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May 10, 2019

Restoring ecosystems to withstand future storms

A family picks up trees to plant at their farm
A family picks up trees to plant at their farm

Thanks to your generous support, the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands are able to invest in the sustainability of their natural environment. Island Spirit Fund partner Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has been busy funding environmental restoration with two local organizations, the University of the Virgin Islands and St. Croix Environmental Association. Your donations are improving coastal ecosystems with the introduction of can and bottle recycling and the planting of native trees.

The University of the Virgin Islands was able to secure additional funding to expand their recycling pilot project, allowing the initiative to be rolled out to both the St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses. Before the recycling bins and materials are placed around the campuses, the project leaders have been hosting awareness events. When the bins are installed, the work won’t quite be over, as the leaders of the project see a significant need for education around recycling—both on the importance of recycling and about the proper way to recycle various items.

St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA) is planting native trees on their home island. The trees play an important role in hurricane recovery and in restoring an ecosystem that can better withstand future storms:

  • Native trees are adapted to withstand the impacts of and recover from hurricanes.
  • The root systems of native trees are adapted to holding soil in place, keeping it on land rather than washing into the ocean and hurting coastal ecosystems.
  • These trees also host native pollinators, such as bees, hummingbirds, and bats—all of which are essential to forest recovery and the production of fruits, an important food source for the island’s humans and wildlife alike.

Thanks to generous discounts provided by the sellers, 310 trees were able to be purchased, exceeding the initial goal of 250. Of these trees, about half were given away at community events and the other half were planted by volunteers. Nearly 50 volunteers of all ages helped the relief effort by planting trees at a coastal reserve near an old tower that is home to several hundred cave bats.

Learn more about both these programs in the Community Foundation for the Virgin Islands’ project reports.

We love being able to share these stories from the field. Check your inbox in the coming months for updates on the progress of Island Spirit Fund partner organizations!

Tree planting at the coastal reserve
Tree planting at the coastal reserve
May 1, 2019

Project of the Month Club Update: May 2019

Vaga Lume Association
Vaga Lume Association

Dear Project of the Month Club,

I hope you had a great month of April—ours was particularly busy. We celebrated the power of the crowd with our Little By Little Campaign, where small donations made some big change! We are also very excited to share that we launched our very first Climate Fund Campaign this month because we believe in funding climate solutions led by the people most affected by our climate crisis. These organizations are competing for one of six year-long spots our new Climate Action Fund

On top of all that, you and the other 593 Project of the Month Club members raised $24,251—a new record—in support of Conservation Volunteers Australia, a GlobalGiving partner working in Victoria, Australia, and their Help Protect Endangered Bandicootsproject, which is working to protect the grasslands habitat of 400 endangered bandicoots. Way to go!

This month, your Project of the Month Club donation will support Vaga Lume Association's  Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children project in Brazil. The Brazilian Amazon covers 61% of the country’s territory and is home to 24 million people, yet is home to only 8.2% of the country’s public libraries. Vaga Lume promotes access to books and literacy in 99 rural communities in the Amazon by creating community libraries and training volunteers as reading mediators. By carefully selecting collections of books and encouraging adults to read to children, Vaga Lume is making reading both educational and fun for children in the Amazon!

Project leader Lia Jamra wanted to pass along this message to you and the rest of the Project of the Month Club supporters:

 

“Thank you for selecting us as your Project of the Month! By contributing to our cause you’re enabling Vaga Lume to keep providing quality education through literature to 15,000 children in the Brazilian Amazon. It’s very encouraging to see how much our project inspires the world and the belief that investing in children is the best way to create transformative change in the society. Through literacy, children can expand their perspectives and opportunities to achieve their full potentials and become protagonists of their lives.”

“This financial resource is very important to us because besides making access new quality books possible for children in remote communities of the Brazilian Amazon, it will allow the strengthening of libraries in the communities we already have established partnership with. We have already trained more than 4,500 read-aloud mediators and we will be able to spread even more “fireflies” (what we call our reading mediators) in the region.”

