August 2014 Newsletter
Welcome to the August 2014 issue of the Global Washington newsletter. If you would like to contact us directly, please email us.
IN THIS ISSUE
- Letter from Our Executive Director
- Question of the Month
- Members in the News
- Featured Organization: Committee for Children
- Changemaker: Tazin Shadid, Founder and CEO, Spreeha Foundation
- Member Recognition: Orphans to Ambassadors Answers the Call on International Youth Day
- Welcome New Members
- GlobalWA Member Events
- Career Center
- GlobalWA Events
Letter from Our Executive Director
Many know Global Washington because of the successful conference we’ve held each of the past five years. This year, our premier event is on December 3 on the Seattle waterfront, and registration is now open. We’ll bring you the same quality networking and most popular sessions from years past, including the Learning from Failures session, a favorite in 2013. But you’ll also see brand-new content and cutting-edge formats. Session topics include new financial models for international NGOs, CSR and corporate giving, filling the talent gap, charting a clear path through corruption and more. All of our topics will be tailored to international issues and to practitioners who are working on the ground, and we will be updating our conference webpage as speakers are confirmed. In the meantime, save your spot and register!
In other news, we’ve been busy throughout August meeting with our Washington State congressional delegation. Global Washington hosted roundtable discussions with Republican and Democratic elected officials to give our GlobalWA members a chance to promote their work. In addition, we held an advocacy workshop for executive directors to help them frame their work to make it more relevant to Congress. Raising the profile of the global development community in the eyes of our elected officials is important to Global Washington. We also want to thank our elected officials when they are champions on international issues we care about.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer, and I look forward to a productive rainy season this fall!
GlobalWA will ask you a question every month and synthesize the responses and make available to our member organizations. Please take a moment to respond to the question for this month:
Do you have staff/volunteers working in South or Southeast Asia?
Members in the News
Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 program recognizes accomplished local leaders under the age of 40. We are excited to announce that three outstanding individuals from Global Washington member organizations were named to this year’s list.
Please join us in congratulating: Sachi Shenoy, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Upaya Social Ventures; Saara Romu, Senior Program Officer for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Jeremy Wacksman, VP of Marketing & Product for Zillow.
The complete list of honorees can be found here.
Committee for Children
By Gailyn Portelance
Walk into Committee for Children’s Seattle headquarters and you will see a dynamic array of puppets, colorful posters, teaching cards, DVDs, lesson notebooks and music CDs lining the walls. Materials from Japan, Chile and Scandinavian countries sit by side the U.S. materials, with nearly identical components, but with distinguishing characteristics of language and design. Culturally adapted and translated teaching materials are currently used in a dozen countries.
Committee for Children (CFC), a Global Washington member, develops and publishes a teaching curriculum called the Second Step program, which aims to help strengthen children’s social and emotional health, a program for students ranging from preschool to middle school. A newer program, the Bullying Prevention Unit, provides schools training and student lessons to prevent and manage bullying.
Currently, schools in over 70 countries use Committee for Children’s programs, impacting over 9 million children worldwide.
CFC’s roots trace back to 1979. Drs. Jennifer James and Debra Boyer, both cultural anthropologists at University of Washington, founded Judicial Advocates for Women to sustain an avenue for research and child sexual abuse prevention. In 1981, the group produced the Talking About Touching program, a personal safety and sexual abuse prevention curriculum, which is still taught today. (This fall, Talking About Touching will be replaced by CFC’s newly minted Child Protection Unit.)
In the mid-1980s, the small leadership team began refocusing its goals towards prevention of violence in schools, and in 1986 adopted the name Committee for Children.
“We wanted to take a deeper step into prevention of abuse,” said Joan Cole Duffell, CFC’s Executive Director, who was a member of this early team. “We started looking at the literature on what makes people hurt others, what are the social- emotional skills violent offenders lack. So, from the beginning, our roots were all about teaching kids skills to prevent problem behavior while also teaching adults how to model and reinforce these skills.” A year later, the Second Step violence prevention program was launched.
The evolution of CFC represents the organization’s dedication to developing programs that are in line with the latest research, as well as a growing importance and emphasis on a type of learning called Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).
SEL helps children and adults acquire the ability to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions1. Current research supports the philosophy behind these programs and reveals that, if students can develop prosocial behavior to better their social and emotional health, it will lead to safer school environments and increased academic success.
“The pedagogy of our programs is critically important,” said Duffell. “All of our programs, from the very first days, have been grounded in research that shows the skills that people need to be pro-social contributing members of society, and also formative research around successful teaching and learning strategies.”
