Every week The Pollination Project gives seed grants to individuals and grassroots projects that are making our world a better place. This week we celebrate wellness and well being in communities- from Shelly Dusic's project that provides free health care screenings and support to women in West Virginia, to Abiebatu Turay's project that addresses ebola-caused food shortages in Sierra Leone- we are proud to uplift well being all over the world. Here are the projects that we funded this week:
Preserving Foster Children's Memories in New York, NY. Karen Segal is the founder of the New York-based organization Photosafe. Photosafe's volunteers support foster children in the US to preserve their memories and help them develop a sense of personal history by documenting their lives in photographic snapshots.
Gardening as Therapeutic Intervention in Australia. Renée Gardiner is the founder of Growing Change, an Australia-based non-profit organization that promotes socially conscious, sustainable development programs. In the organization's newest project, the Fremantle Social Farm, Renée and her team are turning unused residential plots into therapeutic farming spaces where people struggling with homelessness or mental illness can learn how to plant and harvest high-quality organic produce.
Upcycling as a Resource Against Poverty in South Africa. Hands of Honour is an Up-Cycling program in Capetown, South Africa founded by Paul Talliard. They are working to address widespread homelessness, unemployment, and environmental pollution by teaching participants how to reclaim and reuse materials in order to create trendy garden furniture. The project builds economic security while caring for the environment in Capetown.
Free Books for Prisoners in Santa Barbara, CA. Since 2015, Libro Libre Books to Prisoners has been helping inmates in California's state and federal prisons access free reading materials. Located in Ventura and Santa Barbara, CA, the Libro Libre Books to Prisoners program sends free books to inmates throughout California in an effort to help prisoners maintain their connections with the outside world.
Using Art to Support the Black Live Matter Movement in Portland, OR. Diana Pei Wu is using art to take a stand against racial profiling, police brutality, and gentrification in Portland, OR. Through her project, Labor United for Black Lives Matter, Diana provides local activists with mobile murals, organizes the Portland light brigade, and is currently in the process of forming a marching band to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Students Receive Vegan Lunches in Awassa, Ethiopia. Courtney Gullett has worked at Love for Ethiopia's Sitota Learning Center in Awassa, Ethiopia for more than 4 years providing marginalized children with high-quality education. This year, Courtney's pioneering Sitota Learning Center Lunch Program will provide more than 200 children at the center with free vegan meals during the school week.
Female Business Owners Receive Support in Serbia. The economic collapse of Niš (Serbia's third largest city) has left many women unemployed and economically/financially vulnerable. In her project, CooperDiva, Miroslava Stojanovic is working to address gendered disparities throughout the city by empowering local women through business start-up support, entrepreneurial education, mentoring programs, and a product showroom space.
Educating Against Abusive Relationships in Cameroon. Agbor Patrick Agbor and Evelyne Mbeng are the creators of the Female Education Initiative in Yaoundé, Cameroon that addresses high rates of teen pregnancy and reduces women's dependency on abusive older men. Through their program, Agbo and Evelyne will hold educational outreach sessions at local schools in order to teach young women about safe sex and the dangers of abusive relationships.
Public Health in the Isolated Villages of Tamil Nadu, India. In the hilly zones of Tamil Nadu, India's Tiruchirappalli and Namakkal Districts, rural communities have few social services due their geographic isolation. The Community Health Initiatives Among Tribal Villages project, will bring more than twenty women from ten different villages together in order to provide them with medical training and supplies to keep their communities healthy.
Affordable Healthcare for Women in Parkersburg, WV. After being diagnosed with cancer and finding herself unable to afford medical treatment, university student Shelly Dusic teamed up with her husband in Parkersburg, WV to create a health care event called Vandalia-Con. At Vandalia-Con, Shelly and a dedicated team of volunteers support women by providing free/low cost medical screenings, educational materials, and healthcare services.
Promoting Health and Wellbeing in Los Angeles' Public Schools. Youth on Understanding Greater Alternatives (y.o.U.g.a.) is a 10 week program created by Noelle Chaco in Los Angeles, CA to promote health and wellbeing for youth in underserved neighborhoods. Currently, the y.o.U.g.a. program holds weekly after school events at Budlong Elementary school where Noelle teaches students how to make healthy life choices through meditation, aerobics, yoga, and nutritional education.
Tutoring Opens Doors for Under-Served Youth in San Jose, CA. Yang Yang Shi, David Hurng and Jonathan Jeng are the founders of the Opening Doors Foundation in San Jose, CA, an organization that provides free college-level tutoring to underserved youth. Through the Opening Doors program college tutors shadow students at their schools to provide them with hands-on assistance. After school, participating students can receive additional support in the form of educational services that blend tutoring with recreational activities.
Re-Homing Rescued Service Dogs in Nashville, TN. Beau's Wish is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization working to rehabilitate abused and neglected service dogs in Nashville, TN. The Beau's Wish rehabilitation program rescues "behaviourally challenged" service dogs from shelters and provides them with compassionate care, psycho-social conditioning, and obedience training. Ultimately, the service animals they rescue are rehomed with carefully screened applicants and families.
A Groundnut Cooperative Provides Much Needed Relief in Sierra Leone. Abiebatu Turay is working collaboratively with Mohamed Rogers to help the people of Gelehun Village in Sierra Leone's Bo District address local food shortages following the recent Ebola outbreaks. Through the Growing Groundnuts program, they are organizing local youth to build a cooperative groundnut farm. The harvest that participating youth collect will help to feed their community while providing them with supplemental income.