Photo of The Garden Project Team in Madagascar
As we begin 2021, we're pleased to be able to reflect and share some of what has been achieved through our Small Acts of Kindness initiative.
Like so many around the world, the global pandemic has paused much of the work being done by non-profits but it also created an opportunity to address one of the key requests from the groups that BBS supports globally. Namely, to provide professional development for identified learning needs such as effective communication strategies with key stakeholders.
BBS along with The Credibility Institute (based in Montreal, Canada) provided two one-hour learning sessions via Zoom on "Strategic Communication Planning" and "Reconnecting with Your Key Stakeholders During (and After) the COVID Crisis". For each program, two sessions were hosted to cover the broad span of time zones where the BBS supported initiatives are located. Each session was led by Mr. Stephane Prud'homme, Founder and CEO of the Credibility Institute, and included a Q&A session.
A range of topics were addressed throughout the sessions including:
- An understanding of public relations (PR) versus marketing;
- Identifying key stakeholders, stakeholder influence and strategy mapping;
- Effective tools and measurement;
- Your reputation as an organisation and introduction to a reputation matrix;
- Authentic communication;
- Responsible communication and CSR reports.
Participants represented nearly every corner of the globe including Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Bangladesh, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, United States and Canada.
BBS is appreciative to The Credibility Institute for volunteering their time and expertise to create and deliver programming that addressed the special opportunities, and challenges, of the non-profit sector on this subject. The Small Act of Kindness Fund supported this project by covering the costs associated with delivering the programming via Zoom as well as the follow-up learning materials on PR for the participants.
Several other learning opportunities have been identified and BBS will continue to host these learning sessions starting in early 2021.
One of the other items that the Fund supported in late 2020 was the need for gardening tools for a school garden project in rural Madagascar. NY DINA College is providing an education to 150 rural village children that otherwise would not have had an opportunity to receive an education because of the village's remote location.
One of the key priorities of the school's founder is to ensure the long-term sustainability of the school. To achieve this end, NY DINA decided to create school fruit and vegetable gardens that will feed the children, provide skill development and be a new revenue stream with the surplus produce sold in the local markets.
The team in Ambohimader, Madagascar, has crafted the garden project in conjunction with local agronomists, built the needed wall around the school property, dug a trench system for watering the property and of course planted the first round of saplings. Through the Small Acts of Kindness Fund, the gardening tools and some of the fruit tree saplings were provided as seen in the pictures included with this report.
Several other projects also received support through this initiative and our current timeline is end of Q1 to be able to report back further. The noted projects are medicine for the villages in the Javari region of the Amazon and secondly is oxygen tank delivery to the special needs school at the Thai Child Development Foundation in the Paksong region of Thailand. For now, the on-going COVID crisis has limited travel to the Amazon in an effort to protect the Indigenous people throughout the region. It has been reported that the new variant has now been found in Brazil so time will tell what impact this could have on the region. The Thailand Government has decided to keep all schools, including the Thai Child Development Foundation school, closed until January 31. The Government has stated that "the closure applies to all education institutions and both informal and formal, public or private, schools". We are in close contact with our partners on the ground in both regions and will continue to share any updates as we receive them via further reports.
In closing, we wish to say we are beyond grateful for the support received in 2020. We recognise that 2021 will continue with many hurdles but we are hopeful because of strength we've received through your belief in our work.
Purchased Gardening Equipment courtesy this Fund
Mr. Prud'homme, Founder, The Credibility Institute