Every year, the National Office holds a business plan and pitch competition among Nourish Chapters for seed capital investments in their innovative Venture ideas. This year, we were extremely impressed by all of the pitches we reviewed. Ultimately, we decided to award Ohio State University and Syracuse University $500 and $350, respectively, to implement their Ventures.
Ohio State’s business pitch detailed a plan to host their second annual ugly Christmas sweater sale. Last year’s sale was the Chapter’s most profitable Venture, earning them $800 to invest in their sustainable development Project in Ecuador. The Venture Fund seed capital will allow OSU to purchase additional sweaters at no further cost to the Chapter, meaning all revenue generated will be 100 percent profit. Akram Jabeer, the Chapter’s Co-Ventures Director, said he expects the profit to near $3,000 — a whopping 275 percent increase from last year’s sweater sale. “Receiving the Venture Fund gives our Chapter a boost in motivation as well as the confidence to approach every single Venture in the same demeanor as the Ugly Christmas Sweater Venture,” he said.
The Syracuse Chapter will hold its second annual Halloween costume thrift sale in the hopes of making it a tradition that students look forward to every year. The additional $350 will allow the Chapter to increase its supply of costumes and accessories, which will increase profitability of the Venture and help build the Nourish brand on campus and in the community. “If we didn’t receive this capital, we would have continued to launch the Venture, though with a smaller budget of $200,” said Ventures Director Eliza Kinnealey. “The Syracuse Chapter is so excited to be given this opportunity to scale our Halloween Thrift Sale.”
Boston College and Hope College received honorable mentions, earning them each $50 for marketing purposes. Boston College will launch BC Cupcakes, an online cupcake delivery service that will allow parents, students and friends to purchase cupcakes for events or loved ones on campus. Hope College will invest in an on-campus coffee cart, where they will sell local coffee and baked goods in dorm lobbies. Stay tuned for updates on their progress!
Dear Nourish Supporters, Students, Staff, Alumni, Partners, and Friends:
What a year we have had! I wanted to personally ensure you received a copy of our 13-14 Annual Report sharing highlights of our best year yet! With you, we saw the following success last year:
- Nourish Chapter on 60 campuses across North America
- Pilot Program launched at 5 high schools
- 800 Active Nourish Students
- 900 Nourish Alumni
- $106,000 invested in sustainable development projects abroad
- $167,000 earned through ventures with a 5:1 ROI
- 28 Projects completed in 11 countries
It is my hope that you see the magnitude of Nourish’s work and the integral part you and your support plays in furthering this work. As you read through this Annual Report, I hope you are filled with pride in knowing that you made this success possible. We are filled with gratitude for your belief in our mission and your commitment to ensuring the success of our students as they become global change makers and develop into the leaders of tomorrow.
My Sincere Thanks,
Kelly Leonhardt Phoenix
NI 13-14 Annual Report – Download by clicking the link
50/50 Cash Raffle! – UPDATE TOTAL OVER $1,000 AS OF 10/15
Nourish International will be hosting a 50/50 Raffle this fall to raise funds for our Goldstein Fellowship Program. This fundraiser provides the opportunity for one lucky supporter to go home with half of the net proceeds! The other half of the net proceeds will go directly back to supporting Nourish International’s Goldstein Fellowship Program. This is a chance for you to win big for a good cause!
About the Goldstein Fellowship Program
The Fellowship Program provides qualified and passionate young professionals, with a focus on a meaningful professional development, an opportunity to work in the non-profit sector and mentor over 200 Nourish students in their leadership development. Since it’s founding, 9 individuals have graduated from the program and gone on to work in social entrepreneurship and take full time positions with our National Office.
Last years fellows mentored over 800 nourish students on 45 campuses throughout the school year on social enterprise, international development and leadership skills. These chapters, with support from their Goldstein Fellow, were able to raise over $160,000 in profit to implement 28 sustainable development projects in 11 countries for over 50,000 people living on less than $1.25 a day.
Winner Announced on December 11, 2014 at our Winter Jam
Tickets for the Fall Jam are sold separately at $5 each and will be sold at the door as well as online here. If you purchase a ticket to the fall jam you will recieve a complimentary raffle ticket as well.
