To learn more about the report and GHR’s Sister Support Initiative, contact us.
Leaders gathered for recent convenings on 'International Sisters in the United States,' a study commissioned by GHR with Trinity Washington University and Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, recommended the creation of a reflection guide. In response, Dr. Arturo Chávez from the Mexican American Catholic College worked with a team from seven organizations to develop a guide in English and Spanish for congregations and other organizations that are interested in the role of culture in religious life.
To learn more about the report and GHR’s Sister Support Initiative, contact us.
As GHR Foundation continues to expand our impact, we are presented with opportunities to grow our team and add new talent. We rely on the skills and experience of our staff every day, and owe our success to their expertise. This week, we had an addition to our program staff—Arielle Milton joined as a program associate for GHR’s global development program, where she will provide support to the Children in Families and Sister Support initiatives.
Arielle previously worked at The Kresge Foundation in Michigan, where she served the human services program area and the American Cities Practice, providing project management, operational and grants management coordination. Arielle is a 2017 New Leaders Council fellow, a Michigan co-chair of the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and co-chair of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network’s National Fundraising Think Tank.
Arielle has dedicated her career to the philanthropic sector, seeking learning opportunities that promote the improvement of life outcomes for children, youth and families in vulnerable communities. We are confident her support of our program team will allow us to grow and make change around the world. To learn more about GHR’s team, contact us.
Family for Every Child CEO Amanda Griffith (left) with Children in Families Senior Program Officer Dan Lauer (right)
When international nonprofits approach global development issues, they often use a top-down structure to work with local partners. This makes sharing local knowledge and best practices difficult, and diminishes the ability of local partners to influence governments or implement policy change.
In 2009, U.K.-based nonprofit Every Child realized the limitations of their approach to helping vulnerable children and families. Taking a radical leap of faith, they decided on a creative, innovative restructuring. Every Child disbanded itself and began a seven-year planning period, emerging in 2016 as Family for Every Child, an independent global alliance of former international partners and grassroots civil society organizations.
Family for Every Child’s act of creative reconstruction attracted GHR’s attention, and ultimately, support. In 2012, our Children in Families initiative became one of Family for Every Child’s first funders, issuing a small grant to assist them in capacity building for membership engagement. More recently, we supported Family for Every Child’s development of Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration, a valuable resource for child protection around the world. Today, Family for Every Child is a global alliance composed of 30 organizations with shared goals, connecting and collaborating to break the glass ceiling that prevents many local organizations from achieving policy changes that effectively protect children.
Bold nonprofits that choose innovative, lean approaches to global problems often lack the support necessary for growth. To fill this gap, GHR is committed to supporting organizations like Family for Every Child. We believe impact can be maximized when approaches to challenges are continuously re-imagined, and we hope to collaborate with more organizations that embrace risk and reinvention to better serve the communities in which they work.
GHR funds collaborations between nonprofits and civil society organizations because we value bold and innovative solutions to challenges faced by vulnerable children. What does collaboration look like within your organization or alliance? Share your success, opportunities and questions in the comments below or learn more about GHR’s Children in Families initiative here.
GHR Foundation's Sister Support funding seeks to ensure a vital future for Catholic sisters, marked by congregations that are well-led, well-resourced and powerful in spiritual witness and service.
Below is the first national study of the 4,000 international sisters living in the United States. With support from GHR, researchers from Trinity Washington University and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University conducted the report in order to better understand the experiences and contributions of international sisters. The report is available below in both English and Spanish.
To learn more about the report and GHR’s Sister Support Initiative, contact us.
GHR has a long legacy of partnering with Catholic sisters, supporting the amazing contributions they make to the common good. The Foundation's Sister Support initiative is especially proud to fund initiatives that utilize the enthusiasm and creativity of younger sisters as they respond to new opportunities created by technology and a changing landscape.
One of these initiatives is A Nun’s Life, an international online ministry helping people discover religious life and choose the vocation toward which they feel God calling them. The organization recently celebrated its tenth anniversary with a Motherhouse Road Trip, where the A Nun’s Life team, including Sisters Julie, Maxine, and Julie, traveled from Toledo to Chicago—where A Nun’s Life began—to Silicon Valley. Along the way, they visited motherhouses, livestreamed podcasts, tutored congregations in social media and networked with young sisters. The team posted on social media and blogged throughout their trip, engaging with their 160-country online community.
As the A Nun’s Life team was preparing for the Motherhouse Road Trip, 140 young Sisters of Mercy visited St. Louis, Mo. for a four-day gathering. The group came together from the United States, Philippines, Peru, Argentina, Guam and Jamaica to deepen relationships, pray and sing together in Spanish and English. Most importantly, the sisters imagined what the Sisters of Mercy’s presence will be in the future and recommitted themselves to their mission.
During Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy, GHR celebrates women who have chosen lives of prayer and service as Catholic sisters. The world is enriched by their faithfulness, creativity, service and compassion. To learn more about how GHR supports sisters in the United States and Africa, contact us.
GHR Foundation's Inter-Religious Action initiative works to improve development outcomes, build lasting community connections and advance peace by mobilizing religious leaders and communities to address common challenges. As part of this work, GHR recently partnered with USAID, Religions for Peace and the African Council of Religious Leaders to co-host a convening in Abuja, Nigeria on partnering for peace and prosperity in Africa. The conference, Faith Works Africa, brought together more than 300 stakeholders from 40 countries to have substantive conversations on how faith actors and inter-religious work can help communities build resilience and address development challenges.
Before the convening, GHR participated in the annual meeting of International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD), during which the Foundation’s partnership with the network was approved. GHR is pleased to join an organization that creates such valuable opportunities to share knowledge and learn from our peers. PaRD’s participants share many of our programmatic priorities, as demonstrated by a panel discussing the nexus of religion and countering violent extremism moderated by GHR Senior Program Advisor Andreas Hipple.
During the PaRD annual meeting, numerous bilateral and multilateral organizations gathered to discuss how to strengthen cooperation between donors and religious communities in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. Many of these organizations went on to participated in Faith Works Africa, seizing an opportunity to learn from the ongoing work of the faith leaders attending the conference.
Faith Works Africa began with an opening dinner, where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria delivered a keynote speech calling for more inter-religious collaboration to build peace in his country and beyond. Other presentations at the conference featured the voices of youth, women, senior religious leaders and other diverse participants. The important stories and experiences they shared inspired the breakout sessions, which were designed to seed new partnerships and fuel the creativity necessary to discern productive next steps. These idea-rich sessions will help inform future inter-religious work.
Several current GHR partners attended Faith Works Africa, including Religions for Peace, the African Council of Religious Leaders, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities, peacemakers associated with the Tanenbaum Center for Religious Understanding, Nigerian Inter-Faith Action Association, Catholic Relief Services and a number of Catholic sisters whose engagement in inter-religious collaboration is growing, especially in Nigeria. GHR also sponsored the participation of 15 Generation Change fellows associated with the United States Institute of Peace—social entrepreneurs and peacebuilders working in their home countries to build peace, counter extremism and work toward justice. For most of the fellows, Faith Works Africa was their first opportunity to engage with high-level religious leaders. Many of them were given significant speaking and facilitation roles, creating mutual benefit for the young leaders and conference participants.
We are hopeful the meetings held at Faith Works Africa will result in concrete new partnerships, and we look forward to seeing how relationships evolve in this critical field. To learn more about how GHR is working with religious leaders and communities to solve difficult problems, build trusting relationships, strengthen social cohesion and advance peace, contact us.
GHR Foundation's Children in Families initiative is working in Cambodia to support child protection interventions that strengthen families, respond to children without family care and drive further evidence of innovative, pro-family approaches. This geographic focus began less than one year ago, and the dedication demonstrated by our partners is already showing progress.
One of these partners is First Step Cambodia (FSC), an organization focusing on the male victims and survivors of sexual abuse and their families and communities. FSC provides direct services to children and families, expands organizational training on child abuse and conducts research on Sexually Harmful Behavior (SHB), as well as related gaps in social work practice. In the first few months of partnership with GHR, First Step Cambodia began collaborating with other GHR partners, including M’lup Tapang, M’lop Russey and Angkor Hospital for Children, to support services for children affected by sexual abuse and SHB. This relationship has already resulted in referrals, the co-management of complex cases, collective effort to support cases and the sharing of resources and expertise. Interventions provided by FSC have brought positive changes to clients’ lives. Eight cases were closed during the first half of 2016, and significant improvements were made in helping children cope with fear, communication, difficulty at school and isolation. FHC has witnessed families who fully support their children instead of blaming them, and communities which welcome victims back instead of discriminating against them.
Another partner demonstrating early impact is Bethany Christian Services, which is working in Cambodia to increase the number of children placed from orphanages into long term foster, foster-adopt and kinship care families. They are doing so by building a platform of services, including networks of churches and non-governmental organizations that provide alternative care services to children. During the first half of 2016, Bethany placed 20 children in kinship care. Eight children were placed in new long term foster homes, and 20 families have undergone training and preparation to be foster families. In addition to providing direct services to families, Bethany is training four other organizations to care for vulnerable children and orphans within families. They plan to expand this training program to include ten partner organizations.
