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The Pollination Project 1569 Solano Avenue #643 Berkeley, CA 94707 All rights reserved. ÂŽ Compiled by James West & Tara Matthews Edited by Lauren K. Terry Designed by Liz DiSalvo



WHAT WE BELIEVE We believe that uplifting and empowering individuals at the grassroots-level is a particularly potent way to achieve real and long-lasting change. By awarding small grants and pre-grant mentoring that support direct work in the world, we provide belief and financial capital to grassroots startup changemakers, allowing them to have increased direct impact on the issue their work addresses.


Letter from the Executive Director.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Stats & Testimonials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Animal Rights Melissa Furman & Krisann Polito-Moller - Tulsa VegFest 2019. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Connor Jackson - #Standwithchickens. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Stories of Impact - Elizabeth Agnello and Her Brave Little Fighters Know What a Heaven’s For. . . . . . . . . 6 Arts & Culture Bernardo Rey - CENIT - Art and Nature. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Kat Roma Greer - Disrupting Climate Disruption: Global Day of Creative Action. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Stories of Impact David Mulo Changes the Lives of Kenya’s Youth Through Sports and Leadership Training. . . . . . . . 10 Economic Empowerment Abanda Marcel Bungong - RICE (Rehabilitation, Inclusive, Community, Empowerment) Excellent Center Nkambe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Robinah Kasule - Empowering Women Through Entrepreneurship Development.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Stories of Impact Debbie Goncalves Dreams Big for Her Special Needs Actors in TA-DA Productions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Stats & Testimonials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Environmental Sustainability Caitlyn Lewis - Community Compost Collection - Soil Cycle.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Anna Luísa Santos - Aqualuz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Health & Wellness Lorien Neargarder - Complementary Cancer Care - Non-Medical Cancer Support Services. . . . . . . . 20

Qabale Duba - Her Pads and Panties Project (PAPA). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Stories of Change Kansiime Honest Nurtures the Leaders of Tomorrow with Girls to Lead Africa Program. . . . . . . . . . 22 Human Rights & Dignity Melissa Reinberg - Negotiation Works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Danielle de la Fuente - The Amal Alliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Stories of Change - Two TPP Grantees “Go Upstream” to Clean Up Cameroon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Kindness & Generosity Noah Walton - Eco Soul Hostel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Leadership Development Amir Samandi - Summer of Service (SOS) - SERVE Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Schools & Education/Youth Kessa Early - Early Vibes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Annie Marggraff - Step Ahead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Stories of Change - Selassie Tay Takes on Training Women to be Independent in Ghana. . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Stats & Testimonials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Dear Friends, As we begin a new year, I want to express my deepest gratitude for your heartfelt support. In 2019, we made 586 grants supporting changemakers around the world in 61 countries. These agents of compassion work tirelessly to positively impact their communities and the world around them. The TPP family is honored to support amazing individuals unleashing goodness, uprooting apathy, and living with compassion.  This past year we saw projects that introduced thousands of people to a plantbased diet in Tulsa, OK; brought art and theater into the lives of victims of conflict in Colombia; educated dozens of young people on reproductive health in Cameroon; and provided numerous families with access to clean drinking water in Brazil. These are but a handful of the hundreds of projects we supported last year. We recognise that none of this would have been possible without you.   Words cannot fully express how moved, inspired, and grateful we are by your dedication to positively impacting the world. Your support makes a difference in people’s lives every single day and the ripples reach far and wide. Thank you for believing in people, thank you for believing in goodness, and thank you for believing in The Pollination Project.

With deepest gratitude,

Ajay Dahiya Executive Director



We believe in building capacity, deepening relationship, and fostering collaboration among grantees through the provision of internal ongoing funding and connection to external funding, and through non-financial capital such as trainings, mentorship, and peer-to-peer grantee hubs and support groups. Through these means, grantees are better resourced to carry out their work in effective and efficient ways, which in turn builds relationship and trust that then opens opportunities for internal transformation.Â



TESTIMONIAL “We are very grateful for the Pollination Project’s support. This organization was the first (outside of our first supporters) to believe in our mission. It provided us hope and encouraged us to overcome challenges. As a new non-profit it is often difficult to gain traction when you lack reputation and credibility in the community... As a result of this grant, we have gained credibility in the refugee community and will be able to continue to grow and work towards achieving our mission.”

