Stories

Face to Face with Tanjit from Assam

Saturday, July 19th, 2014
Earlier this year, Director Suzanne Skees visited the field with Upaya Social Ventures. She gathered stories and saw firsthand the wonderful work our grantee partner is doing on the ground in India. As part of our foundation's commitment to provide storytelling support to our partners, Suzanne has written several Face to Face profiles highlighting the amazing individuals that are changing their own lives and the future of their communities.

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Parliamentarian to the Slums: Former Kibera Resident Shows the Children of Poverty How to Climb Up to Power

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
Today we feature the inspiring story of John Medo, the first student of our grantee partner The School Fund. John meets Ken Okoth, a member of the Kenyan Parliament and a former resident of the Kibera slums. Together, they discuss the power of education.

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Inverting the Power Imbalance: Testing a New Grantmaking Program that Enables Nonprofits to Do Their Jobs

Saturday, June 28th, 2014
It sounds ludicrous—and it is: Often we donors throw roadblocks in front of the very programs we seek to support. Requiring reams of application pages, hours of preliminary meetings, and acrobatics of performance if and when we fund, is crazy-making for the social entrepreneurs and nonprofits we supposedly trust to solve our most entrenched environmental, financial, educational, and social problems.

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Lucas: "I Want To Be a Pilot. I Just Love It from My Heart."

Saturday, June 21st, 2014
Lucas can recall many times when his family went to bed hungry. Now that he's back in high school with his fees supported by our partners, The School Fund, he dreams of becoming a pilot. "Education is always the light," Lucas says. "No education will lead to a life full of darkness."

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First-Time Visitor to the U.S.: An African Writer Reflects on Culture and Food

Saturday, June 14th, 2014
26-year-old fiction writer and healthcare educator Caroline visits the U.S. for the first time on a fundraising tour with our partner, Gardens for Health International. Feeling at once warmly welcomed and culture shocked, she looks for common ground between our two countries.

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Girlbosses: Six Women in Our Family Step Up to Lead Our Social-Change Work

Saturday, June 7th, 2014
Today we look inward to write about some exciting changes happening within the Skees Family Foundation. This year, we’ve expanded our board of directors, welcoming new family members across three generations. Listen in as they speak about how they landed in their leadership roles—and how they intend to wield their collaborative power.

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Saving for Change: Finding Financial Inspiration from Women in Benin

Saturday, May 31st, 2014
Guest post by Eden Rock from Freedom from Hunger explains how her organization supports grassroots growth of savings groups, where Africa's poorest women show remarkable discipline by setting aside savings from their subsistence earnings of $1-2 per day.

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Philanthro-Fads: Trends in Philanthropy That Do—and Don’t—Work

Saturday, May 24th, 2014
Earlier this week, our director wrote a frank article discussing lessons learned through our foundation's philanthropic efforts. Today we feature it for our Seeds of Hope readers!

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The Dirt on Seed-Funding Social Change

Saturday, May 17th, 2014
Skees Family Foundation intends to help end poverty worldwide. How? By investing in the smartest leaders of the most innovative programs that provide a self-help path to a life of choice and prosperity. Director Suzanne Skees explains in this piece for Stanford Social Innovation Review.

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Celebrating Mothers' Role in Building a Healthier Future for Families and Communities

Saturday, May 10th, 2014
Gardens for Health International (GHI) works in East Africa to end childhood malnutrition through food aid, education, and empowerment. Meet Naomi, a former GHI client and HIV+ single mom who's become a role model to impoverished women in her rural community, and a leader in the fight to end poverty.

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An Interview with Felix M.

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014
Today we feature an interview conducted by John Medo, the very first supported student of our grantee partner, The School Fund. John spent time earlier this year in Iringa as an intern for TSF and an assistant to TSF advisor, Fuad Abri. John recently traveled back home to Karatu in Northern Tanzania where he will continue interviews with students there. In early 2014, before he left Iringa, John interviewed Felix M., who has been supported by The School Fund since 2014.

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Room to Dream: A Reflection on Rwanda

Saturday, April 12th, 2014
What connects us to a family whose members were murdered, or an HIV+ single mother living in abject poverty? A lot, says a genocide survivor who just returned from a visit to the homeland she still loves. Guest post by Marie Kagaju Laugharn.

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We Have Seen What These Women Can Do

Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Today's guest blog post features Kathleen Colson of The BOMA Project. The BOMA Project is a U.S. nonprofit and registered Kenyan NGO with a proven track record, measurable results and a transformative approach to alleviating poverty and building resiliency in the arid lands of rural Africa.