 

Their latest literary adventure took them from Sao Paulo to the heart of the Amazon on a recrei, a type of boat common to the region—you can read all about it in their latest project report. And if you want to see the ongoing impact of your donation this month, you can subscribe to their updates by visiting their GlobalGiving project page.

Thanks again for your ongoing support of the Project of the Month Club. Your donations have traveled from Mexico to Kenya to Australia and now to Brazil so far this year, and we’re excited to share where your donation is headed next month.

 

Warm wishes,

Alix Guerrier

GlobalGiving CEO

Conservation Volunteers Australia
Conservation Volunteers Australia
Apr 20, 2019

Your donation's impact after Cyclone Idai

Photo from ActionAid
Photo from ActionAid

It's been just over one month since Cyclone Idai made landfall in the coastal city of Beira in Mozambique, which suffered some of the worst impacts from the storm. Idai has affected nearly 3 million people in the region and claimed more than 1,000 lives across Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, making it the third-deadliest tropical cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere. Widespread severe flooding has displaced at least 500,000 people and has provided a vector for outbreaks of cholera, with more than 2,400 cases already confirmed.

We're proud to report that our nonprofit partners have responded swiftly to help those in need—as did GlobalGivers like you, who've generously given to our Cyclone Idai Relief Fund. Thanks to that support, we've been able to send an emergency round of funding to our partners on the ground. Here's how your donation is helping survivors of Cyclone Idai:

  • The Waqful Waqifin Foundation (which in Hausa means “Gift of the Givers”) deployed 40 water rescue specialists using boats and helicopters to Beira, where roads into the city were washed away. They have rescued 2,100 people trapped by floodwaters, and have identified another 4,500 people in need of assistance. Their relief teams are providing food, water, medical care, shelter, and blankets to those in need, and they're supplying 1.4 tons of medical supplies.
  • ActionAid's local offices and community partners coordinated on immediate relief efforts to some of the areas most affected by Idai, including Mocuba and Lugela, Mozambique; Chimanimani, Zimbabwe; and Nsanje, Malawi. Their team has been working to meet the most urgent needs of survivors, including food, fuel, hygiene supplies, school books, mosquito nets, and tents.
  • World Central Kitchen's Chef Relief Team arrived in Beira shortly after Idai passed through the city, and quickly found a kitchen in an event space that could be cleaned, repaired, and used to cook. By mobilizing the local community, their team was able to quickly get the kitchen up and running, delivering hundreds of meals on their first day open. By day two, their team was serving thousands, and they're committed to remaining in Beira as long as there are survivors in need.
  • When Idai took down large swaths of the power grid in Mozambique, millions were in need of fuel. Teams from Fuel Relief Fund are on the ground there, providing free fuel to affected families in need, as well as first responders, hospitals, and water treatment plants.
  • In heavily-damaged Manicaland Province, along Zimbabwe's eastern border with Mozambique, your donation is helping Kidzcan Children's Cancer Relief ensure that families of their cancer patients are able to travel safely to receive their chemotherapy treatments and secure a steady supply of needed medicines.
  • IsraAID's Emergency Response Team has deployed to Mozambique, where they're distributing emergency supplies, providing psychosocial care to survivors coping with the trauma of the storm, and assessing the immediate and ongoing water, sanitation, and hygiene needs of affected communities.
  • Afrilanthropy is working with a local partner to deliver emergency supplies to first responders in Beira, supplying them with food, water, clothing, and cleaning and hygiene supplies.

Thank you again for your generous support of this relief fund and for making the smart choice to donate cash after a natural disaster like Cyclone Idai— it has been proven to be more effective than donating physical goods.

We look forward to sharing more stories of progress from our partners in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe in the months to come.

With gratitude,
Will + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from World Central Kitchen
Photo from World Central Kitchen
 
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