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May 6, 2020

Project of the Month Club Update: May 2020

Photo from Infinite Family
Photo from Infinite Family

Dear Project of the Month Club Member,

We hope you managed to stay well throughout the month of April. As these complicated times continue, we want to express our gratitude to you and the 583 other club members that came together to give $22,625 last month to Pachamama Raymi and its project, Donate trees to help impoverished families in Peru. Your generosity is instrumental in helping nonprofits navigate the waters of this turbulent time.

For the month of May, your Project of the Month Club donation will support our nonprofit partner Infinite Family and its project, Mentoring African Teens to School and Life Success.

Infinite Family’s mission is to help develop self-reliance and resourcefulness in students as they prepare for their lives as young adults and beyond. The Mentoring African Teens to School and Life Successproject uses mentorship and relationship-building to motivate black South African teens to create their own opportunities through good choices and hard work, even amidst township poverty, violence, and discrimination.

Founder, President, and CEO of Infinite Family, Amy Conrad Stokes, shares her first reaction at being selected for Project of the Month Club:

“I truly do not know what to say - except that you brought me to tears of joy with this email.She went on to add, “To receive this unexpected generosity, especially at this time when all of you have deep, personal concerns for yourselves and your own communities, lifts our entire organization in spirit, energy, and creativity when we need it most. This will truly give us a new level of flexibility to serve our teens who will be living under very different circumstances in their townships throughout this year.

Amy then went on to share about the impact your gift will have throughout the year:

“Your gift now will allow us to complete a new programming system, one which we have been wanting to pilot since 2018, that will significantly increase the number of students who have access to Infinite Family’s resources to develop their talents in education, career preparation, technology literacy, communication, and life skills. Thanks to you, students across Johannesburg’s and Cape Town’s townships will be among first in their families to obtain advanced studies and a decent job.”

Learn more about Infinite Family’s work by checking out its most recent project reports.

Thank you again for your steadfast support. I can’t wait to share where your generosity is headed in June!

Warm wishes, 

Alix Guerrier

GlobalGiving CEO

Photo from Pachamama Raymi
Photo from Pachamama Raymi
Apr 23, 2020

New challenges and new hope in Caribbean disaster recovery

Photo from La Marana
Photo from La Marana

GlobalGiving is working around the clock during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to best serve all of our nonprofit partners across 170 countries. We have launched a Coronavirus Relief Fund, piloted a Hardship Microgrant Initiative, and doubled down on trusting our partners to know what is best for their communities during this emergency.

The COVID-19 crisis is not only upending our own lives and the lives of our loved ones, but it is also disproportionately hurting the most vulnerable among us and in communities around the world. This reality is especially true for communities that have already been severely affected by recent disasters, like Hurricane Maria, and now find themselves on an even more complex and daunting journey to recovery.

We stand in solidarity with all of our nonprofit partners in Puerto Rico that are now grappling with the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on top of the traumas of Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquakes that struck the island in January. Before the massive spread of the coronavirus, myself and other members of GlobalGiving’s Disaster Recovery Network team were fortunate to visit many of our partners on the island in February. I want to take a moment to briefly share some of the incredible work that you and more than 50,000 others have supported through your donation to the Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund.

  • La Maraña is a grassroots, women-led organization that formed in response to the destruction brought by Hurricane Maria. Through its participatory design methods, it promotes the inclusion and empowerment of local Puerto Rican voices in the design and recovery process. For the last two and a half years, the organization has been deeply connected with three communities in Humacao, Carolina, and Comerío. Putting community members’ voices in the lead, La Maraña collaboratively designs community-driven master plans and implements a commonly elected social impact project in each respective community. Our team was able to see firsthand the important work completed by the San Antón and Saint Just community in Carolina to transform an abandoned school into a community hub that offers alternative schooling, small-business development, and sustainable agriculture. You can learn more about the organization’s keen focus on incorporating community feedback through this recent video profile.

  • La Fondita de Jesús has served vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness across the greater San Juan area since the 1980s. With GlobalGiving support, the organization was able to fully install solar power systems on the majority of its buildings in San Juan. Each of these buildings serves a core need for the organization’s constituents, from long-term housing to basic services like reliable meals and showers. Our team had the opportunity to see each of these power systems in place and being put to immediate use. This is a key step for La Fondita de Jesús towards resiliency, especially when you consider the nearly year-long power outage across Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

  • Taller Salud is a community-based feminist organization dedicated to improving women’s access to health care, reducing violence within the community, and encouraging economic growth through education and activism. For the last 40 years, the organization has been directly serving communities in Loíza. Since Hurricane Maria, Taller Salud has been successfully advancing a Just Recovery Campaign related to affordable housing and gender and racial justice—issues that are at the core of an equitable recovery on the island. We had the opportunity to sit down with the organization’s leadership for an open discussion about the trajectory of Puerto Rico’s recovery process and to identify future opportunities for partnership.

We will be back in your inbox in the coming months with more stories of hope and recovery in the midst of so many challenges. From our nonprofit partners and everyone at GlobalGiving, thank you for your incredible generosity. Your choice to support community-led recovery efforts in the Caribbean makes all the difference during this difficult time.

Please stay safe and well—and let’s all look out for each other and our communities.

With gratitude,

Chase + the GlobalGiving team

Photo from Taller Sallud
Photo from Taller Sallud
Photo from La Marana
Photo from La Marana
Apr 23, 2020

Adapting again to a new normal

Solar street light installation by La Marana
Solar street light installation by La Marana

Our partners are working in communities that know challenges. They have adjusted to life after hurricanes and other natural disasters and now they must adapt again to social distance for the safety of all.

Our nonprofit partners continue to work remotely on projects where they can, and they are recognizing new needs in light of COVID-19. Sofía Unanue, Executive Director of La Maraña in Puerto Rico, says that while her team is “doing our best to stay safe through a pandemic, we continue to uncover the deep-rooted interdisciplinary vulnerabilities we face as a society.”

All along, these organizations have been focused on building resiliency in their communities, which is needed now perhaps more than ever. They have made major strides to improve livelihoods, housing, and food security for impacted communities:

  • With support from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI), the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park planted 100 tree seedlings on St. John. A fruit tree project on St. Thomas concluded with more than 500 native trees distributed throughout the island. Meanwhile, another 6,000 trees are being grown in a new nursery on St. Croix.
  • Another group removed 85 cubic yards of marine and shoreline hurricane debris on St. John with funding from CFVI.
  • An urban garden workforce program launched earlier this year on St. Croix for 20 garden members with CFVI’s help.
  • St. John’s Long Term Recovery Group has completed rebuilds and repairs for 31 homes to date.

New recovery and resiliency work is being planned for postponed timelines. SEED SPOT is planning to host 10 workshops with CFVI for entrepreneurs on St. Thomas when it is safe to do so. Inevitably, home reconstruction has been paused in many places, especially as volunteer groups have been unable to travel. La Maraña will finish construction on an abandoned school in northeast Puerto Rico when social distancing is no longer required.

Sofía shares what gives her team at La Maraña inspiration right now. “We are staying motivated during this time by thinking about [our] future and the transition we hope to carry out.”

Seed collecting oroject, funded by CFV
Seed collecting oroject, funded by CFV
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