- Linnie Pawlek, Financial Literacy

For Refugees, Colorado, USA



Melissa Furman & Krisann Polito-Moller TULSA VEGFEST 2019


This one-day event, free to the public, was held to educate and promote a healthy plant-based lifestyle in Oklahoma, ranked among the bottom of states across almost all health measures, according to the 2014 Oklahoma Health Department Report.Â


Originally expected to attract 2,500 attendees, the event hosted an astonishing 4,000+ participants, about 50% of whom were not plant-based – that means more than 2,000 attendees were introduced to the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle!


United Kingdom

The #StandWithChickens project, part of Open Cages UK, educates the public and influences retail standards, in the belief that these activities can create social change that will ultimately end factory farming and create a more compassionate world.

Impact Each year, one billion chickens raised for meat in the UK are forced to endure crippling pain and constant distress in intensive factory farms, then their lives are horrifically ended prematurely. Open Cages UK seeks to prevent farmed animal suffering by creating welfare standards for chickens, such as the European Chicken Commitment (EEC). Through public pressure campaigns, including the publication of 13 articles and op-eds in various media sources, Jackson has influenced major companies, such as Sodexo (Europe’s largest caterer), to sign the commitment!Â



Elizabeth Agnello and Her “Brave Little Fighters” Know What a Heaven’s For Elizabeth Agnello couldn’t help but get emotional. She had just received an unexpected check for $2,500 from a local who, despite not having an ill child of his own, believed in the mission of her Buffalo, NY-based non-profit, Brave Little Fighters (BLF), which aims to ease the heartache, uncertainty, and fears of children with life-threatening and terminal illnesses through carefree, free-of-charge outings with their families. “I couldn’t believe it,” Agnello said, the pure joy clearly evidenced by the crack in her voice. “We are so reliant on the generosity of our community… it’s so wonderful that our community members feel as though they can be a part of contributing to [BLF] and making it grow as much as possible.” In addition to the generosity of her community, who Agnello said welcomed her organization with “open arms,” Agnello credits the initial seed grant she received from The Pollination Project as a reason for BLF’s success. “We gained credibility as a result of the TPP grant, and in many ways, it’s responsible

for the donations we’ve received since and the additional grants that we hope to come later.” Focused on serving families in Buffalo’s close-knit community, BLF has also received media attention, including articles in The Buffalo News, the Bee and Sun newspapers, Sweet Buffalo, the Penfield Post, Spectrum News, and Totally Buffalo. The organization, which just received its seed funding from TPP last December, has already grown to service an incredible 125 families. “We used the TPP funds to throw a Christmas party… we had a beautiful luncheon at the American Legion. The venue was donated because the veterans were touched by our mission. We had a veteran dress up like Santa Claus, and Our Lady of Charity, a local church, donated 75 beautifully wrapped toys. Along with raising our profile, the party gave the children a wonderful outing and provided the parents and siblings of the children an opportunity to form friendships and support circles.” Since their inception, BLF has already had an astounding 15 outings and hopes to increase that number to 22 by the end of the year. “Our mission resonates with so many Buffalonians, and we have been so fortunate to have received so many in-kind donations for the outings.”


Along with founding and running BLF, Agnello somehow also manages to work a full-time job — but she’d love for BLF to be her main gig one day. “My most sincere hope is that we will be able to achieve sustainable growth… that five years down the road, BLF is a household name. We’re achieving at a pace where that is possible. The more we welcome, the more we can do.”

and that is contributing to the lives of children who don’t have it nearly as easy as others, but who want to be treated or looked at just like everyone else — they truly want to fit in and find a place of belonging. I think our mission helps [with that] a lot, for when they become part of the Brave family, it connects them with others facing similar levels of uncertainty and isolation.”

So, what keeps Agnello going, especially on those days where she’s working full-time, planning outings and events, and writing grants? “I do this work because I’m so passionate about it; ever since I was a young child, I felt a strong empathy for the most vulnerable children. But, I think there might just be a little more than passion at work, too… I want to serve a purpose much greater than myself

Agnello also shares a quote that motivates her every day, a quote that her father, who passed away of pancreatic cancer, used to say to her: “Let your reach exceed your grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” TPP is thrilled to have supported Agnello and BLF, and we know that nothing is beyond their “reach.”



Bernardo Rey



The primary goal of CENIT - Art and Nature is to give voice and visibility to those who are not normally heard or who are socially denied, and to create ways of resilience through theater. They’ve worked with refugee victims of torture in Rome and in Colombia with displaced communities, mostly Afro-descendant victims of conflict, from children to the elderly.Â


With the help of the TPP seed grant, Rey and his colleagues were able to construct a Residential Art School and Social Theater Center in the middle of the jungle of the Sierra Nevada in Santa Marta, Colombia, to develop the use of arts and theater as an instrument for psychosocial rehabilitation within displaced communities in Colombia.

