Better food for Malian families through savings groups
Oxfam’s Saving for Change program trains groups of women to operate savings groups. These women can then borrow from their group savings to build small businesses or homes, or to buy food, educational materials, or medicine. A recent study show that the program is working: in participating villages food security is up 8%, housing quality improved, and the number of women taking loans increased. Knowledge of malaria prevention methods also increased in participating villages.
Mangoes bring hope to Haiti
The Francique mango is a variety unique to Haiti prized for its juicy, sweet flavor. However, until recently fewer than 5 percent of the mangoes produced in Haiti reached the export market, and farmers struggled to earn a viable income from their fruit trees. TechnoServe—as part of the Haiti Hope Project—aims to double the incomes of 25,000 smallholder farmers within five years. To date, more than 23,000 farmers—nearly 50 percent of whom are women—have enrolled in TechnoServe’s training program. This year, more than 450 tons of fresh mangoes were sold through Whole Foods stores throughout the United States, a 150 percent increase from last year.
Helping more than 13,000 with HIV live healthy in Botswana
Project Concern International’s three-year “Building Bridges” program in Botswana reached over 13,000 people with care and education, helping to lower HIV transmission to less than 4% of infants born to HIV positive mothers. By leading and equipping eleven local NGO partners, PCI Botswana helped increase the number of HIV infected or affected adults and children who were provided by these local organizations with at least one care service from 5,759 to 10,273. In addition, the number of HIV positive clients provided with a minimum of one clinical service by these organizations increased almost three-fold, from 1,285 to 3,815.
Deaths during childbirth down 50%
Pregnancy is the leading cause of death for women age 15-19 worldwide. Through their work in the Ayacucho region of Peru, CARE helped to reduce maternal deaths by 50%. Through a combination of education and practical obstetrics protocols for health workers, CARE’s efforts made sure that fewer children grow up without their mothers. CARE is working to help women around the world have healthy pregnancies and raise healthy babies.
TechnoServe helps cocoa farmers connect with gourmet chocolate maker
Fermin Arriaga proudly displays a gourmet dark chocolate bar from Askinosie Chocolate bearing his image. Fermin is the lead farmer at Finca Patricia, a producer group in Cortés, Honduras, that has been working with TechnoServe to improve the quality of their cocoa beans and access a specialty market. TechnoServe helped Finca Patricia identify elite native varieties and facilitated a connection to Askinosie, a gourmet chocolate maker based in Springfield, Missouri.
Sheep from Oxfam are enabling girls like Durete to go to school in Ethiopia
English and biology are 16-year-old Durete Abulla’s favorite subjects in school, and someday, she says, she would like to become a doctor. But in rural Ethiopian communities like Ilancho, encouraging girls to continue with their educations is not always a priority for families, especially if money is tight. Now, thanks to a pair of sheep from Oxfam, both Abulla and her mother, Bagajo, may see their dreams come true.
IIRR has planted 67 school gardens to increase food security & sustainable wealth
In order to reverse the trend of poverty and food insecurity, communities, farmers and small producers must be able to use effective agricultural techniques, understand nutritional needs, participate in value chains that link them to suppliers, traders, and consumers, and have access to savings, crop-storage, and other agricultural support mechanisms. Through local partnerships, IIRR is working to empower teachers, parents, farmers and micro-entrepreneurs through innovative agricultural training, farmer cooperative-support mechanisms, increased access to markets, and a focus on sharing of best practices related to bio-intensive gardening, livelihood training, value chains, and micro-enterprise.
East Africa & Southeast Asia
The Coalition for the Homeless is helping kids like Yesenia, aged 14, in NYC
Equality Now joins global movement against trafficking
Equality Now became a member of the new European Union (EU) Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings, which officially launched on 31 May in Brussels. The Platform will provide civil society organizations, working at European, national, and local levels on trafficking and exploitation, with a rare opportunity for collaboration and information-sharing. Policy and NGO representatives at the launch emphasized combating demand, taking a gendered approach to trafficking, and not losing a focus on sexual exploitation while also addressing other forms of trafficking.
Aid for victims of domestic servitude
Sabine was the only member of her family to survive the genocide in Rwanda, so she agreed when a wealthy family offered her a chance to move to America with them. Shortly after arrival, however, she was imprisoned in their home; forced to work around the clock and made to sleep on the kitchen floor. Finally after six months of servitude, Sabine was allowed to go to church for an hour each Sunday. On one visit, she was approached by a kind Rwandan man who learned of her situation and helped her escape. The Polaris Project has helped Sabine to make the transition to a new life of freedom and independence.
A new clinic for victims is in the works
Three refugee camps near Shire, Ethiopia are home to about 45,000 refugees, with as many as 1,000 Eritrean refugees arriving each month. Refugees are fleeing an authoritarian regime responsible for systematic human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, forced labor, severe restrictions on freedom of movement and expression, and persistent religious persecution. The Center for Victims of Torture provides direct mental health care to refugees in the Mai-Aini and Adi Harush camps and training to psychiatric professionals in all three camps to improve their ability to care for traumatized refugees.
