Growing Impact through Partnership from Sonoma County to Africa

In June 2019, a nonprofit and a certified B Corporation, both based in Rohnert Park, Ca., partnered to improve the lives of 1,437 children in rural Tanzania.

Global Partners for Development and World Centric are taking direct action to address some of the big, tangible problems in the world – lack of clean water, low-quality education, poor access to health care, environmental degradation, etc. While there are many organizations that do similar work, these two entities, from the heart of California wine country, recognize that the ‘how’ is just as important as the ‘what’.

Since 2009, World Centric has given at least 25% of its profits to support projects around the world that promote social and economic development, environmental education, and waste reduction. This year the company will be giving $1,106,127 through cash donations to projects around the world focused on providing basic needs for communities experiencing extreme poverty.

Global Partners became one such partner this year. Global Partners operates a program called Community-Driven Education (CDE) that engages whole communities in using local assets to solve problems that affect the ability of young children to learn. Through this program, 410 community members gathered at facilitated meetings over seven months and identified the construction of additional classrooms and new teacher housing as their projects.

“Every community is different,” said Amy Holter, Director of Programs & Evaluation. “We support communities in using their own resources, as well as inputs from partners like World Centric, to give their children what they need to succeed.”

At a time when globalization can be daunting and world challenges overwhelming, World Centric and Global Partners believe that local partnerships are still the most effective at inciting change, even on a global scale.

“We believe that projects addressing poverty are not sustainable without local ownership and community participation.” said Janae Lloyd, Director of Impact at World Centric. “Our work with Global Partners not only provides direct relief but helps create systems change at the root of the issues.”

Celebrating Over a Decade of Rainwater Harvest

Back in 2007, GPFD partnered with a then young, non-profit organization named charity: water to install 15 rainwater harvest tanks at homes in the village of Arkaria, in Northern Tanzania. These days, charity: water is practically a household name — at least in the international development circles — but back then, leveraging GPFD’s history and contacts in the region was especially important. This past summer GPFD had an opportunity to visit a family in Arkaria that had received one of these charity: water funded rainwater harvest tanks over a decade ago – and it was still in use! 

Since 2007, due to the success of these and other early rainwater harvest projects, the Arkaria community has requested additional tanks, and Global Partners has responded, providing the village with additional rainwater harvest tanks in 2013 and again in 2019. In order to be eligible for a rainwater harvest tank, the recipient must meet a certain set of criteria – their home must have a metal roof and gutter which funnels the water into a tank. The tank must sit on a foundation, and they must be willing to share the water with others in their immediate vicinity. These and other requirements help to ensure that the project lasts over time, that the recipient is invested in maintaining the system, and that as many people as possible can benefit from access to clean water.


A woman from the family we met this past summer shared that prior to receiving her rainwater harvest tank, she would walk to the dam to collect water. She explained that the tank typically holds enough rainwater to last 3-4 months but she makes it last for as long as six [from the end of one rainy season to as close to the start of the next]. In addition to providing a family with a source of clean water, a rainwater harvest tank means a mother spends less time walking long distances to collect water and more time with her family. Access to clean water is an important factor in keeping kids healthy and able to attend school. And, enabling a child to attend school improves their chances of escaping poverty.


Though we didn’t get to visit all of the families that benefitted from charity: water funded rainwater harvest systems, we’re happy about the sustainability of the project we had the opportunity to see, and the improved quality of life it has provided to the family over time.  And, GPFD has supported the use of this technology beyond Arkaria – recently we funded the extension and renovation of a rainwater harvest system at a school in Kenya.  We’re committed to working with communities to identify long-term, sustainable solutions that will get and keep kids in school!

Advancing Girls’ Education in East Africa

Global Partners believes every girl has the right to attend school, and the scholarships we fund inspire girls and young women to lead more productive lives and empower them to uplift and improve their communities.

We support girls’ education through the funding of individual secondary school and tertiary level scholarships with the support of our implementing partners: Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) in Tanzania and Executive Women in Development (EWIDA) in Uganda. The contents of EWIDA’s latest report as well as scholarship recipient case studies and an Emanyata Secondary School newsletter provided by PWC are briefly summarized below. Global Partners has provided significant support to Emanyata Secondary School, which is attended primarily by students from pastoralist backgrounds, and we are thrilled with the school’s commitment to the success of girls and young women.

