SEATTLE, WA (PRWEB) March 16, 2006
VillageReach today announced it is the recipient of a $750,000, three-year award from The Skoll Foundation. The award is one of 16 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship presented by the Skoll Foundation to honor the most innovative and effective approaches to resolving critical social issues. With this award, as well as recent grants of $1.9 million from The Thomas Hunter Foundation in the United Kingdom and an investment of $1.024 million from the Directorate-General for International Cooperation in the Netherlands, VillageReach will expand its successful initiatives to an additional province in Mozambique and begin project replication in additional countries over the next three years. These grants will enable the nonprofit to ultimately serve five million people in Mozambique through 280 health clinics over the next three years.
VillageReach is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and improving well-being in developing countries by increasing community access to healthcare and other essential services.
“Over the past three years we have implemented and refined our healthcare and infrastructure improvement programs in Cabo Delgado, and demonstrated significant improvements in vaccination rates, cold-chain reliability, healthcare delivery and education,” said Blaise Jujda-Sato, VillageReach’s founder and president. “These new investments, and the Ministry of Health’s willingness to support our programs’ expansion to a neighboring province, demonstrate the global community’s recognition and validation of this lifesaving work.”
The new investments enable VillageReach to extend the successful work of its model to the province of Nampula beginning in mid-2006 and to begin replication in additional countries over the next three years. In Mozambique, VillageReach operates in partnership with the Foundation for Community Development (FDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the living conditions of the poorest strata of the Mozambican population. Through an agreement with Mozambique’s Ministry of Health, VillageReach and FDC will expand to serve 190 health clinics in Nampula and also operate VidaGas, their for-profit operation in the province. By delivering clean fuel and creating new jobs, VidaGas provides solutions to some of Mozambique’s most serious health and economic concerns.
“VillageReach reflects the essence of a Skoll social entrepreneur: a practical innovator who resolves social problems and builds civil society’s infrastructure and effectiveness,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “Each organization in our portfolio of Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is tackling a complex social problem in order to promote healthy, sustainable communities. Together with our other social entrepreneurs, VillageReach represents an incredibly powerful force for systemic social change.”
“The recognition and investments from our international partners are particularly meaningful because they reflect the global interest in supporting developing nations, and enable us to expand our lifesaving work to millions more in need,” said Graca Machel, Chair of the Foundation for Community Development.
VillageReach and FDC launched the demonstration program in the Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique in July 2002. Its integrated approach to improving health, environmental and economic issues includes building and managing distribution networks and cold chains, introducing improved injection safety technologies and best practices, and providing sources of clean-burning fuel for use in health facilities without access to electricity. The programs in Cabo Delgado currently serve over 1.5 million people and the province has seen dramatic improvements in immunization rates and healthcare awareness.
VillageReach (http://www.villagereach.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health and well-being in developing countries. Headquartered in Seattle with operations in Mozambique and Geneva, VillageReach has previously received grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank.
About The Foundation for Community Development (FDC)
The FDC (http://www.fdc.org.mz) was founded in Mozambique by people who share a belief that community development efforts should be supported from within society. FDC's focus is on strengthening self-reliance and increasing material and financial resources at the community level.
About the Skoll Foundation
The Skoll Foundation advances systemic change to benefit communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs—individuals dedicated to pioneering new solutions that result in lasting improvements to complex social problems. The Skoll Foundation invests in social entrepreneurs through the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. It connects them through Social Edge, an online community at http://www.socialedge.org and via the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University. It celebrates social entrepreneurs through projects such as The New Heroes, a public television documentary series that tells 12 dramatic stories of social entrepreneurs who bring innovative, empowering solutions to intractable social problems around the world. For more information, visit http://www.skollfoundation.org.