Micro-Grants Program Awardees
Grantees – April 2017
Mthokozisi Moyo, Zimbabwe
Project: Youth Training on Mining Safety
Use of Grant Funds: Program Development & Materials
A group of young miners in the agricultural village of Silobela, Zimbabwe will have the opportunity to participate in a safety training program and have access to safety equipment while working.
Mthokozisi observes young children and youth engaging in mining activities and entering the underground mines every day. She shares, “Youth do this without proper mining skills or knowledge and no protective clothing.” The young miners are exposed to dangerous conditions and inhale harmful particles and chemicals, such as carbon monoxide.
It was with careful consideration that Mthokozisi realized providing safety training would be the best service to provide this population. She shares that the downturn of the local economy forced many families out of work and then they were unable to continue paying their children’s school fees. In an attempt to help their families, these children now work with their fathers and mothers in the mines.
Mthokozisi’s training program will be heavily participatory and aims to enhance participant’s knowledge, introduce safety skills, and also strategies on how to remain safe and aid others if they are hurt.
This project is being implemented in partnership with the Youth Mining Institute and Resource Management Trust (MRMY) and through joint funding from Bulawayo Integrated Youth Survival Alternative Project. The Director of this local NGO stated, “We give great honor to a young lady like you to take such a great initiative to organize training for youth miners in a bid to reduce youth fatalities in illegal mining and also reducing the number of children dropping out of school to partake in such a dangerous venture.”
Alan Harogha, Uganda
Project: Renovation of Solar Power – Omugo Health Centre IV’s Maternity Ward
Use of Grant Funds: Procurement of Supplies
The Maternity Ward at the Omugo Health Centre IV in the Arua District of Uganda will soon have solar power lighting! The medical center serves a population of 200,000 and provides delivery services to approximately 80 expecting mothers per month. For the first time in two-years, doctors, midwives and nurses will be able to tend to their patients with the ability to see clearly and have full use of both hands.
Dr. Alan Harogha explains, Despite the huge population, for delivery in this health centre, the lighting in the maternity ward has not been functioning for close to two years and the dwindling primary health care funds do not allow for the lighting to be fixed as preventive services remain the top priority. This often forces health care providers to use their cellphone lights to conduct deliveries or at best refer mothers to the main hospital that is 28 miles away if the ambulance is functional.
In 2016, the district health unit anticipated 2747 pregnancies. Of this number, 821 babies were delivered at the Omugo Health Centre IV and 283 cases were referred from the Omugo Health Centre IV to other hospitals.
The Omugo Health Centre IV experienced the death of one mother during delivery and nine babies. Additionally, two midwives began a regimen of post exposure prophylaxis after coming in contact with bodily fluids from HIV positive patients during delivery.
Dr. Alan Harogha is working with community leaders, civic groups and fellow medical professionals to raise funds to match the WMI Micro-Grant supplied. In his efforts to secure financial contributions or in-kind donations, the community is being educated on the importance of making this infrastructure improvement and the widespread benefits.
Rosemary Akello-Kali, Uganda
Project: Pigpreneur Project
Use of Grant Funds: Project Administration & Materials
The Pigpreneur project is a social enterprise designed by Rosemary Akello-Kali that strives to work in remote rural communities of the Lira District to build sustainable pig farming ventures that help families end the cycle of poverty.
Rosemary shares that women in northern Uganda are heavily responsible for working the land and growing crops. However, “…these women who work small plots of land are constrained by poor access to markets and have limited entrepreneurial skills.” She continues by saying, “Pig farming is an inexpensive source of livelihood, however, mothers in remote rural areas continue to struggle with a remarkably high degree of poverty, income inequality and large socioeconomic disparities. This relates to their inadequate financial resources to either start or expand homestead pig farming, training and expertise and working relations between farmers and the marketplace.”
This project is being designed to complement the agriculture work that women are currently doing. In selecting women as the main participants for this project, Rosemary knew that it was important to consider all of their daily obligations. Thus, the project has been designed to be carried out around their own homesteads where children can continue to be looked after. As an additional source of income, families will be equipping themselves to improve their finances to meet their basic needs.