The inspiring progress of grantees like First Step Cambodia and Bethany Christian Services is indicative of the change that is possible in Cambodia. Each child they serve brings us closer to a world where all children—especially those at risk of losing or without parental care—are living in a stable, positive, long-term family or family-like environment. To learn more about GHR’s work in Cambodia, contact us.
GHR's Inter-Religious Action initiative is founded on the belief that when religious leaders and communities collaborate on issues of common concern they can solve difficult problems, build trusting relationships, strengthen social cohesion and advance peace. GHR is not alone in this conviction—we partner with many like-minded individuals and organizations working to promote inter-religious collaboration and share best practices. One such partner is the Alliance for Peacebuilding, which convened a meeting in Istanbul last week as part of its GHR-funded Effective Inter-religious Action in Peacebuilding (EIAP) program.
EIAP is a groundbreaking three-year initiative seeking to improve the evaluation practices of inter-religious peacebuilding by addressing three specific gaps in inter-religious peacebuilding efforts—measurement, cooperation and policy. During the meeting, a group of 30 thought leaders and practitioners from Israel, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and the United States shared experiences and made recommendations for a new comprehensive and practical guide to evaluating inter-religious action. A draft of the guide will be field-tested in diverse environments during the coming year before it is shared broadly.
Beyond enhancing the guide EIAP is developing, the fruitful conversations had during the meeting made valuable connections that will help build the field of inter-religious action for peacebuilding as a whole. GHR's work with EIAP is a part of our efforts to bring the potential of inter-religious action to new places and partners. To learn more about GHR's inter-religious funding, contact us.
GHR Foundation envisions a world where all children—especially those at risk of losing or without parental care—are living in a stable, positive, long-term family or family-like environment. Members of the GHR staff, board and committees recently visited Zambia to meet with grantee partners and the children and families they serve, as well as community representatives, government representatives and Catholic sisters working with vulnerable children. Over the course of five days, visitors witnessed the work of our partners and participated in the important conversations being had in Zambia. The visit allowed GHR to deepen our engagement in the region, strengthen our reputation and offer personal support to those working to change the lives of families and vulnerable children.
The first day was spent visiting families and children in Kabwe with Catholic Medical Mission Board and engaging a circle of mothers who have formed a savings group. Each member contributes 50 cents per week to provide emergency grants and small business loans for members. These efforts help families meet basic needs and keep their children at home. The following morning was spent supporting families with community volunteers in the suburbs of Lusaka, followed by an emotional meeting with two families who have been reunited with their children.
GHR staff, board and committee members also had the opportunity to visit two foster families in the process of finalizing the adoption of children placed in their care. Both families are becoming strong advocates for adoption, and advocate for other parents to foster or adopt. Participants also spent time with the GHR working group, a cohort of grantees with aligned programming which highlighted a clear, strong commitment to collaborative processes and hope for significant progress on the national stage. GHR's investment in partnership is showing returns in this group, which has promise as a model for other grantees as they coordinate their efforts to develop a culture of trust and transparent communication.
The site visit to Zambia demonstrated great momentum around the critical issue of children living outside of family care, and we are excited by the possibilities for progress in the country. The aspirations and commitment of those driving change on the ground was clear. To learn more about how GHR's Children in Families funding supports child protection interventions that strengthen families, respond to children without family care and drive further evidence of innovative, pro-family approaches, contact us.
GHR Foundation's Children in Families funding is currently supporting child protection interventions in Zambia, a country with an estimated 8,000 children living in 190 institutions. Program staff recently participated in a Zambia National Consultation facilitated by our partners and attended by more than 40 representatives of the Zambian government and other stakeholders in the welfare of children outside of family care.
The three-day consultation drew constructive engagement and discussion from everyone present, and concluded with the issuing of a call for action by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, titled “Accelerating Child Care Reform in Zambia.” The document encourages other ministries, cooperating partners, civil society and other stakeholders to support actions including the establishment of a national technical working group on child care reform, the development of a national alternative care framework and the undertaking of research and evidence building.
Other takeaways include the focus on supporting children with disabilities, which was well-addressed by the government and the call for action, and the necessity of strengthening the social welfare workforce by improving training and accreditation. In the country of more than 14 million people, there are only 274 social welfare officers—actors key to our work. The next step after the consultation will be the formation of a technical working group on alternative care. This group will incorporate expertise from the current group of GHR partners and broaden participation to a larger number of stakeholders in Zambia.
To learn more about how GHR is working toward a world where all children are living in a stable, positive, long-term family or family-like environment, contact us.