Mar 28, 2019

Mexico before and after the earthquakes

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico in 2017 that killed more than 155 people in Mexico City, also affecting Puebla, Oaxaca, Morelos, the earthquake toppled dozens of buildings. In addition, hundreds of structures sustained significant damage and now pose a risk to rescue workers and residents. 

ICF has been working consistently with local organizations to provide disaster relief to communities affected by the two earthquakes that greatly damaged central Mexico last year. Currently we are seeking to improve the longer term resilience of communities to rebuild themselves, including  capitalizing on the opportunities to improve community enterprises.

Now, ICF is following up with our grantees to assess their needs and project reporting. In October 2018, we decided to collaborate closer with Mexican Community Foundations like: Fundación Comunitaria Oaxaca, Fundación Comunitaria Malinalco, Fundación Comunidar (Morelos), to integrate solid rescue/rebuilding programs to the communities affected by the earthquakes. Each one of them lauched a Request for Proposals in their communities to fulfill their needs.

ICF was proud to partner with Documental Ambulante, A.C./Levantemos Mexico to invest in comprehensive capacity-building projects and leaders (“fortalecedoras sociales”) involving leaders, community foundations, and nonprofits in the earthquake- affected areas. These initiatives are 2-3 year long strategies to change government policies, train communities in disaster preparedness, and promote community leadership that will mitigate damages when the next disaster strikes.

The victims are out of the headlines, but many people are still not out of the woods. Communities affected by the 2017 earthquakes still need our support in long-term recovery and resilience.

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Mar 18, 2019

ICF Update on Migrants in Tijuana

Founded in 1990, the International Community Foundation (ICF) is a nonprofit organization based in California, with the mission of facilitating and encouraging charitable giving from U.S. donors to international nonprofit organizations in Latin America, primarily Mexico and the San Diego-Tijuana border region. Through grants and strategic initiatives, ICF seeks to strengthen civil society and promote sustainable communities in the regions where we work.

As the go-to international grantmaker in the San Diego-Tijuana border region, ICF is uniquely positioned to understand and research regional issues, identify strategic partners, and quickly respond to situations as they arise. The ICF Border Fund is dedicated to strengthening key organizations that work to create healthy, vibrant, inclusive communities in the California-Baja California region.

Since April 2018 the ICF Border Fund has supported grassroots organizations responding to the basic needs of vulnerable migrants and deportees in Tijuana, providing shelter, food, medicine, psychological support and legal services. These organizations consist primarily of local shelters, as well as organizations providing legal and health services, including, but not exclusively, Casa del Migrante Tijuana, Instituto Madre Asunta, Espacio Migrante, Deported Veterans Support House, Dreamers Moms/USA-Tijuana, and Friends of Friendship Park. All of these organizations have ongoing immediate needs and continue to be valued partners of ICF.

Recognizing that the most critical action a funder can take is to provideimmediate general operating funding that allows organizations the flexibility to adapt as the situation evolves, in 2019, the Border Fund will support local organizations or collaborations that have the objective of developing the long-term resilience of Tijuana to receive an ever-growing migrant population, through one or more of the following strategies.  The following priorities were decided based on extensive conversations and field research conducted in 2018 amongst local organizations and migrant populations. These strategies may shift in response to changing policies and conditions on-the-ground.

In 2019, ICF’s Border Fund will benefit organizations whose mission or programs align with the following medium and long-term needs;

1. EDUCATION FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN & ADULTS 

Interventions to be supported by the Border Fund include:

  • Adult and Youth Job Training and Workforce Development programs;
  • Adult and Youth English language training, particularly for migrants seeking asylum in the United States;
  • Formalized Education Programs for migrant Children & Youth.

 

2. ACCESS TO BASIC AND MENTAL HEALTH 

Interventions to be supported by the Border Fund include:

  • Mental health/psychological services for migrant adults, children, and first responders working directly with these populations (lawyers, staff at shelters, etc);
  • Mobile Health Clinics and Medical Supplies for the network of shelters.