Potential participants will be selected through community information sessions, current women groups and community-based organizations. New Pigpeneurs will then be connected to the central training and production facility where they receive training in backyard pig production techniques, family nutrition and financial literacy. Pigpeneurs are provided with the necessary knowledge and skills on how to construct their pig pens, feeding trough, feed mix and most importantly, the Pigpeneurs’ project guarantees the sale of their pigs when ready for market.
The model will support 20% of piglets conceived staying with the Pigpeneur participants and the remaining 80% will be purchased and collected by Pigpreneur program staff and sold in the market.
Education is the largest component of this social enterprise. Rosemary has designed a detailed curriculum that is hands-on to, “…promote global food security by educating the Pigpeneurs on proper piggery management, pig handling, and sanitation, proper cleaning techniques, record keeping and financial literacy.”
A networking and leadership component to become a Trainer of Trainees has been built into the program model to strengthen individual investment into the program.
We look forward to seeing this multifaceted program develop!
Bhekisisa Nxumalo, South Africa
Project: Vegetable Garden in Partnership with Africa’s Rural Wealth Creators Organisation
Use of Grant Funds: Procurement of Supplies
As a graduate of Agriculture Extension and Rural Resource Management, Bhekisisa is conscious and concerned about the use of land and food security. Prior to graduating from the University of KwaZulu Natal, he founded the Africa’s Rural Wealth Creators Organisation (ARWCO) which aims to increase the knowledge and use of ever changing smart agricultural practices through community partnerships. Today, he continues to be involved with over 60 other members as the organization was created to provide real world experiences to current students with the mentorship of graduates within the community.
Bhekisisa realized the potential to combine his involvement as a WMI Graduate Scholar and continued membership within ARWCO though the Micro-Grant program. This ARWCO project is being funded to provide a highly researched and monitored agricultural project to the community of Hlabisa, where Bhekisisa and two other ARWCO members live.
Together with students, Bhekisisa conducted soil tests, a situational analysis, local surveying and approached a local landowner with a proposal to utilize some of his land for this project. In conducting a situational analysis, students continued to learn and develop their project identification skills, the systematic project development stages, intra and interpersonal skills and approaches to engage different community members.
The situational analysis, “…reflected a poverty stricken community and a community that has neglected agriculture as a great contributor in eradicating food insecurity. Results of the situation analysis demonstrated a great potential in farming. That includes the availability of agricultural land and a water source.”
The ARWCO vegetable garden project in Hlabisa will continue to be a learning experience for students and also for graduates. Graduates have been provided with different tasks to enhance their own knowledge, project implementation and proper agricultural management techniques. ARWCO members will be expected to
facilitate trainings, conduct monitoring and evaluation and act as brokers with harvests. Community members will work side-by-side with ARWCO members to work the land, erect a fence, plant, provide maintenance to the growing crop and participate in harvesting.
Bhekisia shares the following objectives for this project; to promote the cultural richness of food, to accelerate the level of community health, to provide learning opportunities on how to be self sufficient through diversified agriculture, to raise the local economic activities, to promote a sense of trust, community effort, knowledge and skill development and to turn a currently vacant parcel of land into an area that is highly productive.
WMI Micro-Grant funds have been designated to support the purchasing of fencing materials, the development of an irrigation system and seeds.
Juliet Ashong, Ghana
Project: South Health Meaningful Life – Medical Outreach
Use of Grant Funds: Project Administration & Supplies
Juliet Ashong will work together with a team of organizers, community opinion leaders, medical professionals and representatives from the National Health Insurance body to implement a free medical outreach program for two-days in Gomoa Dabanyin, located in the central region of Ghana.
In this rural area, Juliet and her husband have witnessed firsthand that many farmers and their families do not seek medical attention due to the fear of high costs and the down playing of the severity of common open wounds or their illness symptoms.
Juliet shares, “These inhabitants resort to herbal treatments or self-medicate from drugs sold in a single chemical shop in the town. Visiting the health facility about 45 minutes drive away becomes necessary only when the state of the sick one is frightening. It was therefore not uncommon to find wounds infected, babies febrile and toddlers coughing and chasing flies from their broken blisters.”
Together Juliet and her husband, who started the Golden Heart Foundation, aim to educate community members on first aid management of minor field accidents and skin infections, provide health consultations and examinations, distribute free medication, empower patients to continue seeking health care and assist the first 100 adults and 200 children to register into the National Health Insurance scheme.
