The Fall newsletter is here! Lots of pictures from my trip!

The Fall newsletter is here! Lots of pictures from my trip!
The 2017 Fall/Winter Spirit in Action newsletter is here! You can view a PDF version here and hard copies will be in the mail next week!

Blessing a pig that the Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative members are giving to an orphan in the community.

In this newsletter we feature:

  • The time I blessed a pig in Malawi, as part of a community “Sharing the Gift” ceremony
  • Girls Empowerment Workshops in Kenya teach girls about their wholness
  • A poem of gratitude to SIA from Matthews Mahowe in Manyamula, Malawi
  • Photo collage of the people we met in Kenya and Malawi this spring!

Read the full newsletter and donate now to support the work of Spirit in Action. Your support helps empower more families and communities in Africa!

SIA Team and Small Business Fund Coordinators visiting business groups in Malawi. Coordinators from three countries came to Malawi for training and program evaluation.

P.S. If you’re in Toronto tomorrow, Wednesday, October 18th, join us for a discussion on risk and social change, and a celebration of the launch of Smart Risks: How Small Grants are Helping to Solve the World’s Biggest Problems, featuring Spirit in Action. Read more details and RSVP here!

Spring Newsletter – Fresh Stories!

Spring Newsletter – Fresh Stories!

The 2017 Spring/Summer Spirit in Action newsletter is here! You can view a PDF version here and hard copies will be in the mail next week!

In this newsletter we feature:

  • Hope for Relief in Malawi is a new grant partner. They are helping girls stay in school by making and distributing feminine hygiene pads to girls in rural Malawi. In this story, we feature Mary, one of the girls who is now promising not to miss a day of school. Mary is just one of 630 girls who have received free pads, with a total of 1,890 pads distributed overall!

One of the tailors distributes cloth feminine pads to girls.

  • The Manyamula Community Savings and Investment Promotion Cooperative in Malawi is named Best Performing COMSIP cooperative in Malawi!

I get to visit the Manyamula cooperative and stay in their new building in just three weeks!

  • Welcome new Spirit in Action Board Members, Wendy and Terry Silverthorn!
  • Descriptions of our six on-going grant projects.
  • Collective farming in the Small Business Fund program in Uganda.

Read the full newsletter and donate now to support the work of Spirit in Action. Your support helps empower more families and communities in Africa!

Fall Newsletter Preview! See what’s new with SIA!

Fall Newsletter Preview! See what’s new with SIA!

The new Spirit in Action newsletter is hot off the presses! You can view a PDF version here and the hard copies were in the mail last week!

In this newsletter we feature:

  • Megabridge Foundation in Kenya is a new grant partner. Their pig pens are already looking great! “Community members and men whose families will benefit from the program volunteered their time and talent to complete the construction project. The eight sows and two boars are settled in the new shelter.”
Cutting boards for the raised-floor pig pens.

Cutting boards for the raised-floor pig pens.

Adding the roof to keep the pigs dry and healthy!

Adding the roof to keep the pigs dry and healthy.

  • The new building for the Manyamula Community Savings and Investment Promotion Cooperative in Malawi is complete! (And it’s already getting a lot of use!)
  • Reflections and memories of Del and his founding of SIA.
  • Descriptions of our six on-going grant projects.
  • A timeline of 20 years of Spirit in Action activities!

Del and Bebe Anderson in a Japanese advertisement.

Read the full newsletter and donate now to support the work of Spirit in Action. Your support helps empower more families and communities in Africa!

Spring Newsletter Bonus Time!

Spring Newsletter Bonus Time!

The new Spirit in Action newsletter is hot off the (virtual) presses! You can view a PDF version here and the hard copies are in the mail this week!

In this newsletter we feature:

  • Christians and Muslims are encouraging each other in their businesses and praying together in Spirit in Action’s Small Business Fund in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • SIA’s pay-it-forward initiative passes piglets.
  • The new building for the Manyamula Community Savings and Investment Promotion Cooperative is almost complete! (And it looks fantastic!)
  • Read a description of each of SIA’s seven on-going grant projects.

There are always too many great photos to include them all in the newsletter, but luckily there is endless space online! Here are some bonus photos of Spirit in Action’s work:

MAL_CAN_113-117_training1_2-16

Business leaders receive training in record keeping and pricing before receiving the $150 grant from SIA. This group, in Manyamula Village, Malawi, is filling out their business plans.

MAL_CAN_113-117_money_2-16

Hope for a new start! Each of the business leaders receive an initial grant of $100, to be followed up for an additional $50 in three months, if the business is doing well.

ciford girls dance for PCF_12-15

Girls who completed the Alternative Rite of Passage with CIFORD in Meru, Kenya sing and dance to encourage the girls in Samburu who are celebrating an empowering transition to adulthood.

wci_joyce_knitting_12-15

Joyce received a small loan from WCI, one of SIA’s partner organizations in Zambia. She used her loan to buy this awesome knitting machine!

Read the full newsletter and donate now to support the work of Spirit in Action.

The Best Kind of Leftovers

Our partners are cooking up big change in their communities and there are so many inspiring stories, photos, and quotes to share! I couldn’t fit them all in the Spring & Summer 2013 Newsletter, so today’s blog is a bit of newsletter leftover stew…

(The newsletter went off to the presses yesterday but you can download a PDF COLOR copy here today.)

1. Women Starting Businesses in Kenya

SIA Small Business Fund local coordinator in Kenya, Dennis Kiprop, is excited about the new cohort of 5 women-led business groups:

“I thank God for such an opportunity to serve and train these small business groups. The greatest joy is to see them grow in God and be able to support their families in the long run with the businesses they are doing. Most of them are the key providers in their own families. Thank you for the great support, prayers, and love.”

Women fill out business plan

Rose and Salina fill out their business plan after attending a training session led by local SIA Coordinator Dennis Kiprop.

Goats are kept in elevated pens in Malawi.

Goats are kept in elevated pens in Malawi.

2. Forestry Project in Malawi

The front page of the newsletter has a story about 5 Small Business Fund groups in Malawi that are collaborating to start a forestry project.

The tree-planting business will not only help reforest the area and help the soil retain more water, the trees are also important for infrastructure in the rural Manyamula village. Tree poles are used for building houses and also for penning goats.

This photo shows the elevated goat pen which keeps the animals safe and allows the owners to collect manure for their gardens!

3. Short (and important) Supporter Survey

We want to hear your preferences! We have a short 9-question survey for our supporters. Will you tell us how you want to hear from us and what you like about SIA? Take the survey here. Thank you!

4. Memories of Del’s Encouragement

I asked Camily Wedende, a solar cooker entrepreneur in Kenya, about what words of inspiration from Del still stuck with him. (See the newsletter of how Camily is helping others promote solar cooking in Kenya.)

“Del used to write about letting go. To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.

To let go is not to deny, but to accept.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.”

Canaan Gondwe with a giant cucumber!

5. Giant Cucumber!

I LOVE this photo of SIA local coordinator Canaan Gondwe (Malawi) with the giant cucumber that grew in his community with seeds sent by our dedicated volunteer, Aileen Gillem.

Seeds were given to needy families in the community for them to use in their kitchen gardens (small garden plots with many types of vegetables growing). Cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions all thrived, supplementing the staple food, maize (corn).

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