March Grants Awarded
The Foundation is pleased to announce 3 grant awards for March 2021. We continue our support for the first 2 organizations that do amazing work to better the lives of women and Children. The third organization is new to the Foundation focusing on education.
- Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF) : Three programs, : Credit Plus, Agriculture and Agro Business Loan Program, Healthy Periods Initiative and the Girls Decide, Literacy.
- AHALA Children’s Rights Foundation (CODENI); year 2 of Life Projects
- TeachUNITED:School Accelerator in Tanzania
February Grant Awards
The Foundation is pleased to announce Grant Awards for February 2021. In this very difficult pandemic times, these organizations are still working hard on their missions as well as providing help to bridge the issues developed by the pandemic. These awards are to organizations previously supported as well as new projects.
-Ace Africa, to train and support 200 women to establish and manage profitable agri-businesses based on indigenous organic farming practices and sheep rearing, to provide long-term income security and self sufficiency.
-Rise International to fund one classroom in a primary school being built in Angola…to educate children, empower communities and contribute to the rebuilding of the country.
-Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to support the Great Expectations Program for foster youth and support Gerald L Baliles’s Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative.
-The Sunflower Global to support their Pathways to Alternative Learning and Education and Sunflower Early Education and Development Programs.
-The American Indian College Fund to provide scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native women.
The Foundation is pleased to announce the awarding of grants to the following organization:
- Rukundo International, Expanding Primary School in Western Uganda,
- Rural Development Centre Cameroon(RUDEC) , Agricultural Support for Women,
- Living Goods, Uganda County Program, providing healthcare to women,
- The Women’s Home Residential Treatment Program for mental health and substance disorders.
These organizations are working to assist women and children by battling the issues of poverty through education, training, health care.
Grant awarded to Hibiscus Children’s center
The Foundation is pleased to support Hibiscus Children’s Center, Career Pathways to Independence Program.
Hibiscus Children’s Center is a not-for-profit agency made up of a number of programs serving abused, neglected and abandoned children. The Hibiscus Children’s Village is a group home facility; a more home-like setting to help teens successfully transition to foster, adoptive homes, and independent living at age 18.
Each year Career Pathways provides approximately 150 foster youth ages 13 – 17 with the support, structure, and guidance they need to receive a high school diploma or GED. Additionally foster youth ages 15 – 17 participate in career and adulthood preparation activities. Besides work experiences, the program gives these youths career, literacy and personality testing in order to ascertain their interests, abilities and possible career paths. Career Pathways provides weekly practice and information regarding critical thinking and intelligent problem solving, independent living skills, continuing education options, skills essential for getting and keeping a job and work counseling. Foster youth are assigned adult group mentors, receive adult guidance, direction and counseling, before they turn 18. They are also shown possible work, career and continuing education options available to them. This program curtails the vicious cycle of poverty, hopelessness, abuse and neglect as children develop and acquire skills and the confidence to make informed and positive decisions about their future. The program includes a full-time Career Pathways Coordinator who helps each youth explore their interests and encourages education and college options, arranges weekly seminars led by volunteers on career and life skills topics, as well as places youth in internships and pre-employment training for each youth. A full-time Educational Liaison develops an Educational Plan with each youth, provides daily oversight of their academic progress, and acts as a liaison to the school district and other educational entities. Additionally they are provided a part-time Teacher/Education Expert, whose office is located in our on-site GED Lab. The teacher and volunteer tutors are dedicated to assisting foster youth improve their math and literacy skills.
Grant awarded to Together We Rise
The Foundation is pleased to support the work of Together We Rise (TWR) and their efforts to help Foster youths,
TWR was founded in 2008 by Danny Mendoza after he discovered that his 9-year-old cousin was living in a car. He wanted to help but ran into obstacles because he was under the age of 21. Instead of giving up, Danny decided there needed to be ways to help children in foster care without becoming a foster parent. Danny’s vision became a reality as Together We Rise grew into a nation-wide organization changing the way youth experience foster care.
The Rapid Response Program for Foster Youth in College provides immediate access to flexible resources that quickly address the wide range of challenges presented by COVID-19 that could potentially threaten a student’s transition to and through college. Due to the crisis, aged-out foster youth who are currently attending college or about to enter are being displaced, especially those who depend on campus housing. In addition to housing loss, these students are facing food insecurity, a lack of education technology, and many other unforeseen challenges. In response, Together We Rise is providing emergency funding support to current and aged-out foster youth who are in need of housing, groceries, education technology access to remain enrolled in school, access to mental healthcare, and other urgent needs. The funds are intended to enhance, not supplant federal, state or local public funds. The Rapid Response program will serve foster youth into 2021 as the need persists.
