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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: July 2014

Monsanto Joins Panel of Innovators at White House to Advance Collaborative Research on Climate Change and Farming

Company Shares Multiple Commitments to Advance Public and Private Research to Mitigate the Impact of Climate Change on the Global Food Supply

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 29, 2014) – Monsanto Company and The Climate Corporation, its division, today joined a roundtable of experts at the White House to share ideas and research approaches to help the world’s farmers manage and adapt to the impact of climate change on the global food supply.

The roundtable discussion, which focused on the White House Climate Data Initiative, provided a forum for researchers and leaders from the public and private sectors to share updates on the use of data insights and analysis to better understand climate issues and develop new solutions to address them.

“Data-driven insights can guide continued technology innovation across the agricultural community to provide growers with a greater ability to mitigate the impact of more volatile weather,” said Martha Schlicher, global stakeholder engagement lead for Monsanto. “This helps growers continue to meet, now and in the future, demands for a balanced diet while simultaneously working to minimize the impact of food production on the environment.”

“No one company or organization can address a challenge of this magnitude, and that is why Monsanto actively supports the White House Climate Data Initiative,” Schlicher said. “We’ve contributed valuable data and expertise to multiple collaborations to advance climate change research and we’re pleased to come together with others who share our commitment to sustainable food production.”

During the meeting, company representatives shared updates on several collaborative efforts that have advanced the use of models – data-driven analyses of how plants respond to weather extremes, water availability and changing weather scenarios – working with the broader research community focused in this area. Examples of these collaborations include:

  • University of Chicago research compared the impact of the 2012 drought relative to the last significant drought in 1988 and the impact of improved technology for farmers. That research showed that if farmers in the 2012 drought had been limited to the same agronomic choices they had in 1988, production would have been reduced by 25 percent. Monsanto has recently supported the extension of this work to understand the impact that changes in water availability could have on North American crop production.
  • Monsanto has provided corn yield data to public modeling efforts to help improve the modeling predictability for how corn will respond to changes in climate and water availability.
  • Monsanto is partnering company scientists with a number of external scientists to help improve one of the newest publicly available corn-growth simulation models.
  • The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto, provides Climate Basic, a free online and mobile service that helps farmers identify the impact of recent and current weather conditions on their fields. The Climate Corporation also helped launch the Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA), an open-source software project to ensure farmers have full data access across different agriculture technology platforms.

Monsanto pledged its continuing support to respond to the White House Climate Data Initiative and to continued broad collaboration globally across the public and private sectors to advance research dedicated to supporting farmers and their efforts to maintain the food supply in the face of a changing climate.

“Through his Climate Data Initiative, President Obama is calling for all hands on deck to unleash data and technology in ways that will make businesses and communities more resilient to climate change,” said John P. Holdren, President Obama’s Science Advisor. “The commitments being announced today answer that call by empowering the U.S. and global agricultural sectors with the tools and information needed to keep food systems strong and secure in a changing climate.”

More detail on Monsanto’s climate change data research can be found on the company’s blog at www.monsantoblog.com.

About Monsanto

Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce a variety of seeds ranging from fruits and vegetables to key crops – such as corn, soybeans, and cotton – that help farmers produce abundant and nutritious food. We work to find sustainable agriculture solutions that help farmers conserve natural resources, use data to improve farming practices, use water and other important resources more efficiently, and protect their crops from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. To learn more about Monsanto, our commitments and our more than 20,000 dedicated employees, please visit: discover.monsanto.com and monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® at monsantoblog.com or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

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A Powerful Resource To Help Create A College-Bound Culture Among America’s Youth

Berkeley, CA, July 29, 2014 – Monica Betson-Montgomery knows exactly what it takes to give kids a competitive ‘edge’ when preparing them for college – during her career she has personally read and scored more than 20,000 freshman applications for the University of California at Berkeley!

