Stories

Pay-It-Forward Leadership Training Program Transforms Youth into Visionaries

Saturday, September 27th, 2014
Students in Asante Africa's Leadership and Entrepreneurship Incubator (LEI) program are turning challenges into opportunities, using a pay-it-forward model to create a meaningful ripple effect in their communities. Guest post by Erna Grasz.

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Waste at Work: Indian Entrepreneurs Turn Dung into Dollars

Saturday, September 20th, 2014
A quiet movement by young social entrepreneurs across north and east India finds ways to turn waste from plants and animals into jobs for the ultra poor.

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The Rise of Gender Capitalism

Saturday, September 13th, 2014
Investing with a gender lens can create financial and social impact for everyone, by increasing women’s access to capital, promoting workplace equity, and creating products and services that improve the lives of women and girls. Guest post from Stanford Social Innovation Review.

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Mobile Midwifery Delivers Health to Ghanaian Moms

Saturday, September 6th, 2014
One mobile phone app delivers time-sensitive text messages or voicemails to pregnant women and new mothers; the other is for nurses. Together they are doing wonders for maternal and pregnancy health care and raising community awareness at the same time.

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Hard Truths In Nonprofit Storytelling

Saturday, August 30th, 2014
On her first trip abroad as The School Fund's new CEO, Drika Weller finds herself at gunpoint in Kenya. She bravely shares her honest feelings about the experience and how it will inform her work going forward.

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Investing in Haiti's Homeless Youth

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
Too many teenagers live in the streets of Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti. They came here to make money to support their families, but their real dream is to go to school.

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Turning Philanthropy on Its Head in Haiti

Saturday, August 16th, 2014
Every citizen of and ex-pat from Haiti has a story: where they were on the day of the January 2010 earthquake. Many Americans also recall how the horror of that day brought Haiti into the forefront of the world's attention. . . briefly. Guest post by Karen Ansara, whose family launched a fund to support grassroots rebuilding by Haitians, for Haitians, long after the disaster.

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Giving Birth in a Graveyard

Saturday, August 9th, 2014
Skees Family Foundation Director Suzanne Skees traveled to Africa with The Grameen Foundation to gather stories of their efforts to end poverty through technology. The story of Leticia, a pregnant mother in Ghana, shows how even the poorest families can change their future when given half a chance.

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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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