Grantees


LONA is a non-profit organization that exists to create long-term solutions for women in poverty through job creation projects. LONA is currently partnering with a local organization in Quito, Ecuador called Casa Mis Suenos. Together they are working to provide vocational training and employment for survivors of sex trafficking. This project will empower women to transition into legal employment and self-sufficiency. Spark will sponsor further development of the project to ensure employment of 25 female sex trafficking survivors.
Roatan Peer Health Exchange aims to empower young people with the knowledge, skills, and resources to make healthy decisions. The rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs are incredibly high on the island of Roatan, Honduras. We do this by having Honduran medical students and visiting health professionals teach our peer health ambassadors aged 13-26 about reproductive health topics, who then go into schools and communities to teach these same topics in a fun and interactive ways to their peers. Spark will sponsor transportation, healthy snacks and further development of the reproductive health program.
Women Advocacy Project (WAP) is a community-based organization in Zimbabwe that works to raise the voice and profile of women in the country, as well as work to increase their empowerment and agency. Spark will be sponsoring their “Give us books, not husbands” Child Marriage Abolition Campaign designed to mobilize communities for the elimination of child marriage in Zimbabwe, informing local communities of the effects child marriage has on young girls, and petitioning the government to allow the rule of law on cases concerning child marriage.
The African Youth Alliance Group is a women led organization that aims to improve the education and living conditions of women and young girls in rural Cameroon. AYAG empowers women and girls through the creation of clubs to encourage discussion, peer mentoring, leadership, skills education and by organizing community events. Spark sponsors the establishment of new clubs in Mbessa Village where 300 women and young girls will be trained in women’s rights, gender-based violence and production skills of arts and crafts, soap and body lotion for personal use and income generation.
ROL is a non-profit organization actively combatting Liberia’s high rate of sexual and gender-based violence against girls by empowering, educating, and providing a safe space for their stories to be heard. Spark supports ROL’s Project READ (Restoration Education Arts Development), an initiative that creates safe places for girls ages 12-18 to discover new worlds through books, mentoring and coding programs; beginning with the opening of a female-run library café and support center for girls. Spark also supports Project READ’s global social change initiative, Project GirlSpire; a blog/online magazine promoting sisterhood, female empowerment and the equal rights of women and girls by telling their stories.
Ruraq Maki is a non-profit based in the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes that creates economic opportunities for low-income female artisans, through education and connecting artisans to the fair-trade global marketplace. Spark sponsors their Yanamilla Prison Project in Peru, helping incarcerated women receive a fair and just income for their traditional, hand-embroidered products.
Kyusa is a non-profit in Kampala, Uganda that offers creative, online learning tools for school dropouts, empowering them to achieve their educational goals in a way that recognizes their strengths and turns their passions into careers. Spark sponsors a 3-month skill building program for 10 young women who are at risk of being abused by virtue of living in an urban slum and being out of school.
SWEAT (Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce) supports sex workers to access their human rights in South Africa with the goal of achieving a legitimate sex work industry in which informed, empowered and safe sex workers are able to make choices about their working lives and health. Spark supports SWEAT’s Mothers for the Future Program, Feminist Program, and Empowerment Program.
Let Us Stay Alive (LUSA) helps underrepresented and vulnerable women and girls of the Nyaruguru, Gisagara, Huye, and Nyanza districts of Rwanda receive women’s rights education and skills to promote economic security, improving their quality of life. Spark sponsors training on improved cooking stoves for economic gain.
Ara Trust is a women founded and women run organization that provides refugee and migrant women with legal services and advocacy in India. Drawing inspiration from the Latin word “Ara” meaning “Shelter”, they offer support and protection to women and children who are marginalized and vulnerable due to their legal status. A spark grant sponsors 450 women and children to receive secure and safe legal representation.
Rural Women Center for Education and Development (RuWCED) is a grassroots organization based in Ndop-Cameroon. It seeks to assist rural women and children to survive the challenges of HIV, cultural discrimination, violence, lack of access to education, poor health and sanitation. A Spark grant will ensure 8,000 schoolgirls receive sex and reproductive health education.
Mfariji Africa was founded in 2012 by a local young woman to address issues affecting teenage girls in marginalized areas in Kenya through provision of sanitary towels and reproductive health training. Mfariji Africa’s main programs include The Sanitary Sanity Campaign (SSC) and Mfariji Clubs. SSC provides sanitary materials to school-going girls from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds to reduce absenteeism from school. Mfariji Clubs were created to establish continuity in schools in which Mfariji Africa already had roots. Through the clubs, they provide reproductive training and mentorship programs throughout the year. A Spark grant will cover the distribution of sanitary towels to 1,000 disadvantaged school-going girls in 2015 to make it possible for the girls to stay in school during menstruation.
The BuSSy Project began in 2006 as a student-directed performance of the stories of Egyptian women’s experiences of womanhood, exposing real women’s stories and providing a space for free expression on issues that society was failing to address. Today, BuSSy is an independent theater project that tackles the complexity of gender issues from the perspectives of both women and men. The medium of theater allows the project to reach a large body of people while providing storytellers with the opportunity to publicly reclaim the truth as they experienced it. A Spark grant will cover the initiation of “BuSSy 13+,” a story-telling workshop and performance based on real stories from Egyptian high school students.
  • Red Dot Foundation – Safecity