EWIDA – Uganda

Currently, Global Partners sponsors 8 senior five students, 3 senior six students, 13 university students, and 5 students who attend tertiary institutions through EWIDA. There are numerous success stories coming out of the program, and we hope you will find the girls’ progress to be as inspiring as we do.

Last year, three scholarship recipients graduated from university, and one of these young women earned a prestigious first class degree. Three additional young women are set to graduate from higher learning institutions next year, and several of the scholarship recipients are gaining significant practical experience through internships. These young women are pursuing careers in a variety of fields including teaching, business, healthcare, and finance. Under the guidance and leadership of EWIDA, we are hopeful that our younger scholarship recipients will achieve similar success.

PWC -Tanzania

Attached to this article are four case studies provided by PWC as examples of the scholars GPFD supports in Tanzania. These reports provide a glimpse into the challenges these four girls have faced as well as the progress they have made. Each of these girls has conquered significant obstacles and yet has remained committed to improving her life through the pursuit of education. Their stories show what can happen when we encourage and enable girls to stay in school.

Also attached is a newsletter highlighting the latest achievements at Emanyata Primary School. Thanks in part to remedial classes that address the academic disparities between girls and boys as well as a focus on developing social-emotional skills, the school’s Form 4 pass rate increased to 86% for girls. The school also engages students in sustainable living practices as well as income generating activities.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Girls’ Education Program, please email [email protected]

2018 Brethren Scholars Program

Whittier College announces a new partnership with The Brethren Community Foundation and Global Partners for Development to create opportunities for students to learn first-hand about community-driven development programs that support East African communities.


The Brethren Community Foundation, Global Partners for Development, and Whittier College have come together to create an elite study abroad fellowship opportunity for Whittier juniors and seniors. Scheduled to launch in January 2018, this program will be a transformational opportunity for Whittier students to engage in authentic grassroots community driven development in East Africa via the work of Global Partners and their partner communities.

Through the generous support of the Brethren Community Foundation, 100 percent of costs associated with the fellowship will be funded for Whittier students. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to use a meaningful budget to design and implement a project that will impact communities in Tanzania, and study the ongoing impact of this work.

The partnership between the Brethren Foundation, Global Partners, and Whittier College represents a groundbreaking initiative in developing global leaders while delivering impactful outcomes to communities in need.



The mission of the Brethren Community Foundation is to benefit youth and seniors through philanthropic grants to non-profit organizations and individuals of all backgrounds needing financial assistance due to family instability, poverty and/or challenges adapting to the community. Specifically, the Foundation financially supports youth education and literacy programs that focus on teaching in a multi-sensory approach, language for low-income youth. It assists youth who show potential through effort and academic success with scholarships. The Foundation supports seniors with housing needs by providing rent and care assistance which may include support in the areas of medical, food, and clothing.


Founded in 1887, Whittier College is an independent four-year liberal arts college that encourages students to question the world around them and figure out their place in it. Located in the heart of Southern California between bustling Los Angeles and beautiful Orange County, Whittier is distinguished by its size, energetic faculty, and nationally recognized curriculum. With an emphasis on diversity, community, and curricular innovation, the College’s primary mission is to endow students with the education, skills, and values appropriate for global leadership and service.


Global Partners for Development was founded in 1978 as a membership organization called World Runners International Foundation. Its main objective was to focus attention on and generate support for ending hunger and starvation in the world. Over 15 years, World Runners raised $6.5 million for organizations working to end hunger and poverty. Its success was built on a network of personal relationships, established by members from every state in the U.S. and over 50 countries. In 1989, members of World Runners began to work directly with East African community leaders. The organization officially become Global Partners for Development in 1993 and works with community leaders in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to identify and implement development projects in the areas of education and public health.

Behind the Scenes: An Electronic Records System for Matata Hospital

Background: Global Partners has been working with Matata Nursing Hospital in Oyugis, Kenya since 1991 when the hospital was operating under candlelight and requested a grant to purchase a generator. Since then, we have helped renovate their maternity ward, constructed satellite clinics, and funded a borehole well to ensure a clean and consistent water supply for staff and patients.