Following the October 26th event, the lucky winner will be mailed a check representing 50% of the net amount. You do not have to be present to win.
Should you have questions, please reach out to Kelly Phoenix at [email protected]
As we head into our last week in Uganda, things are starting to wrap up. It’s exciting to see all of the projects that we’ve been working on so close to completion, but it’s sad to think that we only have a few more days to spend with the wonderful people we’ve grown to know over the past month.
The wells are nearly complete, both just waiting for pumps. Thanks to the unpredictability of Ugandan electricity, there are still a few parts that weren’t ready to pick up over the weekend, so we are waiting for them to arrive from Kampala in the next few days. Installing the water pump and purification system is the last step before both Kiseeza and Mazooba have fully functioning wells and clean water!
(Tarryn and Sarah helping lay bricks and rocks in Mazooba)
One inspiring moment from the past week was watching the community come together in Mazooba during construction. The well is at the bottom of the hill where trucks cannot reach, so we had to dump all of the bricks and rocks at the top. We spent one full day with community members helping shift the materials to the bottom, working alongside people of all ages carrying what they could manage, whether that was one brick, or eight.
(Children from Mazooba carrying rocks down the hill)
We also had the chance this week to sit down with Walusimbi Willy, one of the co-founders of Rural Health Care Foundation, to talk with him about all of the different projects the organization does. We realized that we didn’t know about much outside of our projects since we’d been so focused on water. After hearing everything, we were blown away by the range of projects and extensive involvement they have with the communities surrounding Mubende. RHCF started with a goal of improving the health of communities, initially leading to programs in HIV/AIDS treatment. As the organization grew, they added on projects for orphans, food and nutrition, maternal health, and other small projects. While water is their primary focus now, RHCF still runs projects in all of these other areas when funding is available.
While we have all been working very hard on completing the wells, we did steal a weekend to get away. Nearly all of the RHCF staff went with us to Queen Elizabeth National Park to go on a safari! It was really fun to hang out with the staff outside of work and get to experience something new for all of us. We saw lots of different animals, from water buck to elephants to hippos lounging in the Kazinga Channel. We also got to cross the equator!
It’s almost half way through our project and things are going well! Both of the water projects are underway. The first, in Kiseeza, should be working by the middle of next week. We helped to build the cement covering a few days ago and we’re waiting for it to dry before we can finish up. Yesterday, we watched the start of the second water project in Mazooba village – in one day the community dug 10 feet! It’s been really exciting to witness the construction of both projects and to see the commitment of the community.
These successes haven’t come without some slight setbacks. The weather, periodic heavy downpours, have definitely delayed the progress at Kiseeza. Many times, due to soil saturation, the sides of the well caved in. This destroyed the work on the day and the well had to be re-dug. The heavy rains also have been affecting our ability to get to and from the site. Our car has been stuck in the mud more than once, but thanks to the ingenuity of the villagers, we have been able to get it out and moving again. This definitely isn’t what we expected when we thought about complications, but thankfully nothing has been able to stop us from pushing forward!
In our free time, we’ve taken on a few more projects at the office to help make an even bigger impact. Tarryn has been working on helping create reports and graphs from baseline data, and teaching the staff how to use the various programs needed. We’ve also been helping to revamp their website to make it more user friendly and to hopefully help them attract more donors and grants! Check it out!
On our way back from Kampala last weekend, we had the honor to stop by another RHCF project – Rural Mama Children’s Home. We found out that it is an orphanage that was created as an offshoot of an HIV/AIDS program that they were running in order to find care for the orphans of the affected persons. While it is still largely under construction, the work that RHCF has done and what they hope to do is inspiring, and we can’t wait to see where it goes.
Probably the hardest experience we’ve had so far is visiting the only school in Kiseeza that services all children in a 6km radius. Being only 2 years old, it serves over 150 students from baby school (preschool) to primary four. Despite being on holiday, most students showed up to greet us and sing us songs. The headmaster and one of the teachers took us on a tour of the grounds and told us about how important education was to the village and the children. Unfortunately, even though there is a need and desire for education, only 100 kids were able to take their exams due to the high cost of school fees. When we asked how much it was, we were devastated to hear that one trimester only cost 15,000 shillings, the USD equivalent of $6. Needless to say, we were inspired to do something to help the children and the school grow, and hopefully we will be able to contribute in the future (keep an eye out, we’re working on a plan!!)
