2013 Grant Recipients

The P&G Alumni Foundation is pleased to announce the 2013 winners of its monetary grants.  Eight organizations will receive grants for the 2014 year averaging $10,000 per grant. These grants further the Foundation’s mission to contribute expertise, time and financial resources to activities which focus on economic empowerment through business education, entrepreneurship, economic development and free enterprise. These are the second set of grants to be made by the newly established P&G Alumni Foundation.


The Foundation’s Philanthropy Committee received 64 applications for review in 2013. The requests for funding from all applicants exceeded $900,000.  This year’s grants of $77,000 would bring the total amount made since the beginning of our philanthropy efforts in 2004 to over $700,000, and over $1,000,000 including the chapter efforts.  We are proud of the grants we have been able to make, and the many lives improved via our P&G alumni.  The applications that did not get funded were also very worthy, and re-enforce the tremendous need around the world for this kind of support.  The P&G Alumni Network is committed to raise additional monies to grant to P&G alumni-supported charities focused on economic empowerment around the world.  For the 2013 grant monies (awarded for spending in 2014) the P&G Alumni Foundation Grants Committee felt it could most effectively utilize the funds available by making grants to the following organizations and programs:



Elements Foundation – India ($10,000)

Zimkids – Zimbabwe ($10,000)

Mercy Neighborhoods Ministries – Cincinnati ($10,000)

Aiducation – Kenya ($10,000)

Watu – Tanzania ($7,000)

Mediapila Foundation – Argentina ($10,000)

Make a Difference – Tanzania ($10,000)

Equality & Opportunity Foundation – Bangladesh ($10,000)



2013 Grant Recipients Overview:


Elements Foundation, India -- $10,000


Elements Foundation (www.elementsfoundation.com) mission is to bridge the gap between academic learning and the corporate world by providing employability training and mentoring to adolescent students in North and North Central India.  Working with partner companies, Elements designs a customized course, then mobilizes and trains candidates.  A typical module training is 6-8 weeks, at the end of which the student is able to get a job in a partner company. Included in the training are business skills, communications skills and human resources. Elements has generally seen that the disposable income of the family actually increases three- to five-fold. Generally, each of those employed remit about 30% of their income back to their families – most of which is used for education and health care for the remaining family members. 30-50% of beneficiaries are women who feel much more empowered after the course and the job. Elements commits to placing at least 75% of each trainee group, and tracks their employment for one year to ensure the trainees continue to work in one of the partner companies.  The entire intervention is free of cost to the trainees. With our 2013 grant, Elements plans to extend its employabiity services to include low income families with teens 14-18, ensuring basic business education, etiquette, and more prior to enrolling in the foundation’s other training programs targetted at 18-30 years.  Having pilotted this already, Elements will use the P&G Alumni Foundation grant to invest in the formal and final design of the employment “tool kit” for these students and expand it further.


Zimkids, Zimbabwe -- $10,000


Zimkids ( www.zimkidsorphantrust.org ) is focused on innovative and cost-effective programs to support children in sub-Saharan Africa orphaned by the AIDS epidemic, and to help them build viable futures.  The goal is not only to provide a safety net for some of the neediest orphans in Africa, but to train them in skills and entrepreneurship so they will be able to build better futures for themselves and their community. Since its founding, Zimkids has strived to fulfill its commitment to operate with and instill in the children a sense of self-sufficiency and independence through entrepreneurship. They have created and operated several small business projects, including a market garden, a small egg and poultry business, and a community computer training center and internet café. All three are designed to simultaneously generate income for its activities, train the older children in basic business skills, and provide them with solid, supervised experience. Zimkids operates with very low overheads, channeling 90% of donations into direct services and working through a fiscal sponsor, Seeds of Africa Foundation, which charges no fee. They have trained a group of young people over the age of 15 not only to lead the younger children, but in skills necessary to creating their own small businesses. With a 2013 grant from P&G Alumni Foundation, Zimkids will help fund its newest “Sewing for a Future” project, making and selling school uniforms.  This sewing project is a new initiative that is an expansion of their existing vocational training programs.  It will serve the dual purpose of generating income for the Center while providing its young adults with sewing and small business skills in the expectation that they will then be able to go out on their own and earn a living.