The Rapid Response for Foster Youth in College program will pursue three key strategies to ensure that students in foster care have the resources and support they need to pursue their educational goals: 1. Advocacy to ensure that students currently in and from foster care are receiving additional support and resources to succeed in college and career. 2. Ensuring that professionals in campus support programs, nonprofits, etc. have up to date information on federal, state and private resources available and making sure that students in foster care access everything they are entitled to. 3. A designated safety net fund that is nimble enough to support foster youth with a variety of emergency needs that cannot be addressed through other public and private funding. Goals and Desired Outcomes : The primary objective of this program is to provide the target population with immediate assistance in the following key areas: 1) Imminent housing loss – Help with rent payments and temporary housing rental 2) Emergency food resources: A stipend for the purchase of groceries, hygiene products, and other vital necessities 3) Case Management: Individualized information resources, webinars for students, addressing specific needs of students who are parents . 4) TechnologyAccess: Funds for the purchase of a laptop, access to wifi, or software so the student can continue to successfully complete online courses and remain enrolled during Summer and Fall semesters 5) Health Care: Funds for testing and preventative health measures, access to mental health treatment, prescriptions and medications. 6) Other Individual Needs: These needs are not always addressed with other types of aid. However, through our one-on-one evaluation process we can identify needs such as cell phones, internet & wifi, technology needs, case management, personal development & life coaching, financial planning, unemployment & expanded unemployment insurance, access to government services (CalFresh), government stimulus check.
Grant awarded to The Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia
The Foundation is pleased to again support the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia (BGCCVA) and their STEM program.
Founded in 1991 and opened in 1992, BGCCVA serves 2,400 boys and girls ages 6-18, residing in Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Orange and Madison for a total of six clubs. Their mission is to “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens”.
The Grant will support year-round STEM programming, which is a component of the Club’s plan to provide expanded services in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Among the most pressing needs children are facing to COVID is filling out-of-school time gaps. For the rest of 2020 and well into 2021, schools will primarily be virtual, leaving kids without a place to go and parents unable to return to work. Filling these gaps is critical for ensuring the academic health, mental health and the safety of these kids, as well as allowing parents to go to work and earn a wage. With that in mind, BGCCVA is expanding from the traditional after-school model to provide all-day services from 8:00a to 5:30pm, 4 days a week. Staff will also work a 5th day which will be dedicated to program planning and full scale cleaning. The primary objective of the Club during full day programs is to provide a safe space for kids and to operate as an Academic Support Center for the virtual learning and instruction they receive from school. Led by Boys & Girls Clubs’ full-time STEM specialist, high yield STEM activities will be a key component of the Clubs’ Academic Support Center to help kids stay on track. The grant will help the club fund a full-time STEM specialist, as well as provide programming materials, supplies, and equipment
Grant awarded to Medical Ambassadors International
The Foundation is pleases to support Medical Ambassadors International. Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) is an international organization working to transform the lives of children, women, and men by addressing the root causes of poverty, disease, and hopelessness. MAI uses a proven process called Community Health Education). CHE is a “grassroots-level” program and ensures that over a period of several years, whole communities are lifted out of cycles of poverty and disease. Through its leadership team, a group of master trainers, and program facilitators in the field, MAI has been able to harness the active engagement of well over 50,000 CHE volunteers around the globe. At present MAI works in 2,582 communities around the world.
The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday sets the Foundation for all the days that follow. Literature proves that the first 1,000 days of life, from conception to two years of age, are the most important to a child ́s brain development and to determine educational capacity in a given population. Differing from previous assessments taking the range from birth to five years of age, it has been considered more recently that focus has to be placed on health and nutritional status of the mother, conditions of delivery, breastfeeding and weaning foods and micro-nutrients. This is in addition to the more traditional concepts of macro-nutrients, (carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins-minerals), as commonly taught in the past. MAI in partnership with Medical Ambassadors Canada Association, Medical Ambassadors Haiti, Mombin Crochu Hospital and Bwadelorans Hospital, have baseline data and three years of control studies to help them build an evidence-based work. Studies also show that much more needs to be done at the community level to decrease stunting and malnutrition.
Since 2017, MAI has focused their CHE efforts on the 1,000 days program, understanding the importance of healthy infants for the future of Haiti. To improve health conditions, reduce stunting, malnutrition and decrease anemia, MAI started multiple Moms’ Clubs where, together with local health workers (CHE volunteers), they aim to safeguard proper development during the first two years of life.
The grant will be used to continue the work that has begun and to continue to provide financial support to local partners. This will contribute to the reduction of maternal mortality and child malnutrition in the areas of North and North East Haiti.