  • India

  • safecity.in
  • 2015 Grantee

Safecity, registered as Red Dot Foundation, was founded in 2012 by a group of women concerned about the prevalence and treatment of sexual harassment in India. They took action by creating Safecity, an online platform documenting personal experiences of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. On Safecity’s website, women can anonymously report where they experienced street harassment, then the data is aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level. Safecity also complements the crowd map with educating around identifying sexual harassment, cultural biases and stereotypes that compound the problem, and the laws relevant to the issue. A Spark grant will cover workshops for 500 children, 500 youth, and 500 parents providing education on the issue.
  • Vicony’s Global Success World (VGSW)

  • Cameroon

  • vgsw.org
  • 2014 Grantee

VGSW was founded by a group of women who came together to provide accurate socio-economic information and services to their local community. The organization uses innovative approaches including technology and social media to encourage women’s economic empowerment and involvement in their community’s electoral process. A Spark grant will cover training 150 women on civic education and participation through capacity building workshops.
  • The Alternative Bridge to Community Development (AB2CD)

  • Philippines

  • 2014 Grantee

AB2CD, Inc. empowers out-of-school girls and women to address their own poverty issues through development education, plus equips girls to be able to neutralize prospects of becoming girl-brides, victims of human trafficking, and gender-based violence. A Spark grant will cover general operating costs for vocational training for the girls, an adult literacy program for their parents, supplemental workshops offered to both, plus monitoring and evaluation.
A4SH’s mission is to improve the quality and availability of health services provided to pregnant women and mothers in Nigeria. A4SH’s signature program is the Safe Delivery Program, which helps pregnant women attend antenatal care visits and receive safe delivery kits. A Spark grant will cover 4 additional interventions in hard-to-reach communities plus provide 100 safe delivery kits to facilities in each of these communities. It will also help A4SH pursue further outreach to women by providing post-natal kits to women who completed the antenatal care visit requirements.
  • Community Women’s Enterprise Network (CWEN)

  • Uganda

  • cwen.or.ug
  • 2014 Grantee

CWEN was founded by a group of passionate young women looking for new opportunities for women in their communities. CWEN’s mission is to build the entrepreneurial capacity of women to overcome economic and social barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. A Spark grant will support 41 low-income, high potential female entrepreneurs through CWEN’s Women on the Shelf project. Women on the Shelf focuses on cultivating and strengthening the capacity of women entrepreneurs through branding, packaging, marketing, and merchandising so their products will fetch higher prices, doubling their incomes and expanding their markets locally and globally.
Young Feminists Movement, based in Northern Pakistan, is a self-organized collective of young women aged 15-25 that empower girls in their rural communities. They provide 5-day trainings for girls around equal rights, reproductive health and abuse prevention, plus they promote activism around girls’ and women’s rights and gender equality. A Spark grant will cover scholarships for 50 girls to attend the leadership trainings.
Based in Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Guerreiras Project uses futebol as a tool to address harmful gender norms with the aim of promoting a more equitable way of being. They carry out workshops, trainings, multimedia exhibitions, and presentations for youth participants in low-income communities. They train professional female futebol players as ambassadors of women’s rights and gender justice. These ambassadors then teach at-risk youth about social justice issues in their communities. A Spark grant covers expansion of the community workshops to build off of the momentum from the men’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil as a platform to promote gender justice through 2016.
Roots of Health provides sex education and clinical services to young people in Palawan – one of the poorest and most vulnerable island provinces in the Philippines. The organization trains college students to communicate age-appropriate, culturally specific, real-time health education to young people in the Philippines. Their innovation is a text hotline that serves 1,000 teens a month. A Spark grant will increase cell phone load for the text hotline service, enabling Roots of Health to serve more young people.
Uganda Women’s Water Initiative (UWWI), is a local chapter under the Global Women’s Water Initiative – an organization that trains local leaders in water, sanitation, and hygiene strategies (WASH). Located in the rural district of Gomba, UWWI trains women in WASH technologies for improved health and sustainable development. A Spark grant will help cover costs for toilets, water filters, kitchen gardens, and briquette training in 10 Gomba communities.
Women LEAD, is the first and only leadership development organization for young women in Nepal. Women LEAD is run by passionate, driven young women under 25 and over half their team are program alumnae. By “paying it forward” their programs have a multiplier effect and not only transform the lives of participants, but also impact other young women in their schools and communities. A Spark grant supports their intensive year-long skills building program, mentoring, and peer network.
Akili Dada provides scholarships, mentors and leadership training to bright young women scholars from low-income families. Empowering the next generation of Kenyan women leaders, Akili Dada partners their scholars with mentors from a network of Kenyan women leaders in medicine, finance, media and government. After connecting girls with scholarships and a growing network of peers and mentors, Akili Dada’s scholars join a leadership training program. The curriculum is designed to help the girls become agents of change in their home communities while achieving academic excellence, self- awareness and a strong sense social responsibility. Spark supports Akili Dada with pro bono services and in-kind donations.
Asylum Access was founded to make refugee rights a reality in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where 99% of the world’s 16 million refugees remain. Previously, Spark supported Asylum Access’s Empowering Refugee Women Project, which successfully engaged refugee women in Ecuador through community leadership and policy advocacy. The participants advocated to change the Ecuadorian constitution – and won. Spark is partnering with Asylum Access to replicate this project in Tanzania. The sustainability of the project hinges on participants obtaining legal status through residency permits. These permits will empower 100 women to engage in Asylum Access programming without fear of deportation and other forms of retribution.
  • Estrategia