As a medical doctor Juliet shares, “Mortalities from conditions that could have easily been managed will be reduced with the presence of health professionals. In addition, by providing this free medical event, community members will seek these services without the fear of paying high prices. They will also be educated about the importance of having the National Health Insurance coverage.”
A long-term goal of this medical event is to begin to change the current beliefs and knowledge surrounding accessing and receiving medical treatment. This will be coupled with participants being empowered to learn current medically accepted strategies for how to treat the wounds they receive while farming due to falls, sharp tools, insects and snake bites.
Grantees – October 2016
Raphael Ajima, Nigeria
Project: A-Ogo Foundation
Use of Grant Funds: Program Development & Materials
The A-Ogo Foundation which was created by Raphael Ajima will implement two projects starting in the summer of 2017. The creation of an exchange library and a six-month computer training course will benefit primary and secondary school students of Nsukka.
Raphael explains that the lack of educational supplies and proficiency in computing leaves students from the Nsukka community at a disadvantage. These two educational projects aim to immediately impact 100 students. However, the gift of knowledge can be passed on resulting in more beneficiaries.
Successful outcomes of these projects include; academically empowered youth, a reduction in dropout rates, increased job opportunities for participants of the computer training course, and an exchange library platform where learning resources can continue to be circulated throughout the community.
Judith Aloko, Ghana
Project: Basic School Assistance Fund Project
Use of Grant Funds: Program Development & Implementation
“Education is the bedrock to economic and social development.”
Judith holds a bachelors degree in education from the University of Cape Coast. She has recently begun her national volunteer service and is putting her educational experiences into practice. With her WMI Micro-Grant Judith plans to assist the most destitute primary school students with supplies required for school attendance.
Judith explains that there have been many efforts by various governments to enable accessible education. These efforts include Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education, providing meals during school hours and Capitation Grants for Basic Schools. However, “…some parents cannot afford for their children’s basic necessities such as uniforms, exercise books, school bags, pencils and pens for their effective learning at school.”
Without exercise books and writing instruments students are unable to take notes. Without notes, students are not able to study effectively and pass exams. During rainy seasons, books and school supplies become soiled without protection from the elements. Basic school supplies play a large role in the ability for students to continue advancing academically.
Judith plans to work with the Ghana Education Service in the district and various head teachers to assist with selecting primary schools and the identification of brilliant but needy students. As a teacher herself, Judith plans to give motivational speeches and monitor the performance of those involved with her project.
Emebet Etisa Demisse, Ethiopia
Project: Rabies Awareness & Vaccination Campaign for Canines
Use of Grant Funds: Procurement of Rabies Vaccine and Event Costs
Emebet is a recent graduate of veterinary science from the University of Gondar. She is an ambitious young woman setting out to educate rural farmers and their families of the risks and dangers associated with the rabies virus. She says:
“Rabies is known to cause large numbers of deaths in humans and animals each year. People most at risk of dying due to rabies are those who live in rural areas especially in North Gondar. Dogs are the dominant species responsible for the transmission of the rabies virus to humans and livestock in my country.”
With the use of her WMI Micro-Grant funds, Emebet plans to organize a rabies vaccination clinic with a strong educational focus. She plans to collaborate with other graduates of veterinary science and will seek donations from the university.
Emebet’s goal is to educate canine owners about the virus, the vaccine, vaccinate their animals and encourage their continued usage of the $3 USD vaccination. By vaccinating their dogs, owners are protecting themselves, their families, fellow community members and also their livestock.
Peter Mwangi Kabethi, Kenya
Project: Ndege Self Help Women’s Group – Goat Rearing Project
Use of Grant Funds: Program Administration & Materials
Helping one another lifts an entire community. WMI Graduate Scholar Peter Mwangi Kabethi has developed a project to assist the Ndege Self Help Women’s Group in Ragati of Nyeri County. Peter grew up in this village and says that, “The majority of women in rural Kenya are housewives. This makes them bear the brunt of poverty given that they do not have a source of income and depend on their husband or siblings to provide for their families.”
Peter shares that together the women have looked for ways to alleviate poverty and supplement their family income. Growing extra food is not a safe investment for the group because they live in a semi arid area receiving little rainfall. Most recently, the woman invested in poultry farming. Unfortunately, the venture was affected by a disease that killed all of their livestock.
