Our goal is to create access to education and empowerment for girls, women, and rural communities across the globe. We believe in, act on, and measure against the seven principles and outcomes that we know are important and yield results. When we find that our results don’t measure up, we re-evaluate and amend our work plans.
We work in rural communities, where girls and women are most marginalized and impoverished. This is the edge. The fringe. We look to find and remove barriers preventing girls and women from accessing education and other empowering resources.
In doing this, we work alongside community leaders, as well as community-based organizations (CBOs), NGOs providing complimentary services, such as vocational training and tuition support, to ensure that every project provides a holistic approach to an existing need.
Our model is based on seven guiding principles.
1 Build Capacity: Create a greater ability in ourselves, our partners and the communities in which we work.
2 Transfer Power: Push power to others. Give it away. Reinforce. Take it back only when necessary. Repeat.
3 Play on Strength: Focus on yours and others. Build new ones (see #1, ‘build capacity).
4 Leverage: Bring more people to the party on all fronts. Partnership+, because it isn’t about having a partner, it’s about utilizing more partners and more funders on all fronts to create more impact.
5 Focus on Generations: We hold a perspective that is not only about today and tomorrow, but on two generations forward.
6 Collaborate: work together. Not apart.
7 Learn. Always.
These seven principles yield the outcomes of: Sustainability, Empowerment, Ownership and Collective Impact.
Where appropriate and upon community request and approval, we also seek to implement sustainable building methods that rely upon local building materials to increase the environmental sensitivity of our projects and greater earthquake resistence. In 2011, we introduced the earthbag building method to Nepal’s Solukhumbu District. We have completed four school buildings and two dormitories with earthbags, with another two earthbag projects imminent. All the earthbag buildings completed or in process were undamaged in the earthquakes, while 225 other schools were damaged or destroyed in the Solukhumbu of Nepal.