MISSION Mona Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting grassroots educational initiatives and raising the status of women and girls worldwide. GUIDING PRINCIPLES Universal Education: The peace and prosperity of nations is dependent on universal education. The education of girls is particularly important, because it is through educated mothers that the benefits of knowledge can be most effectively diffused through the families and communities. Equality of Men and Women The emancipation of women and the achievement of full equality between the sexes are essential to human progress and the transformation of society so that all people can reach their full po... read more MISSION Mona Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting grassroots educational initiatives and raising the status of women and girls worldwide. GUIDING PRINCIPLES Universal Education: The peace and prosperity of nations is dependent on universal education. The education of girls is particularly important, because it is through educated mothers that the benefits of knowledge can be most effectively diffused through the families and communities. Equality of Men and Women The emancipation of women and the achievement of full equality between the sexes are essential to human progress and the transformation of society so that all people can reach their full potential. Community Building The process of community building affirms that all people, regardless of economic status, have the innate capacity to develop themselves and be the protagonists of their own future. It furthers empowerment, not dependency. It promotes tolerance and understanding. It helps people develop skills to resolve differences and develop peaceful, collaborative relationships. It encourages the recognition of positive values in one's own culture and respect for the culture of others. WHAT DO WE BELIEVE? Mona Foundation Believes in the innate capability of everyone to lead themselves and their communities in building capacity at the local level to help people help themselves in building long-term partnerships and in giving 100% of all contributions that are designated directly to the project(s) you choose to support Founded in 1999 by a small group of people committed to service, the Mona Foundation is a Seattle based nonprofit development agency that supports communities in becoming agents of change in their own social and economic development. We do this by establishing long-term partnerships with locally based educational initiatives in the USA and around the world. Our main objectives are to provide quality education to all children, with a focus on raising the status of girls and women. The fundamental belief of the Mona Foundation is that everyone, irrespective of race, religion, social classes, or economic systems deserves an education. Furthermore we believe that education is one of the main means of alleviating poverty and raising the status of women. The Foundation seeks out projects that have started at the grassroots; have a track record of success, and are managed locally. Mona then partners with these projects to help provide financial assistance, logistical and material resources, technical trainings, strategic consulting, and administrative support to help grow the capacity and capability of the organization. The foundation has supported over 25 projects in more than 15 different countries since 1999. In 2011 we will be reaching 40,000 children, women, and their families around the world. HOW DOES MONA WORK? The Mona Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that promotes the education of women and children by empowering grassroots educational initiatives. We find locally operated programs that educate people of all backgrounds and raise the status of women. Mona then partners with them to offer assistance in fulfilling the community's goals. We then open our partnership up to Mona's community of donors to connect with the projects and join in the partnership. We do this while insuring that 100% of your donations go directly to the projects OUR APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT Five fundamental principles guide our work in the field of development Organic Growth In general, sustainable social and economic development activities begin at the grassroots by the members of the local community and in response to specific community needs. Over time, the community builds its capacity through a process of consultation, action and reflection as it learns how to implement increasingly more complex projects. A small school, for example, can in time grow and develop to a full K-12 school and become a center for activities such as health education, family counseling and reforestation, as in ADCAM, Brazil. Capacity Building Capacity building is directly related to learning how to take initiative in a disciplined way, how to use consultation as a medium of decision making, replacing the adversarial relationship with the relationship based on collaboration and service to others, and how to develop the skills and commitment necessary to generate and apply learnings to build more capacity for more complex actions. Development is a process in which individuals and communities in all parts of the world, regardless of the degree of their material prosperity, become the principal actors in defining, analyzing and solving their own problems. Success of a development initiative is ultimately measured by its impact on the capacity of a community to address development issues at increasingly higher levels of complexity and effectiveness. Learning We have never had or experienced a prosperous, peaceful world for all. And we need to learn how to learn from our own involvement at the grassroots to build this world. As with any new skill, engaging in learning through a systematic and ongoing process of consultation, action and reflection designed to bring about consistent patterns of change, is essential to building the capacity and skills we need to build this world together. Development of Human Resources Development ideas and projects cannot be imposed on communities from above. Institutions should respond to the aspirations and initiatives of communities at the local level. However, the application of these principles does not preclude the possibility of utilizing proven and well-conceived approaches to training developed at the national or international levels. Thus, project sites may be seen as locations where training is provided for an increasing number of individuals from all parts of the world and from all sectors of society. Contributing to the Advancement of Society Collaboration with organizations and leaders of thought concerned with social, moral and economic advancement is an important component of Mona Foundation's development endeavors. Integration The world's experience has shown that fragmented activities in different fields do not bring about development. The integration of efforts across various fields, such as health, education, agriculture, and environmental preservation, is essential for real progress in a region. Such integration can be achieved when simple grassroots initiatives evolve to more stable and complex stages of operation. The concept of integration also pertains to the integration of material progress and spiritual development. Summary Mona Foundation believes that social and economic development activities are therefore an expression of faith in action underpinned by the belief that every culture and segment of humanity represents a distinct heritage that must be encouraged to flourish and contribute to an emerging global civilization. OUR LEARNINGS TO-DATE While we have a long road ahead of us, we've gained a few insights in the past 10 years: That it is essential to build capacity and develop human resources at the grassroots level. That community knows best what they need. That the development experience is different from country to country and locale to locale. We've learned that the model that works in Panama, for example, will not work in Tanzania. That the process of consultation, action and reflection is essential to building capacity at the grassroots. This process enables individuals and community to chart the course of their own future and become the agents of change in the social and economic development of their own communities. That there are many "potholes" in the world of development. We've largely learned how to avoid them through consultation, deep connection with the community, and communication with our network. For example, by maintaining vigilance we were able to detect unethical practices in one of the projects we supported. We pulled out one year before other organizations and avoided waste of financial and human resources. That we need to embed ourselves in a culture of learning. Reflecting and applying what we learn in the field is essential to our success and growth. That we need to continuously mature how to consult effectively, how to operate efficiently, how to develop our institutional capacity systematically, and how to work successfully with a variety of projects and institutions. WHAT DIFFERENTIATES MONA FOUNDATION Three factors differentiate the Mona Foundation: We believe in the innate capacity and the inherent right of each individual, regardless of economic status, to be the protagonist of their own development. We therefore develop deep and long-term partnerships with the projects we support to learn how best to empower communities to implement their own development activities We give 100% of all designated funds and 97% of contributions to General Fund directly to the projects we support. o We are able to do this because our administrative costs are covered by a private fund provided us outside the contributions we receive. WHAT SUCCESSFUL LOOKS LIKE In principle, however, we measure our effectiveness by the following indicators: Our actions positively impact the capacity building at the grassroots such that the communities manage and implement their own development activities. . The projects we adopt address development activities at increasingly higher levels of complexity and effectiveness year-over-year. Mona Foundation has the internal institutional capacity to systematically support an increasing number of more complex projects more effectively year-over-year.
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