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Jan 17, 2020

Civil Society in the Lead for Puerto Rico's Recovery

Rebuilding a new Boys & Girls Club in San Lorenzo
Rebuilding a new Boys & Girls Club in San Lorenzo

Recently, two GlobalGiving team members visited our nonprofit partners in Puerto Rico to better understand how communities are recovering after Hurricane Maria. They met with community leaders to listen to stories of progress and heartache, and to jointly design new ways to support locally-led recovery and resilience efforts in 2020. 

On Jan. 7, 2020, a 6.4 earthquake followed by hundreds of tremors caused significant damage to the island’s southwest region. With hearts heavy with worry for those we had just visited, GlobalGiving immediately contacted our partners to assess the latest relief needs. To support the earthquake relief efforts of the communities still grappling with the effects of Hurricane Maria, visit our Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief Page.

Here are three takeaways from our team’s recent visit to Puerto Rico:

Hurricanes amplify structural issues in Puerto Rico.
The destruction of Hurricane Maria exacerbated long-standing issues facing Puerto Rico, such as its debt crisis, out-migration, and aging energy infrastructure. People living in already precarious conditions were left even more vulnerable by the devastation the hurricane inflicted on the island. Local nonprofit partner G-8 has used recovery funds from GlobalGiving to support housing recovery and relocation in Caño Martín Peña communities, as well as to support a number of repair programs and advocacy campaigns focused on resilience to future disasters. 

Civil society is the backbone of recovery.
The 2017 disaster caused more than $100 billion in damages, while federal aid distributed thus far to the island (approximately $14 billion of  $41 billion currently allocated) has been well below what is needed for society to fully rebuild. Just this month the federal government announced it will finally begin the process to release housing funds for rebuilding. To fill this gap, local and international nonprofit organizations have been spearheading the recovery process. Local nonprofits, such as Taller Salud, engage in case management and advocacy efforts to ensure that all community members have a voice in an equitable recovery. 

The generosity of GlobalGiving donors continues to sustain long-term recovery.
GlobalGiving made nearly $2 million in grants in 2019 alone to our trusted nonprofit partners based in Puerto Rico, with the support of individuals like you, to bolster the economic, social, and environmental recovery of communities across Puerto Rico. One recent grant is supporting the Puerto Rico Community Foundation to organize rural community leaders into a network focused on ensuring the sustainable use of 52 community aqueducts across the island. Over the long term, this work will contribute to safe and reliable access to drinking water in many communities that were heavily impacted by the hurricane. We will be sharing the progress of this grant and other initiatives in the coming months.

Members of our team will be returning to Puerto Rico in February, where we will be connecting with more of our trusted partners that continue to be at the forefront of Hurricane Maria recovery. From all of us at GlobalGiving, thank you for your inspiring generosity and support.

With gratitude,

Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team

Home being repaired by local nonprofit, G-8
Home being repaired by local nonprofit, G-8
Jan 10, 2020

Mobilizing for Australian Wildfire Response

Photo courtesy of Australian Red Cross
Photo courtesy of Australian Red Cross

Australia remains gripped by the devastating impacts of the ongoing wildfires, especially in the southeastern states of New South Wales and Victoria. Nearly ten million hectares have been burned across the country, more than 20 twenty people have been killed, and an estimated half a billion animals have been killed or impacted. We are extremely grateful for the massive mobilization of GlobalGiving’s community of vetted nonprofit partners, and the crucial support of our donors and corporate partners.

Thanks to contributions raised through our Australia Wildfire Relief Fund and through partnership with Facebook, we are disbursing an initial round of donations today to six vetted Australian nonprofit partners on the frontline of response in support of fire-impacted communities (both human and wildlife). Through our flexible funding, our partners are able to dedicate these funds to the greatest needs that they are seeing in the areas where they are providing relief.

  • Foodbank Australia is providing emergency food and groceries relief to individuals and families in crisis across all impacted states.
  • Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland is awarding grants directly to local fire brigade members in Queensland that have themselves been impacted by the deadly fires.
  • NSW Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service (WIRES) is expanding  wildlife rescue and rehabilitation services across the organization’s 28 branches in New South Wales.
  • Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors is sending medical supplies to wildlife rescuers and carers in fire-affected areas, transporting (where permitted) animals to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for critical care, and constructing a climate-controlled intensive care ward for an ever-growing number of koala patients.
  • Sydney Wildlife is providing ongoing wildlife rescue and rehabilitation at the organization’s Rehabilitation Facility and supporting the organization’s Mobile Care Unit for wildlife. 
  • Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is growing its Wildlife Heroes Bushfire Emergency program that provides frontline wildlife rescuers and carers with first aid supplies, medicine, animal food, and psychosocial care due to working in traumatizing situations.

GlobalGiving is also providing direct support to the Australian Red Cross and World Central Kitchen in close collaboration with our corporate partners, Ford Motor Company and 3M.

We believe organizations that are deeply rooted in local communities are often in the best position to provide immediate relief and long-term support for disaster victims. We will be sharing further updates in the weeks and months to come about the progress our nonprofit partners are making toward recovery across Australia. From all of us at GlobalGiving, thank you for your inspiring generosity in support of communities impacted by the ongoing fires. 

 

With gratitude,

Chase + the GlobalGiving team

Photo courtesy of Sydney Wildlife
Photo courtesy of Sydney Wildlife
Jan 8, 2020

Building a future for children across East Africa

Seed Programs International
Seed Programs International

Across eastern Africa, droughts worsened by climate change, political turmoil, and economic unrest have all contributed to critical food shortages. In some areas, malnutrition levels have climbed as high as 30%. 

The youngest members of society are the ones who are most impacted by the effects of acute hunger, and about 14 million children throughout Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Somalia are struggling to get enough to eat. As their hunger increases and energy wanes, they’re often forced to stop attending school. The potential consequences of these absences extend far beyond a few missed classes: the loss of potential leaders and entrepreneurs could impact the region for many years into the future. 

Thankfully, community-focused organizations throughout East Africa are providing kids with the resources they need to stay in school. With the help of over 5,500 generous donors like you, we’ve raised $252,302 in support of their vital work. 

Here’s how two of our partners are getting kids both the meals and other support they need to not only stay in the classroom but to successfully contribute to their communities. 

Seed Programs International provides much needed nutrition for students and promotes education and  by building school gardens. Not only do the children attending these schools benefit from homegrown lunches, but they’re also able to learn valuable life skills by participating in garden maintenance. 

Mr. Mbugua has been working with Seed Programs International for more than two years. As the Valley Bridge Primary School Headmaster, he’s witnessed firsthand the incredible impact proper nutrition has on his students. 

“As a teacher, my goal is to teach my students to not just merely exist, but to be part of the change we need. When children are not hungry, they are able to exercise their right to receive an education in school and beyond.”  

Makindu Children’s Program is helping children and adolescents in rural communities throughout eastern Kenya to thrive by providing nutrient-dense meals and developmental support. 

Their food basket delivery program provides the most vulnerable households with enough healthy food to sustain the entire family for weeks. This steady source of food has already ensured the continued education for 46 children in rural Kenyan communities. 

Makindu Children’s Program also offers vocational training to students who aren’t able to attend traditional colleges, helping young adults build successful futures and break free from cycles of poverty and deprivation. 

With your committed support, our vetted nonprofit partners are able to sustain long-term projects and create opportunities for future growth. In the coming months, we’ll continue sending updates so you understand how your money helps build resilience in communities throughout East Africa. 

With gratitude,

Nicole Gieselman + the GlobalGiving Team

 
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