Through the assistance of a WMI Micro-Grant, Peter and the Ndege Self Help Women’s Group have researched other livestock rearing options and settled on dairy goat farming.
Initially the milk from the goats will act as a source of income for the project and be monitored by the treasurer. The money collected will be used to ensure the goats health with regular visits of a veterinarian. With each delivery of offspring, a goat will be offered to one member of the group. This cycle of reproduction and sharing of offspring will continue until all members of the group have individual income generating businesses of their own.
Grace Musiimenta, Uganda
Project: Soroti Youth Pig Project
Use of Grant Funds: Program Administration & Materials
“When out of school, youths become idle and engage in gambling. They are hoping to win big. They could utilize their time with creative ideas in agriculture and other sectors, as well learn as and share from constructive youth groups.”
Grace’s Soroti Youth Pig Project aims to provide entrepreneurial skill development, an income generating source and an opportunity for youth to fund their continued education.
While primary and secondary school education is universal for all, many youth drop out and do not finish high school because of financial constraints. Without a uniform, books, basic school supplies or the fees related to administration and caretaking, students are not allowed to attend classes.
The Soroti Youth Pig Project will enable the creation of a “savings culture” for scholastic materials, basic school fees and necessities. The aim is to target vocational, primary and secondary school going youths.
There is a high consumption of pork during the weekends in Soroti and thus a perfect market for an income-generating project. The Soroti Youth Pig Project will establish a central piggery and host monthly youth meetings.
Catherine Nagadya, Uganda
Project: Complete Blood Count Project – Mifumi Health Services
Use of Grant Funds: Procurement of Medical Equipment
Dr. Catherine Nagadya works at Mifumi Health Services as a resident medical doctor. With an eye for always seeking ways to improve, Catherine applied for and has been awarded WMI Micro-Grant funds to purchase a complete blood count machine and to provide trainings on how to use the machine at Mifumi Health Services. The machine will assist with diagnostics, improved treatment and reduce the number of referrals to higher-level health facilities.
Catherine states, “The acquisition of the complete blood count machine in the history of Mifumi Health Services will definitely enhance effective, fast, reliable, and efficient diagnostics work up and aid in proper treatment and management of patients …”
The following benefits will be realized once the machine has been purchased and all health professionals have been trained:
– Improved delivery of quality healthcare with timely interventions that are evidence based.
– Reduction in the number of referrals to distant tertiary care facilities.
– Reduction of antibiotic resistant strains that develop because of unnecessary use of antibiotics and improper prescriptions.
– Better management and follow-up care for patients with chronic diseases and illnesses like sickle cell disease, HIV/AIDS, and malignancies.
– Aid in reducing mortalities.
Brian Juma Omala, Kenya
Project: Peace to Rise (P2R) Project
Use of Grant Funds: Program Administration & Materials
The Peace to Rise Project seeks to reduce violence, create greater understanding between youth and provide an opportunity for dialogue programs focusing on interfaith and intercultural understanding and tolerance.
In recent years, Kenya has witnessed an increasing wave of violent conflicts among different ethnic communities and religious groups. As Kenya approaches the 2017 election year, tension has started building as young people continue to be mobilized by political and community leaders to perpetrate violence against their opponents.
Brian has created a training program that encompasses the areas of conflict analysis, community peace engagement, culture and identity, mediation and dialogue facilitation, non-violent conflict resolution, basic monitoring, evaluation and reporting skills, youth leadership, and communication skills. He plans to implement the Peace to Rise Project training for up to 100 trainees. Upon their successful completion of the training, they will be tasked to work in small groups and organize dialogue forms within their schools.
The proposed project aims to benefit young people between the ages of 17 and 26. Brian hopes to encourage participation from survivors of violent conflict, youth living with disabilities, recovering drug addicts, and out of school youth.
The project seeks to promote a culture of non-violent conflict resolution approaches among young people, hence, transforming them from being agents of violence to agents of peace.
Elijah Oseko Otto, Liberia
Project: Disaster Affected People & Handicapped Organization (DAPHO)
Use of Grant Funds: Non-Profit Operational Costs
WMI Graduate Scholar Elijah Oseko Otto is a graduate of Computer Systems Engineering from the Ghana Institute of Management & Public Administration. It was with a commitment to his roots and serving others that he established the Disaster Affected People and Handicapped Organization in 2007.