Here are some photos so you can see what we’ve been up to!
This is a kid getting water from the current water source. Not only are these local sources highly contaminated and shared with livestock, they also pose a danger to children who can fall in and drown.
Measuring how deep the well at Kiseeza is. You can see the flooding around the well that happened after a rainstorm.
It’s the last couple days before the UW group takes off for Uganda, and we couldn’t be more excited!
- 5 interns
- 5 weeks
- 2 clean water and sanitation sources
- 2 amazing organizations
- 1 incredible project!
After working so hard throughout the school year on everything from establishing our chapter, to fundraising, to spreading awareness, it’s hard to believe the project is about to start! It’s been an amazing process working alongside our partner organization, Rural Health Care Foundation (RHCF) and learning about their mission and the communities they work with. Our project this year is the construction of two clean water sources in the Mubende district, where currently two-thirds of the population don’t have access to safe water, and even less have adequate sanitation. It’s our first trip for the University of Washington chapter and we’re looking to start out with a big success. Good luck to the fantastic interns, and thank you to everyone who supported our chapter in having a great first year. Keep updated on the interns and our project through this blog to see all of the amazing things they accomplish while in Uganda this summer!!
After six weeks of being in Guatemala, our team’s work at Mayan Families finally, and sadly, comes to a close. This week the team wrapped up both of our projects. The computer integration plan that we have been working on since the start of our internship was presented to the Panajachel preschool teachers and the Mayan Families education department members. Afterwards we held a Q & A session with everyone in attendance. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive which was SO rewarding! We also completed our report on the Spanish language evaluations and presented that to members of the Education Department as well. Because the report involved a lot of tedious data entering and compilation, it felt great to finally be done! To top it all off, the Department threw us a surprise going away party with cake, coffee, and speeches! It was such a nice gesture and a perfect last day at work.
We leave for the airport at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow and all of us have so many mixed emotions about going home. We will be happy to see our families, but we’ve also created a life for out here in Pana…Words cannot describe what an amazing experience we have had and the memories we’ve made, the friendships we formed, the inspirational people we met, and everything we have seen will not soon be forgotten….
As this week comes to a close, we finish our time volunteering in Guatemala. It leaves a bittersweet taste to return to our homes in the United States. Each of us has missed our family and friends back home, but it was a sacrifice that we were willing to make to have the opportunity to help Mayan Families as Nourish International interns. We could not have been happier with our experience.
On Thursday, we visited the garden for the last time, and the transformation of the plot of land is very profound. In the beginning, weeds and trash littered the plot; the land was rough and unkempt. However, through the care that we alongside the Mayan mothers have shown it, the plot slowly changed into something of which we could be proud. Each mother and volunteer came together to make a space that could be called our own. We have cleared away the debris of the rain’s runoff; we have leveled the ground. We have carried each stone up to the garden, where we meticulously positioned them in the stone walls and around the beds. Each phase that we completed created a sense of pride. It is with great sorrow that we will not see the fruits of our labor when we leave; however, we bequeath the garden to the mothers. We have no doubt that under their care, the garden can flourish.
This space is not simply a garden; it is a sanctuary for the mothers, who have so many responsibilities. It is a soothing place for them to escape daily life for a short time. On Thursday, after the work was completed early, they decided to stay in the garden to talk to one another. This demonstrates that we have established a sense of community among the mothers. It was nice to see the mothers relax because typically, they would be working, watching their children, or cooking. They have so many duties, and we admire them for their time in the garden. Afterwards, they said goodbye for the last time, and we have to remember that this is not goodbye. We will return next summer to volunteer again; this is only goodbye for now.
