A New Approach: Investing in Local Innovators
The billion poorest people on this planet, most of them living in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia, must struggle for so much that the rest of the world takes for granted: clean water, access to basic health services, enough food to eat.
A great deal of international aid to address these problems goes to pay foreign experts to develop interventions considered appropriate for local needs. Yet we have found that those affected by a problem usually have solutions of their own, solutions that grow directly from their understanding of its complexity. Unfortunately, these same people lack the resources to try them, and international funds are too often out of their reach. In many of the poorest parts of the world, all that’s needed is a small amount of funding coupled with support for the design and execution of their idea. MicroGrants fills this need. We host local competitions to solve a pressing problem, where local innovators submit proposals that they can implement to address that problem. We help refine these proposals over several iterations, and then fund the most promising ones. In addition to directly helping people in need, MicroGrants cultivates new ideas and stimulates change from within communities.
Support Needed: HIV/AIDS Prevention in Tanzania
Support for International Change, an organization dedicated to limiting the impact of HIV/AIDS and training leaders in underserved communities, is working with Spark Microgrants on a series of "Nanogrant" competitions. These competitions will call on secondary school peer educators to host testing and education events to promote awareness and action on HIV/AIDS in a community in Arusha, Tanzania.
The Nanogrant competition will begin in early August. After FirstGiving's transaction costs (7.5% of donations), all money received will go directly to Tanzania to fund this MicroGrant project.