The Foundation is pleased to announce a $30,000 grant to FINCA for their BrightLife Program. This is the fourth year of our funding and involvement with the program since inception in 2014.
FINCA International (FINCA) is harnessing its 30 years of experience in providing access to finance to lowincome entrepreneurs to bring sustainable and scalable solutions in the energy, education, water & sanitation, agriculture and healthcare sectors to families living at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP). BrightLife was founded in 2014 to address energy poverty. With Africans suffering from the world’s lowest electrification rates, people rely on indoor fires and kerosene lamps for cooking and lighting. The resulting air pollution leads to the premature death of up to 2 million people per year, and the widespread use of kerosene lamps has been linked directly to black carbon emissions which contribute directly to global warming. Through this new work, FINCA has a unique opportunity to accelerate the achievement of a broader range of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
FINCA has a unique opportunity to accelerate the achievement of a broader range of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through its 30-years of microfinance work and its new work in social enterprises. Financial inclusion helps create the conditions that bring many of the SDGs within reach. A strategic priority of their work is to develop the pay-as-you-go financing for products sold through BrightLife as an on-ramp to financial inclusion to BoP clients to start savings accounts and have access to other financial products at FINCA Uganda and other financial institutions. Furthermore, durable, efficient and high quality clean energy alternatives—such as solar powered lanterns and clean cook stoves—provide improved health outcomes such as reduced incidence of respiratory disease and reduced black carbon emissions. Clean energy solutions also help reduce time poverty, providing children with increased study time, decreasing time spent on collecting firewood, and enabling businesses to stay open later in the evening.
Reaching women is a priority for FINCA’s mission and for BrightLife. Nearly half of FINCA’s clients are women, who often face the steepest climb out of poverty, particularly in Africa. Affordable access to high quality, affordable, life-transforming products like solar lamps, cooking stoves, and water filtration systems, available to BoP families has the power to substantially improve the health and well-being of women and children in Uganda, as they currently suffer the greatest exposure to pollution from traditional indoor fires and contaminates. A program that helps the Women of Uganda and the planet, is a win win for all.
ACE Africa has been awarded a $30.000 grant.
Ace Africa only works in communities where there is a real need, want and willingness to gain independent self-sufficient lives.
The programme is long-term and bespoke to each community, reflecting local cultural, economic, political and environmental
contexts focusing on all aspects of a child’s and community’s development.
In Homa Bay County, Kenya, 47% of the population live beneath the poverty line, and food insecurity is a
critical problem. Additionally, the county has an HIV prevalence rate of 25.75%, 4 times the national average
rate of 6%. In Kenya, girls and young women account for 46% of new HIV infections. Many of these girls and
young women are unable to assert their rights and face various different discriminations. These experiences
create an environment where there is higher risk of transactional, unprotected, and age-disparate sex,
contributing towards girl’s vulnerability to HIV.
In 2016 Ace Africa began implementing DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe)
projects that aim to address the structural drivers that directly and indirectly increase girls’ HIV risk. Drivers
such as poverty levels, gender inequality sexual violence, and lack of education. Monitoring, evaluation, and
feedback from adolescent and young women participating in the DREAMS projects have revealed that many
women have a desire to build their skill sets and improve their ability to generate income.
The DREAMS project benefits 140 out of school young girls and women aged 18-24. The girls and young
women have been identified as some of the most underprivileged, vulnerable, and most at risk of HIV
infection within their communities. In addition, 700 household members (each household consists of an
average of 6 members) of the 140 adolescent girls, will benefit from improved capacity to meet basic needs
and have a reduced risk of HIV infection.
Funds will be used for:
1. Nutritional based training and activities to ensure long-term food security and self sufficiency
2. Establishment and management of nutritional based enterprises to ensure long-term economic
3. Cost associated with monitoring and evaluating, whichhelp provide support on a long term basis
to ensure lasting economic sustainability and self-sufficiency
TechnoServe has been awarded a $25,000.00 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. TechnoServe
was founded in 1968.
In Kenya, “mom and pop” shops, also known as Dukas supply 80% of consumer goods, mostly to low-income
communities. Dukas provide vital services that larger retailers and wholesalers cannot, as the market is
fragmented with high transaction costs. Additionally, restocking generally requires the owner to travel to a
supplier, often a large retailer, with cash in hand in order to make purchases. This is expensive and time
consuming, and results in periods of closure, limited inventory, and ultimately relatively high prices for
purchasers and low incomes for store keepers.