Keeping up with current research has great value, because one can adapt programs to fit with what is proven to work. Of this evolution Duffell said, “In the early days, empathy, social problem solving and the ability to construct solutions to problems were the three pillars of SEL. Now, we have gone much deeper into emotional skills and into a new field of self-regulation and executive functioning, and these skills have become a bigger part of our work as the research literature has evolved.”
A randomized control trial of the Second Step middle school program conducted in 36 schools showed that individuals in these programs were 42 percent less likely to report being involved in fights2. More broadly, according to a recent study, SEL programs are effective for students both with and without behavioral and emotional problems, for racially and ethnically diverse students living in all settings through grades K-12, and to improve students’ achievement test scores by 11 percentile points3.
Studies that show the efficacy of its programs are one of the reasons why CFC has become one of the most respected research-based SEL programs in the world. “People come to us,” said Carolyn Hubbard, CFC’s International Business Manager. “Interest in SEL is growing internationally, and we are clearly associated with research-based best practices.”
In many cases, country governments look at SEL programs like Second Step in a different context: workforce readiness.
“Governments ask how they are going to prepare the next generation with skills to compete within the global workforce, and many of the qualities associated with workforce readiness are competencies taught with SEL,” said Hubbard.
Recognizing the complexity of bringing education programs to the developing world, CFC’s interest over the years has mainly been in countries that have the financial abilities to produce and market the programs. But, this doesn’t stop CFC from searching for new ways to disseminate its programs into more challenging markets. “While we continue to expand our reach in the developed world, we are also looking for the best ways to offer our programs in other markets, either through in-country partnerships or in collaboration with broader education initiatives,” explains Hubbard.
Committee for Children currently has agreements with private organizations and publishers in various parts of the world that license rights to translate and publish their versions of the Second Step program. Of these agreements, says Hubbard, “CFC takes great care to emphasize to the international partners the importance of not just translating the materials, but also culturally adapting them to work within cultural as well as institutional contexts.”
In addition to the international component of its work, CFC works hard so that these programs can impact the lives of children across the U.S.
“A big focus right now is state and federal-level advocacy to move the needle on education policy in the U.S.,” said Duffell. “We want social-emotional competence to be evaluated in concert with how students perform academically.” Already, three states have adopted SEL standards, putting it on par with traditional core subjects like literacy and math.
Undeniably, CFC has created an incredible resource that fills a gap in classrooms. Duffell, a former kindergarten teacher, said she was struck by how she and other educators who were managing different kinds of children within a classroom had very little resource available to them. “With CFC, I realized that the programs we were creating were exactly the kinds of support I had been seeking to help children who were struggling with social and emotional skills.”
It is evident that these programs are passionately developed and created by educators. Of CFC’s continuing quest to promote visibility of SEL programs nationally and globally, Duffell says it will be a long process. “But to see children thriving academically and emotionally in a safe environment, it’s all worth it.”
More information and a video highlighting CFC’s programs can be found here.
2Report to the Community 2012-2013, Committee for Children
3CFC at a congressional briefing titled “Social and Emotional Learning: Essential Skills for Success in School and Life” From left: Karen Besserman, Advocacy Strategist at Committee for Children; Janice Deguchi, Executive Director of Denise Louie Education Center; R. Keeth Matheny, Teacher at Austin High School; Joan Cole Duffell, Executive Director of Committee for Children; Tim Shriver, Ph.D., Chairman of Special Olympics and Board Chair of CASEL; Maurice Elias, Ph.D., Director of Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab; Roger Weissberg, Ph.D., Chief Knowledge Officer of CASEL, and Karen Niemi, President and CEO of CASEL, August 14, 2013.
Tazin Shadid, Founder and CEO, Spreeha Foundation
By Sam Wolff
Spreeha, originating from Bengali, means strong desire, motivation and intention.
Talking with Tazin Shadid about his life and founding of the Spreeha Foundation is an encounter with a variety of narratives. These narratives include his own life’s story, the story of Spreeha’s development and the stories of the many people living in Bangladesh’s slums, with whom Shadid and Spreeha work in order to break the cycle of poverty.
Shadid’s story begins in his birthplace, Bangladesh. Fast forward several years to his move to the United States after finishing high school. Although his higher education enabled a successful career at Microsoft, his childhood experiences and lifelong passion for service kept the people in the slums of Bangladesh at the forefront of his priorities. With the philanthropic influence of Microsoft, Shadid began a health care program in Bangladesh for people living in slums. Over time, the program grew in size, complexity and breadth in the services it offered. After about five years, Shadid realized that health care alone could not solve the problems of poverty, and thus, Spreeha’s holistic approach was born to include education and skills training.