The bloody Liberia civil war that broke out in 1990 was characterized by the destruction of over twenty thousand people. Men, women and children suffered from various forms of injuries and disabilities. Liberians fled to many African countries including Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Ghana for safety of their lives. The Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana was set up to host these refugees in October of 1990.
In 2007, the population of Liberian refugees grew to more than 48,000 individuals. We notice that non-governmental organizations working within the refugee camp were helping refugees but unfortunately, people with disabilities were not privileged to fully participate and benefit in most of the rehabilitation programs provided.
It was in this vein that the Disaster Affected People and Handicapped Organization (DAPHO) was founded by Mr. Elijah Otto. The organization was founded with the aim of meeting the needs of war-affected amputees, persons with other forms of disabilities, children with autism, and vulnerable women. We have being working in Ghana especially within the Buduburam Refugee Camp before we came to Liberia after the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) carried Liberian refugees back home.
The mission of the Disaster Affected People and Handicapped Organization (DAPHO) is to alleviate the suffering of individuals and families in the poorest communities through grassroots initiatives. Our aims are to facilitate local empowerment, access to health services and educational opportunities in an effort to fulfill basic human rights by embracing a spirit of compassion and service to humanity.
WMI Micro-Grant funding has been awarded to assist with providing electrical instillation for the organization’s office. The organization aims to purchase a generator for supplying electricity, computers, and a photocopier.
Adane Wubet, Ethiopia
Project: Empowering Students Through Improved Facilities – Woleh Primary School
Use of Grant Funds: Procurement of Library Supplies & Science Materials
Adane Wubet is empowered to improve the educational experience had by students at the Woleh Primary School located in the rural area of Sekota Woreda. The Woleh Primary School is special to Adane. He was a primary student at this school from 1994-2000.
To Adane’s shock and dismay, upon returning to his primary school, he discovered that there was no library, extra reading materials or learning aids for students, teachers or the community to benefit from.
Due to the lack of reading materials and learning aids available, students face great challenges to develop knowledge and solid skills. They do not receive the same level of education in comparison to that at more affluent schools. Upon graduating from the Woleh Primary School, students then attend high school in larger towns and are at a disadvantage in comparison to their fellow high school classmates. Adane plans to change this!
In partnership with the school administration, Adane will be creating a library for students, teachers and community members. Together, Adane and the school administration plan to utilize a spare room at the school and furnish it with bookshelves, books and learning aids.
A small ceremony is planned to discuss with students the importance of utilizing additional resources, frequenting the library and planning for their future.
Adane aims to involve the Wereda administration, local non-governmental organizations, the community around the school and alumni of Woleh Primary School to make his vision a reality for current and future students.
Grantees – April 2016
Kaddy Camara, Gambia
Project: Sewing Cooperative
Use of Grant Funds: Expansion of Local Sewing Cooperative
Learning a trade and having a network of guiding support can change the lives of many. Kaddy Camara of Gambia will work with a group of women within her community to expand their ability to provide tailoring and embroidery services through this award.
The project will expand with the purchase of two embroidery sewing machines that will be used as part of an income-generating platform for women. The machines will also be used for training women who are interested in learning or acquiring tailoring skills.
Kaddy’s goal in expanding their existing services is to provide the group of women with additional skills and specialized services. Many of the women within this sewing cooperative are without additional incomes and have been abandoned by their husbands with many children to care for.
WMI looks forward to a three-month report from this group in Gambia detailing the number of women involved in the sewing group, specialized trainings held for current and new members, and the future business goals of these entrepreneurial ladies.
Gaani Michael Domongso declares, “Education is the great income multiplier! Education absolutely, definitely, inarguably increases your marketplace value. Therefore, it goes without saying that education is meant to empower the individual to realize these goals.”
However, he observes that not all communities are doing enough to prepare their students for success in regards to literacy. Michael notes that the current quality of graduates from tertiary institutions can be traced back to the kind of education and training they received in the primary and junior high school levels.