Combining her vast experience and knowledge, Montgomery came up with a comprehensive, successful strategy for better preparing children to be competitive college applicants. The Keys to College: A Road Map for Parents to Guide Their Children (MM & Associates) by Monica Betson-Montgomery is a resourceful handbook that demystifies the steps needed to prepare parents and their children for college. Written in a no-nonsense, easy-to-understand style, this book is a must-read for parents wanting to effectively navigate their way through their student’s educational career, from grade school through high school – and beyond!

Packed with concise and accurate information, it offers powerful tools for any parent dedicated to the ongoing education of their student. Chapters include topics such as, Reaching Out for Help, Establishing Good Study Habits, College Pre-Requisites & Recommended Subjects, Different Types of Colleges and, of special interest to many, a chapter on Financing College. Also, in a chapter titled Sample Student Profiles, the author not only gives essay examples but goes on to analyze the essay’s that include assessments. Her examples and explanations are well thought out and easy to follow and the assessments are extremely enlightening.

The author has simplified what can often be a complex process by providing a step-by-step road map that lays the groundwork for parents to prepare and execute a plan that will give their child an advantage in this very competitive educational environment.

About the author:

Monica Betson Montgomery completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and later completed her MBA at St. Mary’s College of Moraga. The Keys to College is her second book. Her first work, You Too Can Prepare Your Child for College, was inspired by the ongoing need to increase parent awareness of the education process and the importance of their role therein. She also subsequently designed a series of interactive workshops for parents and students that complement the book.

Monica and her husband commit a great deal of time and resources to impoverished communities to help ensure that information and opportunities are provided where the need is greatest. For more information, please visit: www.universitykeys.com.

Available at Amazon.com
The Keys to College: A Road Map for Parents to Guide Their Children
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: MM & Associates
Language: English and Spanish
ISBN-10: 0692004823
ISBN-13: 978-0692004821

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The Oscar Litwak Foundation’s Mobile Playrooms Bring Normalcy, Happiness, and Toys to Hospitalized Children

Charitable Organization Pays Tribute to the Life of 4-Year Old Oscar by Ensuring All Children Have the Chance to Play

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Oscar Litwak Foundation, a charitable organization in the United States, is on a mission to ensure each and every hospitalized child’s psychological need for everyday happiness is met, no matter their condition. By providing Mobile Playrooms to hospitals in need, The Oscar Litwak Foundation grants children access to toys, crafts, and other forms of entertainment that are proven to brighten these brave boys and girls’ days.

In the US alone, more than 3 million children are hospitalized annually, according to statistics. Like Oscar Litwak, the son of Founders Roberto and Sharon Litwak, many of these kids are either unable to leave their beds or are required to spend countless hours on the hospital premises. Seldom will they experience a trip to the arcade, a summer day spent swimming at the pool, or even the small joy of playing with toys in the comfort of their homes.

Inspired by their 4-year old son Oscar’s difficult journey as he battled and eventually passed from cancer of the kidneys, Roberto and Sharon formed The Oscar Litwak Foundation as a means to restore a level of normalcy and improve the quality of life of sick children who are either hospitalized or receiving long-term medical treatments.

“From the time Oscar was born, he was fighting for his life,” says Roberto Litwak, President of The Oscar Litwak Foundation. “His days were consumed by long trips to the hospital, chemotherapy sessions, and often, pain. However, we noticed the fulfillment of that small, but crucial, psychological need of playing as a child would significantly brighten his day, no matter how difficult it had been. Oscar was fortunate enough to have a playroom at his hospital, but many other children do not have this luxury. Many children are too sick to leave their rooms. By providing hospitals with our mobile playrooms, we hope to pay tribute to our son and bring happiness and relief to those children facing a similar journey.”

The Oscar Litwak Foundation’s Mobile Playrooms are specially manufactured carts filled with books, toys, arts and craft supplies, and games. They are completely customizable to suit each hospital’s specific needs, and best of all, they are 100 percent mobile and can be easily wheeled from one room to the next.

