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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Bacon Visits Resort For Children With Life-Threatening Illnesses

Actor Kevin Bacon today visited Give Kids The World Village, a nonprofit resort for children with life-threatening illnesses, to launch the organization’s Ice Cream Challenge (#GKTWChallenge).

Bacon squared off against one of the resort’s young guests to see who could eat the most ice cream in six seconds. The loser had to donate $6 to Give Kids The World Village, a 74-acre resort where children with serious illnesses and their families are treated to dream vacations at no cost. Bacon, star of Footloose and the The Following, lost the challenge and made his donation on the spot.

Bacon is founder of SixDegrees.org, which encourages celebrities to use their fame to benefit worthy causes, such as Give Kids The World Village.

He visited the Village to highlight the fact that everyone is connected by six degrees or less to a child with a life-threatening illness. Give Kids The World Village is located near Orlando and hosts more than 7,400 families a year. The weeklong vacations are free to guests and include complimentary passes to the area’s theme parks and other attractions.

The Ice Cream Challenge (#GKTWChallenge) is a social media and fundraising campaign the organization hopes will raise contributions for, and awareness of, the work it does.

Now, it’s your turn to help the Village and the amazing kids it serves. Challenge your friends and family to the #GKTWChallenge. To get involved, go to www.gktw.org/bacon.

About Give Kids The World Village

Give Kids The World Village (GKTW Village) is a 74-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW Village provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a weeklong, cost-free, fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 138,000 families from all 50 states and 75 countries. For our latest news, visit www.GiveKidsTheWorld.org.

SDSU Announces Record Fundraising Year in Campaign to Raise $750 Million

The Campaign for SDSU reached $602 million after its best-ever year of fundraising.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 27, 2015) — In a significant step toward reaching a campaign goal of $750 million, San Diego State University has completed its best-ever year of fundraising.
The university raised $96.3 million in fiscal year 2014-2015 and increased its endowment to $191 million. Support in the form of estate gifts and planned gifts remained strong, accounting for about 25 percent of the total raised this year.

The Campaign for SDSU has now reached $602 million of its $750-million goal. In September of last year SDSU celebrated reaching its original goal of $500 million, and then extended the campaign.

“The record fundraising of the past year is a testament to our community’s strength and scope,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “It reflects the profound commitment of our generous alumni and community supporters, as well as the dedicated efforts of our faculty, staff and students in creating distinguished academic and co-curricular programs. This record-breaking year again demonstrates that when we work together as one community anything is possible.”

Since the campaign launched in July 2007, more than 53,000 donors have contributed, including 111 who gave more than $1 million, and 1,500 newly minted donors from the Class of 2015. Recent graduates were asked to contribute at least $10 to SDSU’s general scholarship fund when they picked up their caps and gowns, and sixteen percent of them did so.

“All great universities develop a culture of philanthropy that binds alumni to their alma mater,” said Mary Ruth Carleton, vice president for University Relations and Development. “We are grateful to the thousands of alumni and friends who helped us reach this milestone.”

Breaking new ground

Several gifts received during this past year broke new ground for SDSU in San Diego and internationally.

The J. Keith Behner and Catherine M. Stiefel Program on Brazil is the university’s first endowed academic program with an international focus. Alumni J. Keith Behner, ’71, and Catherine M. Stiefel, ’92, created the Brazil program with a $2.5-million endowment to be funded over five years.

Through research collaborations with major Brazilian universities, SDSU will strengthen its global leadership in public health, environmental sciences, international business and urban development.

Also in 2015, SDSU accomplished a major campaign initiative with the endowment of the Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College. A capstone gift from San Diego philanthropist Darlene Shiley secured the endowment and named the college for SDSU’s seventh president and first lady, who also contributed generously to its development.

Academic rigor, interdisciplinary curriculum and a commitment to community service are hallmarks of the honors college, which enrolls 750 students.