“Reading, which prepares and develops the pupil’s mind, has not been given attention in rural schools. Our educational system therefore churns out semi-literate and non-functional pupils at the first cycle level. Not all pupils can read both in the English language or their local dialects.
“Read for Wealth” project intends to whip the reading interest in the students, in collaboration with some selected community schools with abysmal performance in the Basic Education Certificate Examination as a pilot program.”
The program specifically aims to increase student vocabulary, improve reading comprehension skills, and sustain student’s interest in reading. Participating students will receive two books throughout the program, participate in reading assessments, meet a published author, join and have the opportunity for leadership roles within Read for Wealth Clubs at their school, and participate in organized essay, creative writing, and poetry competitions.
In developed countries, libraries are often taken for granted and under-utilized by all ages of the population. A community library in Lokichar, Kenya would serve as a portal to the world, a center where all could seek education, an opportunity for those hungry for knowledge and resources and an inclusive community center.
Maulline and team performed a needs-assessment visit to the village that revealed most of the children had no idea what a library was nor had they used a library in their lifetime.
“Lack of access to books and other learning resources for the school children can hinder learning and limit their opportunities to broaden their horizon for personal and community development.”
In preparing for the development of a community library, Maulline submitted a detailed and well-researched proposal. Within her proposal, she discussed fundraising efforts, building plans, options for sustaining the services and infrastructure either through collaboration with Kenya’s National Library Services or operating outside of the government library system. She addressed administration, staffing, continued funding, sourcing of books, programming, and measurement and evaluation plans.
The Community Library in Lokichar, Kenya, project is currently in the fundraising and development stages. With a passionate and professional team of supporters working towards making this project a sustainable reality, we look forward to the success of their fundraising efforts. This ongoing project will be monitored by the WMI Micro-Grant program for months to come. Stay tuned!
Jimmy Francis Odongo opened the Keframa High School in 2011 with community member Okello Augustine Kezzy in response to the education need in the community of Barr Sub-county, Lira District, in Northern Uganda. The private school provides affordable and quality education to serve disadvantaged students from vulnerable families who were victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency.
Since 2011, 300 students have completed their secondary education. Of them, 90 sat for their national exams. In 2016, four former students will be joining universities throughout the country. Other graduates complete certificate and diploma programs and advance their technical knowledge.
Jimmy reports, “Amidst all these successes, the school has some challenges, among which are insufficient books for the library and the lack of laboratory apparatus for practical subjects.”
The WMI Micro-Grant will be used for the procurement of multiple chemicals used in science laboratory experiments, thermometers, hand lenses, filter papers, litmus papers, measuring cylinders, funnels, boiling tubes, flasks, and stands.
The supplies will help students in chemistry, biology, physics and agriculture, as these subjects have both theory and practical sessions. This first-time exposure will help students to translate what they read theoretically into real observation and confirmation.
The school plans to monitor the use of this initial procurement of supplies. Some items can be reused and kept for at least three years, if managed well. For other supplies that are designed for single use, the school has a very small line within the budget to save for future supplies.
Grantees – January 2016
The power of an image resonates worldwide. In the community of Kopeyia, it took the circulation of one photo to empower graduates of the Kopeyia Bloomfield School to make it their personal responsibility and mission to transform the learning experience of current students.
Many years ago, Maxwell graduated from this school. The education he received there helped to propel his educational pursuits forward. An image of school children sitting on the ground and on cement blocks while taking an exam ignited the passion to start an online campaign to furnish the school with 70 wooden desks. Through the use of social media, Maxwell raised $250 with the help of alumni and community members. Once he reached his goal, the Wells Mountain Initiative’s Micro-Grant program provide a matching grant at 300%.
Through collaboration with the Ronagad Foundation – Ghana, Gaadiel aims to lead programing and professional opportunities for high school and tertiary students. There are two main projects that are being supported through the WMI Micro-Grant:
Rule Your Academic Success – The Foundation will collaborate with examiners from the West Africa Examination Council, Ghana Educational Service, parent and teacher organizations and best-performing students from schools to provide informative sessions on how to best approach taking national final exit exams. Students will benefit from current test preparation knowledge and techniques, will have a reinforced understanding of the examination rules and participate in a lesson on ethics.
