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Dec 11, 2019

Project of the Month Club Update: December 2019

Photo from The Ideas Partnership
Photo from The Ideas Partnership

Dear Project of the Month Club Member,

We hope you had a great month of November! We were feeling especially grateful for you as we prepare for the holidays and reflect on your impact in the world throughout 2019. 

You and 563 other club members collectively raised $23,428 for the month of November in support of Pieta House, a GlobalGiving partner based in Ireland, and its Save a Life - Counselling for People in Crisis project. Your generosity supported the expansion of its free, evidence-based, emotional and psychological support to individuals in crisis living in disadvantaged communities.

This month, your Project of the Month Club donation will support our nonprofit partner The Ideas Partnership and its project, Get a Kosovan Kid to School. The Ideas Partnership is a volunteer-run organization that tackles the inequalities and challenges in education, cultural heritage, and the environment in Kosovothe poorest country in Europe. 

The project is focused on helping children from disadvantaged communities, specifically Kosovo's Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, complete compulsory education. Only 4% of Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian adults have completed compulsory education. The Idea Partnership is taking a holistic approach to empowering its youngest citizens. It works with a team of volunteers from the community in addressing healthcare, school equipment, academic support, transport, and mediation to ensure children are equipped to enjoy a fruitful education.

Project Leader Elizabeth Gowing wanted to express her immense gratitude to you for helping her and her team empower young members of their community. Here is what she told us after we notified of her this month’s Project of the Month selection:

“It felt like Santa had just climbed down the chimney! To get your message and know all the things it makes possible was an extraordinary bonus for our work. In particular, we know that it will help us get many more kids in Kosovo to school through the ambitious new center that we are building to offer a fit-for-purpose space where learning can happen. This space will be where 60 pre-schoolers can learn in appropriate conditions, and get ready for school; it's where we'll hold our classes for children who are out of school; it's where we'll offer extra academic support to hundreds of children every month; it's where mothers will learn literacy skills so they can help their children.”

Elizabeth is excited to reach even more children and their families in the new center with the help of your monthly gift:

“Our physiotherapy classes for children with physical disabilities can take place without the challenges of children having to negotiate the steps of our current rented accommodation. The new center offers services for 300 people every week and is the base for our mediators who are the key connection between child, parent, and school and have made such a success of Getting Kosovan Kids to School. Now we believe that we can keep these services going, and do so in a space that will make them most effective..”

You can learn more about their heartwarming work and achievements from their latest project report.

Thank you very much for your support and generosity. I look forward to sharing January’s Project of the Month with you in the new year!

Warm wishes, 

Alix Guerrier

GlobalGiving CEO

Photo from Pieta House
Photo from Pieta House
Dec 5, 2019

How you're addressing inequality in recovery

Photo from Doorways of Northwest Florida
Photo from Doorways of Northwest Florida

Hurricane Michael battered the Florida panhandle as the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to ever strike the United States on Oct. 10, 2018. In Panama City alone, 85% of the existing structures were damaged. One year later, survivors continue to endure myriad challenges as they try to rebuild their lives. 

Your donation to the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund is making a difference for survivors—and fueling community-led recovery and resilience building. With your support, partners on the ground are helping children and adults heal from the psychological trauma of the storm’s aftermath, rebuilding a new Boys and Girls Club Center, and hiring a much-needed case manager navigating the tremendous unmet needs. Here is a look at how your support continues to change lives: 

  • Everyone has the right to a home: There are currently 3,000 students without homes in the slowly recovering Bay County. Our nonprofit partner,Doorways of Northwest Florida, is working to provide clients with all the resources they need to transition into permanent housing, whether it’s the cost of rent or covering the expenses to replace a missing ID card.
  • Tackling inequality in recovery:LEAD Coalition of Bay County, Inc. is bringing together community leaders from three low income communities to map out families’ unmet needs, many of whom feel they have fallen through the cracks of the disaster recovery assistance system. Through mapping projects and neighborhood forums, LEAD is engaging Hurricane Michael survivors as active participants in their recovery.
  • Animals to the rescue: Fences, houses, and barns in the path of the hurricane were ripped apart, and as a result, numerous animals were lost or abandoned. Although Heartland Rescue Ranch incurred damage from Hurricane Michael, they were rescuing and caring for animals since the early days of the storm. Now, Amy and her team are addressing the mental health needs of children and adults in the aftermath of the storm through therapeutic interactions with rescued animals. 