Kat Roma Greer

DISRUPTING CLIMATE DISRUPTION: GLOBAL DAY OF CREATIVE ACTION MULTIPLE CITIES, HONG KONG On the day of the 2020 U.N Climate Action Summit, Greer and her team will be conducting their first Global Day of Creative Action – an accessible movement where creatives mobilize within their individual communities to develop, present, and document a public, creative response to climate disruption.


Greer and her team are providing an accessible and engaging creative platform to create space for more voices, perceptions, and interpretations of the issue – and more excitingly, more ideas and exposure about solutions, adaptations, and mitigation strategies that are taking place using diverse cultural and traditional knowledge as well as new technology. These works, their development, and public response will be documented and featured online live, be part of a virtual online exhibition, and form the basis of a micro documentary. This project will culminate with a virtual conference involving participating artists and organizations.




“They were my role models, I wanted to become

iron, one-room shacks, very few with electricity.

like them, they were the gateway to my life

Up to 20 families might share a communal

path of sport for social impact. Sport kept me

water tap and toilet latrine. Living every day in

from becoming involved with drugs, alcohol

such circumstances can lead to behaviors that

and crime, it gave me a vision towards a

compromise health and safety and often lead to

better future…”

early marriage, unplanned pregnancy, criminal

These words from David Mulo about the people

activities, and abandoned education.”

in his life who shared with him at a young age

These words also reveal, however, the determined

the importance of sports reveal the fragility of

passion that drove Mulo to found Green-Kenya,

life as an impoverished child in Kenya.

an organization that uses sports as a way to

“The difficulties faced by youth in developing

provide awareness opportunities about social

countries are magnified due to limited access to education, unstable social and economic

issues, including environmental conservation, to students, teachers, and the greater community

environments, and poor sanitation and

in Nairobi.

healthcare,” says Mulo. “In the slums, youth

“Our Community Impact Program presents

are faced with the addition of crime, drug abuse,

the only opportunity for many impoverished

and prostitution. Whole families live in corrugated

children to participate in organized sport… Sport creates an environment that unites people across gender, race, religion, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is an educational tool which fosters cognitive development; teaches social behavior; and helps to integrate communities. Sport has the power to transform lives.” Based on the Coaches Across Continents model of development through sport, Green-Kenya’s coaches are assigned to a group of 50 to 100 students and follow a predetermined curriculum, where one social issue is the focus of every month. The groups meet weekly for a one-hour session.


TPP awarded Mulo a grant for his program in 2017,

social and personal development and invite them

which allowed them to train four more coaches and

to participate in a Youth Leadership Training.

to purchase equipment needed for one additional

They’ll be trained on leadership, good governance,

school. The results have been astounding: in just a

and how collaboration can bring about a positive

few short years, their existing programs have

change in communities.

expanded, allowing them to reach 4,363 children

For Mulo, sport is not just about keeping kids off

aged 7 – 14 years. They’ve also conducted 170 “Sports for Social Impact” sessions; 1,260 children from 10 different primary schools have participated in their Kick and Conserve Tournaments; and 160 local participants have been trained to be coaches.

the streets—it nurtures the very qualities needed for a happy, successful life. “Social development is about improving the well-being of every individual enabling them to reach their full potential. Barriers need to be removed so that all citizens can journey

Mulo is not one to rest on his laurels, however. He

toward self-sufficiency with confidence and dignity.

is very ambitious for the program’s future, working

It is about refusing to accept that people who live

toward adding 4 primary schools (500 students)

in poverty will always be poor. Everyone deserves

and 4 community centers (100 students) to the

the opportunity to develop their skills and contribute

program. He also wishes to identify 20 youth,

to their families and communities. If individuals do

currently in the school program, who demonstrate

well, then society as a whole will benefit.”

leadership qualities and show passion towards 11


Abanda Marcel Bungong


RICE is the only facility of its kind in the northwest region of Cameroon that provides teenage mothers, children, and teenagers the opportunity to seek information on reproductive health, trainings on small-scale business, counseling services, and mentoring opportunities.


• 64 women registered • 36 women graduated with a focus on fashion design/tailoring/hair-dressing • 30 women received start-up capital in different fields to help them kick-start their own businesses • 75 birth certificates for children/orphans were created • $5,700 additional funding raised – an incredible achievement for a Cameroon-based project



Robinah Kasule

EMPOWERING WOMEN THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT NALUMUNYE, UGANDA This project trains unemployed women in Uganda with skills to grow mushrooms for income generation, nutrition, and food security to help combat high poverty levels, poor nutrition, poor livelihood conditions, and limited access to land for agriculture among women.