Job & Entrepreneurship Fairs – Tertiary graduates benefit from organized job expositions as they aim to transition into full-time employment. Ronagad Foundation – Ghana identifies the opportunity to be a committed organizer of these opportunities and will collaborate with Sony Consult for an upcoming employment fair in the Sekyere East District of the Ashanti Region.
As the Secretary of the Planet Seal International, a registered non-profit organization in Ghana, Richard Monyo cares deeply for a unique population of vulnerable children within his nation. An undocumented number of young children and youth are trafficked into labor exploitation on cattle ranches. The children work as “slaves or cowboys for years with sometimes little or no compensation working from dawn until dusk.”
The organization states, “We see it as a great deal to raise awareness within both cattle hamlets and the home villages of the children, thereby encouraging these communities to reject the exploitation of children.”
Planet Seal International is chiefly concerned with protecting the human rights of vulnerable children and women throughout local communities. Funds provided through this grant will be used to continue the process of:
- Providing temporary shelters
- Offering protection and reintegration services for children and their families/foster families
- Giving psychosocial support
- Increasing involvement of families and foster families
- Linking other sectors of society to assist with this initiative and to develop a deeper understanding of the consequences of child labor
- Embarking on research initiatives
Maureen Oduor of Kenya is a champion for advocating and educating young women on sexual and menstrual health. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she received support and opportunities to become a health advocate for youth worldwide.
As a graduate of Development Studies and a current employee of Service & Health Development for People Living Positively with HIV/Aids, Maureen will return to her rural village in Siaya Country, Kenya, and facilitate informed conversations and activities on menstrual hygiene management. The topic of menstrual health remains taboo, a reason to feel shameful, and results in school-aged girls performing poorly in their classes and is a culprit for bright students dropping out.
The three-day workshop will empower girls to become more educated and gain confidence in discussing the importance of hygiene and safe forms of menstrual management. Participants will form support networks among one another and be encouraged to reach out to others who were not exposed to the workshop by receiving additional handouts and supplies for friends.
Throughout the past decade, professional opportunities within the industry of information technology have continued to grow. However, there is a gender divide, with males dominating the field globally. Reindolf is a graudate of Computer Science at Koforidua Polytechnic, and he designed the ICT Career Pathways & Prospects Awareness Project to empower young women and introduce them to the field of computer science. Five high schools within the eastern region of Uganda will participate in this program to encourage girls in the 10th and 11th grades who are studying general science to consider professions in information technology and to assist with the to assist with steps in doing so.
Reindolf says “ICT can be a powerful catalyst for political and social empowerment for women and the promotion of gender equality.” Data from his alma mater’s department shows that, “during the 2015/2016 academic year, only seven out of about 140 students, representing 3.5%, were females.” Reindolf continues by sharing that this statistic is the case at Koforidua Polytechnic; however, the trend is similar across other universities and polytechnics in the country.
Each of the five schools will be visited twice by a team of lecturers within the Department of Computer Science, a web developer and an enterprise application developer. The project will be developed to be informative, inspirational and interactive, with participants gaining new skills and the ability to identify how to pursue a tertiary degree in the area of information technology. Presentations will be conducted primarily by a current female student of Koforidua Polytechnic and a female employee of the division.
As a medical officer at Rapha Medical Centre, Dr. Felix is in charge of clinical services for the facility in the Gomba District of Uganda. Recurring illnesses and an array of prevalent diseases are common throughout the community but Dr. Felix identified diabetes and cervical cancer as two health conditions that have relatively low awareness levels. With a focus on early detection, the Diabetic and Cervical Cancer Awareness Campaigns aim to increase knowledge, administer early screenings and provide referrals to those needing further medical attention.
Dr. Felix plans to “…empower individuals to seek medical attention, constantly evaluate their own health and improve on the current poor health-seeking behaviors…” A poster campaign with visuals will start this project within the Gomba district to reach those of both educated and undereducated backgrounds. The goal is to educate the population about the signs and symptoms of the two diseases.
Through a partnership with the Rapha Medical Centre, funds will be provided for screenings to be conducted by Dr. Felix and a small staff. Detailed reporting of those who seek screenings will be in his three-month report.
Grantees – October 2015
As children of Lira watch their uncles, aunts, fathers and mothers work to construct their school, they see examples of leadership, community pride and hope that will provide opportunity and a positive economic impact to the village and its citizens.