“San Diego State is a sought-after university for its excellent educational programs and prime location in America’s finest city,” said Jack McGrory, ’76, chair of The Campanile Foundation, whose board members have led SDSU fundraising efforts. The board has launched a campaign to create the Campanile Foundation Endowed Chair, which will help attract an internationally regarded faculty member in the sciences.

Strength in endowments

Endowed gifts increased during fiscal 2015 year, a measure of SDSU’s advancement in the ranks of top public research universities. Endowments support scholarships; specialized faculty positions and department chairs; graduate fellowships; and academic programs promoting entrepreneurship, leadership, outstanding scholarship and other components of excellence in higher education.

Conrad Prebys’ $2.5-million endowment will support a new faculty position in biomedical research and is the largest endowed chair in SDSU’s history.

Jeffrey Glazer’s significant gift has created the first endowed center on campus dedicated to leadership education and community service.

The Bernard Osher Foundation endowed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SDSU to secure its future and support continued growth.

A combination of endowments and planned gifts added $11.3 million to the Coryell Legacy, an initiative created to help ensure the financial future of San Diego State Athletics and the success of its student-athletes.

SDSU’s goal to further support groundbreaking research through a dedicated research endowment also gained traction. More than $6.7 million of the $15 million goal had been raised as of June 30, 2015.

Significant new initiative

During the 2015 fiscal year, SDSU initiated plans for a new Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, where researchers and entrepreneurs will work collaboratively to develop real-world applications for research discoveries that address the complex interdisciplinary challenges of our time.

The EIS Complex is a key piece in the drive to become a top-50 public research university. Not only will it enhance SDSU’s teaching and research capacities, it will also help attract the best and brightest research faculty and students. And it will physically transform the north-east corner of campus, with its mission style architecture and the inclusion of the Thomas B. Day Quad, a large open space in the center of the complex named for SDSU’s sixth president in honor of his contributions to the university’s development as a national research institution.

With groundbreaking for the complex scheduled for December, four Aztecs have already made significant gifts to support the project. They are College of Engineering alumni William E. Leonhard, ’64, Diane Denkler, ’62, Kevin Mayer, ’88 and Alan Dulgeroff, ‘92. San Diego’s Cymer, Inc. has also pledged $1 million to support the EIS project.

“The EIS Complex will transform our campus, fostering inter-disciplinary research, exposing our students to state-of-the-field technology and integrating entrepreneurship with research. It will be the gathering place and cross roads for the STEM disciplines on our campus – a place to collaborate, innovate and create,” Hirshman said.

To date, The Campaign for SDSU has raised more than $291 million for academic programs, $105 million for student scholarships, $17 million for facilities and $72 million for support of SDSU Athletics.

OPIC Announces Plans to Join Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and IFC in the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, Committing $100 Million to Enable 100,000 Women to Access Capital

  • First-Ever Global Finance Facility Aims to Close the Global Credit Gap for Women Entrepreneurs
  • President Obama Announces Plans for U.S. Government Investment at Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya

NAIROBI — In remarks made during the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, President Barack Obama announced that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, plans to join Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF). As part of the planned commitment, OPIC intends to finance up to $100 million in new projects under the facility.

Launched in 2014, the first-of-its-kind $600 million finance facility aims to help close an estimated $285 billion credit gap for women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) around the world and reach 100,000 women entrepreneurs globally. To date, the facility has completed nine transactions totaling $180 million in nine countries that will reach 25,000 women entrepreneurs. OPIC’s involvement will continue to increase the reach of the facility and the number of women who have access to formal credit through new transactions in OPIC-eligible countries.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and IFC provided anchor investments of more than $150 million to create the facility last year. Through this partnership, the institutions are working with local banks in emerging markets to catalyze existing capital for women-owned SMEs by addressing barriers in the lending market such as unsuitable product offerings and credit terms. For example, in the past year, the facility began collaborating with Chase Bank Kenya Ltd, the only bank with dedicated branches for women in Kenya, to expand their portfolio of loans to women-owned SMEs. The Facility is also working with local banks in eight other countries, including Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, India, Indonesia and Laos.