“Despite the great joy Oscar received from his hospital’s traditional playroom, there were many setbacks,” says Sharon Litwak. “For one thing, hospital playrooms generally follow a very strict schedule, and anyone with a child knows, there is no such thing as ‘schedule’ for a child who needs and wants to play. Moreover, what happens to all those children whose medical diagnosis and/or condition prevents them from leaving their hospital room? The Mobile Playroom addresses both of these issues by allowing children to play when they please and where they are able.”

The Oscar Litwak Foundation’s Mobile Playroom Program runs entirely on donations…and love. Hospitals are granted their Mobile Playrooms on a first-come-first-service basis and no request is ever denied.

To learn more and/or donate to The Oscar Litwak Foundation, please visit http://www.oscarlitwakfoundation.org/.

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Central Park Horse Show to Make Inaugural Debut in NYC Sept 18-21

US-Champion Rider Kent Farrington, Dressage Olympian Ashley Holzer, Members of the NYPD Mounted Unit, Kids from the Police Athletic League (PAL), Donald J. Trump and Event Organizers Announce Details of Four-Day Outdoor Equestrian Competition At Press Conference at Tavern on the Green

Details to be Revealed on Charitable Beneficiaries, Ticket Availability to Return Olympic-Caliber Event to NYC

NYPD Horses and their officers from the NYPD Mounted Unit and Kids from the Police Athletic League will join Kent Farrington, #1-Ranked US Rider; Dressage Olympian Ashley Holzer, Susan L. Birnbaum, President & CEO of NYC Police Foundation; Donald J. Trump and John A. Catsimatidis, Board Members of Police Athletic League NYC; and Mark Bellissimo, owner and publisher of Chronicle of the Horse magazine and CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, owner operator of the renowned Winter Equestrian Festival, the world’s largest and equestrian competition located in Wellington, FL, to announce the first ever “Central Park Horse Show Presented by Rolex,” coming to New York City from Sept. 18-21, 2014 on Tuesday, July 29 at 11am – noon at Tavern on the Green, located at Central Park West and West 67th Street just inside Central Park.

This first-ever outdoor, four-day equestrian sporting event will showcase some of the best show jumpers and riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues, the Trump Rink in Central Park. One of the highlights will be a live television broadcast of the $200,000 Rolex Central Park Grand Prix on Thursday from 7:00 – 8:30p involving the World’s top professional equestrian athletes as well as a Friday Night NYC vs. the World pro/am competition. Daily exhibitions will feature different breeds and disciplines and a dressage showcase.

The Central Park Horse Show Presented by Rolex will return Olympic Caliber athletes to NYC for the first time since the National Horse Show left Madison Square Garden in 2001. It will also benefit several New York City charities, including the The New York City Police Foundation/NYPD Mounted Unit, the Police Athletic League (PAL) NYC and Gallop NYC. Additionally, 50% of the matinee tickets will be donated to local children’s groups in order to broaden the exposure of equestrian sport.

WHEN:
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
11a.m. – Noon

WHERE:
Tavern on the Green
Central Park West & 67th Street, New York, NY

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Global Good Fund Plans Commercial Expansion with First COO/CFO

Angela Atherton to lead daily operations, focused on launching new services for social entrepreneurs

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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29, 2014 — The Global Good Fund, a nonprofit organization that accelerates the personal development of high potential young leaders tackling global social issues through entrepreneurship, has added a key new hire to the organization’s leadership team. As Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Angela Atherton will lead the organization’s day-to-day operations. She will also provide expert financial, strategic, and tactical guidance as the organization shifts from an entirely donor-based entity into offering multiple for-profit, social good services. Expanding into revenue generating operations allows The Global Good Fund to support more young leaders as the organization grows.

Angela Atherton

Atherton brings domestic and international experience in financial analysis and management to The Global Good Fund. Relevant experience includes financial modeling, investment analysis, strategic planning, capital raising, process design, and project management.

“Welcoming Angela Atherton to our team is an exciting milestone for The Global Good Fund, marking the launch of our commercialized products,” said co-founder and CEO Carrie Rich. “She brings a wealth of industry knowledge to support our efforts for achieving financial self-sufficiency and expanding our impact in the international social good space.”

