Our African Advisory Board was on the ground with many of our Spirit in Action Grant Partners this past month to check up on the progress of their projects and take notes about what's next in the year to come. Board representative Fulgence Ndagijimana, who took several visits to groups in Burundi and Rwanda, is pictured above visiting with a woman from the Tubunganire Association, which has a pig rearing project. The project is part of what they call their "solidarity chain," and is a way to pass on the blessings of one family to another. This group has had a huge impact working to empower its members, most of whom are illiterate women.
Another Board member, Dennis Kurgat, made the rounds to organizations located in the western part of Kenya. During his trip he connected with the Springs of Hope Foundation where young women attend trainings while staying at a boarding house. Here, they make bags and reusable sanitary pads that they are able to then sell for a profit. Graduates from the program go on to find jobs at tailoring businesses in the growing city of Nakuru in Kenya.
Women hard at work in the sewing training program at the Springs of Hope Foundation.
By reading the reports of these visits we are reminded of the sheer will and determination that SIA grantees possess in order to create positive and sustainable solutions to their community needs!
Dennis was also able to visit Cherangany to witness the building progress of a new Community Training Center. Construction has been slow due to impassable roads, materials are dropped off at a nearby farm and youth have been hired to carry the materials bit by bit to the building site. A true team effort that requires creative problem-solving to keep the momentum moving forward!
African Advisory Board Member Dennis Kurgat exploring the grounds of future home of the Cherangany Community Training Center in the Rift Valley on the western edge of Kenya.
Wambui Nguyo, another African Advisory Board Member, showed perseverance herself when she made the trek at 3:00 a.m. to visit with organizations TAI CBO and CIFORD in Kenya Central. These grantees found a common thread and have partnered to provide agricultural training for women living in areas affected by drought. With their strong community ties and connection to one another as a resource, they are multiplying their impact, bringing both hope and economic independence to the people they serve.
Meeting between two SIA Grant Partners: TAI CBO and CIFORD.
Below, African Advisory Board Member Naomi Ayot Oyaro, shares a video testimonial about her visit to the Great Lakes Peace Center in Uganda. Along with their typical programs aimed at advocacy and mentorship, the GLPC has been busy supporting disaster recovery efforts for folks that have been affected by recent flooding from the river Nyamwamba in the Kasese District.
We are so thankful to both the African Advisory Board and the North American Board for their service to Spirit in Action. Working together, we are able to better understand the needs of our grant partners and to make the best decisions around how to disburse funding that will have long-lasting impact for the communities we work in.
Written by Callan Brown, SIA Admin Assistant