplish activities such as attending school, as well as their mental health by boosting confidence and self-esteem. As a result, their longerterm impact is to improve the quality of life for both INARA’s beneficiaries and their families. This in turn will build strong and healthy individuals and families who are more resilient in the face of conflict. The proposed program is addressing the existing gap of children with life-altering disabilities in need of specialized treatment and its limited provision. The types of injuries children can suffer in war or while living as a refugee are diverse and there is no one fits-all approach to address their specific needs. Therefore, a very individualistic approach is needed to ensure each child gets the appropriate and best possible treatment. To take on those cases is very time- and cost-intense, hence requests long-term commitment. Public primary health care centers cannot cater for those children, as in most cases, one or even a series of surgeries is needed. The government and the private sector provide the healthcare system in Lebanon. The government only covers Lebanese nationals and therefore, refugees can only benefit from the privatized healthcare system, whose services are mostly not affordable for refugees.

The goal of INARA’s work is to reach as many children as possible affected by conflict, having life altering or life-threatening injuries or disabilities and requiring medical treatment. Aiming to help the children overcome the barriers of lifelong consequences of their disabilities, and give them back the same opportunities as all other children and through this building strong and healthy individuals and families who are more resilient in the face of conflict. This grant will help provide INARA the security to sustain and expand its operations until the end of the year without constraints related to program support expenditures.

Grants awarded to Help protect Women and Children Immigrants

The Foundation has awarded grants to 3 organizations to help protect and promote the best interests of immigrant children in the United States who have been separated from their families.  I am greatly saddened by the horrible treatment families are receiving at our Borders.  I can not support these practices and will help defend and protect the human rights and dignity of these families.  The following organizations will each receive a $10,000 award.

Women’s Refugee Commission: 

The Women’s Refugee Commission improves the lives and protects the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. We research their needs, identify solutions and advocate for programs and policies to strengthen their resilience and drive change in humanitarian practice. Since our founding in 1989, we have been a leading expert on the needs of refugee women and children, and the policies that can protect and empower them.

Our vision is a world in which refugee and internally displaced women, children and youth:

  • are safe, healthy and self-reliant;
  • have their human rights respected and protected; and
  • inform and drive their own solutions and development
KIND Kids in Need of Defense:

KIND will achieve our vision by:

  • Ensuring that no child appears in immigration court without high quality legal representation;
  • Advancing laws, policies, and practices that ensure children’s protection and uphold their right to due process and fundamental fairness; and
  • Promoting in countries of origin, transit, and destination durable solutions to child migration that are grounded in the best interests of the child and ensure that no child is forced to involuntarily migrate.

Young Center, Immigrant Children’s Rights

The Young Center is a champion for the rights and best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children, making sure that wherever they land, whether here in the U.S. or in their home country, they are safe.

  • We Serve: Unaccompanied children who are fleeing violence, trafficking, abuse and extreme poverty. They are all alone.
  • We Advocate: For the safety and well-being of each child, while they’re detained and throughout deportation proceedings—every step of the way.
  • We Stand: For the creation of an immigration system that serves children.

Your Hands Africa awarded Grant

The mission of Into Your Hands Africa is to empower youth and families in rural Uganda through education and enterprise development. For 19 years, Into Your Hands-Africa has been working with students, families and communities in rural Midwestern Uganda, supporting community empowerment and economic sustainability through education and enterprise development. Activities to meet the mission of the organization include, providing “hand-up” assistance to families to develop their own revenue system, assisting youth in attaining a secondary education, empowering women with tools to attain economic self-sufficiency and creating opportunities for communities to develop stronger ties amongst themselves.

