Celebrating Change

by | Aug 21, 2019 | Seeds: Our Blog

Breakthroughs and transformation can occur independently, but with a united community these transformations are firmly rooted for infinite progression. People need help and guidance throughout the world, and TPP grantees not only provide assistance, but also celebrate these communities through encouragement, empowerment and empathy.

Helping others tap into their potential is a heartfelt skill that all TPP grantees possess. This is the super power that creates a continuous cycle of stability, economic advancement and safety. No matter who you are or where you are from we hope these changemakers ignite the potential you are trying to access.


Luthiers Sans Frontieres UK – Lutherie In Haiti

Lutherie in Haiti is a project started by Robert Cain from the charity Luthiers Sans Frontieres (LSF) UK. Led by two volunteers, Svavar Garri Kristjánsson and Julie Folio, they teach dozens of people in Haiti how to maintain, repair, and set up instruments from the violin family.  Thanks to local music schools and generous instrument donors, classical music is growing in the country of Haiti.

However, as soon as an instrument has a problem, such as the need for repair, the music stops. The local schools cannot afford to throw away any instruments as they are expensive, hence why this project teaches people how to make the repairs themselves. Furthermore, it creates employment opportunities for the people who are taught, all of whom will be eligible to work in one of the music schools. In order for LSF UK to do the work, they need the equipment from a regular workshop, and they need it for each of the students, which can get relatively expensive. A grant from The Pollination Project will help in buying the high-quality tools needed.

NASLA – Youth Employability And Food Security Initiative (YEFSI)

The Youth Employability and Food Security Initiative (YEFSI) is a rural agricultural project created by Tendong Denis N and Fonjah Hanson M, two young social entrepreneurs. Together they identified the increasing need for rural youths to be self-sufficient and sustainable in order to meet their basic human needs. Created under the platform of the Network of Agric and Sustainable Leaders for Africa (NASLA), the YEFSI project seeks to empower and support young people in organic plantain cultivation and seed multiplication while providing agribusiness development opportunities for rural youths as a means to curb unemployment, rural poverty, food insecurity, and environmental degradation.

Founded in 2016, NASLA is a youth-led and community-based non-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve the living standard of young people by empowering and supporting them in sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship development to build sustainable communities for a brighter future.

Saphichay – Kallpay Warmi

Saphichay is an indigenous rights and cultural survival organization located in the central Andes of Peru. Kallpay Warmi is the annual indigenous festival, which is very unique in that it focuses on honoring and celebrating indigenous women and their indigenous identity. These themes are celebrated and honored in many different ways, including traditional ceremonies and rituals in order to conserve and revitalize these practices. Three to four days of mural painting also takes place; last year the group painted the largest mural in Huancayo and this year they will be the first to have an all-women’s artist mural team. The mural reflects the communities the organization highlights, with the impact running deep and wide. Having images which reflect indigenous communities is imperative to building healthy self-esteem and creating a culture of celebration of diversity.

Overall these types of creative cultural events and activities are engaging during and after the event making it long lasting in its impact. The festival was birthed out of a deep need to celebrate and honor indigenous identity, knowledge, and practices. The grant will go directly to supporting the mural making part of the event.

Plenty!, Harper Lovegrove, Jordan Mills – Market Kids

Market Kids is a summer program for children that teaches gardening, nutrition, and entrepreneurship. Kids plant seeds, tend to them throughout the program, and then harvest and sell their produce at a local farmer’s market at the end of the summer. During the weekly lessons, children also learn about healthy eating, the local food system, and how to market a business using logos and slogans. Plenty!, a non-profit located in Floyd, Virginia, will host Market Kids for the first time in Summer 2019, replicating the success of Market Kids at the Farmacy Garden in Christiansburg, Virginia. Grant funds from The Pollination Project will help pay for kid-sized gardening equipment, healthy snack items, market sales day supplies, and more.

Disability Support International (DSI) – Cambodia Disability Training

Throughout Cambodia and many developing countries, people with disabilities often lack access to services, opportunities, and inclusion. Thus, the question must be asked: how can equal human rights be promoted and achieved if disabilities are not understood? U.S.-trained disability professionals Mick and Jennie Wendland, along with Elizabeth Schrader, started Disability Support International (DSI) to strive to address these current realities, celebrating the potential people with disabilities can contribute to their societies if provided the opportunities.
This DSI project aims to build and conduct disability trainings to address this, not for, but alongside of Cambodian partners including people with disabilities who want the same, equipping and empowering them to continue promoting inclusive development and building sustainable services to improve the lives of those with disabilities within their local communities.

margin_bottom=”0px” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=””]

Priyanka Singh – Self Empowerment Travel Program – BAYA (Be As You Are)

Priyanka Singh is the founder of BAYA (Be As You Are), an organization working to initiate self-empowerment in young Indian women so that they challenge their personal fears and societal norms in order to realize their own self, dreams, and aspirations. Baya is also a bird that symbolizes freedom and independence. Freedom, as Priyanka believes, is all about being who you are as a person. Through BAYA’s self-empowerment travel programs, women are taken out of their comfort zones and exposed to different geographies where they connect with themselves and other women. They are provided with the necessary leadership skills and life skills to boost their confidence levels.

They are educated about their bodies, sexualities, physical-emotional health, and their legal rights as women. Priyanka believes that by giving these young women the skills that they need to understand themselves and the world; they will be empowered to create change for the future. The programs provide safe spaces and support networks for these women where they can share their life experiences, express their dreams, and visualize their aspirations.