 

3. DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS: LEGAL SERVICES & ADVOCACY

Interventions to be supported by the Border Fund include:

  • Legal case work and Know Your Rights workshops;
  • Advocacy and Collaboration with government agencies;
  • Training Staff at shelters and other institutions about immigration/asylum laws.

 

4. STRENGTHENING CIVIL SOCIETY: CAPACITY & INFRASTRUCTURE

Interventions to be supported by the Border Fund include:

  • Institutional Capacity Building:
  • Hiring a Local Coordinator for civil society;
  • Developing Institutional Policies (i.e. volunteer liability waivers, child-safeguarding policies, etc.);
  • Ongoing Training for staff;
  • Quarterly Convenings between local organizations to share experiences and challenges; discuss and present policy recommendations to government, etc.;
  • Fundraising and Communications support to diversify funding for long-term sustainability (i.e., FIN system, BBCA mapping survey).
  • Permanent Physical Infrastructure
  • Establishing new Shelters or Resource Centers;
  • Upgrades at existing Shelters & Resource Centers.

 

5. CULTURAL INCLUSION & EQUITY 

Interventions to be supported by the Border Fund include:

  • Research or initiatives with the objective of shifting the public discourse about migrants or any particular demographic, in both Mexico and the United States.
  • Communications and advocacy support to educate the public and policy makers on the intersectional causes and impacts of migration policy, discourse, etc.
  • Promote urban cultural life and acknowledge cultural diversity as a source of innovation, creativity and economic vitality.

 

BEYOND THE BORDER: CENTRAL AMERICA

As the flows of people continue, it is clear that efforts should also be made to understand and support strategies aiming to reduce the displacement and forced migration of Central Americans to the United States, which has led to many of the current challenges that we are facing in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. ICF has existing grants and programmatic partners in Central America, and we are well-positioned to advise and facilitate grants to local organizations in the region. As of early 2019, ICF is investing limited staff time for research about the bilateral development community’s regional strategies and local grassroots organizations who are working to reduce high levels of forced migration to the United States/border. 

Our goal is to help our individual donors and the broader public better understand and respond to the needs of communities in Central America, in order to help reduce rates of forced migration, which will benefit both the people of Central America and the San Diego-Tijuana border community. 

 

[1] https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/migration/pages/migrationandhumanrightsindex.aspx.

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Jan 11, 2019

Building Continued Resilience in Barbuda

It has been almost a year and a half since Hurricane Irma struck the island of Barbuda, damaging 96% of houses and displacing 1,625 people. 155 businesses were forced to shut down, 463 children were left without a school, and 405 fishing traps were lost in the fishing-reliant community.

The Barbuda Resilience Fund at the International Community Foundation (ICF) continues to support sustainable development projects on the island with the goal of creating a strong and resilient Barbuda. 

Since the Fund’s inception, the Waitt Foundation, the Waitt Institute and ICF have prioritized sustainable and culturally responsive approaches to redevelopment.

In order to do so, we have:

  • Formed an advisory board of locals to inform and approve programs
  • Maintained strong relations with the government of Antigua & Barbuda and Barbuda Council members
  • Held 3 community meetings to solicit feedback
  • Completed two surveys of 202 Barbudans
  • Hired 2 disaster relief experts to guide strategy
  • Had at least two staff members on the ground at all times

In partnership with over 50 local and international partners, we have employed over 45 locals and created 11 programs to assist in resiliency efforts. We have focused on the themes of island cleanup, home reconnection and repair, transportation, education, restoring fishing livelihoods, and hurricane shutter installation.

ICF is in the midst of another grant cycle to deploy thousands of dollars to resiliency projects in Barbuda. To date, donors through GlobalGiving have donated over $10,000 to the cause. We need your support to help launch more projects and programs.

The people of Barbuda are strong and resilient, and we are excited to continue working alongside them to re-build their communities. Please consider donating to the Barbuda Resilience Fund to support the future of the island.

 
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