“With a development finance portfolio reaching over 100 countries worldwide, OPIC aims to create inclusive, bottom-up economic growth across the developing world,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “This Goldman Sachs initiative is well-aligned with OPIC’s mission, and I look forward to the possibilities that can result from OPIC and IFC’s participation in it. Empowering women to lead more of global business, especially at the SME level, is necessary for whole-of-society development progress.”

“A wide range of surveys including Goldman Sachs research shows that one of the biggest obstacles to growth for women entrepreneurs is access to capital and closing this gap could increase per capita income by 12% in emerging markets,” said Dina Habib Powell, head of Goldman Sachs’ Impact Investing business and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. “This new commitment will help bring us closer to our goal of getting more capital into the hands of women entrepreneurs who will drive future growth and job creation in economies around the world.”

“Nearly three-quarters of small- and medium-sized businesses owned by women have little or no access to financial services. Addressing that need will create jobs and improves lives for future generations. Partnerships like this are the key to making it happen.’’ said Jin-Yong Cai, Executive Vice President and CEO, IFC.

About OPIC

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.

All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker’s rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC helps raise the industry and regional standards of the countries in which its projects operate. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide. Learn more at www.opic.gov.

About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative is a campaign to foster greater shared economic growth by providing women around the world with a business and management education and access to mentoring, networking and capital. The initiative has reached women from across 56 countries through a network of 100 academic, nonprofit and bank partners. The initiative is founded on research conducted by Goldman Sachs – Womenomics and Women Hold up Half the Sky – the World Bank and others which suggests that such an investment can have a significant impact on global economic growth. Learn more at http://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000women/index.html.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

California Anti-Violence Program Engages With Shooters to Reduce Gun Violence and Improve Social Outcomes

New evaluation finds that innovative program focusing on those most at risk shows significant potential

Oakland, CA – The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) today issued its process evaluation of the Richmond, California, Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) and its Operation Peacemaker Fellowship. The study found that many participants in the Operation Peacemaker Fellowship have experienced low levels of violence since enrolling in the Fellowship along with improvement in other outcomes, including educational attainment and employment status. Furthermore, data suggest that ONS violence reduction strategies, including the Fellowship, have contributed to reductions in gun violence in Richmond.

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The evaluation was funded by The California Wellness Foundation and the City of Richmond and led by principal investigator Dr. Angie Wolf, NCCD’s director of justice strategies. Dr. Wolf said, “Gun violence is a critical and difficult problem for cities like Richmond to solve. Our evaluation shows that the ONS is making progress. Other cities can look to Richmond for lessons on how to tailor these strategies in their own communities.”

Richmond has long had one of the highest per-capita homicide rates in the country. ONS has garnered attention across the country for its program to reduce gun violence and homicide in Richmond by targeting the young men most at risk for shooting or being shot. ONS director DeVone Boggan said, “[For each participant,] we knew that we need to engage this young man, or he’s going to die or kill someone on these streets.”

This approach, informed by the Cure Violence model and other best practices, combines individual and community outreach. NCCD’s evaluation methodology included site visits, interviews with stakeholders, document reviews, and interviews with young men served by the Operation Peacemaker Fellowship, the individual-level component of ONS outreach. NCCD also analyzed ONS outreach data and crime data reported by the Richmond Police Department to the FBI.

Interviews with program participants bear out the study’s findings. One young man said, “Life is totally different now. I ride around with no fear of police or enemies … Now I work hard, am productive, no incidents, not even a traffic ticket. I don’t want to hurt no one, and I don’t want to be hurt.”

Highlights of the study and the full evaluation report can be found on NCCD’s website.

About NCCD

NCCD promotes just and equitable social systems for individuals, families, and communities through research, public policy, and practice. For more information about NCCD, please visit our website.