With 19 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. Funding provided by the Kathryn B. McQuade Foundation will bridge the enrollment gap by meeting the immediate needs of 60 senior one students and St. James Secondary School. Funding support 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. Life Skills senior two students are also gift with a livestock project to begin their business. Year three content includes two workshops on professional development and four practical lessons on running and managing livestock business and understanding the importance of ethical business practices. IYHA staff members visit each student’s home on a monthly basis to review project progression. Year four content includes an ongoing mentorship and group support that is facilitated by IYHA’s partner school. IYHA measures Life Skills program success by meeting these 5 objectives: 1. 60% of participating students continue their personal savings plan from year two through year 4. 2. 90% of participates will demonstrate a 50% increase in business knowledge as indicated by pre and post assessment tests. 3. A minimum of 75% of all pass-on enterprise projects will be completed within 18 months of original enterprise handouts as indicated by the total number of livestock pass-on projects collected by the IYHA’s field officers and Youth and Enterprise Program officers. 4. 50% of students will be able to self-fund at least 50% of their tuition fees with one and half years of project implementation. This is measured through an annual baseline assessments and monthly home visits. 5. Life Skills program will positively fight against gender inequality. Partner schools will demonstrate a 20% enrollment increase among female students at the end of year one. The Life Skills program puts students in the classroom. IYHA’s distinctive approach of incorporating classroom education, vocational training and business classes, along with ongoing support from on-the ground staff; all work in tandem to support student success while improving the local economy. The outcome produced from the Life Skills program includes more girls in schools, increased confidence among Life Skills students, parent support and buy-in, increased English comprehension among students, lower pregnancy rates, and a knowledge transfer in professional development and emotional intelligence.

S.O.U.L Foundation awarded grant

Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn (S.O.U.L.) Foundation is grounded in community driven development and is committed to fostering sustainable partnerships with rural Ugandans in the areas of education, maternal health, women’s empowerment, and food security in eastern Uganda. Foundational to S.O.U.L’s inception and operations is the belief that all people have dignity and worth, and that together we can transform society to ultimately create a better world. S.O.U.L. works in direct partnership with community members through four program areas, education, women’s empowerment, food security and maternal health.

Understanding these challenges, S.O.U.L. has developed unique educational programs designed to target the underlying barriers to learning for girls. First, S.O.U.L.’s student sponsorship program partners with Ugandan families and 39 schools in the Jinja and Iganga Districts to help families afford quality education. Their Peer mentoring, particularly for girls, results in improved school attendance and retention, positive self-esteem, and healthier life choices. S.O.U.L.’s secondary-level mentorship program pairs older students with younger students, guides them through a curriculum that gives them a valuable support system. In addition, there has also seen a large gap between the technological skills of rural students in comparison to their urban counterparts, and few Ugandan schools in Jinja or Iganga districts, where S.O.U.L. operates, have the resources to overcome this divide. The requested funds will be used specifically for the following activities: 1) Student Sponsorship: Three female university students, four female vocational students, and 11 female secondary students will each receive an academic sponsorship in partnership with her family and a vetted Ugandan school. S.O.U.L. will be financially responsible for half of the costs and the family will be responsible for the remaining half. The sponsorship will include tuition fees, workbooks, a daily hot lunch, and in some cases, boarding. In the Jinja and Iganga districts, there are a limited number of secondary schools within a reasonable walking distance so boarding schools are safer, more cost and time efficient, and generally offer a higher quality of learning. 2) Mentorship: 150 young women in secondary school will be each paired with an older female mentor and will meet with her mentor weekly. Additionally, each participant will be taken through S.O.U.L.’s innovative mentorship curriculum where she will have access to weekly lessons and local guest speakers on relevant life topics. As she gets older, she herself will become a mentor to another girl entering the program, thereby creating a multiplier effect. 3) Technology Training: 150 female participants will be taken through a two-month computer course where she will learn vital computer skills that will help her in school and in the workplace. Upon successful completion of the current level, she will advance to the next level of training the following year. 4) Career Readiness and Entrepreneurship (CRE): Upon graduation from secondary school, vocational studies, or university, each sponsored student and those participating in the mentorship and technology programs will have access to the CRE program which assists young women in finding and getting a job or starting their own business. S.O.U.L. anticipates that 80% of female students in 2018 who graduate from secondary school, vocational school, or university will attend this program. To measure its impact, S.O.U.L. will take an initial baseline survey of each school and participant to gauge their starting point. At the end of each school semester, school year, and mentorship cycle, another survey will be conducted to track growth and outcomes. The surveying tools will track the mentorship relationship, academic performance, skills and learning development, career readiness, community relationships, household economic and social performance, and overall student progress.

