At Gnu we keep it simple. Simple programs, direct leadership, effective and efficient use of scarce resources. In fact, one of the hallmarks of our success has been building upon solid ‘tried and true’ methods.
We launched Gnu Foundation in the belief that by connecting the very poor and vulnerable with working capital (primarily through our micro-credit programs) they would prosper and be able to break the chains of poverty.
This idea of using micro-credit is not a new or radical idea, as it has been around for more than 30 years having reached and elevated the hopes and livelihood of more than 100 million people (with more than 2.5 billion people living on less than $2/day there is still a tremendous amount of work to do).
Our approach is different however, in that we endeavor to serve the poorest of poor and most vulnerable through their association with existing local community groups such as a local school, hospital, or orphanage run by persons of high integrity – our local Gnu Field Partners.
In essence we “wrap” the local field partner with a locally administered program (such as the micro-credit program) where it is as simple as — “if you are a caregiver (usually a grandmother or auntie) to an orphan sent to the school – then you are eligible for a micro loan”. All Gnu programs are always locally administered.
Over the last several years we have seen family after family, grandmothers, young orphans, and vulnerable young women and men get new starts in life through responsible and effective business initiatives, working hard in school and job training programs that were previously unavailable and taking initiative in starting or expanding businesses to be successful.
Gnu Foundation’s belief in ‘Kenyan helping Kenyan’ or ‘Haitian helping Hatian’ etc. is borne out through this locally administered and run model.
As we have successfully ‘proved’ the model over the last several years, we are now enthusiastically expanding it to additional Gnu Field Partners around the globe.
Working together to eliminate extreme poverty - one family at a time.
Gnu Foundation connects and works with some of the best global partners there are:
We have been working with Kiva.org’s leadership team in Kenya for more that 4 years, and we are excited to announce that Gnu Foundation has been designated by Kiva.org as a “Trustee” for Kenya as part of their Kiva Zip program. Kiva, a US-based 501(c)3 non-governmental organization, partners with microfinance institutions (e.g. Faulu Kenya, Kadet, KREP, SMEP etc.) around the world to provide loans to the working poor. To date, Kiva’s web-based lending community has raised over $300 million USD for entrepreneurs in over 60 countries.
Within the Kiva Zip program in Kenya, Gnu Foundation nominates local entrepreneurs to participate in the microloan program – Gnu acts as a ‘guarantor’ to the individuals selected, and Kiva provides the loan funding and administration with no interest or fee to the borrowers. This program enables Gnu to leverage funds we have provided our local Gnu Partners by ‘graduating’ our successful borrowers to Kiva where they can receive larger loans and longer term funding, thereby releasing funds to help more vulnerable and risky participants to enter our program. This partnership provides a meaningful transition to broader/deeper financial resources for many families that would not have had access to such resources without our initial support.
Like Gnu Foundation, Kiva Zip’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
We are actively piloting the Kiva program with our Gnu Partner Furaha Community Foundation, to date we have successfully sponsored over 55 microloans through this program and are in discussions with getting trustee designations for our partners WWN and DISC as well.
Additional information on the global Kiva.zip trustee program can be found at Kiva.org/zip.
Gnu Foundation actively partners with WIGU in Kenya, Haiti and Guatemala. WIGU dedicates itself to eradicate 'extreme poverty' - helping the 1.6 billion people living on less than $1.25 per day. In the words of Gilbert Foster, WIGU's Executive Director - "we are ambassadors for the poor -- we've been to where extreme poverty grips people -- $1.25 a day doesn't buy much living -- we've seen it, we've walked it, smelly it,tasted it, and tis not living ... its dying, slowly dying. We invite you to join the movement to be a life giver!"
At Gnu, we've joined hand in hand with WIGU in this global life giving movement by 'wrapping' their local support initiatives with our micro loan programs. In 5 short years we have funded over 1,000 business micro loans for WIGU supported local partners. We view it as 'venture capital for the poor'.
You can view some excellent WIGU produced videos here - all of the individuals and children and programs shown in the videos are the local beneficiaries of our joint program efforts in the field. Where WIGU is serving -- Gnu Foundation is working alongside them to financially empower families to leave extreme poverty behind.
Children of Strength (Watoto Wenye Nguvu in Swahili) is a U.S. non-profit created some 10 years ago to help children in the Kilimambogo area of Kenya, about 60 miles northeast of Nairobi, overcome the devastating affects on their lives from the HIV/AIDS epidemic and widespread poverty. The program supports over 400 orphans and other vulnerable children through individual sponsorships that provide food, clothing, education, and medical care.
Children of Strength runs a safe house for at risk orphans in Kusatawi Village. These orphans are at risk of being abused or sold into marriage, slavery or prostitution. The safe house sits on 6 acres of land including a farm which grows various crops producing food for the safe house and some food for the feeding program Watoto Wenye Nguvu runs in local schools of the Kilimambogo district.
For more on the Children of Strength programs please click: Watoto Wenye Nguvu
INDIVIDUAL Donors & Sponsors
Gnu donors have a unique opportunity to have 100% of their donations allocated to go directly to fund our local connecting partner organizations around the world. These initial donations are then maximized and compounded year-after-year as funds cycle through the microloan system. Your donations from one year end up having a year-after-year impact with no overhead cost going towards Gnu Foundation!
When great companies pair up with great organizations, amazing work can be accomplished around the world.
Gnu Foundation is able to pass on 100% of your donations directly to support field operations because of a generous corporate sponsor who takes care of all our administration overhead, travel and necessary support organization costs. We are proud to be partnered with and sponsored by Real Capital Analytics.
Thank you to our sponsors and donors -- together helping to make a real difference!