Prior to joining The Global Good Fund, Atherton was the head of Risk Management at Calvert Social Investment Foundation, a non-bank financial institution managing more than $300 million in international portfolios with investments in microfinance institutions, community based organizations, and social enterprises. Atherton’s entrepreneurial experience includes co-founding Capital Market Exchange, a financial technology business focused on enhancing investor understanding of market price drivers. She also established a consulting practice to deliver financial and risk management technical assistance and training to senior leaders and donors around the globe. Atherton began her career in investment banking at American Capital Strategies.

Atherton recently joined the Board of Managers for the Access Africa Fund. She holds designations in Chartered Financial Analyst and Financial Risk Manager. Atherton earned a Master of Science from The George Washington University School of Business and served as an adjunct professor in The University System of Maryland.

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Ad Council’s 61st Annual Public Service Award Dinner to Honor FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith, Stephen Colbert to Host

Last year’s dinner raised an unprecedented $3.4 million to support the Ad Council and its 50 national public service campaigns

NEW YORK, July 29, 2014 – The Ad Council, the largest producer of public service advertisements (PSAs) in the U.S., announced today that its 61st Annual Public Service Award Dinner will honor FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith and Stephen Colbert will host. The event will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Mr. Smith will be presented with this year’s public service award in recognition of his personal and corporate commitment to philanthropy. He has been a global voice for environmental sustainability, disaster relief, education and road safety. Under his leadership last year, FedEx contributed over $46 million in cash and charitable shipping, along with thousands of volunteer hours through “FedEx Cares.” FedEx has also been instrumental in emergency response efforts both domestically and internationally, aiding in relief for disasters including Super Storm Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan. Also, FedEx leverages its sustainability-focused philanthropic giving to help rebuild communities and ecosystems affected by natural disasters. Globally, FedEx provides monetary and transportation support to help communities in need in remote parts of the world by distributing medications to over 1,200 health clinics.

FedEx also works closely on many issues that the Ad Council addresses with its campaigns, such as closing the achievement gap in education for African American and Hispanic youth by working with organizations such as the United Negro College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

“The annual dinner is the highlight of our year, and a way for us to celebrate the year’s successes and honor those who support the Ad Council and our more than 40 critical social issues,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council, “We’re thrilled to honor Fred Smith for his commitment to giving to those in need in communities throughout the world, and we’re very excited that Stephen Colbert will be our emcee. We are looking forward to a marvelous program.”

Stephen Colbert is currently the host and executive producer of Comedy Central’s award-winning program, The Colbert Report. In April 2014, it was announced that Colbert will succeed David Letterman on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman. Previous hosts of the Ad Council’s dinner include Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, Conan O’Brien and Brian Williams.

Attended by more than 1,300 prominent executives from the media, advertising, and corporate communities, the Public Service Award Dinner recognizes the industries and individuals who support the Ad Council and its public service campaigns. The dinner will be chaired by Laura Desmond, Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Starcom MediaVest Group and the recently announced Chair of the Ad Council’s Board of Directors. Following the Ad Council’s annual tradition, last year’s honoree, Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL, will present the award to Mr. Smith. Platinum Sponsors include Clear Channel and FedEx Corporation.

The Ad Council has been honoring corporate leaders for their contributions to public service since 1953. The Public Service Award Dinner is the organization’s largest fundraising event. Last year’s benefit raised an unprecedented $3.4 million to support the Ad Council’s programs and was ranked by BizBash as one of the top 100 events in New York City and as one of the top three advertising events of the year.

The Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or view our PSAs on YouTube.

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Accion’s Frontier Investments Group Invests in Eseye

Impact Investment Group to Provide Growth-Stage Equity to ‘M2M’ Service Provider Enabling Payments Solutions for Emerging Market Consumers

Washington, D.C., July 29, 2014 – Accion, a pioneer and leader in bringing financial services to the underserved, today announced that its Frontier Investments Group has become the first institutional investor in Eseye Ltd, a global machine-to-machine (‘M2M’) technology and service provider, with a participating investment in its $9.0 million Series B financing round.