KinderUSA awarded Grant for The Cooperative Society for Saving and Lending

The Foundation is pleased to award a grant to KinderUSA for the Cooperative Society for Saving and Lending.  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.

The Cooperative Society for Saving and Lending, provides the majority of the children enrolled with the only healthy meal they may eat all day through the Healthy Meals Initiative. KinderUSA is seeking grants to fund the 10th distribution of food to Kindergarten-aged students who suffer from anemia, malnutrition, and fatigue, children who have only known war and poverty in their lifetime.

The program incorporates the Women’s Cooperative which prepares the meals, focusing on empowering female head-of-households who find themselves the sole providers due to devastating circumstances. Some of these women have been living in dire conditions, and KinderUSA assists them through training in their cooperatives and ultimately finding employment at local factories and bakeries. This last stage, they had 30 women that are now successfully working, finally able to provide an income to their family. The project strives to accomplish 4 key items: 1. Lessen the psychological stress and economic burden on children and families in the poor and marginalized areas by empowering women through training and seminars while promoting education and health for children. 2. The project will alleviate the suffering of children in 12 kindergartens by providing  hot meals and fresh fruits and vegetables that contain the needed sustenance for elements to build the bodies of children and the prevention of anemia and malnutrition diseases. 3. Raise awareness for mothers of targeted children in kindergartens on dealing with proper nutrition and preparation. 4. Improve the economic situation for women and their families, who are employed in their cooperatives producing pastries, improving their social role by increasing practical experience for employment beyond this project. The project addresses critical, nutritional needs of children. No other project exists in Gaza that mirrors KinderUSA work.

Grant awarded to Mill Mountain Theatre, Young Audiences Series

Mill Mountain Theatre (MMT) is continuing in 2018 its program of linking the performing arts with literacy and reading skills for children through four productions in its Young Audiences Series. The program was first started in 2016 to produce plays in conjunction with their literary sources, encouraging students to read about what they had seen in the shows. Follow-up surveys with parents following the shows revealed that they are largely reaching households where books are plentiful and reading is recognized as an important component. Therefore, in 2018 MMT is adding additional activities led by MMT Conservatory educators in classrooms where school administrators identify students who comes from households without advantages of books and parental encouragement to read. The productions planned for 2018 include:   – Adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and of Mother Goose Tales  A Year with Frog and Toad  Shrek

This means that MMT’s reading initiative will have focused impact on 500 students who need incentive and skills to read effectively in addition to the 7,200 who see Young Audiences shows and are offered free books.When distributing books, MMT’s staff asks for email addresses to send surveys to parents and teachers who monitor the program’s effectiveness. From the information gathered by these surveys, 94.4 percent of students who saw MMT shows demonstrated an increased level of interest and 82 percent read the books given to them. These responses have documented the program’s intended impacts and pointed to areas to strengthen in 2018, especially to serve children from households where there are few books and reading is not actively encouraged. Funds from this grant will be used to underwrite the cost of books to be distributed to children attending the shows and to pay for creation and printing of activities guides and workbooks for distribution to the students.

Grant awarded to Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE)

The Foundation is pleased to again partner with VFCCE, the supporting arm of Virginia’s Community Colleges. The VFCCE works to broaden educational access, support student success, and provide innovative solutions to workforce needs. Their mission is “providing access to education to all Virginians,” with a focus on expanding access and programs for underserved populations.  The Grant will provide support 2 programs,  the Great Expectations Ed. Program for Foster Youth  & The Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative over the next 4 years.

The Great Expectations program was developed to address Virginia’s record of having the highest number nationwide of foster youth aging out of the foster care system without a permanent home or any means of support. Their coaches help current and former foster youth gain access to a community college education, achieve success in college, and transition successfully to adulthood. Funds will support Great Expectations coaches, student support services, and scholarships to achieve the following goals:

– Expand to the remaining two colleges

– Move closer to serving 50% of the eligible foster youth

– Increase fall to spring retention rates

– Increase fall to fall retention rates

– Increase the number of credentials earned.

Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative was created to address the educational attainment levels in the rural localities served by 14 of Virginia’s 23 community colleges. The strategies employed to achieve these goals are placing full-time career coaches in rural high schools to assist lower- and middle-income families in navigating higher education and to award scholarship incentives, thus removing barriers to academic success. Funds will support full-time RVHI high school career coaches in Rural Virginia to achieve the following goals:

– Increase the number of students working with a coach to develop academic, career, and college plans thereby reducing the number of high school drop-outs

– Increase the number of students enrolling in community college thereby increasing the number of students pursuing a college degree, certification, or workforce credential

Grant awarded to International Medical and Educational Trust (IMET) for Puerto Rico

IMET was established in 1995 to provide mental health services to the war-traumatized children in Bosnia. Since its founding, IMET has been involved in a variety of humanitarian endeavors mainly focused on helping children who are victims of war and natural disasters. The main goal of their programs is to train teachers, counselors and mental health professionals in trauma psychology to help children and their families that are affected by war atrocities and natural disasters. IMET trains teachers in countries that include Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Pakistan, Russia, Chechnya, Sudan, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, India, Rwanda, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, The UK, The US and Canada.  With the understanding that there is an acute shortage of psychiatrists and psychologist worldwide, IMET trains indigenous professionals such teachers to identify traumatic reactions in children and teach skills to help them better care for themselves and also train them on how to behave in individual and group settings.

A grant from the Foundation will be used to train teachers and mental health professional in Puerto Rico. The professionals will work with children and their families who are struggling in the aftermath of death and destruction caused by Hurricane Maria. Trainers from IMET have already traveled to Puerto Rico and provided abbreviated trainings for the professional staff and some faculty at the Ponce Medical Sciences University. Although the trainings were well received, IMET has identified the need for much more work that needs to be done.

Dove Center and Southern Utah Girls on the Run awarded grants

Jennifer Hatcher, a resident of Hurricane, Utah, has decided to help raise funds and awareness for local non-profit organizations she believes in. The hope is that when folks in the community see Jennifer running, they will recognize her as someone trying to raise awareness for these organizations and maybe even donate funding. Jennifer has mapped out the area and estimates she will run approximately 500 miles. The funding request will be for $10 every mile/ per organization. She will also keep a GPS with her and will map out each run she completes, noting the distance and date completed. Additionally, Jennifer will maintain a blog and facebook page which she will post her progress and tell about the trials and interactions while our running and raising awareness.

Girls on the Run Southern Utah (GOTRSU) inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running. Girls on the Run is a physical activity based positive youth development (PA-PYD) program that is designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences. Through strategic running activities, girls explore new perspectives, critical problem solving and learn about diversity while moving and socially engaging.  The 10-week after school program builds upon ideas, and specifically targets the improvement in Competence, Confidence, Caring, Character, Connection, and Contribution. Girls learn how to manage their emotions, help others, make intentional decisions, and resolve conflict. The program inspires girls to build lives of purpose and to make a meaningful contribution to community and society. This comes to life through a key element of the curricula when each team experiences the impact of true teamwork when they create and execute a community service project together. The season concludes with a celebratory 5K event. Completing a 5K gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals far beyond K-12.

The Dove Center empowers victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to find safety and healing from abuse. They are the only provider in their community of secure shelter, providing a 24-hour hotline and a 24- hour hospital advocacy for victims of rape and assault. They also provide court advocacy for protective orders and case management. Additionally, they provide free individual therapy sessions, adult support groups, children advocacy and support groups, personal safety training, on-campus advocacy for DSU students, and prevention awareness trainings. Last year the Dove Center added a transitional housing program and currently have 3 apartments where they can house a women and her children if they needed additional support after leaving the shelter. All services are free of charge, trauma-informed, and available in Spanish. They offer services to anyone experiencing abuse with the vast majority of their clients are women and their children.  Currently the Dove Center is in need of increasing the number of hours their clinical therapists can work because they have a 2-3 month waiting list. Currently they have 2 part-time adult therapists and 1 part-time child and teen therapists. Increased funding will help them move one of two of their therapists to full-time hours and eliminate the wait list they currently have.