  • Peru

  • 2012 Grantee

Estrategia operates a number of successful job-training programs that place hundreds in jobs at local bakeries, pharmacies and schools. Spark is supporting the expansion of their program that trains women in the manufacturing of pre-fabricated construction supplies. Participants receive income from the sale of cinder blocks and education in construction management and urban development. Estrategia seeks to train 30 local women, who will subsequently train and employ an additional 150. Spark supports Estrategia with a grant.
The Komera Project provides scholarships for girls whose families cannot afford their secondary education. In addition, Komera girls participate in an intensive training program in social entrepreneurship. The training is intended to give graduating scholars the skills to embark on their own grassroots ventures.
Northeast India, with its open and unmanned international boarders, is a hotspot for human trafficking. Truck drivers from all over India coerce young northeastern girls into fake marriages, child labor, and sex work. Impulse has sought to intervene by running a comprehensive network of stakeholders involved in rescuing and rehabilitating trafficked victims. Before the intervention of Impulse, there was no other workable anti-trafficking system in the Northeast that used a holistic network approach. Impulse has intervened in 137 (and counting) cases of human trafficking. Spark supports Impulse with a grant and pro-bono services.
  • MADRE – Sister Salons

  • Guatemala

  • madre.org
  • 2012 Grantee

Spark is partnering with MADRE to launch Sister Salons for Guatemala. Based in Barcenas, Guatemala, 15 initial participants – all survivors of domestic violence – will receive counseling, job training and medical referrals, as needed. As a result of the project, women will be equipped to work as hairstylists, strengthening their ability to care for themselves and their families and become agents of change in their community.
The Leadership Winter Camp Program will provide 15 girls – ages 15-20 – with trainings on leadership development and English literacy. The participants are selected from Tibetan nomadic villages in Qinghai, Western China. Additionally, the winter camp focuses on women’s empowerment in a variety of ways. The curriculum includes daily discussions of strong women figures, inspiring women guest speakers, and exercises and games to strengthen the girls’ self-confidence.
 
