Since 2013, the IVHQ Fund has awarded thousands of dollars in Booster Grants to support projects that our volunteers are placed on to achieve long-terms goals. The Booster Grants help projects to invest in initiatives that will ensure they thrive and grow in the long-term.
Read more about the worthy recipients of IVHQ Booster Grants below:
Aston Vision in Tanzania
Aston Vision is both an orphanage and learning centre that was established in Arusha, Tanzania by a local man named Aston. The day-to-day operations of Aston Vision are managed by Aston, alongside a team of local teachers and support staff. IVHQ volunteers also provide year-round assistance to this core team in running the centre.
Approximately 50 children receive basic Math and English lessons at Aston Vision daily. The majority of these children live elsewhere and travel to the centre daily, arriving in the morning to receive lessons, have a meal, and play with their peers and IVHQ volunteers.
Twelve of the students (aged between 3 and 11 years-old) live at the orphanage permanently. The Booster Grant of US$3,000 was awarded to Aston Vision to directly improve the living conditions for these children. Each child that lives at Aston Vision now has their own bed with sheets, pillows, blankets, a mosquito net, shelves to put their belongings on, and a new bathroom. The funds were also invested in building a new and secure gate at the front of the property for added security for the children. Thanks to these improvements, Aston Vision will now have the capacity to take in more children in need of a safe a secure place to live.
Living Positive Mlolongo
Living Positive Mlolongo (LPM) is a Women’s Education placement supported by IVHQ volunteers in Kenya. LPM supports vulnerable children and people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, providing them with access to education and training, information sharing, counseling, care and support.
At WEEP, women participate in a 12-month course free of charge. The women are trained in income-generating skills such as bead making, dressmaking and tailoring. After graduating from the WEEP program, LPM provides each woman with a sewing machine and a small micro-loan to start their business. This helps women to empower themselves and generate an income to provide for their families in a stable environment.
With the aim of reaching self sustainability, WEEP graduates are able to stay on following their course and join the production team, which uses the machines at LPM to produce goods which can be sold onsite at the small shop, or made to order. These items include bags, clothing and school uniforms.
Prior to receiving the Booster Grant from IVHQ, the machines used at LPM consisted of one straight power-driven machine, 10 manual hand-driven machines, one manual over-lock, and one manual knitting machine. With the support of an IVHQ Booster Grant totalling US$2678.65, LPM have been able to purchase:
- 2 x powered straight sewing machines
- 2 x powered knitting machines
- 1 x over-lock machine
- 5 x stools to go with the machines
- Start-up materials for making school uniforms.
The materials purchased will act as start-up materials which will be re-stocked after products are sold and will drive WEEP in the direction of self-sustainability.
New Beginnings - Maisha Iko Sawa
New Beginnings - Maisha Iko Sawa is a Special Needs placement served by IVHQ volunteers in Kenya that enables developmentally disabled adults of the Kibera slum to enter the workforce. The school was established by IVHQ volunteer, Kellie Hall, who volunteered with IVHQ in 2012.
A total of US$775 (68,045 Kenyan Shilling) was granted to New Beginnings - Maisha Iko Sawa to invest in the following items:
- Wheel chair
- Walking frame
- Beading materials
- Mat making materials
- Exercise and gym weights (6 pieces)
- Aerobic exercise mat (3 x mats)
- Floor mat (1m x 3m)
- Plastic chairs (2 pieces)
- Table (1 meter x 2 meters)
- First aid kit
Bernadette Kimani of IVHQ’s local team in Kenya explains the benefit that the Booster Grant purchases will serve for the school:
“Through the donation of beads and mat-making materials, the learners will be taught skills that will enable them to make bracelets, necklaces, purses and earrings, door mats and table mats. This will in turn ensure that our learners are independent and productive in the society.”
“When making items using the donated beads and mat-making materials, half of the money from selling the items will go back into the purchase of more beads and mat-making materials to ensure sustainability. The students will also be able to benefit in monetary terms because they will be given half of the money earned from the sales made.”
“As the students cannot afford to attend physiotherapy sessions, the exercise equipment will allow for these services to be provided within the school, allowing students the ability to recover their mobility with time. This will also ensure that they can develop in all spheres including physically.”
Tibetan Primary Health Care Centre
Tibetan Primary Health Care Centre is served by Medical volunteers on the IVHQ India - Dharamsala volunteer program. The centre was established in a dispensary tent in 1967 and today provides healthcare services to a population of over 7,000 Tibetan settlers, in addition to a significant number of local Indian population living in Bir.
IVHQ Healthcare volunteer, Mary Denholm, submitted a Booster Grants proposal for Tibetan Primary Health Care Centre to purchase an HbA1c machine for the centre.
“Amongst the Tibetan community, including those exiled in India, there is a very high prevalence of diabetes. This is principally Type 2 Diabetes and is especially prevalent in those of middle and elderly age, although a number of younger patients are becoming affected. In the Western world, a test called HbA1c is used to monitor long-term blood glucose concentrations and how they average out over a period of months, giving a good estimate of a person’s blood sugar control over time, and more accurately than random blood sugar measurements. In turn HbA1c measurements can inform diagnosis, suitable medication regimes and risks of the complications of diabetes including eye, kidney, heart and nerve damage. In Bir, they currently do not have the facility to measure HbA1c, a considerable hindrance in managing the diabetes in the community there. The Booster Grant would be enormously helpful to the clinic in their bid to purchase a HbA1c machine. With their funding from the Central Tibetan Authority, the clinic about manages to break even but this leaves little extra for larger investments such as new laboratory tests or equipment,” explains Mary.
A total of US$2750 was granted to Tibetan Primary Healthcare Centre by IVHQ to invest in an HbA1c test machine, in addition to the following items:
- White boards - to provide vital health related information to the local community to assist in the prevention of disease and create a more health conscious community
- Microphone, cord, inverter and battery set - for the Health Education department of the clinic
- Scanner - for scanning of office documents to facilitate greater efficiency in the transfer of information
- Water purification system - to provide purified and sterile drinking water for the patients and staff of the clinic