A major impediment to providing the underserved with basic services such as electricity, or with devices such as water pumps or solar lamps, is that these populations lack credit and the means to consistently pay for goods and services. Eseye’s solutions enhance financial inclusion by enabling new prepaid and pay-as-you-go service models for products and services. These models are being made possible through Eseye’s proprietary M2M technology, allowing these devices to be managed remotely and integrated into payment networks.

The Internet of Things (‘IOT’), of which M2M connectivity is a key component, has been named one of the most disruptive technology trends of the coming decade. Roughly 9 billion devices are currently connected to the Internet globally. Eseye leverages a nearly ubiquitous global cellular network to make devices “smart,” using sensors, gateways and proprietary technology to ensure robust and reliable wireless connectivity to collect and transmit data to clients operating in a range of markets, including energy, financial services, telecommunications, transportation and healthcare.

“Eseye’s M2M solutions are enabling exciting new pay-as-you-go asset financing and prepaid models that give the poor in emerging markets access to critical, life-enhancing goods and services they would not otherwise be able to afford,” said Jonathan Whittle, Managing Director of Frontier, who will join Eseye’s board of directors as part of the transaction.

One of Eseye’s customers, M-KOPA is a leading solar energy device provider in Africa and integrates Eseye’s device management solution with mobile money networks, allowing M-KOPA to remotely control access to its devices when payments are made. Eseye already enables the micro-financing of solar power solutions to over 100,000 households in Kenya through M- KOPA, with plans to connect 1 million solar devices by 2018. Building on the success in Kenya, Eseye is currently expanding its pre-paid electricity metering services to customers across Africa, India and Asia Pacific, and is pioneering healthcare service solutions within Africa.

“Connecting devices to the Internet will empower people, improve quality of life, provide safer communities, conserve scare resources and drive economic growth.” said Julian Hardy, CEO of Eseye. “We are thrilled to work with Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, given their experience accelerating new technologies that can help expand access to financial services.”

About Accion’s Frontier Investments Group

Frontier is a venture equity initiative that invests in companies with disruptive models that enhance the efficiency, reach and scope of financial products and services for those underserved in emerging markets. Frontier is part of Accion, a pioneer and global leader in financial inclusion with five decades of experience in emerging markets – including feet-on-the-ground and institutional relationships on four continents and a deep bench of industry specialists. Additional information is available at www.accion.org/frontier.

About Eseye

Established in 2007, Eseye delivers IOT Solutions and machine-to-machine (‘M2M’) connectivity on a global scale. Based in London, the M2M solutions provider works with businesses around the globe on applications across key sectors, to develop long-life solutions focused on business outcomes. With a ubiquitous connectivity layer and unparalleled service and support, Eseye delivers the most robust and reliable network for the Internet of Things
globally.

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Suzanne Grimes Elected to Polaris Board of Directors; To Drive Awareness and Action Against Human Trafficking

Leading Nonprofit Organization Combatting Modern Slavery to Benefit from Grimes’ Leadership, Business and MediaExpertise

New York- July 21, 2014Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedom to survivors, today announced it elected Suzanne Grimes, president and COO, Clear Channel Outdoor-North America to its Board of Directors for a one year term beginning July 11, 2014.

Human trafficking is a thriving criminal industry, with traffickers making billions in profits by using force, fraud, or coercion to rob victims of their freedom. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, operated by Polaris, received reports of 5,214 cases of human trafficking in 2013 (read more 2013 statistics here). The hotline is a lifeline for victims of modern slavery and a resource for community members to provide tips and request information.

“Polaris is excited to welcome Suzanne to our Board of Directors, where her expertise will be indispensable,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris. “With Suzanne at the helm, Clear Channel Outdoor continues to make enormous contributions to the fight against modern slavery. Suzanne shares our passion to help people understand the issue and is using her voice and the media she commands to help. From donating billboard and poster inventory in numerous cities to providing invaluable insight into targeted awareness campaigns, Suzanne’s impact demonstrates what can be accomplished when companies take proactive steps to combat this crime.”