What was once an abandoned field now houses an eight-room school structure. Over the course of four months Bonny Mark Alinga procured building supplies and local labor to construct the new Nissi College – Lira.
Understanding the importance of diverse points of view and unique expertise, Bonny created a board of directors and held three meetings with the five-member team to strategize on how to move this project forward through the involvement of the local community and additional fundraising.
Construction will continue as more funds are gathered. Within the next three months, Bonny hopes that the structure will receive a roof.
In the meantime, Bonny continues to provide outreach to the small community organization, Solace of Hope, and has provided the 16 orphan members with exercise books, pens, pencils, and mathematic sets to spur their interest in one day attending school within their community, at a school that they can call their own.
Reflecting on the project Bonny states, “It has created in me a sense of self-reliance and focus to uplift my community. The project once completed will create job opportunities and alleviate poverty levels within its catchment areas and increase literacy rates.”
With 9,100 Sudanese pounds in seed money, Mayom has worked with 66 beneficiaries over the course of three months within the city of Rumbek, South Sudan. Requests for micro-funding are evaluated and monitored by an appointed committee, and cluster representatives monitor the project implementation and repayment of loans.
Micro Grant funding for the Community Development Fund Project has assisted women who embroider and sew bed linens, provided the final funds for the renovation of a small clinic, aided in the digging of a drinking well, supported a female bread baker, provided a loan for mud-block manufacturing equipment, refurbished a butcher shop, and was used as seed money for a small grocery shop.
The first round of income-generating projects issued in December has been completed. Of the 8,400 Sudanese Pounds issued, 100% have been paid back in full with an interest contribution of 20%. During the first month of operation, WMI’s initial contribution of 9,100 Sudanese pounds grew into a balance of 10,080 Sudanese pounds.
Mayom proudly shares, “Providing micro-credit to motivate resource-poor villagers is a means of building a solid economic foundation in communities where the only source of credit may be exploitative lenders, whose practices impede rather than nurture local people’s opportunities.”
The grand opening of a new business is a day which every entrepreneur never forgets! For Thomas Sevordzi, that day was Saturday, January 2, 2016, when his new management consultant began operations. As CEO, Thomas gave a powerful speech and infused energy into the crowd of small business owners and local chiefs attending the ceremony.
Thomas reports, “The guest speaker at the ceremony, the senior operations director of Lower Pra Rural Bank, was passionate about the role of consultancy firms in business and urged the public to do business with Vasco Consult Limited.” Three media companies were in attendance and provided coverage to Skyy Power TV/Radio, Radio Shama and Business and Financial Times viewers and readers.
Funding was also utilized to assist with compiling need-and opportunity-based business plans. To date, Vasco Consult Limited has produced highly detailed proposals for a printing service (design, printing, photocopy and additional secretarial services), an affordable housing project through the partnership with Morgans Investor Services, and feasibility studies and funding proposals for many small agricultural enterprises currently operating in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana (trading maize, establishing a piggery, expanding fish farming, expanding the sale of poultry feeds, etc.).
With the initial intention of creating economic opportunity and giving back to his community, Thomas and Vasco Consult Limited have developed the Rural Development Institute (NGO) to provide an opportunity for youth entrepreneurial programming. WMI is looking forward to seeing this initiative develop further.
For all of our WMI friends and family passing through Ghana, the Vasco Consult Limited office is located at No. 8, first floor of the Assefuah Building at the Shama Junction, Shama District.
The Teenage Dream Foundation and Swagg Team Magazine (STM) hosted their joint community event on December 5, 2015.
At the event, Abali Sharon of Graceland High School in Gulu, was named Miss STM and Omara Princon from Sir Samuel Baker Secondary School was crowned Mr. STM. Contestants competing for the title were measured by their oral responses about their community involvement, schooling, future dreams and ambitions, and knowledge of their district, country and religion. They participated in a creativity challenge by designing a cultural outfit with native materials, they walked in a runway show and they performed a talent.
Through the engagement of social media followers and community visits, the Teenage Dream Foundation plans to work with Mr. & Miss STM to participate in school tours, to become the leaders of the Teen Clubs set up by the Teenage Dream Foundation in Gulu, and to be local voices for the collective stance of supporting children and teen issues in the Acholi sub-region.