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Vittana's New Bold Move

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
As an organization faces success, it also has to grapple with strategic questions. Today we feature Vittana, who has had a lot of success with their mircolending program for students around the world. This post gives us insight into their decision-making behind their most recent change.

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I want more. Now.

Saturday, March 1st, 2014
Guest writer Katy Geisert is a stay-at-home mom living an ordinary American life . . . except for her extraordinary part-time work for an organization called Catalytic Women, that brings women and men together in a synergy of giving that just may get Katy what she wants.—Now.

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What Rural Africa Can Teach America About Healthcare

Friday, February 28th, 2014
"Ihangane" means "to be patient" in Kinyarwanda, the native language of Rwanda. This week we feature a guest blog post by Wendy Leonard of The Ihangane Project (TIP), a healthcare and enterprise nonprofit working in a rural village hard hit by HIV and malnutrition. TIP believes that "With patience, one person at a time, one idea at a time, one project at a time, we can make a lasting positive impact on the lives of many!"

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Partnering for Peace: V-Peace Scholarships Send Survivors to School in the U. S. and the World’s Most Dangerous Places

Friday, February 14th, 2014
Sometimes, in a world where as many as 1 in 3 women in the U.S. will be raped in our lifetimes, and 1 woman in the Congo is raped every minute, we feel compelled to do something. We wanted to help wage peace in a powerful, lasting way, so we collaborated with V-Day to turn survivors into students. Read what’s possible when vision meets trust.

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Lamb’s-Head Stew: The Local Treat That Got This Widowed Mom off the Street

Saturday, February 8th, 2014
One moment changed Eulalia's life: Her husband died of a heart attack at age 34. She had to deal with her grief as well as become the sole breadwinner and a single parent for her three kids. Seven years later, she's moved her food-selling business from a street cart into a restaurant of her own: Her specialty is a Peruvian delicacy: lamb's-head stew. Part 5 of our 5-part series from Peru.

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Big City, Big Dreams

Saturday, February 1st, 2014
Feeling like she's always running in circles, Anali runs a small weaving microbusiness, studies accounting at university, and cares for her partner and daughter at home. She left a rural village, population 400, in the Andes Mountains to pursue her dreams in the city of Juliaca, and Anali is already banking on a brighter future for herself and her kids. Part 4 in our 5-part series from Peru.

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"This New Health Plan Forces Us Women to Focus on Our OWN Health"

Saturday, January 25th, 2014
Healthy workers not only feel happier, they work more productively to earn higher incomes for their families. Freedom from Hunger, an integrated-services microfinance provider, has led the way in connecting their clients to affordable healthcare. We check out a clinic in Juliaca with Irene, Sabina, and Mery to see how the plan works in real life. Part 3 in our 5-part series from Peru.

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Mentoring Mom: Home Handicrafts Business Expands to Hire Youth

Saturday, January 18th, 2014
A stressed, angry wife struggling to support a seriously ill husband and three children figures out a way to mechanize her output and produce four times as much merchandise in four hours a day. Now she's rebuilding her home, and employing three high-school kids. Her savings through the group circumvented a second family health crisis, because she had money in the bank to cover it when she needed kidney surgery. Part 2 in our 5-part series from Peru.

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Weaving Natural Resources into Family Wealth

Saturday, January 11th, 2014
Family breadwinners: Mother and daughter-in-law live and work side-by-side high in the Andes Mountains on the shore of Lake Titicaca. Using ancient pounding and looming techniques, they run a busy microenterprise and have earned enough to invest in their homes, computers, and education. Part 1 of our 5-part series from Peru.

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What’s Wrong with Working for a Nonprofit?

Saturday, January 4th, 2014
"At a nonprofit, no matter how effective your service is, your growth is continually dependent on the generosity of someone other than your client:" Our new social-entrepreneur board member, Elisabeth, lists all the reasons she resisted working for a nonprofit . . . then explains how she wound up working full-time for nonprofit Venture for America and volunteering part-time for our foundation.

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Analysis to Action: What's Next for Our Foundation

Saturday, December 28th, 2013
Testing our intentions against our outcomes just isn't enough. We asked ourselves at the close of an introspective year, how will we apply what we've learned?

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Impact Study: Can a Small Foundation Make a Difference?

Saturday, December 21st, 2013
Our mission is to end poverty worldwide by supporting self-help programs in education and jobs creation. As we approach our ten-year anniversary in 2014, we wondered if our foundation's effort and investments were getting us anywhere.—So, we spent 2013 on research to discover what impact, if any, we and our partners have had.

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