We’re on to our 4th week here in the Oyam District. I finally feel that I have adjusted to living here and all the customs (such as “Africa Time”). So far this week I have worked on building the pit latrine for Leah’s family. Leah is a beautiful baby girl who was born blind. The latrine that her family has been using is not suitable for her and her sister (who is also handicapped). While building the latrine, the men don’t let us do too much of the important work because they fear we’re not strong enough/ we might mess it up. But, we still are very proactive. We have collected rocks, bricks, and sand for all three latrine sites. We also got to use a sledge hammer and smash the rocks into bits for the cement mix. The strenuous labor really helps get out your frustration. It’s been a challenging, but also enriching experience working on the latrines. I never was much of a “handy-man” at home so it is a new experience learning to use these tools and be able see something that I made with my hands turn into an actual project! It’s exciting! I also feel that I have grown closer to my fellow project interns and the GHNU staff. During down time, the GHNU staff talk to us about their upbringing and life in Uganda. It’s very interesting to hear them so casually open up about their hardships (especially about the impact Kony had on their community). I have also had interesting discussions with the project interns. Before every meeting, Joyce assigns us a partner in the group to talk to for at least thirty minutes and return with at least one interesting fact about their life. It has actually been really helpful with getting to know the rest of the team (even if it is awkward for the first 5 minutes). I’ve learned so much about the interns, their lives, and what influenced them to come on the trip. We also got to meet some other non-profit workers who work with musical therapy. It was fun to talk to people outside our group and hear about their project and why they decided to come to Uganda. This trip has been so amazing and as our departure date gets closer I realize more and more that I don’t want to leave. I’ve connected with a lot of people here, especially the little kids, and saying good bye is going to be very difficult.
This past Saturday we went hiking at Sipi Falls and the excursion was unlike any other. Our tour guide first handed out hiking sticks and we all failed to see the importance in them. We had no idea what we were up against and figured they would just get in the way. We have never been so wrong. Within the first 10 minutes of the hike, we soon realized that the sticks would be used for far more than just a prop. I know I’m not alone when I say that this was one of the most physically challenging hike I have ever been on. We had to walk down steep and strenuous trails to get to the bottom of the waterfall. Here we are thinking we have reached our final destination, only to learn that this is just the beginning. We had to turn around and climb back to the very top of the mountain, which wasn’t that easy. It’s hard to explain in words the difficulty of this hike. It’s one of those things you just have to experience for yourself. At one point we had to climb up a ladder that was over three stories high. It was nothing but a simple wooden ladder leaning up against the mountain. This was an unexpected obstacle where many people were forced to conquer their personal fear of heights. Luckily for me this was not a problem, I loved climbing high into the mountain and being able to turn around and see how far I had climbed. We had to walk over a rickety bridge where only three people could be on at a time for fear that too much weight would bring it down. It goes without saying that this was no ordinary hike. However, the physical challenges of the hike were exactly what we were all craving after traveling such long distances in a little van. The challenges we faced with the hike were absolutely worth it. Words cannot even capture the beauty of the scenery [nor can pictures]. My favorite part of the entire visit was the rewarding feeling of standing at the base of the waterfall getting soaked from the spraying water. It’s one of those cliché moments that you can’t truly explain where everything in life, at that moment, just seems right. There is no better feeling than the feeling of letting all of your worries and thoughts go and just enjoying the waterfall crashing down all around you. And just as if the beautiful vegetation and breathtaking waterfalls weren’t enough, there was an unbelievable rainbow going across the entire falls to top it all off. Needless to say, our visit to Sipi Falls was by far one of the most amazing memories I have from this amazing experience.
Today, we went back to work after having Monday off due to the fact that it was a Ugandan holiday. The team broke into three different groups: Pit latrines, Sanitation and Hygiene, and Financial literacy. I for example was in the pit latrines group. This means that I am responsible for helping to build a pit latrine, a garbage pit, a drying rack, and a hand washing station. Each family that we are building a pit latrine for has been carefully selected. Each family chosen has a member with a disability. The first family selected has a baby that was born blind and out of 26 children born at the same time with the same condition, she was the only one to survive the surgery. The family has two other children whom they have adopted that also have disabilities. I could not be happier to be a part of making this remarkable family’s life a little bit easier. The muddy conditions in which they currently live prove to be too hazardous for the children so they are forced to move to a new lot. Although digging in the sun all day is hard work, it feels so rewarding to know that I am making even the smallest bit of a difference in these families lives. Without our fundraising and our collaboration with GHNU these vulnerable families may not have had the ability to start a new and easier chapter of their life. As our work on the pit latrines has just started, I am excited to continue with work throughout this up coming week and to finally be able to see our final project.