At Vibrant Village Foundation we continue to make thoughtful, impactful investments in remote, rural locations around the world where people are experiencing severe poverty and hardship. With the dedicated work of our partners and staff, we work to strengthen these communities and make them better, healthier places to live.
In 2015, our program expenditures and grants totaled $3.6 million, a 7% increase over the prior year. Our non-program expenses totaled $128,000, less than 4% of our overall expenditures. We continue to focus the large majority of our investments with locally-based, grassroots NGO partners. In 2015, we made investments across 42 programs, in 26 countries. Approximately half our programs are now in Africa.
We estimate our programs are now providing assistance and direct impact to over 50,000 households in these core project areas:
- Access to clean water
- Sanitation facilities and training
- Gardens and farms for food security and income
- Women and childrens’ health services
- Income opportunities for women and youth
- School support
- Most vulnerable citizen support
This past year our US-based staff was able to visit 14 programs, in Africa and Central Asia. It is exciting and informative for us to make these visits; strengthening our relationships with partners and seeing first-hand the challenges and opportunities being presented.
On these visits we had the chance to talk with field staff and community members about the most significant changes they have seen from their projects. In Ghana, for example, we learned how young men, who had moved away in search of more economic opportunities, were returning to their village after the completion of new boreholes. The story these villagers told was not just about access to clean water, but about reuniting families and restoring their hope for a better life. These personal reflections give us greater insight into how our work is changing people’s lives.
With 21 new programs coming online in 2015, it was a year full of challenges and learning. While the rapid growth in our portfolio is exciting, is has also driven the need to strengthen our systems and process for monitoring and evaluation.
During the year we began rolling out a set of program monitoring and evaluation tools to help us, and our partners, track their performance on activities and outcome goals. Having better data and tracking systems is helping drive program improvements and will continue to inform our future investments and direction.
In 2016, we expect our investments in new countries and programs to level off in order to give full attention to the partners we are now working with. Many of our projects are showing tremendous potential and we want to position ourselves to fully implement, expand and evaluate the programs in our current portfolio.
For all of us at Vibrant Village it is an honor and a privilege to do this work alongside the many wonderful individuals making tireless efforts to help people and communities in need. Our dedication is directed towards the millions of people in the world who are making due and surviving with very little; with our hope that those of us with greater resources can help to make a difference in their lives. We appreciate your ongoing interest in our work and look forward to another great year ahead.
Founder & President