It Takes a Village: Cecelia Rich

by | Oct 15, 2021 | Heartivist Of The Week

A long career in social work gave Cecelia Rich a firsthand perspective on the many issues her community was facing: homelessness, food insecurity, opioid addiction, and disconnection, just to name a few. Realizing that nourishing food is a need that connects us all, she founded “The Village Tree” in 2016 as an urban gardening initiative to nurture the body, mind and spirit. 

Her first seed funding came from The Pollination Project. In her application, she wrote “This is literally a grassroots project. We need materials to clear the grass and seeds to take root.”

After receiving this seed grant her work blossomed, and she transformed a two acre vacant lot into a flourishing urban garden space. What started as one woman’s dream now has the support of over 100 community members and a plethora of organizational partners. They host community gatherings, serve as a resource hub for individuals in need, and donate impressive yields of nutritious vegetables to local food banks. Cecelia has created more than just a garden; her work pioneers new ways of thinking about community resiliency, belonging, and sustainability. 

“I wouldn’t have been able to get this far if it wasn’t for The Pollination Project who saw my vision and gave The Village Tree its first seed money. It could not be we if not for you,” she shared. 

“I’m not a United Way, I’m not a big name, I’m just a tree,” Cecilia said in a recent interview. “And the beauty about a tree is that it has so many branches. And each branch has its purpose and serves its purpose each time. We need to know that we are branches. Each one of us has a gift. Find your gift. Find your niche and grow from it. And that’s what we try to do.”


It's Volunteer Month! 🌟 🌟 🌟 Today we celebrate our grant advisors working on Economic Development focus area.

By meticulously selecting projects for our seed grants, they're not just funding ideas—they're empowering communities and sparking transformative change. 

Join us in celebrating their invaluable efforts and the positive impact they're creating together!

🔸 Eric Anorrey (Ghana)
🔸 Mariam Nakiryowa (Uganda)
🔸 Jean-Marie Zihalirwa (DRC)
🔸 Emily Logiron Asekon (Kenya)
🔸 Georgia Bernbaum (USA) 
🔸 Herve Tsoala Kuete (Cameroon)
🔸 Jackson Bizimungu (Rwanda)
🔸 Okumu Dickson (Uganda)
🔸 Samuel Litunya (Kenya)


#volunteermonth #volunteer #heartivism #economicdevelopment #change #empoweringcommunities
The Green Earth Initiative (#Cameroon) is a project dedicated to educating and empowering students about climate change, sustainable development, and environmental challenges, that has received a seed grant from The Pollination Project in 2023. With a focus on fostering environmental protection and conservation, the initiative establishes Eco-clubs and Environment Clubs in schools, providing students with the tools to learn, engage, and take action in their communities.

Since receiving the grant from TPP, the Green Earth Initiative has expanded its reach, now encompassing 9 additional schools across two regions/cities, surpassing its initial goal of 5. 
This expansion was made possible by the overwhelming interest from school authorities and the growing number of volunteers and team members.

Through the support of TPP and other partners, the project's environmental education programs, awareness campaigns, and initiatives have impacted over 8000 students in two cities of Cameroon. Additionally, the initiative has planted over 600 trees, launched 5 Environment/Eco Clubs, and distributed over 150 adapted waste bins produced from recycled plastics, contributing to proper waste management practices.

The seed grant from The Pollination Project has been instrumental in catalyzing the growth and success of the Green Earth Initiative, enabling it to make a tangible difference in the lives of students and communities, while fostering a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability. 

#environmentprotection #seedgrant #heartivism #environmentaleducation
It's Volunteer's Month!!! 🌟 Celebrating our family of Grant Advisors 🌟

With 80 grant advisors, all experts in their respective fields and many of them former grantees, The Pollination Project is powered by a wealth of knowledge and experience. Their service is not only precious but also essential, as they bring unique insights and understanding to the application process, ensuring that resources are allocated where they can have the greatest impact. 

🎉 Today we celebrate our incredible grant advisors in the HEALTH & WHOLENESS focus area! 

🔸 Ben Kilama (Uganda) 
🔸 Kosa Jimmy (Uganda) 
🔸 Marina Haque (USA) 
🔸 John Ebong (Nigeria) 
🔸 Nzayisenga Emmanuel (Canada)
🔸 Rodger Mwanza (Zambia) 
🔸 Emmanuel Dushimimana (Rwanda) 
🔸 Nelly Hellen Onditi (Kenya) 
🔸 Daniel Ayodele Femi (Nigeria) 
🔸 Christopher Nwafor (South Africa)

Our heartfelt gratitude to these dedicated individuals for their invaluable contributions 🙏

@jim.kosa.5 @manud05 @duemmanuel @nelly.hellen1 @daniel_ayodele_femi 

#health #wholeness #grantmaking #grantadvisor #volunteermonth #volunteers #grants #heartivism #volunteersweek #nigeria #southafrica #uganda #rwanda #zambia #canada