Isha Koach (Women of Strength) addresses the global needs of women and girls through a Jewish and gender lens and works to advance the efforts and profiles of Jewish women social entrepreneurs who lead organizations that improve the quality of life of the world’s most vulnerable women and children.
Announcing the 2014-2015 Isha Koach Grantees:
AFYA Foundation Emergency Ebola Relief Grant
Founded by Danielle Butin, AFYA collects and delivers critically needed surplus medical supplies, hospital equipment and humanitarian provisions for acute and ongoing health crises worldwide. This emergency relief grant was used to aid in the shipment of $1.7 million worth of critical, life-saving supplies, including 170 pallets of personal protective equipment to protect healthcare workers on the frontline of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, where as many as 75% of Ebola victims are women.Read more
In addition to the Emergency Ebola Relief Grant, Isha Koach awarded a grant to enable AFYA to ship 32,000 lbs. of maternal and children’s health supplies, including hospital beds and diagnostic tools, to the Ghanaian Ministry of Health to reduce maternal and child mortality rates. Clinics in Ghana are undersupplied and many births still take place outside of an emergency obstetric and neonatal care facility. In an effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality rate, AFYA supplies underserved, rural clinics with maternal and children’s medical supplies.
Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village
Isha Koach made a special grant to Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in memory of the Village’s late founder, Anne Heyman (z”l). ASYV seeks to enable orphaned and vulnerable youth to realize their maximum potential by providing them with a safe and secure living environment, health care, education and necessary life skills. Education and service are used to model and create socially responsible citizens in Rwanda and around the world. The grant will be used to improve the lives of the women and girls living in the village.
Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Program
Founded by Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, the Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Program, based at University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, is a collaboration among universities, NGOs and Ministries of Health to improve the health and educational potential of children in developing countries by early promotion of nutrition and oral health.Read more
Founded by Anya Cherneff, Empower Generation empowers women to power communities with clean energy to lead their communities out of energy poverty. This grant award will build the capacity of Empower Generation’s women-led clean energy distribution network in Nepal – the EmpowerGrid – to mentor, train, and microfinance female entrepreneurs; monitor and conduct home energy assessments; and market the solar energy campaign to new entrepreneurs, directly impacting over 100 women and girls who had previously been denied education and economic opportunityRead more
Global Goods Partners
Founded by Catherine Shimony, Global Goods Partners provides a reliable, fair market for women artisans around the world and supports their women-operated community cooperatives, which provide vital services to their communities. This grant will help fund a training initiative that targets promising women-led craft enterprises in Guatemala, Peru, and India.
goods for good
Founded by Melissa Kushner, goods for good turns excess into progress by distributing donated surplus goods to community centers and schools in Malawi (Southeast Africa) enabling the institutions to care for and support vulnerable children and community members. This grant will be used towards the expansion of the successful poultry business model that goods for good have pioneered in partnership with communities in Malawi. The proceeds from this business will be directly invested in the children served by the community center, impacting the lives of 65,000 orphans and their caregivers.
Founded by Helen Lieberman, Ikamva Labantu commits itself to uplift communities in South Africa and create sustainable change by using innovative methods to find practical solutions for the challenges they face. Many children in township communities have been left without a mother and/or father due to HIV/AIDS, neglect, violence or abuse. Through the support of Ikamva Labantu, families within their communities welcome and foster these orphans and vulnerable children. Ikamva community-based workers conduct frequent visits to foster homes, providing them with support, practical advice, addressing their immediate needs (such as food, school clothing and supplies, and accessing government grants), and by providing health screenings for the family. This grant will be used to support Ikamva Labantu’s work caring for and educating orphans and vulnerable children, impacting over 1600 children.
Founded by Sivan Ya’ari, Innovation: Africa brings Israeli technologies to rural African villages in order to improve quality of life, promote sustainable development, support Israeli innovation and foster a positive image of Israel abroad. Today, there are 780 million people living without clean water. Most often, women and girls – instead of securing income and attending school – are tasked with collecting water, walking hours to a hand pump only to find dirty water. This grant supports the installation of a solar powered water pump in Nakaloke Village, Uganda which will serve 1,600 people in the area. With Innovation: Africa’s solar powered water pump, Nakaloke women will be able to raise healthy families and spend their new-found free time generating income by farming or selling crops, while girls can pursue the education they deserve.
Jevaia International, Oral Health Care Project
Founded by Laura Spero, Jevaia International partners with communities in Nepal to transform health and wellbeing in a sustainable, respectful manner. Jevaia Oral Health Care (JOHC) establishes community-based oral health programs in rural Nepal, where oral caries is the most prevalent childhood disease in the country. Oral disease is closely associated with malnutrition, heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, pregnancy health, and general immune competency. And yet this vital aspect of primary healthcare receives very little attention the public health community, and JOHC is the only oral health program in Nepal that builds long-lasting, comprehensive oral health care systems based in villages. In each of its working areas, Jevaia establishes a locally-based dental clinic staffed by a local health care provider, school brushing programs for all primary school children, and two years of community advocacy and education run by residents in their own villages. JOHC currently serves an area of over 50,000 people. This grant will support capacity building and data analysis that will improve the efficacy of and evidence behind Jevaia’s programs.
Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic
Founded by Amy Lehman, Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, positively impacts the people and environment in the Lake Tanganyika basin by delivering health care by boat and providing health care worker training and local health center support while acting as a source of knowledge and research platform for stakeholders in the region.Read more
Founded by Jessica Beckerman, Project Muso empowers women in Mali (West Africa) to care for the health and well being of themselves and their families through education, microfinance, and community based malaria early-detection programs. This Isha Koach grant will support additional community health workers to provide increased support to the Yirimajo community, including the provision of home-based pregnancy testing and reproductive health services to support women and girls.
Shining Hope for Communities
Founded by Jessica Posner, SHOFCO, mobilizes grassroots leadership to link schools for girls to community services for all, building vibrant, gender equitable communities where all are able to realize their full potential. This grant award will directly help SHOFCO’s Maternal and Child Health Program in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya, to reach 5,000 more women to improve their health status, as well as their infants’ and children’s through prenatal care, postnatal care, family planning, and cervical cancer screening.
S. O. U. L. Foundation
Founded by Brooke Stern, S.O.U.L. Foundation works to foster sustainable and vibrant Ugandan communities through unique partnerships focused on women’s empowerment, education, food security, and maternal health. In rural Uganda, women continue to deliver their babies in unsanitary and dangerous environments, with less than half (48%) delivering with a skilled birthing attendant, making preventable conditions fatal. This Isha Koach grant will help S.O.U.L to develop a comprehensive Maternal Health Education program and build an Antenatal Education Center at the community center in Bujagali, Uganda. These programs will mobilize local women leaders to manage referral services for all mothers and educate 700 women in vital maternal and child health issues, including antenatal care visits and family planning, inspiring and empowering Bujagali women to take control of their infants’ and their own health.
WE CARE Solar
Founded by Laura Stachel, WE CARE Solar reduces maternal mortality in developing countries by providing health workers and centers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and blood bank refrigeration through solar electricity using the revolutionary “Solar Suitcase.” This grant supports WE CARE Solar to deploy Solar Suitcases to under-resourced health centers in Ethiopia, Philippines, and Tanzania; train health care workers in installing, using, and maintaining the Solar Suitcase; and advocate for sustainable energy for health facilities to improve health care for women and their families, impacting over 350,000 mothers and infants.