Mercy Neighborhood Ministries, Cincinnati -- $10,000

Mercy Neighborhood Ministries (MNM)( http://www.mnministries.org/ ) Established formally in 2007, MNM’s mission is to promote the empowerment of individuals and families through programs that address their immediate needs, foster self reliance, promote holistic health, and advocate for social justice – serving disadvantaged adults, youth and seniors in the near-eastern neighborhoods of Cincinnati.  MNM has a solid record of successfully transitioning women from dependency on welfare to self-sufficiency through work as home care aides.  It has developed a proven program of ongoing training in workplace and life skills, access to supportive services and mentoring that makeup the long term investment required for women of generational poverty to successfully enter and stay in the workforce.   MNM has developed My Pathway to a Health Career to create economic empowerment for undereducated, unemployed mothers. Through Mercy’s Home Care Aide Training program, the women are not only trained and certified to become employable as home care aides, they are also challenged to complete their basic educational requirements and pursue further technical training along the healthcare pathway. Low-income women seeking self-sufficiency for themselves and their families through meaningful employment are introduced into a progressive workforce training, employment and job retention support. To ensure greater success and a faster track to employment, Mercy Neighborhood association plans additional services to its graduates (whose financial situation requires it) during the employment search phase: (i) additional Job Coach support; (ii) transportation (bus fare) assistance to employer interviews and initial employment; (iii) basic professional clothing (scrubs, lab coat, etc); and (iv) stipends to cover health and background checks required for employment.  The 2013 P&G Alumni Foundation grant will help provide this “gap assistance” during the transitional period from graduation to gainful employment. 


Aiducation, Kenya -- $10,000

Aiducation (www.aiducation.org)– Founded in 2007 in Switzerland and Kenya, Aiducation focuses on empowering high-potential students in developing countries via: (i) financial scholarships; and (ii) mentoring and training outside the standard curriculum focused on civic leadership, hands-on social engagement and entrepreneurship.  Their mission is to build a network of talented individuals who will grow into socially responsible and active members of society who drive change and build a culture of giving back. While each scholar receives a secondary school scholarship, he or she also becomes part of an exclusive network. Yearly mentorship academies allow the students to meet and learn from high profile speakers, from young professionals and from their peers. Workshops and discussions sensitize the scholars to use their talent and potential to make Kenya a better place. Today, Aiducation has national chapters not only in Switzerland and Kenya, but also in the U.K., Germany, U.S. and Philippines.  Over 550 students have been awarded scholarships, and nearly 600 students have received additional entrepreneurial and business training, having attended one of the 8 Mentorship Academies.  AiduFellows are now giving back – with one founding a primary school, others building water pipes, planting trees, developing innovative ways to use cow dung for heating schools, and more.  The 2013 P&G Alumni Foundation grant builds on Aiducation’s very successful existing activities, and will be used to bring AiduFellows together via three Mentorship Academies for 300 financially dependent AiduFellows – with these academies focused on entrepreneruship, business opportunities, career guidance and 1:1 coaching. 


Mediapila Foundation, Argentina -- $10,000

Mediapila Foundation (www.mediapila.org ) mission is to provide dignified employment to women of very low resources through textile/sewing training and job readiness in Argentina.  Founded in 2005, the foundation purchased industrial sewing machines, cutting tables and textile screen printing machines to train women living in extreme poverity to begin work in the textile industry. Today, the foundation has set up seven textile mills in some of Argentina’s poorest areas -- in La Paternal, Flores, José C. Peace, Derqui, San Fernando, Boulogne and Pilar.  With a two-pronged program of textile training AND generating sustainable work through the sale of Mediapila T-shirts, Mediapila is focused on providing an 8-month training to 50 women per semester with an average family size of 6.   As the Argentina textile industry is currently going through a production boom, employers are contacting Mediapila to request Mediapila Foundation qualified people in the industry, which can be incorporated in their factories. The 2013 grant from the P&G Alumni Foundation will go toward the purchase of additional raw materials (i.e. fabric) in order to train more women.  With more fabric, additional women can be trained.  The fabric is then used by textile mills (which were created by the foundation) for making shirts, which are then sold by a group of volunteers.  The sale of these shirts gives the foundation the income needed to continue operating and generating the textile training.