Clear Channel Outdoor launched its first anti-human trafficking campaign alongside Polaris in Philadelphia in 2012 and has since supported targeted campaigns in Baltimore, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and recently a statewide campaign in Texas in conjunction with Polaris, the FBI, United Against Human Trafficking, and Governor Rick Perry. Grimes has ensured Clear Channel Outdoor teams across the country have fully leveraged CCO’s diverse portfolio to make a difference in communities where trafficking is a serious problem.

“I am excited to embrace my new role as a Polaris board member,” said Grimes. “Polaris’ team is giving victims hope for a better life by showing that there is a way out, and they are on the front lines bringing traffickers to justice by providing vital information to law enforcement agencies working to combat this tragic crime. My goal is to significantly raise the profile of this crime by creating a greater sense of awareness that supports victims seeking help while driving concerned citizens and socially responsible companies to join the fight.”

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For Africare, Saving Lives at Birth Means Bringing Innovation and Community Partnerships to Zambia and Senegal

WASHINGTON, (JULY 28, 2014) – Pregnancy and childbirth in Zambia continue to be risky, leading to death and disability for some women of childbearing age. Africare, a non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of people in Africa, will present solutions to maternal and infant mortality in Zambia and Senegal at the 2014 Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development Conference from July 30 until August 1, 2014, at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.

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Africare will propose an integrated package of maternal and newborn interventions to increase demand for and access to quality health services. The project, “Maternity Waiting Homes: Integrated Maternal and Child Health,” will create maternity waiting homes and use mobile technology and motorbike ambulances to close the distance between expecting mothers and the health centers from which they receive prenatal care services in Zambia.

Africare has successfully run maternity waiting homes in Liberia, where preliminary results from the Liberia USAID Child Survival Innovation Grant project led by Africare have shown an increased uptake of facility delivery services and a decrease in number of maternal deaths in facilities with MWHs in Liberia, with maternal deaths significantly different between MWH and non-MWH communities (p=.040) (Lori et al 2013). With funding from Merck for Mothers in Zambia Africare, along with University of Michigan, also researched the feasibility and acceptability of MWHs and results strongly support the findings in Liberia that, for more women in rural settings to deliver in clinics, there must be a comfortable place for them to stay near the health center where they travel to and stay prior to onset of labor.

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“Africare is currently implementing a maternity waiting home model in Liberia where early results show that maternity waiting homes can literally be the difference between life and death for expecting mothers,” said Dr. Nene Diallo, deputy director of the Office of Health at Africare. “We are confident in our ability to take this model from Liberia and scale it up in remote areas of Zambia where the demand for safer delivery conditions exist.”

Africare’s “Maternity Waiting Homes” project in Zambia contains three pillars:

  • Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAG) comprising of Africare-trained community volunteers who will teach and help women and their families during pregnancy.
  • Maternal Waiting Homes constructed next to health facilitates where pregnant women stay to receive care and rest prior to delivery.
  • CommCare mobile technology to provide pregnant women with real-time health information and reminders to support them during pregnancy.

This project is expected to reach approximately 11,691 pregnant women in the Kasama and Mpika districts in Zambia annually for three years, and is expected to increase the antenatal care coverage and delivery under skilled birth attendants by 25 percent. Africare also expects a 20 percent decrease in the proportion of low birth weight infants.

Last year Africare was selected as a Round 3 finalist at the 2013 “DevelopmentXChange” Saving Lives at Birth Conference for its Collaborative Community Based Technology To Improve Maternal and Child Health in Senegal model. With funding from Saving Lives at Birth, Africare’s Senegal team will officially launch model in five districts in Senegal on July 24, 2014. Africare/Senegal’s Country Director Gwen K. Young will present at this year’s conference.

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Saving Lives at Birth is a partnership that includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID) to invest in ground- breaking and sustainable projects with the potential to accelerate substantial progress against maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths at the community level.

