Global Fund for Children is bringing opportunities to local leaders focused on improving the lives of youth and children. Check out SAKALA’s story.

Opening Doors – the Key to Grassroots Partnerships

On a Friday morning last spring, we got an email from SAKALA, one of Global Fund for Children’s partners in Haiti. The subject line wasn’t one we see every day:
Subject: info and gratitude (Good News!!!!) $200,000

In the email, executive director Felder Jean Paul explained: SAKALA had recently passed a major financial review by the United Nations, making them eligible for a $200,000 grant. The funding would support a new microenterprise program for 100 Haitian youth.

So … why was Felder thanking us?

Because on a recent site visit, our program officer noticed that SAKALA’s financial systems needed some work. A $5,000 grant from GFC helped them hire a regular bookkeeper and train staff in financial management—and opened the door to an incredible opportunity.

This back-office upgrade helped SAKALA make a more credible case for funding its work to empower youth living in Cité Soleil, a community in Port-au-Prince where young people face entrenched poverty, violence, and a lack of economic opportunity. Daniel Tillias, who grew up in Cité Soleil, founded the organization in a former sweatshop with the goal of revitalizing his community through soccer, eco-renewal projects, and peace education.

When working with grassroots organizations, you’ll find no shortage of awe-inspiring leaders like Daniel. They pursue their work with grit, tenacity, and a keen understanding of their communities’ needs. They also face immense obstacles, burdened by the very circumstances they are trying to transform and often lack access to resources and training to help them build more efficient, resilient organizations.

GFC is dedicated to discovering and investing in grassroots organizations that empower children and youth to advance their rights; since 1997, we’ve invested more than $40 million in over 600 organizations worldwide. Our mission is to connect our brilliant partners with the capital, resources, and networks that give their ideas a chance to succeed. GFC provides multi-year, flexible funding, which is essential—but getting the right connection or piece of knowledge at just the right time can be equally critical for organizations like SAKALA.

Philanthropy University and GFC are aligned in our commitment to connecting local leaders with knowledge and communities of practice that would otherwise not be accessible. Philanthropy University’s free courses democratize access to learning, and their communities make it possible to connect with others facing similar challenges.

We’re excited to facilitate connections between organizations like SAKALA and others participating in the Philanthropy University community—increasing the likelihood that the right piece of knowledge will be accessible when they need it.

 

Children are given shelter, soccer training and education under the supervision of Daniel Tillia at the Sakala project, Cite Soleil