Archive for the Innovation Category

Found in Tanzania: Innovation and Inspiration

Posted on Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 6:55 am

By, Joseph Cahalan, President, Xerox Foundation

What started out as a trip to inspect the results of an investment the Xerox Foundation made in the Tanzanian operations of Concern Worldwide turned out to be an inspiring example of how similar people are the world over. The stated purpose of my trip to Ngara, Tanzania, miles from the Rwanda border, was to see the fruits of an innovation grant in a remote farming community where most people survive from harvest-to-harvest if not day-to-day. Concern workers there had a hunch that Lantana plants repelled mosquitoes that carry malaria which is the number one cause of death in these remote hills in northwest Tanzania. Based on their initial findings, they may just be on to a big idea. I learned all about their experiments and results, of course, but I learned so much more. Here is a recap. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

A Long Shot Becomes a Good Bet

Posted on Monday, January 9th, 2012 at 10:48 am

By, Joseph Cahalan, President, Xerox Foundation

After another long travel day that includes a ferry across Lake Victoria, one of the major sources of the Nile, and six hours of hard driving, much of it on jaw-jarring, pot-holed dirt roads, we arrive at Ngara by early afternoon.  I keep telling myself that innovation requires risk; that we shouldn’t expect too much: that, after all, this was a long shot to begin with.  But I am not fooling myself.  I want this experiment to bear fruit for Xerox, for the people of Concern and, mostly, for the heroic people they serve. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Battling Africa’s Number One Killer

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 2:28 pm
Mukarurangwa Cecile, a community health worker in Marebe, Rwanda visits the home of Valentine, 3, to examine the cause of his fever. Photo: Esther Havens, Rwanda.

By Jennifer Weiss – Health Advisor, Concern Worldwide US

According to estimates from the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly one million children do not reach their fifth birthday because they die from malaria each year.  Ninety percent of these deaths occur in Africa, where malaria remains the number one killer of young children.  An additional 30 million pregnant women and their newborns are also at risk of malaria infection, which may lead to stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, low weight, and neonatal death.

Pregnant women and children die from malaria because they lack access to low-cost, effective solutions to both prevent and treat the disease.  Concern is working to change this through our USAID-funded Child Survival programs in Rwanda, Burundi, and Niger, which provide life-saving malaria prevention and control to a total of 1.2 million women and children. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Hard Cash in Hard Times

Posted on Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 8:51 am

Women in Gokwe, Zimbabwe, show their registration cards at a cash distribution point. Photo: Elena Ruiz Roman, Zimbabwe

By Cormac Staunton, Information Officer, Concern Worldwide

Sophia Chitsatse was 65 when I met her in Nyanga, Zimbabwe, a widow looking after four orphaned grandchildren. Although she was a farmer, she struggled to grow enough food for her family to last from one harvest to another. As a result, she had been receiving food aid rations from the World Food Program (WFP) for several years.

This is the traditional response to a humanitarian crisis, to directly provide people with what they need most. It is hard to argue with the logic; if people are starving, they need food. If people’s belongings have been washed away, they need essential items like soap, cooking utensils, and clean water. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share