• 18 unemployed women trained in mushroom cultivation skills for income generation, four of whom have gone one to create their own mushroom cultivation businesses and nine of whom have established joint mushroom shelter houses for their businesses • Kasule has partnered with two social change agencies by offering training services to community groups in mushroom cultivation



Debbie Goncalves Dreams Big for Her Special Needs Actors in TA-DA Productions “Ta-da!” sang a chorus of actors—the signature ending of every theatrical production staged by TA-DA Productions, or Theatre Adapted for Different Abilities, based out of Old Bridge, New Jersey. This time, however, the tradition had special significance for founder Debbie Goncalves. After all, it wasn’t every day that she got to see a reprisal of the song “Little Town” from “Beauty and the Beast”—the first musical number she ever staged—performed as a reunion show by her original cast 19 years later. “It brought chills to my body and tears to my eyes to know that this program worked for them then and worked for them now,” said Goncalves. The program—which evolved into an activity for teens and adults with special needs to express themselves artistically and to fine-tune social, motor, and language skills—started out as skits that Goncalves, who is an elementary special education

teacher, created with her students for her school’s talent show. It wasn’t until she learned about TPP that she realized that her skits could be something much more. “I had done the skits for years, but then I discovered that this concept could be done on a larger scale for students all over the town, not just the elementary school. TA-DA Productions happened when I saw a story about The Pollination Project and decided that the idea I had on the back burner for so many years could come true…The initial seed grant from The Pollination Project got us started! I was able to make my dream come alive by having the means to purchase the basic items we needed to get the theatre program up and running. And, now, we haven’t looked back! We have grown each year from participation to support to guests in our audience.” The success of the program is important to Goncalves not just because of the time and effort she and her actors put in (the rigors of the program require attendance at frequent rehearsals and participation in all aspects of production) but because of the positive outcomes it provides for her players. “Through their participation, the actors have formed social relationships that now exist outside of our theatre program. Furthermore, not only has my program improved the lives of those who participate in it but those around us in the community… I want the community to understand that everyone, no matter what, has a right to be a part of the


community. To be valued for what they can do, not what they can’t do. The community needs to be educated on what it is to be disabled. People who have attended our show for the first time are shocked by what my performers can do. Through our performances, I want the world to accept their differences and support them.” So, when the cast of her original musical number came together nearly 20 years later to celebrate the strides Goncalves had made with the program, she—and the 300+ person audience—couldn’t help but get emotional. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” she said. “All of the kids from the program cheered them on and supported them. It was a great night.”

“We want to keep growing to get bigger. We started with eight students and last year we had 17. We want to get more and more audience participation and to get even more popular in the community,” she said. Goncalves’ biggest dream, however, is a very personal wish for her actors, to whom she devotes so much time, energy, and love. “I want to take my kids to Broadway. I would love to hire a bus, take them to see a Broadway show, and go to dinner—the whole true New York experience. They’ve never done that. That’s my ultimate dream for them.”

Goncalves’s next production, which debuts in early June 2020, is themed “Dancing through the Decades,” and will feature her players dancing to musical numbers from the 50s to modern day. And even though running this program is a lot of work, and is staffed only by volunteers, Goncalves remains ambitious for her kids. 15

WHAT WE BELIEVE We believe in supporting inner transformation through efforts to help people deepen their own contemplative practices, through facilitating authentic and vulnerable connection to others around the world, and through modeling the importance of process over outcome in our own work. We do this because we believe that how you do your work manifests in the outcomes of that work. Thus, relatedly, we believe that when grantees are able to do their work from a place that is more deeply rooted in compassion, with greater resilience, and with more capacity for self-compassion and equanimity, then that work is both likely to have greater and broader impact that is more deeply aligned with our vision for a more just world and that has great potential to create ripples outward.






“I appreciate the amazing work you are

Number of non-working widows receiving vocational training and guided to start their own business in Cameroon Changemaker: Yenjong Rita Ngabir Project: Working Widows


Number of emotionally traumatized women and girls helped to recover from the trauma they experienced during the war in South Sudan Changemaker: Susan Adol

doing. Your grant has helped make a difference in people’s lives. It has helped hopeless women find hope for their future, it has taken children back to school, and it created employment in a country where finding a job is the most difficult thing. We thank you so much.”