The DevelopmentXChange Marketplace will take place at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., and is open to the public on Friday August 1 from 9 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

Members of the public can also vote for their favorite innovations through the People’s Choice Award from now until August 1. To vote for Africare’s “Maternity Waiting Homes: Integrated Maternal and Child Health in Zambia” in the People’s Choice Award at the Saving Lives at Birth Innovators Conference, please visit here.

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LSC: 40 Years of Championing Equal Access to Justice

Washington, DC – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the single largest funder of civil legal aid in the country, marks its 40th anniversary on July 25.

LSC will commemorate this milestone beginning with a three-day event bringing together a wide range of legal, government, corporate, and philanthropic leaders to shine a light on the challenges and opportunities facing civil legal aid in America. The 40th Anniversary Kick-Off will be held Sept. 14-16 at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, DC.

“Created in 1974 as one of the last acts of the Nixon administration, LSC’s mission is ‘to provide equal access to the system of justice in our nation’ and ‘to provide high quality legal assistance to those who would be otherwise unable to afford adequate legal counsel,’” said LSC Board Chairman John G. Levi. “We are grateful for four decades of bipartisan congressional support in pursuit of this mission. With the number of people now eligible for civil legal assistance at an all-time high—nearly 21% of Americans—we look forward to working with Congress to further expand its funding to help meet this unprecedented need.”

LSC provides federal funds through competitive grants to 134 independent nonprofit organizations with nearly 800 offices in every state, the District of Columbia and the territories of the United States. LSC is headed by an 11-member Board of Directors appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Board is bipartisan: no more than six members may be of the same political party.

LSC promotes technology innovation through its Technology Initiative Grants program which has funded more than 525 technology projects in the past decade. LSC also awards grants through its Pro Bono Innovation Fund to support new and innovative projects to promote and enhance pro bono efforts throughout the country.

“Every day across America, victims of domestic violence seeking protection, veterans trying to avoid homelessness, and consumers facing wrongful evictions or foreclosures are forced to navigate the legal system alone because they can’t afford a lawyer,” LSC President James J. Sandman said. “LSC’s funding of high-quality legal services for low-income people helps assure fairness in our legal system, and it’s never been more needed, or more important, than it is today.”

Members of Congress applauded LSC on its 40th anniversary:

Representative Frank Wolf (VA-10th), Chairman, House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Sub-Committee: “As chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations subcommittee from 2001-2006 and again since 2011, I have worked closely with the LSC leadership to support these programs and ensure that funding is spent efficiently and appropriately. I have also worked with my colleagues in Congress and LSC leadership to mitigate partisan issues that undermine support for this program. Through these efforts, we have been able to ensure that LSC funding is focused on supporting legitimate civil legal aid needs by those Americans who need it most.

Over the past several years, I have encouraged LSC to do more to engage law firms and bar associations to expand pro bono services in coordination with the corporation. In response, the LSC board created a Pro Bono Task Force in 2011 and produced a comprehensive report with innovative ideas to bolster national pro bono efforts. I want to credit LSC Board Chairman John Levi and LSC President Jim Sandman for their leadership on this project, which has the potential to further extend LSC’s support for low-income Americans.

Forty years after its creation, the LSC fills a critical gap by providing low-income Americans with legal assistance they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. I want to commend the Legal Services Corporation and the attorneys working in our communities for the work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel.”

Representative Chaka Fattah (PA-2nd), Ranking Member, House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Sub-Committee: “For millions of low-income Americans—including veterans, working families, and people with disabilities—Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is the only path to navigating the justice system and securing high-quality legal representation. As Ranking Member on the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I have led the effort in Congress to secure adequate funding to support LSC’s mission of ensuring that every individual who requires it has access to America’s courts. As demand continues to grow for civil legal aid in our country, it will remain our responsibility to continue to fight for increased funding. I applaud LSC’s four decades of success advocating for equal access to justice and look forward to remaining its champion.”

Representative Steve Cohen (TN-9th): “On this anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel. Every day that a legal aid attorney protects the safety, security and health of our most vulnerable citizens, they bring this nation closer to living up to its commitment to equal justice for all.”