Adi Harush, Ethiopia
The Center for Victims of Torture is healing families like the Alis
After their community isolated them, they Ali family fled to the camps in Dadaab, Kenya, only to suffer the same discrimination because of their amputee status. They became withdrawn, bitter and more isolated. When CVT outreach workers approached them, they agreed to join a small group counseling session. The counseling really helped them deal with the stigma and isolation. But CVT’s outreach in the camps also helped neighbors recognize their role in excluding this family. In the end, the Ali family felt CVT had changed their life.
AAPD is ensuring that Americans with disabilities get the health care they need
AAPD works in communities, states, and on Capitol Hill to promote sound policy priorities to protect and defend the freedoms and rights of people with disabilities to lead healthy, fulfilled lives in our communities. Access to quality, affordable health care is the foundation of an independent, productive life. For people with disabilities, who often have significant health care needs, health care access is crucial. AAPD supports quality physical and mental health care that is accessible, affordable, community-based, self-determined, and responsive to individual needs.
Brighter Futures for Safe Passage Graduates in Guatemala
Safe Passage officially had 13 graduates in 2012, the largest graduating class yet. This year, Safe Passage is taking a big step in supporting graduates and student preparing to graduate. The Proximo Paso, or Next Step Program, will provide professional development training (resume building, interview practice, and networking support) along with relevant field trips and activities for current students and graduates. Two class of 2012 graduates have already found steady employment in their desired fields, and three received scholarships to attend an intensive 3-month English language immersion course.
Jumpstart reaches 2500 preschool students in LA
Jumpstart’s research-based, cost-effective program trains college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through Jumpstart’s proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on the path for lifelong success. This year, more than 1,000 volunteers will make a difference in the lives of over 2,500 children in Southern California thanks to 11 University partners and 618 Corps members. Across the country, Jumpstart has impacted 50,000 preschool children across the country with support in language, literacy skills, and social-emotional competencies.
Los Angeles, California
Middle school promotion on the rise in Baltimore
The Building Educated Leaders for Life summer program is showing promising results for Baltimore's most challenging student population, according to the data and the officials who run it. BELL has operated in Baltimore's low-income communities since 2005, offering after-school programs and expanding to summer learning in 2007. Since BELL partnered with the city on middle-school promotion, the percentage of middle-school students moving on to the next grade has improved significantly, according to school system data. In 2010, about 29 percent of the city's sixth-graders attending a summer school program were promoted to the next grade; in 2012, 83 percent were.
In collaboration with the New York Stem Cell Foundation, the Cure Alzeimer’s Fund is sponsoring cutting-edge research on Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is leading an international team of researchers working to reprogram skin cells into brain cells to gain a better understanding of AD. Dr. Gandy heads the Stem Cell Research Consortium funded by the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF). The Consortium consists of six institutions that plan to directly investigate, for the first time, brain cells in petri dishes from individual patients who have the common form of AD.
New York, New York
Reducing the stress of cancer on children
An estimated 2.85 million children in the U.S. are living in a household where someone has cancer. As part of the Cancer Support Community’s vision that no one faces cancer alone, CSC has developed Kid Support™, an evidence-based program of support and education for children living with cancer in the family. Through participation in Kid Support, children have been able to reduce the stress of cancer in the family by learning communication and relaxation skills, increasing communication around cancer with their family members and gaining age-appropriate knowledge of basic cancer concepts.
Increasing immunization coverage through data
PATH recently announced a five-year, US$19.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help countries strengthen their immunization management systems. Grounded in the belief that routine immunizations and new vaccine introductions are two of the best investments to improve health around the globe, the Better Immunization Data (BID) Initiative will support low-resource African countries interested in improving their information system products, policies, and practices around data quality, collection, and use.
Tim Armour of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund talks about art and Alzheimers
Colorado is on the path to a clean energy future. Following an advocacy and communications campaign funded by The Sierra Club Foundation, Colorado Public Utilities Commission recently approved plans by Xcel Energy and Black Hills Corporation to shut down or repower nine boilers at four coal-burning power plants by 2017. This development follows their previous successes, when two additional boilers were taken offline in 2010—ultimately phasing out coal in the Denver area.
Access to a national New access to New Mexico national monument
The Trust for Public Land recently announced it has protected 78 acres of land that will allow new routes into the southern end of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The Trust for Public Land bought the property from the First National Bank of New Mexico and sold it to the Bureau of Land Management. "This important purchase illustrates why the Land and Water Conservation fund is so important," said Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M. "This parcel of land will provide enhanced access to the new Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument so that the public can enjoy this wonderful crown jewel of New Mexico."