– Atukunda Eva, Legit Housekeeping

and Maintenance Services, Uganda

Project: Building Emotional Resilience of Conflict Affected Women and Children


“The seed grant made a great difference Number of youth school drop-outs educated on land pollution and employment opportunities in Malawi

to me and to those who benefitted from the project. The villagers’ lives have

Changemaker: Masida Hastings Ziba

changed now that they have access to

Project: Youth Skills Development as a Tool to Minimise Land Pollution and Unemployment

water…The hand pump well water


Number of young people reached through performances of a play about the humane treatment of animals in Hong Kong Changemaker: Shawny Osgerby Project: Humane Theatre


system has greatly reduced the infant mortality death rate and there has been no record of maternity death in this community ever since the installation.”

- Oladapo Okunade Olanrewaju,


Project, Nigeria

Number of low-income girls educated on menstrual hygiene management and given sanitary pads so that they may stay in school in Uganda Changemaker: Mukasa Nassar Project: Ugapads: Reusable Sanitary Pads



Caitlyn Lewis

COMMUNITY COMPOST COLLECTION - SOIL CYCLE MISSOULA, MONTANA, USA Soil Cycle is a bicycle-powered curbside food scrap collection non-profit in the Missoula, Montana community dedicated to completing and promoting the natural cycle of garden to table, table to garden. Soil Cycle is a highly effective community-oriented solution that offers a valuable service to members by promoting and enabling self-sufficiency and sustainability. Inspired by reducing waste, the project shows the community how wasted food can be used for natural fertilizer.


Soil Cycle is able to collect large amounts of food waste in any weather. Before awarded their grant from TPP, they could only collect around 80 pounds of food waste on each route; now, they can collect 300 pounds! The project has 85 residential members and 10 commercial members.

Anna LuĂ­sa Santos AQUALUZ


Aqualuz is a Brazilian device that helps to solve the problem of microbiological contamination of water from arid regions. It works by using sunlight to disinfect the rainwater and make it fit for consumption.


For families living in rural areas of the Brazilian semi-arid region (approximately 14 million people), there is a lack of access to drinking water. Aqualuz provides independence of access to drinking water for the families served. The project obtained additional funding in the amount of $1,250 to create more devices for distribution.



Lorien Neargarder



Complementary Cancer Care’s mission is to provide free non-medical services for anyone in Florida’s Brevard County who is dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The services are intended to complement participants’ medical treatment and support all aspects of their healing. The project offers weekly yoga for cancer survivorship classes and monthly informational support groups.


By the end of her grant, Neargarder had offered 74 hours to program services to 143 people with a cancer diagnosis free of charge.


Qabale Duba



Her Pads and Panties Project (PAPA) provides sanitary pads to girls in rural village schools in Marsabit County, Kenya. The project is currently making local reusable period panties with inbuilt pads.


PAPA has greatly reduced the number of girls missing classes at school – or even dropping out – due to lack of basic necessities, such as sanitary pads and panties. To date, more than 3,200 girls have been able to stay in school through Duba’s work. Duba was also awarded a Global Citizen award this year.



Kansiime Honest Nurtures the Leaders of Tomorrow with Girls to Lead Africa Program People often speak of moments that are life-changing, moments when the trajectory of their lives are forever altered. For Kansiime Honest, that moment was when the Ugandan government passed a policy for universal education. As an orphan growing up in Uganda’s Kanungu District, Honest dropped out of school at a young age because there was no way for her caretakers to afford the school fees and scholastic materials. Honest seemed destined to live a life similar to that of the other Ugandan orphans—one without opportunity or hope for the future. When her government passed that law, however— which allowed all children to attend school without paying tuition fees—Honest marveled at the incredible power of the policymakers, the strangers that had such influence over her life’s path. It was then that Honest found her calling: she would help young Ugandan girls leverage that power by encouraging

them to become policymakers themselves. Founded by Honest in 2015, when it was also awarded a TPP grant, Girls to Lead Africa is a program that incubates, nurtures, grooms, and develops girl leaders in schools and institutions of learning in the Kanungu District. The overall goal of the program is to create a breed of young female policymakers who will influence school policies so that female students can live free from discrimination and suffering. “My passion is to end injustice of all kind to humanity, especially injustice to the female gender,” says Honest. “To this effect, I founded the project through which I could raise these leaders. I challenge the girls to think critically about themselves, their roles, their gender, their identity, and their nation while breaking down negative messages fed to them by society. We empower them with lobbying skills and problem analysis skills. What inspires me in the world is to see justice reign and every creature on earth enjoying their rights with dignity.” Honest believes policy is a particularly effective way of enacting large-scale change because she views it as a holistic approach to solving a problem. She notes that girls in Uganda are often afraid to apply to leadership positions in school because of low self-esteem and unfair patriarchal systems coupled with a lack of necessary basic leadership skills, causing them to worry about asking for votes and being vetted by the teachers. This shortage of female leaders causes many injustices and sufferings for girls at


