From the Field Blog

  • When communities pull together to solve problems, it rarely makes headlines (especially in developing countries) but this month such an example did draw media attention, along with an international event spotlighting the practice known as community philanthropy. Earlier in July a story of a Kenyan community’s success managing a water crisis with local assets was featured on America Abroad. The program heard on National Public Radio (NPR) captures how local ownership created a long-term solution; that in turn bloomed into other improvements, with road access and education. That type of exponential spread is what the Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy, established last year, is working to achieve. Read on to learn more.

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  • A little over one year ago to the day, Program Fellow Fayzan Gowani had her final interview with Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. CEO, Dr. Mirza Jahani. It was a nerve-racking 45-minutes, but two months later she joined the Programs and Investments department as their 2014 fellow. With a diverse background, Fayzan joined the team with many interests and strong drive to learn. During her time here, Fayzan assisted in moderating a dialogue on our new Social Cohesion program, ensuring we could both celebrate the victories and collect the necessary feedback to improve the project. Be sure to read on for her reflections on that experience!

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  • Last September Farnaz Gulamhussein joined the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) as the Impact Investing Fellow. Upon receiving confirmation of her acceptance into the first cohort of AKF USA’s Fellowship program, she felt overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to join an organization as distinguished as AKF USA. Having grown up in Tanzania, Farnaz was familiar with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). She attributes many of her altruistic values and achievements her long-time involvement, both personal and professional, with the AKDN. Read on for her reflections on the past year at AKF USA and her hopes for the future. 

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  • Aly Panjwani is a Senior at Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas and the Culture Officer for the Dallas Aga Khan Foundation Youth Ambassadors. As a performer and an advocate for the fine arts, he took the lead for hosting the annual PartnershipsInAction Art Competition in the Dallas Forth-Worth metroplex, which serves to raise awareness of global poverty and its solutions through artistic expression. Read on for his reflections about the power art has to build awareness and create meaningful change. 

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  • The Aga Khan Development Network has grown its partnership with Whole Planet Foundation (WPF) to improve options for families in West Africa. This new grant builds on WPF’s 2013 activities with Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) and the Première Agence de Microfinance (PAMF) in Ivory Coast to bring access to credit to 5,000 rural families. In one of the world’s poorest regions, WPF and AKF USA are exploring how to use mobile technology to expand savings services to communities to help them get through seasonal cashflow crunches. Read on to learn more about this growing relationship.

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