In partnership with the Elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization and Citi Foundation, the Smart Duka
Initiative is working to increase the profitability of 840 high-potential small retail shops in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Smart Duka Initiative achieves these results through in depth training and mentorship. Results include;
better financial and operations management, strengthened marketing, the adoption of digital solutions for
payments and inventory, as well as improving relationships with lenders, suppliers, and customers. The
majority of stores selected to participate are women-operated or women-owned.
Since launching the Smart Duka Initiatives in 2016, the project has reached 570 beneficiaries. These
beneficiaries include shop owners, shops managers, and employees. Of which, 52% are women. Shops are
averaging a 19% increase in revenue and a 22% increase in profits.
TechnoServe recognizes the importance of raising incomes levels for women in these communities. Due to
cultural norms and social roles that often keep women from owning businesses like Dukas, women often do
not have a chance to support their family. TechnoServe specifically targets the women population and
consciously works to provide trainings, meetings, and other opportunities compatible with the schedules of
To measure success, upon completion of a project, TechnoServe calculates a “return on TechnoServe
investment” (ROTI) score as a measure of the project’s success. ROTI is calculated by totaling the financial
benefits accrued during the life of the project, plus projected financial benefits over 3 years, and dividing it by
the cost of implementation.
RUP has been awarded a $20,000.00 grant. Founded in August of 2015, RUP’s overarching goal is to empower people from host
communities and refugees. RUP feels it is important that people who do not normally get to express their
views are given an arena to effect change. RUP focuses on working with low-income Jordanians, refugee
women, and children.
RUP seeks to address these issues through the creation of a Community Centre in the city of Zarqa.
Approximately 48,000 refugees are located in Zarqa, which is one of the most densely populated refugee
areas in Jordan.
The centre will look to give educational support, while teaching employable skills to the individuals who visit.
A particular emphasis will be around educational opportunities for women and children. The centre will be
open to all individuals and will look to create a space for these underserved communities to come together,
understand each other, and learn new skills. Additionally, the centre aims to facilitate a dialogue between the
groups to prevent radicalization and the use of negative coping mechanisms. For women in particular, the
centre will provide literacy classes and child-rearing classes, which will focus on nutrition and new-born
The centre will be run by local staff and volunteers, primarily drawn from Zarqa. RUP is determined to help
Syrian and Jordanian refugees gain experience and learn new skills. The goal is to take these skills and use
them to help their families and other community members, which is turn will make a sustainable difference
for these community.
Through CAF America, a International and Domestic Donor Advised Funds Organization, the Foundation will contribute to the following groups:
$25,000 to Human Concern. Human Concern was established with the aim of supplying humanitarian aid to men, women & children affected by the current crisis in Syria. The charity is run by a team of professional individuals that dedicate their time voluntarily and who run development projects inside Syria focusing mainly on the supporting hospitals & medical activities, and sponsoring schools & educational efforts.
$25,000 to Mosaic Initiative. Since late 2011, the Mosaic Initiative has funded and facilitated various aid delivery projects that provide basic relief such as shelter, medicine, food, access to water, sanitation, clothing, education, and other humanitarian assistance, to people living in Syria and in refugee camps in neighboring countries.
$25,000 to Syria Relief. Syria Relief has a solid network of committed management and logistics staff on the ground inside Syria, striving to deliver humanitarian aid in hard-to-reach rural areas, as well as heavily populated and even some besieged areas. With help from the UK public Syria Relief has touched the lives of 1.8 million people.
$25,000 to Tauheedul. Since the start of the Syrian conflict, Tauheedul has established 10 schools inside Syria supporting over 2,500 children. School helps children deal with psychological trauma due to the exposure to unprecedented levels of violence, horrors of war and loss of loved ones. The schools also play an important role in securing the future of the children whilst creating employment opportunities for local teachers.
The Foundation has awarded a grant of $25,000 to the International Rescue Committee to help the IRC save refugee families in crisis. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC delivers lifesaving care to people fleeing conflict and natural disaster. Year after year, the IRC is one of the highest-ranking nonprofits for accountability, transparency, and efficient use of contributions.
With the recent attrosities waged on the Syrian people, it highlights the tremendous suffering of these families. So far, only
17,000 of 4 million Syrian refugees have been re-settled in other countries. An average of 50 Syrian families are forced to flee their homes, every hour of every day.
The Foundation is happy to again partner with WGEF to help women and children in Haiti with a $35,000 grant.
Funding from the McQuade Foundation
in 2017 would specifically be used for two of WGEF’s programs. The Healthy Period Initiative and the
Women’s Bakery Initiative in Cap Haitian, Haiti.
To address the issue of menstrual health, and the challenges women face with regard to access, hygiene
and socio-cultural stigma, WGEF created the Healthy Period Initiative (HPI).