Make a Difference, Tanzania  -- $10,000

Make a Difference - MAD ( www.MakeaDifferenceNow.org ) supports children in Tanzania and India financially and developmentally through the completion of their college education. MAD sends the children to the BEST schools in the regions they come from, provides private tutoring, and ensures weekly individualized counseling sessions to both the children they help as well as their living relatives in the village they come from.  MAD also facilitates the progress of libraries, technology centers and playgrounds at schools the children attend in order to support their progress and provide benefits to other children and their communities. MAD mandates local involvement and support before embarking on development projects or payment of school fees.  Matching funds are lined up in advance with both private donors and local institutions. With the 2013 P&G Alumni grant, MAD will focus efforts in the Kilimanjaro area of Himo where 80% of the population is without access to a computer or any technology besides cell phones. The library and technology center will improve the economy of the Kilimanjaro region by enabling thousands of people from the community to access computers and books. P&G Alumni funds will be used to upgrade the computers and complete the expansion of the library/resource center.  500 students use the facility and 50,000+ people in the surrounding villages have access to the center. The center will be open to the public during the weekends for business education and the public will be able to use the center for a nominal fee in order to encourage care of the center. The center will also be used for leadership and professional skills training. It will offer computer classes and have open lab hours with teachers available to provide computer classes, monthly workshops and help youth with homework. The center will strengthen job opportunities for people in the Kilimanjaro Region that require computer skills.


Equality & Opportunity Foundation, Bangladesh -- $10,000

Equality & Opportunity (E&O) Foundation (http://www.equalityandopportunity.org/) is a California-based non-profit organization committed to breaking the poverty cycle of families in need.  E&O believes that income generation and asset building are the keys to minimizing the vulnerabilities of poor and low-income families. Founded in 2010 to incubate income-generating and asset-building social ventures in the areas of housing, preventative healthcare and life skills, the focus is on poor women, children and families in South Asia who need a way to help sustain healthy and productive lives.  E&O is focused on affordable housing, and using housing as an income-generating asset.  Their mix-use homes come with a 1-3 year short term financing loans costing as little as $1,000. Houses are incrementally built and are designed to accommodate home-based work that can self-finance the house.  E&O has completed extensive market research in six Asian countries, designed and tested the modular houses, enrolled financial partners and local technical partners, and recently deployed houses in India and Bangladesh. A 2013 grant from the P&G Alumni Foundation will help E&O prepare for a limited roll-out in 2014, with 120 mix-use houses envisioned in Bangladesh and India within a 12-18 month roll-out period.  Housing will be integrated with education and business skills training.  By providing young mothers with a safe, sustainable place to work and live, as well as the skills and supplies needed to run a home-based commercial enterprise, E&O is confident they can increase these families’ disposable income, build lifelong assets, improve their health, and affect generations.  E&O will also provide starter kits of P&G Health & Hygiene, Gillette India and P&G Home products to be sold from several at-home kiosks. 


WATU, Tanzania –- $7,000

People’s Participation in Education aka Watu (www.e-watu.com ) -- Watu is the Kiswahili word for “people” with a mission to mobilize resources to improve the quality of education in disadvantaged rural and urban areas in northern Tanzania, and to strive to make that education accessible to as many students as possible.  Since the inception of Watu (registered both in Switzerland and Tanzania) a major educational facility has been constructed in the rural village of Shiri Mgungani, part of the Moshi region in northern Tanzania.  Watu built a learning and resource center, including a learning/internet/library facility and classroom space.  The facility assists local teachers, leveraging internet content and printers which enable teachers to be more effective in the classroom. The facility is also used to train adults as computer operators. Moshi is a center for tourism, with Mt Kilimanjaro only 30 kilometers away, and has one of the best hospitals in Tanzania.  It is open to new ideas and entrepreneurism, and with proper education, there is a good likelihood of gaining employment. Watu’s senior secondary school is providing quality education to as many financially impoverished students as resources allow. With P&G Alumni grant in 2013 which will be matched 1:1 or greater, Watu plans to secure sufficient power in the center and senior secondary school to enable a 24/7 hour operation.