Grantees Around the World Prove that Hope and Support are Infinite

by | Jan 16, 2019 | Seeds: Our Blog

We believe in people so we invest in people, and the latest batch of grant-recipients are proof that by supporting one another, starting with our very own communities, we can indeed change the world. We are so honored to be a small part of these advocates’ stories.

Fostering peace—not violence—in rural Peru

In a rural village in Peru, Rosa Sanchez is spearheading the program Niños Felices, a social-emotional initiative that fosters positive behavior, respectful relationships, self-care, self-awareness, and self-esteem in children. “Since I have had memories, I have had the model of my father,” she says. “He was a doctor, giving free medical consultations in a very poor community called El Porvenir. I have seen for myself the sharp contrast between a developed and a developing country.” Rosa’s degree in nursing has allowed her the tools to work within the communities she seeks to change. That is why she initially started the umbrella organization for her project, CESAPU Centro de Salud Publica, a pioneering public health community center with the mission of improving personal and communal health—both physically and mentally—for underserved communities in Peru. “We are teaching them to eat healthier and improve their education and their housing conditions,” she says. Niños Felices—or “happy kids”—will prevent emotional and behavioral problems before they take hold. By providing specific tools for self-esteem and encouraging respectful relationships, children and those around them will collectively create a safe emotional environment to foster peace instead of violence.

Providing education to girls (by way of sanitary napkins) in Kenya

When she was in primary school, Qabale Duba missed many days due to a lack of access to sanitary napkins. “Being from a remote village school, I faced lots of challenges to complete even my primary education,” says Qabale. “I used to miss classes at least a week in every month. It was not only me, but all the girls in my school had the same issues.” This story is common in Northern Kenya, which is why Qabala founded the Pads and Panties (PAPA) Project, with the mission of keeping girls in school by providing these products. “Some ended up dropping out of schools due to frustrations,” she continues. “Girls used pieces of mattresses, blankets, or even papers—which is very unhygienic.” Since its inception in 2014, the PAPA Project has kept more than 3200 girls in different village schools. “I decided to break the silence on menstruation.” TPP has provided a grant which will allow this project to purchase more sewing machines, the materials needed to make the pads and panties, and further engage more tailors to make the products in bulk. “This grant can make my dream of PAPA come true,” beams Qabale.

“Emanating a Sense of Joy” for Black men by shifting the emotional ecology

“My work addresses the ineffable, but powerfully felt, politics of inhumane representation that dangerously affects targets of dehumanization. My work portrays the inalienable humanity of Black men and boys.” These are the words of Peter J. Harris, the author and creator of See You: Faces of the Black Man of Happiness. This multi-faceted project features legacy photos—historical images of Black men and boys emanating a sense of joy—and provides an unprecedented, life-affirming oasis that traces the DNA of joy for Black men and boys during a social climate that too often places those men and boys in the cross-hairs of danger and death. “Frankly, humane representation will not stop such killings,” continues Peter, “but will contribute to a re-charged emotional ecology and social atmosphere that are infused with beautiful art reflecting ongoing, dignified and intimate resistance of Black males to their dehumanization.”

Empowering those living without a home to create their own documentaries

The Missing City Stars is a nonprofit film association based in Barcelona which aims to give minority groups a voice by helping them make their own documentaries. This organization is currently working with a group of people with no homes to create their own documentary on a subject of their choosing. The homeless are a collective who have very few, if any, social avenues to share their stories and feelings. “It is common in this world that the more privileged members of society have the most access to creative education, and have more of an opportunity to have their voice heard,” explains Kerry Jessop.The aim of this project is to change that. We offer the less-advantaged groups in our city a chance to tell their story and learn about documentary filmmaking.”

Safeguard displaced young women in Camaroon by offering maternal kits

Emergency Maternal Care Kits support displaced pregnant women in the crisis region in Cameroon. An initiative of Nyandoh Paho TADFOR, this project focuses on safeguarding women’s health by preventing excessive maternal and neonatal mortality, as well as responding to gender-based violence among the most vulnerable and marginalized populations affected by the ongoing unrest in Cameroon. “In times of upheaval, pregnancy-related deaths and gender-based violence increase,” explains Nyandoh Paho Tadfor. In fact, many women lose access to essential reproductive health services and give birth in poor conditions, even without access to safe delivery services and lifesaving care. “This grant will help them provide IDPW with clean and safe dignity, and emergency maternal care kits, to fill in this gap, and to ensure safe delivery,” says Nyandoh.

Foster innovative leadership skills in students in Africa and Ghana

“As someone who rose out of a poor home where I had to work in the quarry with my mother to raise money for my school fees, and rising through difficulty without any career guidance, it is only by determination and hard work that I have reached a place where I am a medical laboratory professional and upcoming mentor,” explains Dr. George Kwaku Darko. “I believe that with proper guidance, students with challenges like mine will benefit from this project to help choose right career path.” The Young African Mentorship Project—co-founded by George, along with Esther Bonuedi—guides participants to develop the skills required to become the leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs that Ghana and the African continent need. “I am passionate about innovative thinking and leadership,” continues George. The project is designed to support the continuing learning and development of participants in innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship, public speaking, and social media usage.

Create mini-forests in India in order to reduce trash fields

“This project is needed because trash is ubiquitous in this part of India, and a respect and reclamation of nature is necessary for the environment, public consciousness, and the animals the new preserves serve,” says Samarrth Khanna. When he was just 16, Samarrth founded the Society Empowered for the Welfare of Animals and Mankind. Now, with Mini Forest Brigade—a program arm of his organization—more than 20 students have removed trash from areas Fariabad, India. After removing thousands of pounds of plastic, Samarrth and his colleagues then planted trees and plants, and created mini-forests. SEWAM Mini Forest Brigade proves that anyone can get involved in improving cities by reducing trash fields and planting trees. With funds from TPP, Samarrth’s efforts, and this project, can go even further. Samarrth wants to give people tours of the mini-forest “so that students can learn about urban biodiversity and wildlife, as we only conserve what we love, and we only love what we know, and we only know what we are taught.”

Written by Milena Fraccari