Representative Tom Cole (OK-4th): “Friday, July 25, marks the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). LSC-funded legal aid programs make a crucial difference to millions of Americans by assisting with the most basic civil legal needs. On this anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel.”

Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13th): “On this 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, we should recommit ourselves to the founding principle and continue to ensure that LSC can fulfill its critical mission through sufficient funding. I commend LSC and its grantee programs for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel and for continuing its mission of equal justice for all.”

Representative Mike Honda (CA-17th): “I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel. In my role as a senior member of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I’ve fought to increase LSC funding, and have sought to remove federal restrictions on how LSC can use state, local, and private funds to more efficiently use the resources it has available to serve low-income clients. I will continue to work to provide LSC with the resources and flexibility it needs to ensure equal access to justice.”

Representative Mike Quigley (IL-5th): “I rise today to honor the Legal Services Corporation, which for 40 years has played a vital role in ensuring all Americans, regardless of income, have proper representation in court. Thank you to the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel.”

Representative Adam Schiff (CA-28th): “On this anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel, as well as the thousands of attorneys who contribute pro bono services to clients in need. In my district, LSC provides funding to Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, an organization which provided legal aid to over 4,600 clients last year and looks to increase that number this year.”

Representative Bobby Scott (VA-3rd): “I have long been a supporter of legal assistance for low-income Americans and of the LSC dating back to the 1970s, when I led the effort to establish the LSC-funded Virginia Peninsula Legal Aid Center, Inc. So I know from first-hand experience that LSC-funded legal aid programs make a critical difference to low-income Americans by assisting with their most basic civil legal needs. On this 40th anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of millions of Americans who need qualified, competent legal counsel.”

Representative Chris Van Hollen (MD-8th): “I rise today to honor the achievements of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) on its 40th anniversary. While we reflect on the achievements of LSC over the last 40 years, Congress must also renew its commitment to providing LSC the critical resources it needs to assist our must vulnerable.”

Senator Roy Blunt (MO): “Congratulations to the Legal Services Corporation on their 40th anniversary. The important work they do on behalf of low-income citizens who need qualified counsel helps to make a difference in the lives of thousands of our most vulnerable Missourians each year.”

Senator Tom Harkin (IA): “I know firsthand the important work of the Legal Services Corporation. Before I was elected to Congress, I worked as a legal aid attorney in Polk County, IA. I experienced the challenges—and also the rewards—of representing people who otherwise would not have the legal assistance they deserve. And I developed a deep appreciation for the role that legal aid attorneys play within our system of justice. On this anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel.”

Senator Angus King (ME): “I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel. I began my career as one of these attorneys – beginning in 1969, I worked in Skowhegan, Maine for a legal services provider called Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Although my time predated LSC, today Pine Tree is funded by LSC and continues to provide high-quality legal services to those in most need. I learned first-hand during this period that the work of LSC attorneys is a critical element of making real the promise of our country to our disadvantaged and disenfranchised citizens.”

Senator Mary Landrieu (LA): “On this 40th anniversary, I congratulate and commend the Legal Services Corporation for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel. In my home state, more than 25% of the population is eligible for LSC-funded legal services. The three programs funded by LSC served nearly 40,000 Louisianians and closed nearly 16,000 cases last year. Every day that a legal aid attorney protects the safety, security, and health of our most vulnerable citizens, they bring this nation closer to living up to its commitment to equal justice for all.”

Senator Patty Murray (WA): “I applaud the efforts of LSC, the programs and services funded by the corporation, and ask that we commit ourselves to ensuring that Americans of all backgrounds have access to adequate legal services. We are a better nation for its 40 years of service and advocacy on their behalf. In my home state of Washington, LSC-backed programs have been helping survivors of the Oso mudslide get back up on their feet and rebuild their lives. LSC is essential to protecting the lives and liberty of the most vulnerable Americans.”

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was established by the Congress in 1974 to provide equal access to justice and to ensure the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and U.S.territories.

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