Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (AFGG IF 2012 Grant Recipient)

The SNDdN activity described in the proposal was featured in a VentureBeat article about the grant!

Organization’s Geographic Region of Focus: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Alliance Areas of Concern:  Health, Education, Environment, Poverty

Challenges: Lack of capital to grow existing computer-related facilities at Mission maintained centers or compounds.

Solution:  Purchase additional equipment which can be used for income generation in excess of expenses.

Excerpted from the Proposal:

“The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have served the impoverished people of Congo since 1894.  Over the years, our emphasis on education as a tool for overcoming poverty has not changed. What has changed, however, is the nature of materials we rely on to achieve this end.

In what is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), our Congregation maintains ten mission centers, or compounds. Each one includes a residence for the Sisters, a school or schools, boarding facilities for students and a health clinic. Four of these sites were prioritized for being outfitted with electricity and communications technology.  Four years ago, the Congregation installed a photovoltaic system at our compound in Ngidinga. Two years later, the Congregation installed similar systems at our Lemfu, Pelende and Kitenda compounds. This photovoltaic system includes solar panels, batteries, water purification equipment and a satellite that provides Internet access. These communities now have round-the-clock electricity, which guarantees access to purified, disease-free water as well as the ability to communicate and interact with the rest of the world through the Internet.

With only a few computers available at each of the four Mission sites powered by the AP, the Sisters have observed the growing demand for use of their computers and the request for literacy and technology instruction for adults in the community. The demands are greater than what was originally anticipated. The computer equipment and internet access is not adequate to service the demands.

The immediate problem faced by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in the (DRC) is to identify and secure resources both monetary and material to establish the Cyber Initiative for each of the four mission sites . Once the venture has been established, the goal is for the cafés to become self-sustaining and an integral part of the economic capital for the community. We believe that providing educational opportunities with viable economic opportunities sparks activities leading to increased financial security, stability and sustainability for each community.”

For more information about Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.




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Proud to announce our newest partner


Leonard Kaplan’s creation of the Alliance for Global Good was the expression of his passionate philanthropy.  It’s also the logical outgrowth of all that came before it.  Together with his wife and philanthropic partner Tobee, and through a family foundation later renamed TOLEO, they gave unselfishly of resources and time to improve their community and the world for more than twenty-five years.

Tobee & Leonard Kaplan

Tobee & Leonard Kaplan

The Alliance’s focus on five areas of giving—health, education, environment, poverty, and world relations—is mirrored in Leonard’s past.  He has made major gifts to Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Comprehensive Cancer and Heart Centers, to the Lineberger Cancer Center at UNC Chapel Hill, to the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Moses Cone Hospital, and had a leadership position at the Greensboro Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.  In 2004, Leonard and Tobee built the new building for the Women’s Resource Center in Greensboro. He created scholarships for residents of Guilford County to attend North Carolina colleges and universities, and was a founding donor of Elon University Law School.  Critically, in partnership with the Kellogg Foundation, Leonard helped create the Center for Organizational Leadership, a philanthropic studies program (which was one of first nationally to educate non-profit executives).

“Everyone wants to leave something to their grandchildren.”

“The money won’t matter if the world they live in is so far gone,” Kaplan says. “The opportunity now is to take some of what might become their inheritance, and use it soon to make the world a better place.”

Addressing poverty, Leonard made possible the building of two houses for Habitat for Humanity, and by providing food for hungry people both close to home in Greensboro, and as far abroad as the former Soviet Union.   The Kaplans were staunch supporters of Trickle Up, which provides grant financing to women in the developing world who want to start their own microenterprise.

Leonard gave not only of his wealth, but also of his time and expertise, taking on leadership positions in many organizations and campaigns such as the Greater Greensboro United Way DeToqueville Society, and as a Core Member of ACTION Greensboro, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public education, revitalization of downtown Greensboro, and leveraging economic development.

Active in their community of faith, the Kaplans built a new building for the Greensboro Jewish Federation, and for the Hillel youth organization at U.N.C., Chapel Hill.  He served on the board of the Jewish Foundation of Greensboro, and on that of the national Hillel organization, and was a founder of Camp Ramah Darom.

Viewing giving as a responsibility of affluence, Leonard led by example, and encouraged others to do the same.  He created Wealth & Giving, an educational program designed to inspire the largest wealth holders in this country to be more generous.  The Alliance continues that work by promoting and providing donors with opportunities for effective and efficient giving.

Read more about the Five Guiding Principles.