January 2010 Newsletter

Welcome to the January 2010 issue of the Global Washington newsletter. If you would like to contact us directly, please email us.



Note from our Executive Director



Happy solar new year to all of you.  I hope that you had an opportunity to enjoy your holiday time with your family and loved ones.

I want to thank all of you who participated in giving us some critical and needed feedback about Global Washington’s priorities for 2010.

Global Washington’s steering committee and staff reviewed feedback from our first annual conference in December.  This information was integrated with the priority areas noted throughout the year. As a result, we have further focused and defined our vision and mission.

STRENGTHENING efforts build the global development public and private sectors capabilities for knowledge sharing, resource mobilization, professional development, communications, public awareness and organizational effectiveness in global development’s public and private sectors.

CONVENING efforts connect partners, sponsor collaborations, share and leverage resources and provide access to decision makers to support member-based programs.

ADVOCACY efforts promote the Washington State global development sector in order to identify increased resources, to enhance the visibility of the sector with Washington State citizens and to serve as a voice for global development interests based in Washington State.

Our 2010 agenda
Likewise, member feedback guided a few significant Global Washington program additions, events and resources.  Our work over this coming year in developing and offering these new programs will also help us operationalize all of our priority areas. Highlights include:

  • Creation of a Job Bank and Mapping Tool where member organizations can post employment, project, and volunteer opportunities and where they can profile staff and projects in a way that fosters collaboration.
  • Global Socials, networking events targeting specific regions and timely issues.  Topics of some of the exciting socials already in the works are “Issues to tackle in the Muslim world,” Global education priorities and partnerships” and “Connecting our state to ‘the other Washington’: A Meeting with USAID.”
  • A series of Capacity Building Workshops to strengthen member organizations in areas they told us were highest-priority. The series will address topics such as: monitoring and evaluation; leadership; media relations; and fundraising.
  • Creation of an Education Working Group with the kind of broad representation and innovative thinking to serve as a catalyst for Washington State’s global education sector. This group will help identify priorities and goals for promising new programs and approaches. Focus areas include new avenues for educational collaboration and impact; reliable and valid metrics; and innovative global citizenship and study abroad programs.
  • Support for the development of Public-Private Partnerships through facilitating the creation of guiding principles for initiation and management of public-private partnerships; providing case studies that illuminate key issues and foster critical discussion; and by coordinating town hall meetings and roundtables with USAID and Washington State organizations and businesses.
  • Promotion of Member Organizations through a variety of media in order to publicize their accomplishments and expertise.  These efforts will include: increasing connections between member organizations and the media through events, databases, broadcast sponsorships and enhanced capabilities of Global Washington Connects; featuring member organizations through print and digital media and via a Speakers Forum; and building relationships with Results, Interaction and the ONE Campaign.
  • Enhancing Policy and Public Awareness through creation and dissemination of whitepapers and briefings with policymakers; polling of Washington State residents regarding global development; public awareness campaigns that educate and engage Washington residents in global development and its importance.

In unity,

Bookda Gheisar, Executive Director


Spotlight: A Blueprint for Action for Washington’s Global Development Sector

blueprintIn fall of 2009, Global Washington announced a process for the global development community of recognizing shared obstacles, learning from our common successes and realizing our best ideas and innovations.  The plan was to emerge with a Blueprint for Action to set out concrete goals and benchmarks for the global development movement in the coming years.

Moving forward with this unified voice, we will use the blueprint sector-wide to persuade decision-makers, funders and the media, and to guide our own collaborative efforts towards these shared goals.

Together, the global development community will lead the way into the next decade – mobilizing the public and effecting transformational change around the world.

Click here to read and download the Blueprint for Action.


Featured Organizations: Global Washington Members Respond to the Crisis in Haiti

QUAKE-HAITI/In the wake of Haiti’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake last week, the international community struggles to cope with the harrowing images and stories from the field. Of course, this is nothing compared to the devastation on the ground, and the sobering reality of what it will take for Haiti to recover. Our hearts go out to organizations that have lost staff in the disaster, and to the three million displaced Haitians who are left to grieve for their loved ones and for their country.

Since Global Washington is a hub to many of the state’s humanitarian relief and global development organizations, we would showcase some of our member’s response and contributions to the relief efforts in Haiti:

Peace Winds America, a Seattle-based international disaster relief NGO, and its sister organization, Peace Winds Japan, are teaming up to deliver aid to earthquake ravaged Haiti. CEO Dr. Charles Aanenson departed for Haiti on Tuesday January 19 to coordinate the effective distribution of medical and food supplies. They are working with an indigenous non-governmental organization, the Center for Health and Development (CDS, Centre pour le Developpement et la Santé), in Port au Prince, La Saline, and La Place Kasel.

World Vision has been working in Haiti for over 30 years and is collecting cash and product donations for its Haiti earthquake relief fund. World Vision has a team of rapid response professionals specifically trained in providing natural disaster assistance. In addition, the Federal-Way based Christian humanitarian organization already had 800 staff working on the ground when the earthquake struck on January 12th. Relief efforts currently underway include distributing emergency and basic needs supplies, as well as creating “child friendly” spaces to help protect unaccompanied children.

Mona Foundation is working with agencies such as the Red Cross, Food for the Poor, and Doctors without Borders to support their efforts in providing emergency care such as clean water, food and medical care. In addition, the Mona Foundation, which supports Anis Zunuzi School in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, has set up a Haiti Disaster and Reconstruction Fund, from which 100% of all donations will be directly sent to Haiti. They are developing a plan for reconstructing schools in parts of Haiti damaged by the earthquake.

Mercy Corps deployed an emergency response team to Haiti, and is working with Partners in Health to provide survivors with access to clean water and sanitation. Mercy Corps will initiate a cash-for-work program that pays earthquake survivors a daily wage to clear debris, restore buildings and repair basic infrastructure. Mercy Corps will also implement a post-trauma counseling program for children to help them cope with the disaster’s mental health impact.

Medical Teams International Nine Medical Teams International volunteer physicians and nurses are hard at work at various hospitals in Port au Prince. At Kings Hospital, a 350-bed inpatient facility that survived the earthquake, our volunteer orthopedic surgeons are operating on people who were injured and who lost limbs as a result of the earthquake. They are also assisting at other temporary hospitals throughout the area and are beginning to send volunteers to hospitals outside of Port au Prince because many people who are injured have fled the city in a desperate search for medical care.haitisearchforsurvivors

Microsoft has stepped up to the plate with an initial pledge of $1.25 million in cash and in-kind materials to the relief effort, has activated its Disaster Response Team to monitor the situation in Haiti, and has also teamed with NetHope to establish temporary telecommunications infrastructure to help organize relief efforts on the ground. In addition to asking employees to support relief efforts, Microsoft’s Akhtar Badshah posted this Huffington Post column asking for donations.

InterConnection and World Concern have partnered to send refurbished laptops to Haiti. Anyone can help by donating a working Pentium 3 or Pentium 4 laptop by mail, shipping costs will be covered. Equipment will be refurbished, equipped with French Microsoft Windows and Office, shipped to Haiti, and deployed to communication hubs wherever they are needed the most.

The Grameen Foundation encourages you to post words of encouragement to the people of Haiti in their blog. Grameen Foundation is also accepting donations as they team up with their local partner Fonkoze in an effort to help families recover from the earthquake. Oikocredit is also monitoring and supporting the work of its Haiti project partner Fonkoze as it responds to the earthquake.

RenegAID is working to mobilize the donation and delivery of good used (or new) bikes to Haiti’s earthquake survivors

The Max Foundation provides a link to their partner organization, Partners in Health, for guidance and information on relief efforts in Haiti. The African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest is also asking their members to donate money through the Partners in Health website.

The Seattle Foundation has listed seven organizations active in the recovery of Haiti to which you can donate. TSF also encourages supporting projects focused on disaster readiness in Haiti and the rest of the world.

RESULTS encourages donations to two organizations working on the disaster response in Haiti: Partners in Health, and Fonkoze.

Washington Global Health Alliance has provided a list of their partner organizations working on disaster relief in Haiti, and what each group is doing in response to the Haitian earthquake.

The University of Washington’s Office of Global Affairs has organized a list of organizations to which you can make a donation to aid the victims of the disaster in Haiti.

PATH has developed a list of four relief organizations that are currently working in Haiti and encourage you to make a donation.

Many more fantastic organizations, both here in Washington and beyond, are also contributing to the relief efforts in Haiti. Please visit our Help Haiti page to learn more about relief efforts and how you can get involved.


Changemaker: Jessica Markowitz – Rallying Seattle area youth to help educate girls in Rwanda

JessicaMarkowitzIt can be easy to underestimate youth. But at 14-years-old, Jessica Markowitz has already proven herself to be a remarkably powerful role model for inspiring Seattle area youth to participate in humanitarian issues and see themselves as part of a global community. Three years ago, Jessica founded Richard’s Rwanda, an organization dedicated to helping girls in Rwanda receive an education. As a freshman at Garfield High School, she is pioneering the next generation of leadership striving for a more equitable and educated world.

In 2006, Jessica’s family hosted Richard Kananga, a Rwandan human rights advocate working with children whose lives were devastated by the genocide. As Richard spoke about the tragedy and the importance of rebuilding hope and forgiveness in the country, Jessica was inspired and determined to find her own way of contributing to Rwanda’s healing process. Richard spoke of the important role female education plays in rebuilding Rwanda’s economic and social vitality. As a young, female student who felt very connected with her academic community, it was an issue that personally resonated with Jessica. She began generating support from her community, talking with fellow students and organizing bake sales and school supply drives. Today, Richard’s Rwanda has expanded chapters into five Seattle high schools.

Markowitz3So far, Richard’s Rwanda has sponsored 22 girls in rural Rwanda, providing school uniforms, supplies, and covering the cost of school fees. Jessica recently received the 2009 World of Children Award, regarded as the “Nobel Prize for Children”, at UNICEF in New York. The proceeds from the award are going toward building a library in Rwanda. But beyond the physical contributions of Richard’s Rwanda, the heart of the organization’s success may lie in Jessica’s ability to engage the girls on a much more personal level.  Jessica has traveled to Rwanda several times, building lifelong friendships with the girls. Her youth has proven to be a powerful asset to her organization’s achievements, as she may be able to reach out to Rwandan girls in a way that an adult could not.

During her visit to Rwanda last summer, Jessica taught a women’s empowerment class. She asked the girls to stand in the front of the room, say their name, and declare, “I am powerful, strong, and a leader.” Many of the girls were shy and hesitant at first, needing to be urged to speak up so their peers could hear them. But overnight something seemed to sink in with the girls. “The next day each girl kept coming up to me, saying her name and telling me she is ‘powerful, strong, and a leader’,” Jessica said.

Jessica speaks about her work with Richard’s Rwanda energetically, citing motivation, leadership, and the willingness to take risks as defining characteristics of a “changemaker”. It is easy to tell that she benefits from her work as much as the girls she sponsors, which may be why she is so magnetic in rallying her fellow peers.

Markowitz2Jessica embodies the humanitarian spirit of helping those less fortunate, but does so with self-awareness and humility. She recognizes the intellectual puzzle that plagues many in the global development field: There is so much that needs to be done, where do I start? For Jessica, she started by being powerful, strong, and a leader.

For more information on Richard’s Rwanda, please visit:

For further reading on Jessica Markowitz, please visit:



Global Entertainment: The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

HealingAmericaThe Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
By, T.R. Reid (2009)

In his new book The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care (2009), T.R. Reid compares the U.S. health care system to others around the world and concludes that just about every other wealthy democracy has a health care system that is cheaper, more efficient, and more socially fair. This well-crafted, well-researched, and thought-provoking book is not only timely in light of current health care reforms in the U.S.; it also sheds light on health care in industrialized and developing countries around the world, giving guidance for those in the process of building a health care system.

Reid’s quest began after he suffered a shoulder injury in the 1970s. Not satisfied with the prognosis that he needed shoulder replacement surgery, he took his injury to doctors around the globe.  Reid’s shoulder was “examined, X-rayed, patted, poked, palpated, massaged, and manipulated in countless ways” using techniques ranging from Western medicine to Ayurveda and acupuncture. Besides the treatments themselves, Reid was exposed to widely differing medical and insurance systems, patient care practices, and ethical systems. Reid’s account of these experiences provides an insightful and entertaining narrative background for the book’s empirical research and historical analysis.

The book begins by outlining the features of several state-level health care models around the world, and then selects a number of case studies that reflect these models:  France, Germany, Japan, Britain, and Canada. He also includes an interesting discussion of Taiwan, Switzerland, and some developing countries for comparison. Reid chooses these cases not only because they demonstrate a diversity of models for health care, but also because they are comparable to the U.S. in terms of their wealth, and their economic and political systems. Reid then provides us with rich historical background about the formation of these systems along with an account of how they rate in terms of four fields: universality of coverage, quality of care, cost to the public and individual, and how much choice health care recipients enjoy under each system.

As it turns out, all the countries that Reid analyses provide universal health coverage to their citizens—except for the U.S.  He explains this anomaly in terms of historical factors and also moral standards that are lacking in the U.S. We need to ask ourselves, he writes: “What are America’s basic ethical values?  Do we believe that every American has a right to health care when he needs it?” For the other countries in this analysis, there exists an ethical consensus that every citizen indeed has the basic right to health care.  And although the U.S. does not provide universal coverage, it still spends more money on health care than any other country. This is because, compared to all these other countries, the U.S. has a painfully complex, fragmented, overlapping, and conflicting payment system.  Reid writes: “In fact, a better organized system, covering everyone, would almost certainly cut our health care costs—after all, every other rich nation’s health care system is cheaper than ours.”

I recommend this book to anyone interested in the topics of domestic and global health care. I also recommend the book to those who have thought little about this issue– it is quite an illuminating and educational read.
Ketty Loeb, Founder

Wokai Seattle





  • Nicholas Kristof Keynote Speech Now Available Online : For a limited time, you can now view Nicholas Kristof”s keynote speech from our conference December on our website. Kristof, who co-authored the best-selling book “Half the Sky – Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” (now in its 17th printing ) with his wife Sheryl WuDunn, discussed the need to focus on women & girls when addressing poverty and injustice as well as highlighted Washington’s role as a leader in addressing global development issues. Click here to watch the video now; available online for 30 days.
  • Global Washington Co-Sponsoring “Washington for Haiti” Event, Jan. 28th: Global Washington has joined together with Seattle Greendrinks, SeaMo, Re-Vision Labs and Seattle Works to co-host Washington for Haiti in recognition of the urgent need for support on Thursday, January 28 from 6:00 – 9:00pm. All proceeds will be going directly to Fonkoze, and the event will provide an opportunity for the Seattle community to gather and learn from experts and witnesses, since the more we know about the tragedy, the more likely we are to commit to supporting the long term changes needed to ensure that a disaster of this magnitude never happens again. Click here to read the press release and be sure to RSVP at the event’s Facebook page.
  • Come celebrate International Washington at the Governor’s Mansion: The Seattle Trade Alliance invites you to come celebrate International Washington at the Governor’s Mansion on Thursday, February 25 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. with Governor Chris Gregoire and State Legislators. This is a unique opportunity to remind ourselves of just how international our state is. We will note the hundreds of sister city relationships in our state, the foreign companies employing Washington state workers, the exchange programs with countries all over the world and much, much more. As our region is tied ever more internationally, this year we especially note the importance of international education to our state. Governor Gregoire has opened up the Mansion for this special event and will be giving brief remarks. The cost for this event is $30 for members. Refunds cannot be made after Thursday, February 17. Contact Thaihang Vu at 206-389-7301 or thaihangv@seattlechamber.com for more information. Last year, the reception sold out so if you want to attend, please RSVP ASAP. Space is not guaranteed until we have received your payment. Please bring picture ID with you to the reception. Register online by clicking here.
  • Health Care Volunteers Sought for International Summer Program 2010: Health care professionals are invited to volunteer for travel to Vietnam, Peru, Tanzania and India this summer as participants in Global Impact, a Seattle Community Colleges service learning program presented in partnership with Seattle-area medical, education and service organizations.    This is the 5th consecutive year Global Impact has run global health programs to developing countries.  There are also opportunities to volunteer on these programs for those without healthcare training. Information and application materials are on the website, including an article in the Washington Family Physician’s Journal and an informational power point about the program.


Upcoming Events

Click here to see a full list of international development events on the Global Washington’s calendar. Upcoming events include:

Please submit your events to our calendar!


contacted 763

businesses, academic centers, nonprofits

and foundations in March and April 2009,

inviting them to complete a survey of their

global development activities.

Of an estimated 763 organizations, a

sampling of 122 met our definition of

global development work based on their

survey responses, including their reported

activities in the developing world and the

kind of issues they reported addressing.