Anna Beserra, Letícia, Marcela E Lucas – Aqualuz

Aqualuz is a Brazilian device that helps to solve the problem of microbiological contamination of water from arid regions, which cause diseases such as diarrhea in children. Aqualuz acts as a water purification from the familiar Brazilian cistern, however with potential for future application to other countries with a hot climate. It works by using sunlight to disinfect the rainwater and make it fit for consumption. It is a technology with many advantages, especially when compared to competitors, such as clay filter, chlorination, and water boiling, the main being, the durability and ease of maintenance. The Aqualuz was developed by young university graduates from the region.


Dusabimana Christine – Carpet Making Skill-Based Training For Kinyinya Women

Carpet Making Skill Based Training for Kinyinya Women is a project involving the gathering of women and young girls and training them on carpet making and personal finances for self-reliance. Due to the high levels of prostitution in the region, women and young girls need to be engaged in productive work leading to empowerment. Dusabimana Christine is a leader in her church’s relief society and thus was moved to help her fellow women to be independent and come closer to God. The funds will help her acquire project materials, and costs associated with travel, printing, and promotional needs.

Anne Udoh – Better Future Initiative/We-Mentor Project

In Nigeria, sexual abuse and rape victims are ridiculed, along with their families stigmatized, and the assailant often getting away free of all actions. Needless to say, case management of sexual abuse in the country is poor. It is therefore critical to prevent sexual abuse from occurring in the first place. We-Mentor is a project of Better Future Initiative (BFI), a Nigerian NGO based in Akwa Ibom State and led by Ms. Anne Udoh. We-Mentor is innovative in selecting teenagers, their parents (through the school PTAs), and teachers, as targets of our sexual abuse awareness campaign in schools. With a grant from TPP, the project will reach many more teenagers and schools that ordinarily it may not have been able to connect with.

With this grant, We-Mentor and Ms. Udoh are closer to their goal of helping teenagers to have the level of information, support, and positive self-awareness that reduces their likelihood of being sexually abused or sexually abusing others.

From Ms. Udoh: “As an organization, it is very important for us to support victims to report cases when they occur and that we work with other organizations and agencies within the state to ensure necessary action is taken when reported. We-Mentor depends on a team of dedicated volunteers whose personal experiences inspire our collective commitment towards preventing sexual abuse, especially of teenagers.”


Julia Barry – Habitat: Home

Born in urgent response to increasing hate and fear in America, Habitat: Home is a community organizing project that inspires empathy across the United States. This is achieved through co-creating artwork and free, public performances, local artists and residents constructively respond to the civic and environmental crises fracturing our home(s). Two New York City kickoff events will take place on October 19th and October 20th, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan and First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn respectively. These programs will feature music, poetry, theater, video/light-sculpture, and dance in diverse styles unique to local artists, performers, and audiences across boroughs. This multi-disciplinary, intersectional approach will create a vibrant and varied program that highlights underrepresented voices and builds community through shared expression.

Habitat: Home is the brainchild of composer Julia Barry, co-organized by Dusty Francis, Dionne McClain-Freeney, and Rev. Adriene Thorne, and presented by Julia Barry Productions with collaborative materials by Nautilus Music-Theater.This work is funded, in part, by The Puffin Foundation West Grant, the New York Women Composers Seed Money Grant, The Pollination Project, and the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Mr. Sigen, Ms. Joyce, And Ms. Hanifa – Watermelon And Tomato Farm

Together, Mr. Sigen, Ms. Joyce, and Ms. Hanifa have set up the Watermelon and Tomato Farm project located in Morogoro municipal, Tanzania. The project is comprised of a group of community members, both men and women whereby after planting and harvesting the fruits, approximately $2,000 USD will be generated, which will establish a loans program for the group to borrow from with nominal interest rates for long-term sustainability.

COSEC Cameroon – The Widows Mushroom (TWM)

Community Sustainable Entrepreneurship Centre – COSEC – is an initiative that seeks to engage women, youth, and widows in income generating activities that would enable them to become self-sufficient, both economically and socially. Edward Mburli and his team train participants in activities such as mushroom cultivation, cultivation of fruits, and business management.

The Widows Mushroom project is part of this broader initiative, which intends to organize a 5-days training and 1-week practical demonstration on organic mushroom cultivation. Three training modules include entrepreneurial skills development, sustainable cultivation, and basic bookkeeping. The materials used will be low-cost waste material from timber, corn, bamboos, planks, and slaked lime. Quality seeds would be generated from the community sustainable mushroom farms.

During the project, some 200 kilograms of mushrooms will be harvested and sold to generate an approximate $700 USD within a period of 4-months, which will be invested in the creation of three group farms for the beneficiaries.

Kaitlyn Uthe And Michelle Anderson – Prairie Ridge Elementary Learning Garden

The Prairie Ridge Elementary Learning Garden is a space where students come to learn and be inspired. The Learning Garden will be a pollinator habitat where children can observe and explore scientific phenomena first hand. As a pollinator habitat, the Learning Garden will also support national pollinator conservation efforts. The Learning Garden will be planted with species that are native to the Iowa prairie, which restore the ecosystems and preserve species that might otherwise be lost forever.

Uthe and Anderson quote Baba Dioum: “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.”


WordToRI is an experimental digital humanities incubator founded by independent researcher, J. Khadijah Abdurahman and Cornell Tech Professor, Tap Parikh. WordToRI seeks to catalyze conversations around critical topics like racial justice, reimagining end of life and disability through the collection of oral histories and opportunities to respond to political events and themes from the first person. All of the programming from oral history collection to public facing events seeks to break down silos between segregated socioeconomic and racial groups, community, and academia. They achieve this by explicitly including performance alongside academic expertise, actively seeking participation from people of color + people with disabilities on stage and in the audience. Inclusion is WordToRI’s ethos.

Written by Milena Fraccari