our impact
GlobeMed at the University of Southern California partners with Spark MicroGrants in Uganda to support community driven and designed social impact projects.

GlobeMed at the University of Southern California + Spark MicroGrants

Chapter
GlobeMed at the University of Southern California | Los Angeles, CA

Partner
Spark MicroGrants | Mbale, Uganda

Key Fact
Spark MicroGrants has “sparked” 150 communities across Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, DRC, and Ghana.

About the Partnership

Spark MicroGrants was founded in 2010 to prove community-driven development can be done at scale. Spark has designed a novel approach for launching communities facing poverty into action and has partnered with over 150 villages across Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ghana. Of the village projects backed by Spark, 94 percent are sustaining, 77 percent have launched secondary projects independently of Spark and 90 percent have continued to host regular community meetings where they discuss important topics, such as land disputes and new initiatives. These metrics indicate Spark partner communities graduate from the process with a commitment to continued local change.

Spark’s facilitated funding approach is a streamlined replicable method for strengthening the foundations of a community. There are six key phases in the Spark approach where community members envision their future together, plan towards that future and develop tangible goals to achieve their vision.

Spark’s approach begins with the recruitment of a local university graduate who is enrolled in a facilitator fellowship program. Over the course of two years, facilitators take communities through the Spark approach – Community Building, Goal Setting, Proposal Development, Technical Advisor Review, Implementation, and Future Envisioning.

Each year, GlobeMed at USC has the opportunity to fundraise over $9000 to fully fund one such community’s microgrant.

Read more about Spark MicroGrants and their work here: http://www.sparkmicrogrants.org/

Project
In our three years of partnering with Spark MicroGrants, we have been able to fund two communities fully. Both the Ocitoaka and Pugwaro communities, located in post-conflict Northern Uganda had independently decided on ox-rearing projects that were designed to generate income within the community.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, we are funding the community of Atota A in Northern Uganda that wants to launch their own income-generating project: a fruit produce business.

Atota A’s community goal is to increase household income by 2020, thereby generating funds to pay for healthcare, clean water, and schooling. Community members have collectively decided to launch a produce business in order to meet their goal. To generate income, members will harvest, store, and sell crops such as sorghum, cassava, and groundnuts. Each year a portion of crops will be saved for planting the following harvest, ensuring excellent levels of sustainability. The community’s background in agriculture means they can implement and manage this project independently.

 Atota A will receive a standard microgrant of $8,000 to seed fund their project and serve as capital to the village savings and loans association. Village sponsorship of $10,500 includes the standard microgrant as well as facilitation and field expenses.

Impact
GlobeMed at USC hopes to raise $9000 this year for Atota A’s community project. Overall, implementing their fruit produce business will benefit 470 members of the community, of which over 300 are children. The community also stands to generate almost $3,000 USD net profit each year from crop sales. This additional income will allow members to access better healthcare, schooling, and food. As a result, families will also have greater access to a range of crops, increasing levels of nutrition.

Get Involved
Read GlobeMed at USC’s annual report and donate to their cause. Interested in joining the chapter? Contact [email protected].

  1. 2010-2011 Annual Report
  2. 2011-2012 Annual Report
  3. 2012-2013 Annual Report

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