school, according to Honest. Honest knows, though, that if she is able to train girls in leadership skills, they may have the courage to apply for leadership positions in school and then go on to hold positions of power later in life. To that end, Honest routinely visits every secondary and tertiary school in the Kanungu District to encourage young girls to not accept the school policies that are unfair to them, but instead to lobby for change themselves. She does this through trainings, exchange programs, school debates, alumni communities, and consultative meetings with school leaders. Through her dedication, she has established Girls to Lead Africa clubs in almost all schools in the district as well as developed a leadership curriculum that most of the schools have completed. “Right now, more than 600 girls from the Girls to Lead Africa program have competed with boys in their schools for leadership positions and have won,”

Honest says proudly. Some of the policies these girls have passed include providing sanitary pads for first aid to girls at school and supporting zero-waste initiatives. As for Honest, she models the behavior she wishes to see in her girls—she is currently running for election for a political position in Uganda in 2021. “Politicians control our resources and economy… we put our lives into their hands. Most of our politicians are corrupt men who started their careers in school. If the problem is stemming from what happens in the schools, then let’s develop that spirit in girls of competing with the boys, let us work with them in school while they’re still young. Let’s encourage the mindset that you have to do something. When they grow in leadership, they become used to making decisions and finding solutions. Girls to Lead Africa will bridge the gender gap, and our graduates will be the leaders of tomorrow.” 23



Melissa Reinberg founded Negotiation Works to provide negotiation skills training to women who are homeless, recently released from prison, or living in domestic violence shelters in the Washington, DC area. This underserved population routinely engages in critical and complex negotiations to seek steady employment, a safe place to live, and access to needed services, but too often lack the necessary conflict resolution skills to negotiate effectively. Staff and volunteer instructors lead interactive classes, teaching the women to resolve everyday situations, enhance interpersonal relationships, and achieve personal and economic stability.


• More than 250 women taught with an additional 120 women expected to get skills training during the course of the grant • Partnerships with My Sister’s Place, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence, and local law schools • Several dozens of individuals expressing interest in going through the training to become active volunteers • 501c3 status recently approved  



Danielle de la Fuente THE AMAL ALLIANCE


The Amal Alliance is a non-profit organization that brings alternate education, books, education materials, sports and yoga activities and nutritious snacks to displaced children living in refugee camps around the world during their formative years.


• Danielle de la Fuente and her team are on track for their goal of reaching 50,000 displaced children by the year 2022. • Approved as a co-sponsor of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Global Refugee Forum



Two TPP Grantees “Go Upstream” to Clean Up Cameroon Tom Callahan’s parable of the Fifth Monk, a favorite at The Pollination Project, illustrates the concept of “going further upstream” in philanthropy—the idea that the further upstream one goes, the more likely the root causes of problems are identified instead of just their symptoms. And who would have thought that one day at TPP we would run into a literal example? Ada Acobta and Linus Ayangwoh Embe both had the goal to clean the ocean of plastic waste. Both of them developed stunningly inventive projects to achieve that goal. Both of them submitted an application for a TPP grant. Both of them live in Cameroon—Ada a mere 26 miles upstream from Linus. Yet, neither of them knew the other existed. Until, that is, TPP’s volunteer grant review team recognized that Ada and Linus just might have a few things in common. Ada, working in the city of Buea in the Southwest Region of Cameroon, developed an initiative aimed at tackling the problem of plastic pollution in communities in and around the city. “My experience with plastic-littered streets, local waterways, and beaches in the community; my personal challenges in disposing of my own waste in an environmentally friendly manner; and my understanding of the global plastic pollution problem prompted me to take action,” Ada says. The result is Beat the Bottle, a call-to-action for communities—and especially young people—to be conscious and play active roles in waste collection and management in Buea. Beat the Bottle encourages community members to take responsibility for their waste through pollution and recycling education and volunteer waste pick-up.


