East Africa Grant Partners
SaCoDe – Burundi
This is Pangea’s 3rd year of partnership with SaCoDe. In 2015, Pangea funded the inauguration of a new project for SaCoDe, one that would both give women employment and impact the issue of girls dropping out of school with the onset of their menstrual cycle. Pangea funded the purchase of sewing machines and hiring of local women to sew reusable sanitary pads for women and girls. The pads were distributed to girls and they were taught about reproductive health along with managing menstrual hygiene. In 2016, Pangea helped expand this project with the provision of panties, which most girls don’t have. This year, with the addition of more machines and employment of more women, 2000 school girls will receive a kit of five washable/reusable menstrual pads, two pairs of panties and soap, coupled with extensive health education. While SaCoDe is located in the capital, Bujumbura, the staff is reaching young girls throughout rural Burundi. 2017 Grant Award: $7,500
BIOGI – Western Kenya
BIOGI, Bio-intensive Innovations, is a community-based organization in Vihiga county of Western Kenya, close to Lake Victoria. In the last 4 years of Pangea’s partnership with BIOGI, the group has expanded its community of farmers to seven farms dedicated to all aspects of permaculture in the restoration of depleted land: recycling of all animal/plant products, companion planting, mixed forests for wood and fruit, beehives for pollination and honey, reforestation and creation of fish ponds. One community is making and selling of fuel-efficient stoves; one person is making and selling hoods for kitchens to draw out the smoke that creates a health hazard.
New farmers come to the office’s demonstration farm to learn and then join the existing communities that meet regularly to share information and skills. To aid expansion, selected farmers are trained to teach others. As another out-growth, the women do table-banking in support of their own needs and those of their farming peers.
The photo above shows evidence of success: the husband now works with his wife on their farm, no longer having to work in town to supplement the meager income from poor agricultural returns. Their newly fertile land has made them self-sustaining: feeding the family, nurturing healthy and productive animals, and providing additional income through the sale of wood and vegetables. Note: In the background on the left you can see BIOGI’s first installation of a composting toilet. The composted material is in their tree forest.
In this 5th partnership year, Pangea supports the ongoing expansion of the BIOGI program with a General Operating grant. Grant Award: $7,500 See BIOGI website
CIFORD – NE Kenya, Meru Province
CIFORD, Community Innovations for Rural Development, was founded in 2002 to build comprehensive resources for the poor of rural, semi-arid areas in Meru Province, north of Nairobi.
Among their many projects, CIFORD addresses environmental degradation of forests with plantings from their tree nurseries and the provision of energy efficient stoves; teaches methods for sustainable agriculture and water conservation; provides rainwater tanks; provides goats and animal husbandry instruction for families supporting AIDS orphans; teaches women about their rights under Kenyan law; promotes education and discourages FGM among girls with a week-long alternative rite of passage to womanhood that teaches all aspects of reproductive health, the dangers of FGM and the tribal responsibilites of womanhood.
CIFORD enjoys substantial in-kind support from its community. A notable instance is the donation of acreage for the long-term plan of building a permanent womens’ community and refuge center. In 2016, CIFORD built its first buildings on the site: a meeting hall for its many workshops including the girls’ Alternative Rite of Passage to Womanhood, and an adjacent kitchen.
This nationally award-winning NGO has expanded its programs over a very large area. In 2016, Pangea supported a Strategic Planning project that will guide work in the coming 5 years. This 6th year of funding continues to support CIFORD’s capacity-building. Grant Award: $5,000 See CIFORD Kenya website
DANDELION AFRICA – Central Kenya
Pangea began its partnership with this dynamic organization in 2014, providing support to help expand Dandelion’s community work with a multi-faceted program to address the cultural and logistical impediments to girls education. In this central region near Nakuru, girls typically undergo FGM in the 7th grade and drop out of school to be married.
The program, called”Girls for Leaders,” began with a class of 7th graders of 25 girls that were formed into a cohesive “club” for peer support. Their parents were engaged in problem-solving to identify the factors that interfere with continuing education (and were encouraged to speak to other parents about the issues); women dedicated to ending FGM – former “cutters” – became mentors; the girls were taught about reproductive health and the life-long dangers of FGM; they came to the Dandelion center for tutoring in study groups and access to the internet and reading materials; they were taught about public-speaking and leadership skills. These were girls who previously never spoke up in a classroom. Twenty-four of the 25 Girls for Leaders successfully completed the year.
In the second year of Pangea’s support, Dandelion brought another group of 7th grade girls into the program. The original group increased their leadership training and learned more about public speaking and art performance in order to work with girls from 3 other school affected by FGM. Each 8th grade girl had a mentor from a girls high school. They not only successfully completed the 8th grade, but passed the national exams and are now performing successfully in regional high school. 15 young men leaders, following a 1-day workshop, became advocates for girls’ education. Their t-shirts read “Boys for Change, Girls have Rights.” This is significant because boys can talk to their male relatives about the realities of women and reproductive health. The 2015 Pangea site visitors witnessed these boys performing skits about the dangers of FGM in front of a crowd of over 400 people. This was during a celebration to mark the village’s declaration of itself as an “FGM-Free Zone.”
In the 3rd year, Dandelion formed Girls for Leaders clubs in the curricula of 5 schools (7th and 8th grade). There were workshops and monthly meetings for club members teaching about FGM, sexuality, and setting educational objectives and expectations; training was planned for teachers and parents. Girls For Leaders graduates now provide mentoring for younger girls during the long school breaks. Community awareness campaigns were held . Finally, there were plans for the creation of sustainable economic solutions to reduce girls being forced into early marriage because of poverty.
This wonderful program has grown exponentially from its beginnings 4 years ago. In this 5th year of our partnership, Pangea continues to support Dandelion’s remarkable work
Grant Award: $9,750 See Dandelion website
TADEC (Tanzania Deaf Child) – Tanzania
TADEC, Tanzania Deaf Child) was established in 2007 by a group of mothers with deaf family members. The deaf in Tanzania experience great discrimination at all levels, often not even allowed on public transportation. (In 2016, TADEC finally acquired a vehicle for the safe transport of deaf children to the two schools in the city that have deaf programs)
With this 6th year of Pangea’s funding, TADEC will continue its public advocacy for deaf and hard-of-hearing women and youth to ensure education and employment; comprehensive health instruction (the photo to the left shows a group of deaf women at a workshop on reproductive health), psycho-social support for parents and children, vocational training and small, revolving loans to start businesses with a goal of reducing prostitution. Grant Award: $7,500