In many ways, the services offered by Spreeha’s three-pronged strategy follow the growth of each individual it serves. It starts with health care to ensure that pregnancy and birthing are properly tended to. Spreeha’s health care system currently provides for 2,200 families and cares for 800 patients per month via local clinics and door-to-door services, which include vaccinations, maternal health workshops, contraceptives and malnutrition prevention.
Next, Spreeha offers education for children ages 3-5 years which prepares them for the public education system. After age 5, Spreeha offers tutoring support as the children progress through their state-sponsored schooling. With these preparatory and supplementary educations, the goal is to reduce the dropout rate of children, who sometimes cannot keep up or maintain their focus on education.
Finally, Spreeha provides skills training to both older youth and adults. It focuses its efforts on services for women due to the unequal opportunities caused by gender discrimination. With the goal of empowerment, Spreeha offers education about rights and leadership development for girls 8-14 years of age. Spreeha also offers career-focused training for all children, such as computer certification, art, music and photography. For women ages 15-45, vocational training and help with job placement is available.
Spreeha’s approach is one that has evolved with the input of the communities it works in. It’s a philosophy that seems to reflect Shadid’s job at Microsoft, which is in Program Management and User Experience – essentially, to examine the consumers using Microsoft software in order to best determine necessary improvements. Shadid credits his experience with Microsoft as having had a substantial influence on the way Spreeha operates. “We are always learning from them,” said Shadid of the people who live in the slums Spreeha serves.
Through the personal and professional connections formed by spending time in the slums and maintaining contact with the locals when he returns to the U.S., Shadid pursues a strategy that is deliberate and considerate of the needs of those involved, and aligns itself with one of Spreeha’s principle virtues: Empathy.
“We work in such a way that we become a part of the community and family. Anytime they have some family matters that they need help with, they’ll come to us. That’s how integrated we are,” said Shadid. The family matters can be as personal as Spreeha workers helping to name a newborn baby.
Despite its successes, Spreeha Foundation is still a young and growing organization. All of its U.S.-based staff, including Shadid, work separate full-time jobs to support themselves while dedicating their free time to their work with Spreeha. Shadid’s cautionary pitch to potential staff is that, “It’s a full-time job with a salary of zero.”
In the coming years, Shadid hopes to see Spreeha’s growth make it possible to offer compensation so that staff can dedicate more time to the cause and allow Spreeha to improve the availability and depth of its medical services so programs can be implemented on a larger scale. When asked about his own future, Shadid said that he hopes to expand the services of Spreeha and, eventually, dedicate himself full time to the organization.
“We have built a model that we can replicate,” said Shadid, “and we have been replicating it. But in five years, I hope we are at a point where we are strong enough to replicate in multiple locations and different countries.”
When asked about how someone with an inclination for service can begin to fulfill their passions, Shadid gave this advice: “Be open. You’ll see a lot of things that will break your heart and a lot of things that you haven’t seen before. But be optimistic, and come with an open mind. Be ready to change the world. I think the biggest thing you can bring is passion. If you’re passionate about it, work with others and you can solve big problems.”
To get involved with Spreeha, or to learn more about their work, visit the website.
Orphans to Ambassadors Answers the Call on International Youth Day
By Michelle McMillan
International Youth Day on Aug. 12 highlights the important role that young people can and do play in their communities and around the world. It also draws attention to the invaluable work of organizations that equip children with the resources they need to realize their full potential.
Orphans to Ambassadors (O2A), a Seattle-based NGO and Global Washington member, is dedicated to improving the lives of underserved youth around the world. Their mission is to bring renewable and sustainable solutions to organizations serving displaced children in developing countries. There are approximately 153 million orphans worldwide, with the majority of them living in facilities without electricity or running water. These children often lack equal access to education, and are more susceptible to exploitation, child labor and abuse1.
“We empower these [partnering] organizations by co-investing with local visionaries in solar energy, rainwater harvesting and income-generating agriculture programs,” said Jesalyn Dvorak, International Projects Coordinator for O2A. “This technology addresses the communities’ needs and greatly reduces operational costs, therefore creating more time and resources to invest in the children.”
Orphans to Ambassadors began with a focus in post-refugee affected areas, where the main challenges that youth face are basic needs such as clean water, nutritional food, health care and education. The majority of relief agencies and NGOs leave when refugee camps close, but access to basic needs remain steady. O2A addresses this problem with projects that promote both self-sufficiency and sustainability.
