Every day The Pollination Project provides a seed grant of $1000 to a social change visionary who is making their community and the world a more sustainable, peaceful, compassionate and just place for us all. This week we celebrate seven grantees and their projects that support success in marginalized communities. From Didas Mzirai who is helping rural Kenyan mango farmers implement organic farming practices; to Quayshawn Presley's United Roots Media effort that promotes positive messages about black men in Oakland, CA; and Jemima Laurent and Natasha Stone who are supporting young immigrant students in Newark, NJ, these amazing grantees are shining a spotlight on the ambition and goodness that lives in their communities. We are honored to support and provide funding for these projects this week:
Social Justice and Media Production in Oakland, CA. Quayshawn Presley is the founder of United Roots Media, a youth-run social enterprise project in Oakland, CA that is dedicated to using media production for the promotion of social justice. In their recent Determination Campaign, United Roots Media produced a series of Oakland billboards that challenged negative depictions of black men in the media by portraying men of color as positive role-models. In addition to their unique brand of activism, Quayshawn and his colleagues are using their experience in the industry to help local youth of color overcome the barriers to employment in media production.
Mangoes in Rural Kenya. Didas Mzirai is the president and CEO of Muchos Mangoes Ltd., a Kenya-based non-profit organization committed to helping rural farmers establish profitable, fair-trade mango orchards. Muchos Mangoes provides agriculturalists and mango farmers with training in organic pest management and horticultural techniques designed to reduce their production costs. Crops produced through the Muchos Mangoes program are ultimately sold at competitive prices to buyers across the world, and a portion of the profit is reinvested into expanding the training program into nearby mango growing regions.
Immigrant Students in Newark, NJ. Through their non-profit organization, College Lingual, Inc.,, Jemima Laurent and Natasha Stone are supporting first generation immigrant students and their families in Newark, NJ as they transition from high school to college. Jemima and Natasha hold monthly meetings and workshops where students receive social support, academic tutoring, and assistance with college applications. In addition, College Lingual, Inc.'s mentorship program brings college-bound students together with local university mentors in order to provide students with academic guidance and social support throughout their college career.
Changemakers in Pasadena, CA. Matthew Webb and his family have embarked on a one-of-a-kind journey across the USA with their project, Generation of Generosity. Working together with his wife Eva and their 3 children, Matthew is traveling across the US in order to document the stories of young change-makers in all 50 states. Ultimately, the stories they record will be compiled into a TV/web series, a children's book, and a documentary aimed at inspiring and empowering a new generation of community activists and organizers.
Sports in War Torn Burundi. Lwesso Esperance's project, Bringing Bujumbura's Youth Together Through Games and Sports, is helping to provide youth in the war-torn neighborhoods of Bujumbura, Burundi with positive social outlets. During the summer of 2015, Lwesso will bring over 200 local men and women together to participate in a series of peace games. Ultimately, the games will promote inter-community cooperation while limiting youth exposure to criminal activity and drug use.
Sustainable Development in Togo. The Association for the Promotion of Development Activities- International, (APAD-International) is a youth-led organization that promotes and protects the environment through sustainable development. In their newest initiative, the Agou Agroforestry program, APAD is providing residents of Agome Tomegbe, Togo with the skills they need to fortify their community against the environmental devastation cause by global climate change. Through the Agou Agroforestry program, APAD's team of volunteers trains local agriculturalists in sustainable agroforestry techniques, as well as organizing reforestation campaigns and environmental education workshops at local secondary schools.
Promoting Sustainability for Activists in Arlington, VA. After a lifetime of watching activists succumb to the debilitating symptoms of burnout, Paul Gorski is addressing this issue with his Sustaining Activists Project. Paul is using his insightful research on activist burnout to pilot a series of workshops for animal rights activists in the Washington, DC area. Paul plans to record the workshops and distribute them free of charge through his website in order to establish the foundation of a national network for activist burnout prevention.
Do you know someone who would be a great candidate for one of our daily grants? We welcome grant applications from anyone, anywhere, at any time!