NexGeneGirls is a nonprofit dedicated to providing opportunities in STEM-related fields to young women of color in underserved communities. NexGeneGirls has served over 300 girls through workshops, trainings, mentoring, and internships by providing a multi-generational teaching and substantive, hands-on science experience for African American female high school students. Through education and mentorship, NexGeneGirls aims to address a multitude of root causes that challenge young women in the Bay View/ Hunters Point community, including gender inequality, poverty, education, and economic livelihood.
New Women New Yorkers is the first nonprofit dedicated to empowering young immigrant women in New York City. Spark will sponsor the scaling of their flagship LEAD program. LEAD is a free professional development program whose primary goal is to help young immigrant women enter the United States workforce. Through grassroots, transformative leadership, they empower participants to become role models and agents of change for their communities.
AnnieCannons is a 501(c)(3) training human trafficking survivors in tech skills (from testing to full stack development), helping them build software solutions targeted to help communities vulnerable to trafficking, and connecting them with software’s vast income opportunities. A Spark grant will help fund additional instructor and TA positions so that multiple classes of human trafficking survivors can be taught at once.
Willpowered Woman works with, supports and creates community for 16 to 34 year old women without children, who are being abused or have been abused. A Spark grant will help serve 100 women through Willpowered Woman’s reproductive coercion prevention class.
The Doula Project is a non-profit organization based in New York that provides free compassionate care and emotional, physical, and informational support to people across the spectrum of pregnancy. They created a model of care that seeks to advance a new vision of holistic pregnancy support: a doula for all reproductive choices. Their vision is to create a society in which all pregnant people have access to the care and support they need during their pregnancy. A Spark grant will help build their birth doula program by increasing the number of trained doulas to fully serve their clients.
Essie Justice Group harnesses the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones to end mass incarceration and gender inequality. Their dream is to turn pain to power for the millions who live silently struggling beneath the stigma and sadness of a loved one’s incarceration. Using an innovative healing to advocacy curriculum designed by and for women, they seed groups for women to give and receive support and to access their collective power as caretakers, leaders, and advocates. A Spark grant will support the launch of one group of 15 women in the San Francisco Bay Area to help create the flagship base after which other Essie groups will be modeled
BLK Projek is a Bronx-based organization that uses urban farming and food justice programming to promote the physical and financial health of women and children in marginalized communities. A Spark grant will cover operating costs for both the Libertad Urban Farm and their South Bronx Mobile bus, including stipends for volunteer farmers.
  • Youth Leadership Empowerment and Achievement Program

  • Oakland, CA

  • facebook.com/whyleap
  • 2014 Grantee

Y-LEAP is a young women’s empowerment program founded by Oakland native, Nakia Dillard. Y-Leap’s mission is to encourage, coach, and inspire young women in Oakland to become leaders, peer-to-peer educators and successful goal achievers using the power of their minds. A Spark grant will cover 5 scholarships for youth members upon completion of their workshop trainings and 1 laptop.
Project Window provides girls ages 11-15 in low income housing projects in Far Rockaway and surrounding communities with opportunities to reach their full potentials and face life with confidence. Through mentoring, educational assistance, and organized sports and dance, Project Window teaches self-awareness, the importance of education, and strong interpersonal skills. Participants learn there’s more to life than what they see through their windows. A Spark grant will support 15 girls’ participation in their summer day camp providing a safe space while school is out of session.
Serenity House was founded by a survivor of rape to create a safe environment for other survivors and to provide the transformative resources necessary to move from a life of hopelessness to a life of recovery. The program includes daily group sessions focused on self-esteem, life skills, incident writing, healthy relationships, healing from sexual abuse and HIV-AIDS, testing and prevention. Serenity House also provides case managers, individual counselors and drop-in services. A Spark grant will support outreach to victims involved in sex trade on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland.
  • Japanese Multicultural Relief Fund

  • Oakland, CA/Japan

  • relief.jprn.org
  • 2013 Grantee

Japanese Multicultural Relief Fund (JMRF) organized the first national multi-lingual, peer-to-peer hotline for minority women, run by minority women, in Japan. JMRF helps these survivors of Fukushima combat displacement, isolation, and poverty. The hotline receives about 50 calls a day, more than can be answered with current capacity. A Spark grant will help increase the amount of calls JMRF can field in a day.
  • Turning Point

  • New York, NY

  • tpny.org
  • 2013 Grantee

Turning Point is a community-based, non-profit organization addressing the culturally specific needs of Muslim women and children, who are survivors of domestic violence. Turning Point offers comprehensive social services to these survivors. Turning Point has been a safe haven for over 750 Muslim women, girls, and children to date. A Spark grant will support Turning Point’s Direct Social Services for Women and Children
  • Sweet Dreams Sewing Cooperative

  • San Francisco, CA

  • turningheads.org
  • 2012 Grantee

Sweet Dreams is a student operated small business that has its own line of products: hand-crafted lavender eye pillows, aromatherapy dream pillows, neck pillows, yoga mat bags and zip cases. 12 young female entrepreneurs rotate management responsibilities: finance, marketing/sales, and production. They make decisions cooperatively and profit share according to time spent working. The project is incubated by Turning Heads, a vocational arts education and entrepreneurship training program for at-risk, young women ages 14-20. Spark supports Turning Heads with a grant and pro-bono services to support the expansion of Sweet Dreams.
  • Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition

  • New York, NY

  • statusispower.com
  • 2012 Grantee

In 2006, 25 young women ages 13-25 from the five boroughs of New York City joined forces to address the lack of quality, youth-friendly and responsive, comprehensive sex education available in their communities. The young women – some of whom were HIV positive- turned frustration into fruition by forming The Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition (YWCHAC), a youth leadership program that trains peer health advocates. Each summer, a cohort of 25 young women develop advocacy skills and create public service announcements and campaigns to educate their peers on sexual health and other reproductive justice issues. Spark supports YWCHAC with a grant and pro bono services.