Since the beginning of March 2015, Global Partners’ staff has worked with Mark Lancaster to evaluate the need for and feasibility of funding an electronic health system at Matata Nursing Hospital. When the vetting began, Lancaster worked for an electronic health records software company, and he has extensive experience bringing software to hospitals across Africa.

Matata hospital currently uses a paper-based system for all patient and financial records. As Mark worked with John Malago and James Tindi from Matata on the technical side, Daniel and Amy established a better understanding of the hospital’s long-term goals and how the e-records system would help them get there. One of the hospital’s main goals was to strengthen institutional capacity through improved ICT for efficient service delivery and to strengthen records management systems.

As the hospital transitions gradually into the modern medical world, an electronic records system is essential for their long-term self-sustainability. Such an advancement will help Matata operate with more clarity, serve patients more effectively, and improve its financial systems.


Services & Costs: After receiving quotes from multiple service providers, Matata hired Infogen, an ICT company operating out of the closest city, Kisumu, to manage the installation and ongoing maintenance of the system. There have been multiple iterations of budgets from Infogen based on our requests to simplify and downgrade from the initial estimate. Given budget constraints and a desire to start slowly to analyze the hospital’s commitment to the system, our contact at Infogen was extremely helpful in reining in the budget down to a one-time cost of approximately $25,000. This budget covers the internet setup ($7,000), structured networking ($5,800), computer upgrades ($4,575), tablets ($4,400), and Infogen labor ($2,100). This will bring the system into the outpatient department serving the pharmacy, filter clinic, laboratory, and x-ray and the inpatient department serving the maternity and pediatrics wards.


Sustainability: Over time, the hospital expects to save approximately 450,000 Kenya shillings (about $5,000 USD) per month from the e-records system. For example, when patients currently visit the hospital at night, they are often not effectively charged for services, and the electronic records system will help ensure that patients are consistently invoiced and inventory is properly managed.

Ongoing maintenance costs for the software and internet will equal approximately $13,779 per year. The hospital decided to postpone the development of their mortuary for one year to cover these costs until the system begins to save them at least a portion of the system’s operating costs. Matata has agreed that they will be able to cover these ongoing costs without outside funding sources.

As the communities in which we work begin to develop, programs like these can help them launch into an era of true self-sustainability and poise them to improve the landscape of their communities on their own.

Currently, this project has not been fully funded, and the hospital is prepped to receive the system whenever the funds become available.

For more information on this project, contact Daniel Casanova at (707) 588-0550 or at [email protected].

Arkaria Rain Harvest Catchment


In 2013, the Arkaria Community submitted a proposal to Global Partners to request  support to  improve Arkaria’s water and hygiene sanitation in the village.  The request focussed on the community’s expressed need for Water Harvesting tanks, which would provide Arkaria village clusters of BOMAS with Plastic Sim Tanks for water harvesting and storage throughout the wet and dry seasons. The idea was to reduce the workload of women, and improve families’ health in general, by providing water tanks to keep water for those BOMAS.

To date, we are very happy to announce that the project is 75% complete. And, Arkaria has placed more than 20 of the planned 30 tanks, which will be used to bring clean water this community. It is a huge achievement and the tanks are already making the lives of the people in the community better.

Water rights are critical in determining access not only to water, but also to pastures and other resources (natural salt pans) in pastoral areas. The location, legal status and technical characteristics of a water source are critical components that determine the conditions under which pastoralists can access and manage pastures.  Understanding the links between water and natural pastures is important for appreciating how the pastoral system works. Water provision in the drylands can be seen from two perspectives: (i) the to need to provide water for livestock with limited attention on how it will impact pasture management; or, (ii) the need to provide domestic water where the focus has been on issues of water quality and accessibility, particularly for women. Rarely are the dual requirements of water for both livestock and people considered in policy and development projects in the pastoral areas of Tanzania. This project however has addressed both those needs.