Taos, New Mexico
24-hour protection for endangered rhinos
African Wildlife Foundation has begun working with Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, located in South Africa to monitor and protect the endangered rhinos that live in the park from poachers 24 hours per day—and to provide care for the orphaned infant rhinos. With 24,000 hectares to monitor, the rangers at Hluhluwe iMfolozi have their work cut out for them. AWF is helping the rangers to obtain greater mobility both on and off road, camping gear to position rangers deep in the bush, and—because the poaching business is intrinsically violent—bullet proof vests to help them protect the rhinos for future generations.
800 trees per day over 15 years
Trees, Water & People has planted more than 4.5 million trees since 1998. But their approach to reforestation involves more than just protecting forests and planting trees. They have created successful community-led reforestation projects in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, in addition to Forest Replacement Associations in Nicaragua. Some of these trees will be used for firewood and fruit production, while others will remain for the duration of the trees' life, sequestering carbon and creating healthy soils and watersheds.
Rainforest Trust is saving the Pantanal Jaguar in Brazil
To protect the Pantanal and create a sanctuary for the region’s jaguars, Rainforest Trust has teamed up with local partner, Panthera Brazil, to purchase a 24,640-acre ranch located in the heart of the Pantanal’s wetland wilderness. Once purchased, the ranch will be designated as a Private Natural Heritage Reserve (RPPN).
Rainforest Trust makes largest conservation land purchase in tropics
Rainforest Trust announced this week the successful purchase of more than 270,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat in Ecuador. The mammoth property acquisition, which includes the 18,714-foot Antisana Volcano, will create a permanent refuge for the largest population of Andean Condor in the Northern Andes.
Forest Trends offers empowerment and skill building for Amazon indigenous communities
A new partnership between Forest Trends and the IKEA Foundation will support and strengthen the Surui and Yawanawa indigenous communities living in the Amazon Basin by promoting education and environmental sustainability. This initiative will empower women to play a greater role in community leadership, promote education for youth, and provide training on sustainable forestry practices. It will also provide installation of renewable energy sources.
Rainforest Trust is saving the Northern brown howler monkey
800 households protected against waterborne diseases
About 800 households in the Traditional Authority Makhuwira in Malawi’s southern district of Chikhwawa were given a new lease on life following the construction of 113 boreholes which have helped drastically reduce the rate of diarrhea and cholera. Construction was carried out as part of Water for People’s Water and Sanitation Project.. Statistics show that before the introduction of the project in 2008, the attack rate of diarrhea was at 0.2%—the highest by world standards—but now it has been significantly reduced to 0.007%.
Building better futures for children in Madagascar
Every year, 4,000 children under five in Madagascar die because of the lack of taps and toilets. 79% of schools don’t have a water source and 40% don’t have a toilet. But at Tsimahavaobe primary school, WaterAid has just finished construction of sanitation blocks with toilets for boys and girls (including a disabled toilet ), handwashing facilities, and a drinking water point. Thanks to WaterAid’s work at Tsimahavaobe, children will be able to start their school year with a fresh sense of hope and a real sense that they can achieve their dreams without missing school days due to sickness.
Fresh water towers for 100 villages in India
Charity: water has funded water projects in India since 2008, but their September campaign is their biggest effort to date. In partnership with Gram Vikas,a local organization focused on equality and human dignity, charity: water will work with marginalized people in villages in Orissa, India, to provide each home with toilet and bathing facilities and three taps to provide a 24-hour supply of fresh water. In each village, the community will come together to build a water tower which stores water from a reliable source.
WASH Advocates supports local leaders like Diego in Latin America
WASH Advocates sent Diego to Granada, Nicaragua to the II Our Water Conference so he could connect and share with other WASH leaders. Diego came back energized and excited. He was amazed that other Community Water Associations exist and function with the financial support of the local government.
Water For People will train 100 local mechanics to fix water pumps in India this year
It is estimated that 50,000 rural water points in India are broken and unused. Water For People–India is working to solve this problem and create long-lasting water solutions through a mobile mechanics program that trains local mechanics to provide regular maintenance and timely repair of water systems for a fee paid by communities.
WaterAid’s skills training aims to kick-start WASH sector jobs in Nicaragua
WaterAid is now gearing up to extend its skills training program in Nicaragua, giving young men and women the technical expertise to disinfect wells, drill boreholes, construct rainwater catchment systems and install rope pumps and eco-friendly toilets. Participants in the program will be equipped with the tools, start-up funding and mentoring needed to develop their own sustainable small business initiatives.
WASH Advocates is supporting Americans working on WASH solutions that work
Around the world today, 768 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people lack even basic sanitation. Each day, thousands of children die from diarrhea and other easily prevented diseases because they do not have these basic services. The good news is that simple, proven, and cost-effective solutions exist. Investing in water, sanitation, and hygiene has an immediate impact on health, education, and economic growth. The World Health Organization estimates that for every $1 spent on water, sanitation and hygiene programs, there is about a $4 return in productivity.