We are also thrilled to share that Yvonne Petrasovits, the leader of our recovery partner Doorways of Northwest Florida, has been selected as a member of GlobalGiving’s 2020-2021 Disaster Feedback Fellowship. She will join a cohort of peers working with disaster-affected communities around the world for workshops and conventions in Washington D.C. and San Juan, Puerto Rico in February 2020.

As families in the Panhandle face the long road ahead towards rebuilding their communities, we are immensely grateful for your generous support for each of these programs. Thank you for your decision to fund community-led disaster response efforts after Hurricane Michael with your cash donation—the smart way to give after a disaster. You can continue to follow the progress of our partners as they help their communities fully recover by visiting our website

With gratitude,

Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from All Hands and Hearts
Photo from All Hands and Hearts
Nov 25, 2019

Hope After Hurricane Dorian: A Conversation With Lucas Metropulos

Lucas Metropolus, Founder of Lend a Hand Bahamas
Lucas Metropolus, Founder of Lend a Hand Bahamas

We recently caught up with Lucas Metropulos, founder of Lend a Hand Bahamas and Marine Education Initiative, formerly known as Fishing for Families in Need, our partners working on relief and recovery after Hurricane Dorian.  Here’s what he shared:

Q. What do you wish more people knew about how your community was impacted by this storm?

The devastation of Hurricane Dorian quickly dominated the news cycle around the world. Bahamian nonprofits and other NGOs began receiving thousands of gifts to support relief efforts; however, the Bahamas relief effort is slowly moving to the background. There is still a need for immediate relief items, but also longer term needs that will plague the Bahamas—primarily the islands of Grand Bahama and Abacofor years to come. It is my hope that supporters from abroad will continue to contribute to relief and rebuild efforts.  

I also would like to stress and encourage everyone to still be traveling to the Bahamas. Many individuals have canceled their plans to go to Nassau and other islands thinking that all of islands of the Bahamas were impacted by this storm, while it was predominantly only two islands. One of the best ways people can support the Bahamas right now is to take a trip to Nassau, Exuma, Bimini, Eleuthera, and other unaffected beautiful islands. 

Q. What makes you most proud about how Lend a Hand Bahamas and other local organizations are responding to Hurricane Dorian?

As a Bahamian nonprofit organization committed to community development in the Bahamas, we were working here before Hurricane Dorian and will be here long after. This has been our first time on a larger scale assisting with hurricane relief, and we have been working tirelessly to ensure that our support is transparent and reaches those who need it most as quickly as possible. There are many Bahamian organizations that have come forward in the wake of this disaster whether it was their expertise or not. These organizations have risen to the occasion and worked together to increase impact in affected areas and to support evacuees. I am especially proud of our team for their thoughtful approach and willingness to adapt our efforts. I have personally witnessed the impact our efforts have had on evacuees families in Nassau and in Grand Bahama and Abaco. 

Q. What are the greatest unmet, longer-term needs in your community?

We’ve received large deliveries of food and immediate relief supplies, but there is still a need for these items as the rebuilding and recovery process will long-term. Debris removal and building materials are of high necessity right now as well. In addition, there continues to be a strong need for mental health professionals, and opportunities for victims to receive counseling due to this immense trauma. Our organization, Lend a Hand Bahamas, is also taking a deeper focus on the need to enhance and sustain educational opportunities for children displaced as a result of the hurricane. We are encouraging donors to support our educational after-school programs for evacuee children launching soon in Nassau and larger educational initiatives to help support the influx of evacuee children in Nassau. 

Q. The storm put many folks in incredibly tough situations. What keeps you hopeful?

This is not the first devastating hurricane to make landfall in the Bahamas, but it has certainly been the strongest. The destruction is truly immense in Grand Bahama and Abaco. Thousands have been displaced, careers extinguished, lives lost, and the environment damaged. We have seen instance after instance of Bahamians coming together to offer relief and support. Bahamians are a resilient people who value community, and when one or two of their family islands are impacted, the whole of the islands come together to support each other. I have personally witnessed this over the past 12+ years of being involved in the Bahamas. Many of the families we have supported have a very positive attitude and are returning home to rebuild and work together to improve their situations. They are extremely thankful to others for support and are committed to not letting the devastation of Hurricane Dorian change their positive attitudes and desire to push on. 

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