WGEF aims to drive economic and socio-cultural change through enterprise and education. With the
purchase of a manufacturing unit, WGEF will produce a low cost sanitary product for the women and girls.
WGEF will also provide education and resources to assist in development of successful social enterprises
that provide safe and sanitary resources for all women in these communities. Funds will be spent in 2017
and will help purchase a machine that will quadruple the number of pads produced at one time. Additionally
funds will help pay for supplies and admin costs.
New to WGEF this year is the Women’s Bakery Initiative in Cap Haitian, Haiti.
Funding for the bakery will be spent in two ways. First, to construct a water project to help bring safe and
sustainable water to improve the bakery’s productivity and provide irrigation to large urban gardens.
Secondly, funds will be used to help the construction of a large urban vegetable garden
WGEF uses quantitative and qualitative data to measure effectiveness and relevancy. They complete a
yearly survey on a chosen subject; in the past this has included food security, sustainability and
empowerment. This year (2017) they are collaborating with students at Oxford University, England to create
an assessment tool to evaluate our program, impact, and long term sustainability (Aug 2017) focused on
how literacy facilitates success and empowerment in our program. Their staff and leaders continually
gather information from all programs to assess effectiveness and outcomes.
Congratulations, Paso Pacifico has been awarded a grant of $18,500.00 to fund 6 women into the turtle ranger program.
Founded in 2005, Paso Pacifico’s mission is to restore and protect the endangered dry tropical forests and
coastal ecosystems of Mesoamerica. In working towards their mission, Paso Pacifico empowers local people
to develop more sustainable livelihoods in eco-tourism, fishing, agriculture, and forest management. They
also look to advance women and children as environmental leaders, while developing strong relationships
with private landowners.
In 2008, Paso Pacifico began a community ranger program whose goal was to protect threatened sea turtles.
The rangers work on 3 priority beaches in southwestern Nicaragua. The program has been a success because
the rangers are staffed by local people who over time, have received a wide range of training opportunities.
Despite the success, the ranger program has been primarily staffed by men due to cultural attitudes towards
women working on beaches.
In 2012, Paso Pacifico began involving local women in their sea turtle program by
constructing a sea turtle hatchery at Ostional Beach. Very quickly the value of bringing women into this
program was shown by the hundreds of nest that were able to be protected. Given this opportunity these
women would normally would not have otherwise, each of them gained a great deal of confidence.
Additionally, women have also stepped into the role of educators and now support the junior ranger program,
providing lessons and field trips to over 200 children since program inception.
To measure success, data is collected on the number of protected nests in these areas, examined to see if
rates are going up or down. Similar data is collected on poaching rates. Additionally, feedback is collected on
skills trainings and workshops attended by women to measure their effectiveness.
I am excited to watch this program as it combines my passion to help women and our environment.
Congratulations to the YWCA Central Carolinas, they have been awarded a $25,000 grant for their Women in Transition Program (WIT).
WIT is the primary comprehensive transitional housing program in the greater Charlotte area serving
single women who have suffered homelessness. They can house up to 66 women at a time on their Park
Road campus, where participants receive case management services, have access to their fitness center,
educational workshops and social activities. Women can participate for up to 18 months while they gain the
skills and resources necessary to attain and maintain permanent long-term housing. 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.
Funds from a grant from the McQuade Foundation will be used to fund the various operations of the WIT
program. Funds will be spent during their 2017 fiscal year.
To measure success, the YWCA measures the number of participants who remain in permanent housing
for 4, 6, and 12 months after completion of the program. In cases where women do not remain in permanent
housing, data is pulled to understand which barriers they faced. Also, data is pulled on the number of
women who open and maintain a checking/savings account upon exit and the number of women who
maintain or increase income upon completion of the program. This data helps the Y understand what is
and isn’t working.
The Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to the United Nations Foundation.
The UN Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public
charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner.
Since then, the role of the UN Foundation has evolved
from a traditional grantmaker to an actively involved
Within the framework of more than 10
specific issue campaigns, they work closely with the UN
Secretary-General to solve the great challenges of the
21st century – poverty, climate change, energy access,
population pressure, gender equity, and disease.
To date, the UN Foundation and our partners have helped
the UN keep girls in school; prevent child marriage;
increase access to reproductive health education,
services, and supplies; provide families with sustainable
energy; cut measles deaths by 85 percent in Africa;
distribute more than 6 million anti-malaria bed nets to 25
African countries; reduce polio incidence by 99 percent
worldwide; and champion the payment of close to $2
billion in U.S. dues to the UN.