Tomorrow, we will officially kick off our annual Give the Gift of Nourish Campaign! This year, we have been presented with a unique opportunity — Nourish International has been awarded a challenge grant of $40,000 from an anonymous donor to match all gifts 1:1 between November 1, 2014 and December 31st, 2014. This is a lofty goal, but a worthy one with the potential to generate $80,000 of crucial support for our programs. We need your help to meet this matching goal and empower young entrepreneurs across our 60 chapters. This match is the largest our organization has ever received. Let’s rise to the challenge and make a profound impact in the world.
Thanks to supporters like you, Nourish has grown tremendously in the past three years, but our work is far from meeting the demand for our services and far from reaching the level of impact we aspire to.
Program Associate Ellen Moore, a former Nourish student from the Syracuse University Chapter, recently told a story that both saddened and motivated us at the National Office. Ellen participated in her Chapter’s Project with Global Health Response (GHNU) in Uganda this past summer. While the Chapter was building latrines for three villages, Ellen met a little girl who was blind due to an eye infection she caught as a newborn. These types of eye infections happen quite often in developing countries. In the United States, they are treatable and, if necessary, operable. But in rural Uganda, these infections often result in immense complications and cause blindness in infants. The baby girl was one of 20 infants that had to undergo surgery — an invasive and complicated procedure for a newborn in rural Uganda — because the infection was left untreated. She had both of her eyes removed and sadly, of the 20 babies that received the procedure, she was the sole survivor.
It’s hard to imagine the grief the 19 young mothers that lost their children will carry the rest of their lives. Ellen met many of these women, who have since turned their experiences into a commitment to improve the community. She said partnering with them was one of the most rewarding things she has experienced in her entire life.
The little girl, baby Leah — now blind — and her family were living in an unsafe home, sleeping on mud floors in a flood plain when GHNU found them. Ellen’s Chapter invested their Venture profits to work alongside the family and others in similar situations, in partnership with GHNU. The funds were used to help relocate the family to a safer homestead that could accommodate them; one equipped with a latrine that would be suitable for young women. Having an accessible latrine is extremely important, given that women often risk being kidnapped or suffering from sexual violence because they have to go out alone in the middle of the night simply to use the bathroom.
Why donate now?
As a result of Ellen’s experience in Uganda, she came to work at our National Office. Now, Ellen is on the front lines coaching 20 Nourish Chapter leaders across our network to implement sustainable development Projects effectively, lead their Chapter to success, and raise funds through small business Ventures. This summer, more than 50 students from her Chapters will have experiences just like hers. Ellen is on a journey to become a leader, change-maker, and an innovator in the fight to end extreme poverty within our lifetime. Nourish set her on that path.
At Nourish, we believe in a world where a child doesn’t have to die from a completely treatable illness. We belive in a world where a family doesn’t have to live in unsafe conditions, with the risk of violence, natural disaster, and communicable diseases. We believe that everyone deserves access to the basic resources needed to survive: water, food, shelter, healthcare, and education. We believe in opportunity, dignity, and always see the glass as half full. Labels of race, sexual orientation, and class do not oppress people in the world our Nourish students envision. In our world, love is a universal language, opportunities are rich, and violence is an exception. This vision may be idealistic, but it’s not idealism we fear, it’s apathy for idealism. There is a more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible, and we hope you will join us in creating it.
How you can help
1. Donate to Nourish by visiting Nourish.org/give between now and December 31. Your gift will be matched 1:1 up to $40,000.
2.Kick off your holiday shopping at shopnourish.org. The price of each item purchased will be matched 1:1 between now and December 31.
3. Share our holiday campaign with your friends on social media. We need your help to spread the mission of Nourish!
All funds will be invested in our mission to empower social entrepreneurs to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty. Leaders like Ellen and partners like GHNU will be able to continue to build the world we envision because of your gift. Thank you for your consideration of supporting us this holiday season and for the profound impact you make by partnering with us in this work.
Notice: Use of undefined constant AKISMET__PLUGIN_URL - assumed 'AKISMET__PLUGIN_URL' in /home3/nourish1/public_html/home/wp-content/plugins/akismet/class.akismet.php on line 845