What Ada didn’t know, however, was that just south of her, in a coastal town to where the river into which so much of the waste from her community flows, Linus was diligently working on his own solution to the waste problem. Linus, a Community Development Advocate and the CEO of the Association for Community Awareness (ASCOA), developed the Clean Coastal Area for Sustainable Development project in the beach area of Limbe, Southwest, Cameroon. The goals of the project are to clean, sort, and document waste collected from the beach area while at the same time creating awareness about the hazards of environmental pollution. Following our team’s review of Linus’s and Ada’s applications, TPP’s Grants Manager, Tara Matthews, introduced Ada and Linus. Linus remembers the day he received Tara’s email: “It was on a fateful day, Friday 7th of June 2019, I received an email from Tara introducing

Ada and her project to me and asking us to collaborate [if we wished].” Ada recalls: “It is amazing how Linus and I came to collaborate. Linus is working to clean the Limbe Down Beach which is downstream from Buea, the community I am working to clean up. Buea, with its elevated topography and numerous streams channels, causes garbage that comes from the streets to eventually find its way to the Atlantic Coast where Linus is working. Despite our work being so connected, we never had the opportunity to meet each other or hear about each other’s work until we both received an email from Tara.” According to Ada, she and Linus met the following day to discuss possible ways of working together to achieve their common goal. “Linus and I will work together, cleaning up and educating communities in Buea and the Limbe areas on proper waste disposal. Bringing together ideas, manpower, and resources will enable us to create a bigger impact in our communities. The more work we do upstream, the less work we will have to do downstream so us working together is very important.” Much like the Monks, Ada and Linus recognized the power of finding solutions at the root of the problem, thereby causing impactful change in their common communities. “Thanks to TPP for bringing Ada and me together,” says Linus. “Ada and I are already putting everything in place for a good partnership and to make TPP proud for connecting us.”





The Eco Soul Hostel is a social enterprise community hostel in London where people who share values of kindness, social change, sustainability, and an inner well-being connect and inspire each other. As a 100% not-for-profit, the Hostel will give away any surplus funds as micro-grants for grassroots projects in a similar way to The Pollination Project.


• 80-bed hub will welcome more than 10,000 people each year, with speakers, workshops and vegan communal meals • 25 non-profit partners recruited


Amir Samandi

SUMMER OF SERVICE (SOS) - SERVE PROGRAM SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, USA Many of the schools in San Antonio require students to complete service hours, yet many do not know where to start or how to get involved. Summer of Service (SOS) addresses this need by organizing multiple, monthly service opportunities, supervised by adults and tracks student hours, in order to help all students develop a sense of empowerment through service to others. They organize and supervise multiple monthly service events for youth (12-18) in San Antonio to show them that they are empowered to make a difference, no matter their background, teaching them compassion through service to others, which include causes‌ causes like animal welfare, homelessness, environmental sustainability, foster care, and more.


SOS students have provided more than 10,000 hours of documented community service to the San Antonio community.





Early Vibes supports youth to make positive lifestyle choices. The young people who participate are provided a safe place to discuss life issues and learn coping skills, including, but not limited to, EFT tapping, mindful meditation, and self-care.


• One of the workshop series, “The Turn,” offers students who have received disciplinary infractions an opportunity to attend the program as a form of restorative practices in lieu of a suspension. Staff and parents/guardians are also encouraged to identify individuals they believe need additional support and would benefit from the program. • After Early Vibes received its TPP grant, it subsequently received $20,000 from the Marin Community Foundation.


Annie Marggraff STEP AHEAD


Being on a sports team is a positive experience that shapes many young lives, providing friendships, confidence, and life skills. For most children with autism, however, the overwhelming environment and intensity of athletic practices create barriers to participation. Step Ahead resolves these issues, offering free, weekly running teams built specifically with autism in mind. Children are paired one-on-one with a coach, a college student-athlete, who encourages and guides their athlete throughout each practice season.  The goals of the program are to integrate the children into the community while improving their quality of life, support the families of the children, and educate volunteers about autism.


Step Ahead is in a period of rapid national expansion, with four new chapters starting in Fall 2019. Their ability to provide seed funding for the foundation of these new chapters creates immediately available opportunities for families and establishes sustainable programs that will serve families for years to come.



“It’s time to stop limiting women’s potential” SELASSIE TAY TAKES ON TRAINING WOMEN TO BE INDEPENDENT IN GHANA When Selassie Tay saw Grace for the first time in 2015, he was immediately reminded of his mother. Standing in the middle of her mud house in Sogakope, Ghana, Grace had a basket on her head and was heading to one of her several odd jobs, the money from which she and her three children barely eked out a living. The children weren’t in school and often went hungry because Grace struggled to put food on the table. For Selassie, the sight of Grace’s dilapidated house and weary expression was not unfamiliar—as the son of a single mother and brother to two sisters, Selassie knew the heartbreak of this situation well. From his experience with his mother, he also sensed that, despite the bleakness of Grace’s situation, that she wanted—and was capable of—more. As it turned out, much more. Soon after Selassie and Grace met, Grace enrolled in Selassie’s non-profit business and vocational school for women—a venture inspired by his mother. The school, open to unemployed women in the rural parts of the Tongu district, provides a free, comprehensive 21-month incubation and acceleration business


