Thanks to a generous Christmas donation from the congregation of Hillside Church of Marin we were able to fully fund and launch the Goats & Cattle Co-op project in Haiti. All profits from the project will directly benefit the Ecole Evangelique de la Nouvelle Vie du Jacob/Palma (New Life Evangelical School of Jacob/Palma) the proper name for the school and our local Gnu Partner in Haiti.
First phase of the Goats & Cattle Co-op program began with 40 baby and adult goats and will be under the watchful eyes of a skilled local herder. A second phase of the project will add additional land to support cattle later this year.
During our recent field visit, we also kicked off the third phase of our local microloan program – that now supplies loan grants to 60 families who send their children to the school. As New Life School is the only local school in the region, in virtually every case the child attending school is the first from their family.
To watch a sweet Christmas carol from Mercy Queen, a student of the Furaha Community Foundation Secondary School — a Gnu Foundation partner organization — please click here: Happy Holidays everyone!!
Gnu Foundation works together with some of the best global partners there are. Including: Kiva.org; Children of Strength; and California-based When-I-Grow-Up (WIGU). Gnu Foundation actively partners with WIGU in Kenya, Haiti and more recently in Guatemala. WIGU’s dedicates itself to eradicate ‘extreme poverty’ — helping the 1.6 billion people living on less that $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 see it, we’ve walked it, smelt it, tasted it, and its 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 microloan programs. In 5 short years we have funded over 1,000 business microloans 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.
Also — to watch a sweet Christmas carol from Mercy Queen, a student of the Furaha Community Foundation Secondary School — a Gnu Foundation partner organization — please click here: Happy Holidays everyone!!
Drilling began and after 20 hours and some 200 meters, clean water began flowing from the new Furaha Community Foundation High School well.
Gnu Foundation supporters provided critical funds to purchase the new generator to power the well pump. After two years of carrying water by hand (and head) the youth of the Furaha Community Secondary school now have clean, safe, fresh water to use each and every day.
Located in the town of Githongo in the tea and coffee region of Kenya; a few miles north of the Equator on the northeast slopes of Mt. Kenya, Rays of Hope (ROH) is a small community health clinic. With full time work by Murithi Marangu, its founder, and a part time staff of a nurse, laboratory technician and community facilitator, the dedicated team provide laboratory services for malaria and typhoid, the dispersement of medicines and drugs, counseling for HIV/AIDS, testing and post test counseling, and home health care. They also provide maternal, prenatal and child healthcare, as well as Community Education classes. House calls are made for those in the community unable to travel to the clinic. All of these services are provided at no cost or for a minimal fee.
During a visit in 2012, the Gnu Foundation team discussed different ways that we could assist the clinic’s staff and programs, and we determined that providing a “Social Business Grant” was the most supportive and sustainable option. With the Gnu grant, ROH has built the “Moonlight Cafe” a ‘milk bar’ (serving local foods and non-alcoholic drink) which is staffed by clinic volunteers and the food and produce is purchased locally — creating a ‘virtuous circle’ of employment and supply-chain puirchases from ROH affiliated staff and businesses. A ‘social business’ is fully consistent with the operations and strategy as that of a traditional ‘for-profit’ business, but all the profits are poured back into the host business to support its social nature and the metrics by which one measures the success of the business are related to a social goal — in this specific case the underwriting and support of the Rays of Hope health clinic.
We are excited by this co-operative venture with Rays of Hope and look to the expansion of other supportive businesses in the community.
A devastating fire recently leveled the primary school at the Furaha Community Center. Undaunted, the local Huruma community raised funds to rebuild, and construction has already begun! The photo below shows the "Heart of Furaha" the primary school children gathered in the school courtyard during our recent Gnu Foundation visit (pre fire) and the progress made to re-opening the school. The Gnu Foundation has recently funded a doubling of the Gnu microloan program support to the parents and guardians of the Furaha children and the workers who care and support them.
The Gnu Foundation is looking to support the work of Esperanza para Guatemala (Hope for Guatemala) a program dedicated to helping children and families living in Guatemala City’s notorious Zone 18 to break their cycle of violence, poor education and poverty by empowering them to achieve the quality of life that they deserve. www.hopeforguatemala.org
The program was developed under the direction of Jose Armas, who grew up in Guatemala City watching his parents give food and other assistance to families in need. Even as a child, Jose felt burdened to help people less fortunate. At the age of 14, Jose began to travel extensively as a missionary, at the age of 23, Jose felt called to leave his comfortable business life in the United States and minister to his own people in Zone 18 of Guatemala City. The ministry started with Jose and his family serving about 25 children a snack 3 days a week. Using borrowed pots and pans from his parents and holding on to the vision placed in his heart for many years before, Jose launched Esperanza para Guatemala in 2004.
Today, Hope for Guatemala directly serves over 250 children who represent about 120 families, positively impacting the lives of more than 1000 people. The program offers a hot breakfast and lunch program 5 days a week and provides fresh produce to the childrens’ homes for the weekends. Additionally an education program provides access to books, study support, computers, tutoring, and school supplies; there is a health, hygiene and basic medical program; vocational workshops and training in carpentry, computers, bakery and crafts and a spiritual and cultural program designed to build hope and self esteem for the youth.
Gnu Foundation is looking to provide funding for creative social business grants to support local vocational and business initiatives for the young adults and families associated with the program.
In this video message, Madam Elizabeth from Watoto Wenya Nguvu (Children of Strength) thanks a Gnu Foundation champion for funding the orphanages' biogas project. The bio waste from the orphanages' 10 cows is used to power the fuel needs of the entire WWN campus.