Peggy Sanday Honored for Contributions to Gender Equity in Anthropology

The American Anthropological Association’s Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology (CoGEA) has honored Dr. Peggy Reeves Sanday (U Penn) with the 2015 CoGEA Award for her numerous contributions to the fight for gender equality.

Dr. Sanday is a pioneer in the study of gender-based violence, in particular the study of campus rape. Dr. Sanday’s scholarly contributions over the last 40 years have had an enormous impact on the cross-cultural study of gender inequality and have shaped the way that social science and society at large address the issues of rape and sexual assault.

In addition to honoring scholars who work to end discrimination against women in anthropology, the CoGEA Award has recognized individuals who have helped to bring about significant shifts in intellectual paradigms through their anthropological research on women’s lives.

“Since the 1970s Peggy has spoken out in favor of those who are discriminated against,” said Dr. Sanday’s U Penn colleague Dr. Sandra Barnes. “She believed strongly that anthropologists should make their voices heard in the public sphere and that they should contribute to the collective good of their society.”

Dr. Sanday is the author of a number of ground breaking works including “The Socio-Cultural Context of Rape,” which established the paradigm for explaining the occurrence and context of rape cross-culturally. Dr. Sanday’s books, Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood and Privilege on Campus and A Woman Scorned: Acquaintance Rape on Trial, have also been highly influential in the field of Public Interest Anthropology, inspiring new generations of feminist student activists.

Dr. Sanday will be honored at the 114th AAA Annual Meeting in Denver this November.

Nigeria Goes One Year Without A Case Of Polio

EVANSTON, Ill. (24 July 2015) — Today marks one year since the last case of polio in Nigeria, the only remaining polio-endemic country in Africa. This achievement – the longest period Nigeria has gone without a case of the paralyzing disease – could signal the world will soon see a polio-free Africa, a significant global health milestone.

Nigeria One-Year Milestone from Rotary International on Vimeo.

On July 24th, the West African nation will have gone one full year with no new cases of wild-polio virus.

Rotary has been a leader in the fight to eradicate polio since 1985, when it launched the first global initiative to immunize the world’s children against polio: its flagship PolioPlus program. The organization has donated more than $1.4 billion to end polio.

Nigeria’s last polio case occurred on July 24, 2014, in southern Kano state, and the continent of Africa has not seen a polio case since August 11, 2014. The World Health Organization (WHO) may soon remove Nigeria from the list of polio endemic countries. When Nigeria and every country in Africa go three years without a case of polio, WHO will certify the region as polio-free. Most recently, WHO declared India and its Southeast Asia region polio-free in 2014.

Experts caution that while today marks a noteworthy milestone, the world cannot take its sights off polio. The next two years will be critical to ensuring Nigeria remains on-track and prevent a resurgence of the disease. The support of donors, governments and partners is needed more than ever to ensure high-quality polio campaigns.

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Last month, Rotary announced US$19 million in grants for continued polio eradication activities in Africa, including nearly $10 million for Nigeria. Over the past thirty years, the organization has given $688.5 million for polio eradication throughout Africa, and $207.4 million for Nigeria.

“Rotary’s 1.2 million members around the world – including the 6,890 in Nigeria – have played an important role in this progress. Rotary has worked with partners to successfully pioneer unique and innovative solutions to the challenges facing polio eradication in Nigeria,” said Dr. Tunji Funsho, Rotary’s National PolioPlus Committee chair for Nigeria. “However, it is too soon to celebrate. The world needs to keep polio eradication a high priority to ensure the disease does not return within our borders.”

Beyond Nigeria, only Pakistan and Afghanistan remain polio-endemic. According to experts, Pakistan will prove the biggest challenge to global eradication efforts, with the country accounting for nearly 90% of the world’s cases in 2014. However, there has been recent progress in Pakistan, with the country reporting a nearly 70% reduction in cases in the first half of 2015 compared to the same time in 2014.

Rotary launched its polio immunization program PolioPlus in 1985 and in 1988 became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the initiative launched in 1988, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to less than 400 confirmed in 2014.

Rotary’s roles within the initiative are fundraising, advocacy, and social mobilization. To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.4 billion and countless volunteer hours to fight polio. Through 2018, every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation up to $35 million a year.

About Rotary

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. In 1988, Rotary was joined by the WHO, UNICEF and the CDC to launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Visit rotary.org and endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio. Video and still images will be available on the Rotary Media Center.

Outstanding Oldest Worker Still On the Job at 103

Arlington, VA – Loren Wade took his first job at the age of 12 and he’s still going strong, ready to turn 103 tomorrow.

Three years ago, Wade was recognized by Experience Works as America’s Outstanding Oldest Worker in 2012. Wade and his employment with the Winfield, Kansas Walmart was highlighted during festivities at the National Press Club in Washington. Working 30 hours a week, Wade said he walked at least three miles a day, as he stocked shelves, worked the cash register, and changed merchandise displays in the pet department. He was credited for knowing where everything is located within the store.

Wade started his 90 plus years in the workforce in the town of Winfield. Before the depression, made iron and aluminum castings, and went on to work at the Ford Garage, where he earned $12 for a 60-hour workweek.

“If you could get a job, you grabbed it,” he said, making ends meet by driving a truck and ushering at the Nile Theatre in town.

During World War II he served 43 months in the Air Force in India and China. After the war he had his own business laying carpet, sanding floors, and installing ceramic tile, and a couple of jobs with the U.S. Postal Service. In 1983 he left his mail carrier job but was not yet ready to retire. That’s when he found employment at the Winfield Walmart – where he continues to work today.

Walmart will host a birthday party for Wade tomorrow, who is a role model for all ages. The celebration will be featured in an upcoming segment of the Today Show.

Experience Works (http://www.experienceworks.org/) is national nonprofit organization providing training, community service, and employment opportunities for older workers in 30 states and Puerto Rico.

Documentary Short Lands 28,000 Views In Three Days, Next Stop: Indiegogo

Millennial CEO’s marketing tactics shed light on coconut industry via short doc that earns title of “Vimeo Staff Pick”

Vancouver, BC (July 23, 2015) — Kapuluan Coconut – a social enterprise that produces handmade, raw coconut oil products – is proud to share the success of last week’s released short film, the documentary short, Kinabuhi: landing 28,000 Vimeo views in three days, with the next stop on the campaign being Indiegogo. Originally slated for a fall launch, the Indiegogo campaign will kick off Friday, July 27, as a direct response from the documentary’s success on Vimeo, making it to the “Staff Pick” list within a couple days of being on the site.

The film follows coconut farmers as they work to rebuild their lives after the devastating effects of Typhoon Hagupit. Directed by Danny Cooke, an award-winning filmmaker and the recipient of several “Vimeo staff-pick” designations, this short is the first Kapuluan Coconut production, created to support its efforts to build a coconut oil production facility in the Philippines. Cooke brings his signature use of drone footage to Kinabuhi, capturing images of the vast and lush landscape of the coconut groves as the farmers scale the 100-foot palm trees.

“I was in the eye of Typhoon Hagupit while doing relief work and experienced firsthand the wake of its destruction; most notably, 33 million trees that were key to people’s livelihood,” said Will Lauder, founder of Kapuluan Coconut. “I wanted to create a film that could showcase the strength and beauty of this community while also shedding light on the inequity of the coconut industry.”

Currently, 60 per cent of coconut farmers live in extreme poverty, earning less than two dollars a day. As small farmers within a global supply chain, they are the most vulnerable to market fluctuations and exploitation by industrial agriculture. Coupled with the constant threat of natural disasters, the future for coconut farmers is uncertain.

To support Kapuluan’s mandate to improve working standards for coconut farmers, the company will launch an Indiegogo campaign this week to raise funds to build a small batch, raw coconut oil production facility in Eastern Samar. In addition to the facility, Kapuluan will also provide equipment; skills training; and long-term job opportunities for men and women. The company will then purchase the coconut oil from the farmers to close the loop and ensure farmers also see financial impact.

“Raising awareness about the inequality of coconut farmers through Kinabuhi is the first step,” explained Lauder. “The next will be to put the money where our mouth is by creating real, long-term opportunities for these farmers so they can become self-sustaining communities.”

To view the documentary, please visit: http://kapuluancoconut.com/kinabuhi-film and for more information, please visit: http://www.kapuluancoconut.com.

More Quick Facts:

  • Vimeo “Staff Pick” Documentary Short film “Kinabuhi” follows coconut farmers rebuilding lives after Typhoon Hagiput.
  • The documentary (15 mins) is produced by Kapuluan Coconut and directed by Danny Cooke, an award-winning, Vimeo staff-picked filmmaker.
  • Will chose Danny for his history as a Vimeo Staff Pick, and the investment paid off. Three days after the release of “Kinabuhi,” it became a Vimeo Staff Pick and resulted in 25,000 Vimeo views in 72 hours.
  • Will says having a business aspect to his cause allowed him to gain this much traction so quickly, as commissioning a film wouldn’t have been considered prudent for a non-profit.
  • Will is now gearing up for a product launch, funded by an Indiegogo campaign for Kapuluan Coconut. Where many product launches focus on the item being sold, Kapuluan is keeping its focus on the cause: to improve working standards for coconut farmers.
  • Originally slated for a fall launch, the Indiegogo campaign has been expedited and will kick off Friday, July 27 — a direct response from the documentary’s Vimeo success.
  • The film follows coconut farmers as they share their trade, as well as their fears around an industry that has been exploited by industrial agriculture and crippled by natural disasters like Typhoon Hagupit and Typhoon Haiyan, the latter which destroyed the livelihoods of more than a million farmers.
  • This film supports Kapuluan’s upcoming Indiegogo campaign, aiming to raise funds to build a small batch, raw coconut oil production facility in Eastern Samar. In addition to the facility, Kapuluan will also provide equipment; skills training; and long-term job opportunities for men and women. The company will then purchase the coconut oil from the farmers to close the loop and ensure farmers also see financial impact.
  • Kapuluan Coconut’s mission is to improve the standards for coconut farmers while minimizing harmful impacts on the environment.
  • A move many CPG businesses would not make, Kapuluan does not have the essence of a consumer product e-commerce site when you land on it, it is selling a story before anything else and people have no choice but to learn about the impact of their purchase before they add anything to their shopping cart.

OPIC AND Kipeto Energy Sign Financing Agreement To Bring New Wind Power To Kenya

$233 million from U.S. Development Finance Institution OPIC will support 100 megawatt, grid-connected wind energy facility

Project fulfills U.S. commitment to Power Africa Initiative

NAIROBI, KENYA – As part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, today committed $233 million in debt financing to support construction and operation of the Kipeto Wind Power Project in Kajiado, Kenya.

The 100-megawatt, grid-connected wind power facility located south of Nairobi will be, when complete, one of the first utility-scale wind projects to come online in Kenya, where over 75% of the population still lack access to reliable electricity. Situated in an area with strong, consistent wind currents, the Kipeto project will provide cleaner and more reliable energy to Kenya’s national grid, helping to further bolster the country’s growing economy.

Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of OPIC, signed a commitment letter of OPIC’s debt finance support alongside Jurie Swart, CEO of African Infrastructure Investment Managers. Littlefield was in Nairobi with President Obama as part of the U.S. delegation to the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

OPIC’s financing to the Kipeto Wind Power Project also demonstrates the institution’s continuing role in fulfilling President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which seeks to add more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity as well as increased power access with 60 million new connections throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

The Kipeto project is being developed in partnership with African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), one of Power Africa’s 100 private sector partners and fund advisor to African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2, Kenyan independent power producer Craftskills Wind Energy International, Ltd, and the International Finance Corporation. Craftskills initially began development of this project in collaboration with General Electric in 2010.