Grant awarded to Women’s World Banking
The Foundation is pleased to support Women’s World Banking. Women’s World Banking is a non-profit organization that designs market-driven solutions, invests in financial institutions, and helps to shape policy environments in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities. Over their 40-year history, Women’s World Banking has directly impacted more than 30 million women with financial services that create security and prosperity. Women’s World Banking’s co-actors are its global Network of cross-sector partners (retail banks, fintech companies, microfinance institutions, and more), which includes 49 organizations in 31 countries, with a reach of 64 million women. Network members commit to responsibly serve the underserved women’s market, advance women’s leadership and gender diversity, create insights and best practices in women’s financial inclusion, and share learnings with each other to achieve greater scale and impact.
To help low-income women and their families overcome the aforementioned obstacles, Women’s World Banking developed Caregiver in 2006. Caregiver is a simple, affordable microinsurance product that provides a cash benefit after hospitalization, regardless of illness, to customers who can use funds for a range of needs including lost revenue while not being able to work or having to close their businesses. This includes maternity. Caregiver is designed based on customer research to understand women’s health risks and financial needs during health emergencies. The product is relevant and meaningful because it covers childbirth, which is often not covered under many other medical insurance programs. Unlike traditional medical insurance, in which the insurance plan reimburses for the cost of medical treatment and the money goes to the provider, Caregiver pays cash directly to the claimant. The claimant is free to use the money received as claims benefit in any way she desires, whether for medical expenses or to meet other immediate expenses. This allows her the flexibility to prioritize her needs. Funds will be used to replicate the Caregiver program in Indonesia in partnership with a financial service provider and insurer in the region.
Caregiver meets the unique health financing needs of low-income women. The program makes a sustainable difference by offering healthcare coverage that is meaningful, relevant, and affordable for low-income women, ensuring they do not need to dip into savings or resort to informal moneylenders when hospitalization occurs. To date, Caregiver has reached more than 2,000,000 beneficiaries, more than one million of them women and girls.
Grant awarded to Zoe Empowers
The Foundation is pleased to support Zoe Empowers. Zoe Empowers is 501 (C)(3) based in the United States, with a 15-year history of breaking the cycle of extreme poverty for orphaned and vulnerable children in India, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Liberia. They passionately believe that simultaneously addressing the complex and multi-dimensional needs of these youth, and providing them with the capacities and tools to become business owners so they can be their own catalysts for change, is the only way to make a long-lasting economic impact in their lives and communities. Their three-year program is grounded in the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and is a platform for orphaned and vulnerable children to achieve a healthy, safe and stable life, complete their education, learn vocational and business skills, and start their own business.
Zoe Empowers will use the funds to expand their 3 year community-based youth empowerment program. Social workers will invite youth to join an empowerment group of 60-100 children, where they will be assessed to determine their immediate needs. Youth will develop leadership teams among their groups and an adult will be will be selected by the youth, vetted by Zoe Empowers and will serve as a mentor to the youth. In year 1, support is provided so each youth is living in a safe home with improved water and sanitation facilities. Youth will also learn health promotion and disease prevention strategies. In year 2, younger kid’s progress in primary school, while older kids complete vocational training in a specific trade, learn business and entrepreneurial skills and receive tools or a grant to start a business. In year 3, youth continue to expand their business, while younger kids continue to progress in school.
Zoe Empowers program is distinctive from other programs in the following ways: Offers a poverty escape Targets youths that are often excluded from other programs Focuses on female empowerment Based on science and proven results Cost-effective Trained professional staff Engages local partners Supports families and communities.
Zoe Empowers has a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation process in place which determines achievement of program objectives. Evaluation data is used to support decision making, assure program accountability and drive improvement.
Grant awarded to AHALA (CODENI)
The Foundation is happy to partner with Codeni, through AHALA, to continue their education programs, Codeni in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico focuses on empowering street children to overcome the debilitating impacts of life on the street. They provide literacy classes, homework tutoring, arts and crafts, educational workshops related to the risks of the street, life-planning projects, and organized sports and recreation. In addition, families with strong participation are assisted with monthly food baskets, educational scholarships, psychological attention and social services for other needs detected by our staff of social workers and street educators. In 2007, they established a 501(c)(3) organization, AHALA Children’s Rights Foundation in order to provide financial support for CODENI’s programs.
With the issues of COVID, school has been specially difficult for their participants since all classes are held online and most of the students do not have a computer. Keeping up with classes has been hard and in many cases impossible. As a way to continue the educational mission, AHALA choose to initiate a fall fund drive to provide laptops for the youth of CODENI, which the Foundation matched for every dollar raised. Happily the children the needed computers and access to a facility that allow for a meaningful year of schooling