Secondary School Scholarships for Maasai Girls (Tanzania)

In January, another organization abruptly cut funding for the education of 70
girls at Emanyatta Secondary School in northern Tanzania. The founder of the
school and our long-time partner, Maanda Ngoitiko, is determined to support
them, but the school may have to send the girls home within the month.
Without scholarships, the girls will return to their communities where many
of them will be offered in marriage and never return to school. The cost below
covers their room and board as well as their education.

• Cost per scholar: $700/year
• Total: $52,500

Welcome New Board Members

Global Partners for Development’s growth in 2013 was inspiring and exciting. The Board was determined to grow its family of committed colleagues to help lead us into 2014 and beyond. And so it came to pass. By the end of the year we added three new board members. They are brilliant, spirited and talented individuals that will bring fresh perspective, insight and vision. We enthusiastically welcome these new partners to our board of directors.
Julia van der Ryn
Julia is Director of Service-Learning and and Assistant Professor of Humanities at Dominican University of California. Over the past ten years, Julia has established a thriving program at Domnican, working  with faculty and community partners to to create classes across the disciplines that bridge theory to practice.  Working with non-profit organizations, students learn first-hand about pressing social and environmental issues. In the last academic year, over 400 students served and learned with over 30 community partners and residents. Additionally, She has implemented numerous community-engaged  initiatives and participatory action research projects.
Dominican has  been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service for the past six years.  The Honor Roll recognized higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achievement of meaningful outcomes in their communities. Julia’s experience with service-learning best practices, assessment, and community organizing has broader application to international service-learning and development.
Marisa Katz
Marisa is a NY-based journalist/editor born and and raised in Los Angeles. She has contributed to numerous publications and TV channels on culture, politics and design including The New York Times, Time, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and many others. She also has worked on several documentaries and television shows, including Channel 4′s BAFTA award winner, The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall, HBO’s ‘By The People: The Election of Barack Obama and DreamWorks’Spin City.
Currently, Marisa is the editor of a new Creative Time initiative called Creative Time Reports, spotlighting artists as critical thinkers who actively participate in the issues of our time. With Creative Time Reports, artists are correspondents and bring their own unique spin to current events. From 2009-2011, with grants from the US State Department Marisa established and operated a program that teaches citizen journalism in a severely marginalized district of Casablanca, Morocco.
Marisa graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1998 with a BFA in Film and Television and Theatre.
Yvette White
Yvette is Sr. Project Manager for the Performance Improvement Institute of Kaiser Permanente. She brings valuable experience and expertise in the area of organizational and international development especially in the non profit sector. Her career path has included work for Skoll Global Threats Fund, NYU Wagner School of Public Service, World Learning for International Development and Amnesty International.
She received her BA in International Business at Georgetown University, McDough School of Business, and an MA in Latin American History from Howard University. Her international studies lead her to Universidad de Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba and Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan.

The University Girls: A Taste of Excellence

In the past, my letters have always focused on the secondary girls, as they are at the heart of our programs. However, now I want to highlight one of the University girls who has excelled as a result of her education. Often I receive emails from the girls and it is always a surprise and a treat to hear from them. Their letters to me have a way of tugging at my heart-strings in a way that speaks to the soul of what is both missing and present in their lives.


I first met Markla in Arusha, in 2005, during one of my visits to the schools. She was only 13, a waif of a child, and the younger sister of a girl that I was sponsoring. Bright, bubbly, and intelligent, she asked me if she could enter the scholarship program. I was drawn in by her intense curiosity and ambition to succeed and placed her easily with one of our visitors on the trip. Through the generosity of her sponsor, she has completed Forms 1-4 and went on to Forms 5, 6.


Markla kept in touch with me off and on over time. She did well in her studies and also attended a leadership conference in Rwanda. She is now in her first year at Moshi University, in Tanzania, and is studying Human Resource Management. Believe it or not, she now stays in touch with me through Facebook, always positive and sharing the love and gratitude that she has for Global Partners and the support she is receiving.


She wrote this in her last letter: “Thank you for helping girls fulfill their dreams”


I believe Markla will be a future leader in East Africa. Please support our girls.


Linda Lea, Ph.D.

Founder, Marlene Assell Scholarship Program