program that prepares and supports women in becoming entrepreneurs. This social venture started off as Tongu Youth Agenda for Development in 2014, but is now known as eyata. The school offers six vocational courses—the most active one being fashion design—and trains the women in business management and leadership. After 16 months of training, the women attend a finance workshop which provides them hands-on financial skills to help them develop their businesses. After that, they are encouraged to join a self-selected savings group and open a bank account to access microloans and pensions. Pensions, in particular, are extremely important for the women to acquire as older women in Ghana who have no money are often branded as “witches” as they must rely on others to survive. After 16 months of training, the women receive five additional months of mentoring at the start of their own ventures with the school providing assistance

in registering the women’s businesses and marketing their goods. Out of the 30 women who have gone through the program, 28 of them have successfully started their own business enterprises—including Grace, who can now afford to take care of her family. In 2018, TPP awarded Tay a $1,000 grant to support his school. With that money, he was able to transform a classroom to hold double the number of students. In the future, Tay wants to build a four-unit classroom to expand the school’s reach, as the demand for his services has increased and attracted interest from women more than 300 miles away. Tay is currently pursuing additional funding options to help him build that classroom. He’s also raising funds on the GlobalGiving platform to extend the training and startup support services to 10 more women this year.

her son’s non-profit work for women, Tay knows she’d be proud of him. “It’s important for women to earn money because they invest in their families. When a woman is positioned to be independent, it naturally translates to benefit other family members. It allows them to feed their families, put their children through school, and buy health insurance in case they or their family members get sick. It’s time to end that trend [of older women being forced to beg on the streets]. It’s time to stop limiting women’s potential.” TPP thanks Selassie Tay for the amazing work he’s doing for the women of Ghana.

Tay’s mother’s health has declined, due in part to the strain of the many jobs and long hours she’s worked in her life, but despite her not knowing the extent of


WHAT WE BELIEVE We believe in inspiring action through storytelling that lifts up the voices and experiences of the changemakers in the TPP community. Through supporting grantees’ efforts, we are able to make accessible their motivations and actions to others and hopefully galvanize others into action. We become an antidote to apathy.






Number of patients screened and treated for diabetes in Nigeria

Changemaker: Ijeoma Ugwundi Project: Diabetes Self Care Management Education


Number of orphans and school drop-outs trained in calligraphic fine art and branding in Uganda Changemaker: Kiima Stephen Project: Calligraphic Fine Art and Branding for School Drop-Outs


Number of young people educated on teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and contraceptive usage in Ghana Changemaker: Edith Mborate Project: Increasing Access to Reproductive Health and Contraceptive Services among Girls and Young Women


Number of students who learned about animals and why they must be protected in the Ivory Coast

“Working with the Pollination Project has been a great experience and one that I am very grateful for. LGBTQ-related issues/projects rarely get funding in this part of the world, so I am very grateful to have received this support. The whole LGBTQ community in Nigeria thanks The Pollination Project in every way possible. Thank you.”

- Pamela Adie,

Under the Rainbow, Nigeria

“Working with TPP has been an eyeopening experience, not only to persons with disabilities...but also to the mainstream community, service providers, and policy makers...I would like to extend our appreciation for the opportunity you gave us through a project grant so that we could prove that ‘Disability is not inability’. We feel

Changemaker: Toti Jean Marc Yale

much more empowered both socially

Project: Animal Welfare Education

and economically.”


Number of students who completed a course on Human Rights in Thailand Changemaker: Kalpalata Dutta Project: Creating E-Learning Resources on Human Rights

- Ronald Kasule,

APEDIKA Coffee Seedling Production for Livelihood Improvement, Uganda



We believe that by demonstrating the importance and value of the small grants model, we have the opportunity to shift the field of philanthropy to recognize the value of small grants. This recognition will increase the amount of funding that goes directly to small projects from other groups and thus increases the number of engaged, active individuals who recognize their own capacity for change in the world, supporting the growth of our work and our ability to engage grantees both in greater numbers and at greater depth.

Thank you for helping us create a more sustainable, just, peaceful, and compassionate world.


Profile for thepollinationproject

Impact in Action: The Pollination Project's 2019 Retrospective  

A 2019 retrospective of grantee projects, stories, and testimonials, from The Pollination Project.

Impact in Action: The Pollination Project's 2019 Retrospective  

A 2019 retrospective of grantee projects, stories, and testimonials, from The Pollination Project.