“When the children aren’t at school, they’re often right alongside our volunteers asking questions,” said Dvorak. “The future belongs to the curious – everything is a lesson – and we feed their desire to learn more by developing a curriculum specific to each project.”
By working with children to inspire them and help them become leaders within their communities, and giving organizations the tools and knowledge for success, Orphans to Ambassadors hopes to foster young generations into ambassadors of sustainability.
About International Youth Day and the World’s Young People
International Youth Day celebrates the potential of young people as partners in society, and the United Nations urges member states to integrate youth into decision-making processes. This year’s theme focuses on mental health, and highlights the damage that stigma can do to those with mental health conditions. Stigma often prevents youth from seeking help, restraining their potential and the contributions they could make to their communities.
The number of youth today has reached an all-time high of 1.8 billion, making up a quarter of the world’s population. Ninety percent of the world’s youth live in developing countries, where they play a critical role in shaping both social and economic development. Today’s youth are the drivers of social progress, with a direct influence on sustainability and resilience in their communities2.
Although there have been improvements in addressing the issues facing young people, many still lack the opportunities they need to realize their full potential. Millions of youth do not have access to education or healthcare. According to the United Nations Population Fund, 215 million underage children work part or full-time while 75 million youth aged 15-24 remain unemployed3.
The United Nations recognizes the importance of young people to their communities and to global development efforts, and encourages member states to follow the guidelines presented by the World Program of Action for Youth. The program outlines fields of action in fifteen priority areas, including education, employment and participation.
Welcome New Members
Please welcome our newest Global Washington members. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with their work and consider opportunities for support and collaboration!
Fuse IQ: Motivated by a core belief in social responsibility and a commitment to the community-driven power of open-source technologies, Fuse IQ strategizes, designs and develops comprehensive, enterprise-level Web solutions for organizations committed to creating a better world. http://www.fuseiq.com/
Snow Leopard Trust: The Snow Leopard Trust builds community partnerships by using sound science to determine priorities for protecting the endangered snow leopard. http://www.snowleopard.org/
Global Spark: Global Spark is a nonprofit organization that provides technical support and assistance to educational institutions and charitable groups to help achieve positive community outcomes. http://globalspark.org/
Healing Hearts Northwest: Healing Hearts Northwest is a 501(c)3 organization that aims to teach and train Rwandan health professionals and thereby create an independent, sustainable system. http://healingheartsnorthwest.com/
Minerva Strategies: Minerva Strategies advises nonprofits, foundations and corporations on using communication to advance social good. http://minervastrategies.com/
Mobility Builders: Mobility Builders strive to create a process that can be utilized across the globe to build affordable, customized wheelchairs using local resources for the 65 million people in the world who need wheelchairs. www.mobilitybuilders.org
Tandon Institute: The Tandon Institute is a global advisory firm, serving select nonprofit and social sector organizations worldwide to rapidly accelerate their impact, revenues, brand and leadership effectiveness.
Village Health Works (VHW): Envisioning a healthier, more just, peaceful, and prosperous society in Burundi and beyond, VHW provides quality, compassionate health care in a dignified environment while treating the root causes and the social determinants of illness, disease, violence, and neglect in collaboration with those they serve. http://www.villagehealthworks.org/
- August 20, 2014: Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce // All YPN 2014 at Seattle Center
- August 21, 2014: Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association // 2014 Silver Summer Social– Celebrating 25 Years of the WBBA
- August 26, 2014: World Affairs Council // Spanish Conversation Group
- August 28, 2014: Water 1st International // Water 1st Beer 2nd
- August 29, 2014: Global Visionaries // 2nd Annual Global Leadership Educator Workshop
- September 10, 2014: Washington Clean Tech Alliance // 2014-2015 WCTA Breakfast Series: China
- September 11, 2014: Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce // Alaska Business Forum: Fisheries, Seafood, and Maritime Development
- September 13, 2014: Bastyr University // Living Naturally: Conversations on Health and Happiness
- September 16, 2014: Dwankhozi Hope // Dwankhozi Hope Golf Tournament
Highlighted Paid Positions
Event Coordinator – GlobalWA
Development Coordinator – iLEAP
Development and Database Officer – Global Partnerships
Highlighted Volunteer Position
Events Chair Volunteer– Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County
Highlighted Internship Positions
GlobalWA Intern Fall 2014 – GlobalWA
Editor Internship – The Borgen Project
For more jobs and resources, visit http://globalwa.org/strengthen/careers-in-development/
New Member Orientation
Executive Director Roundtable
Getting to Scale: How Networked Nonprofits Succeed
REGISTER NOW: December 3, 2014
Global Washington’s 6th Annual Conference at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle