Global Neighborhood Fund
Small grants with long commitments are transformative for people in need of health care in post-civil war Liberia. That’s why, since 2010, the Global Neighborhood Fund has provided nearly $300,000 in grassroots grants to organizations doing critical work there. GNF members give collectively, enabling greater impact, strengthening projects and often saving and changing lives by providing health, clean water, education for girls, economic empowerment, safe births, and prevention and treatment of gender-based violence.
Global Neighborhood Founders Sandra Tyler, Nancy Koppelman, and Connie Smith with Liberian Secretariat of Philanthropy Jennah Scott, second from left.
Members and the community are invited to attend educational events, learn together and connect personally with grassroots change makers. Strategic partnerships formed through our introduction have also been transformative. For example, GNF connected Last Mile Health and the Santa Barbara-based Direct Relief, and the two humanitarian organizations worked together to bring life-saving emergency supplies to Liberia during the 2015 Ebola crisis.
“When I first met Connie, Nancy, and Sandra through a philanthropy visit in Liberia, I did not know how impactful GNF’s work and grant making was going to be, or how long-term it was going to be,” said Jenneh Scott, Liberian Secretariat of Philanthropy. “It is heartwarming to see their commitment to the people of Liberia."
A small grant of $10,000 was made to Tiyatien Health (now Last Mile Health) in 2011 following a meeting in Monrovia with GNF co-founders and a young former Liberian, Dr. Raj Panjabi, and two of his Community Health Workers. Their annual budget was very small at that time. Following their mission to save lives in the world’s most remote villages, Last Mile Health—founded by survivors of Liberia’s civil war—specializes in the development and management of professionalized Community Health Workers who bridge the gap between health systems and remote communities.
Last Mile Health, Liberia
Through their highly skilled staff, LMH brings critical services to the doorsteps of people living in the Last Mile. At the end of the war it was estimated that there were only six doctors for the countries then population of three and a half million people, many of whom had never seen a doctor. Community Health Workers provide care for diseases that can easily be treated such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, and malnutrition. LMH additionally developed a maternal and child health curriculum to ensure safe births in Liberia.
Since that meeting, GNF has continued to support LMH and watched the organization grow, working hand-in-hand with community members, local governments, national policy makers, and global partners to ensure sustainable impact. LMH has received numerous awards and recognition, but the most impactful and lasting development for the people of Liberia is that LMH has been chosen by the Liberian Ministry of Health for national scale. LMH and the Liberian Ministry of Health have trained and are managing 327 professional Community Health Workers in 308 remote districts across nine health districts. Their goal is to double those numbers within two years.
The inspiring "Story of Love from Rivercress"
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