“Kipeto is a transformative project for many reasons, principally for the clean and reliable energy it will supply to Kenyan citizens,” said Elizabeth Littlefield. “It will be one of Kenya’s first utility-scale wind projects and can contribute more than 20 percent of residential power consumption at current usage rates. Our commitment to Kipeto is also a significant step in OPIC’s pledge to President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative. OPIC is proud to support the Kipeto project and its role in advancing Kenya’s economic prosperity.”

“Power Africa’s support of this important energy project reflects the United States’ ongoing commitment to scale up access to electricity and mobilize investment in Kenya,” said U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec.

Children of Promise, NYC And New York Society For Ethical Culture Retain Momentum Communications Group

Communications Firm Will Bring Attention to Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents and Build New Audiences for Historic Institution Dedicated to Ethical Living

New York, NY, July 23, 2015 – Two prominent New York nonprofit organizations, Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC) www.cpnyc.org and the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) www.nysec.org, have retained Momentum Communications Group, a marketing communications agency specializing in nonprofit and education clients.

CPNYC operates the first and only center in New York City that combines after-school programming, summer day camp and a mental health clinic specifically designed to serve the children of imprisoned parents. NYSEC is an historic institution that has played a central role in the ethical life of New York and the nation since 1876, providing a welcoming community for humanists with hundreds of programs and events each year.

“We are excited to partner with Momentum to help educate the public about those affected by the incarceration of a parent and share the solutions we have developed to support their needs,” said Sharon Content, Founding Executive Director and President, Children of Promise, NYC.

“We look forward to working with Momentum and are confident they will assist us in building widespread public awareness of the Society and its many programs among our community members and residents of New York City and beyond,” said Robert Liebeskind, Executive Director for the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

“Children of Promise does an amazing job of providing services to a woefully underserved population and we are honored to help tell the world about the wonderful work they are doing,” said Jim Miller, President of Momentum Communications Group. “The New York Society for Ethical Culture is more relevant than ever and we are excited to introduce new generations to this inspiring resource for the community.”

Children of Promise NYC (CPNYC)

Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC) supports children of incarcerated parents, empowering them to break the cycle of intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system. A community-based nonprofit located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, CPNYC operates the first and only center in New York City that combines after-school programming, a summer day camp and mental health clinic dedicated to serving children of imprisoned parents. The agency serves 350 children ages 6-18 annually with an innovative program that combines traditional youth development activities with one-to-one mentoring and mental health services specifically designed to meet the needs of children left behind by parents serving time in prison. For more information, visit CPNYC.org or www.Facebook.com/ChildrenofPromiseNYC.

The New York Society for Ethical Culture

The New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) is the founding institution behind the Ethical Movement. Established by Dr. Felix Adler in 1876, NYSEC offers a welcoming community in a congregational setting for humanists looking to lead ethical lives. NYSEC offers year-round programming for adults and children with hundreds of community and cultural events at its landmark building on Central Park West. Programming is anchored around Sunday Morning Platforms, where people meet to learn, grow and reflect. An important voice for social justice for well over a century, NYSEC and its members are actively engaged on issues ranging from criminal justice reform to environmental stewardship and income inequality. For more information, please visit www.nysec.org or www.facebook.com/NYEthicalSociety.

Momentum Communications Group

Momentum Communications Group works with many of the nation’s leading foundations, nonprofits and associations, including the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Law School Admission Council, College Board, and Marine Stewardship Council. Based in New York City, Momentum won the Agency Elite Award for Best Work on Behalf of a Nonprofit/Association and the PR Daily Award for Best Media Relations Campaign Under $100,000. Momentum’s team of communicators has also been recognized for excellence in events, viral marketing, media training and op-eds.

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