Blue Ventures
Improving Health & Wellbeing of Children & Families in coastal Madagascar
Year
2021 - 2023
Country
Madagascar

The Light Foundation’s funding has enabled Blue Ventures to strengthen and increase the reach of its community health programme. This programme benefits 130,000 fishers and their families, supporting community members to act as community health workers, offering health services and education and integrating the program within Madagascar’s public health system. These community health workers offer a range of services, including treatment for childhood illnesses, basic maternal healthcare, access to family planning services, and the distribution of mosquito nets, water purifying solutions and oral rehydration salts for diarrhoea.

The Foundation also supports Blue Ventures to equip these communities with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to manage their fisheries more sustainably, resulting in an increase in the income of local fishers. Blue Ventures also introduced processes for better food processing and storage, aimed at reducing post harvest losses and therefore reducing stunting and other health issues among children and mothers. Collectively these efforts are serving to improve the health of both people and the ocean and helping to lift these communities out of poverty.

Furthermore, Blue Ventures shares its expertise and resources through its networks, supporting others on the application of its methods. Through this sharing of expertise, Blue Ventures has indirectly supported improved access to health services for approximately 830,000 individuals living in remote, highly biodiverse areas, further expanding the positive impact of the programme.

APOPO
APOPO
Year
2021 - 2023
Country
CambodiaTanzania

APOPO – a global non-profit organization that has developed an innovative method using African giant pouched rats, nicknamed “HeroRATs”, to detect landmines and tuberculosis (TB) using their extraordinary sense of smell – is able to significantly speed up the detection process by using a combination of rats as well as manual deminers and machines. As rats only sniff out the explosives and ignore any scrap metal, they can clear an area the size of a tennis court in 30 minutes, whereas a metal detector would take up to 4 days. At the same time, the deployment of rats makes the demining process safer for the involved professionals and it is safe for the rats themselves. APOPO further deploys rats for tuberculosis (TB) screening as they increase partner clinic detection rates by 40%. Traditionally patients arrive in health clinics for TB screening and if the clinic is unable to diagnose them they return back home, continuing to spread the disease. Thanks to the amazing sense of smell of the HeroRATs they can screen 100 human sputum samples in 20 minutes. This would take a lab technician in a partner clinic up to 4 days.

The Light Foundation’s grant enabled APOPO to scale up its HeroRAT’s efforts for two key sites where their deployment generates tremendous impact: Tanzania and Cambodia.

  • In Tanzania, APOPO is increasing TB detection. Pre-Covid, the disease killed more people worldwide than any other infectious disease every year, with pediatric TB especially being a major cause of illness and death in children. Tanzania is classified as a high TB burden country, and the Dar es Salaam region is disproportionately affected. There is a big case detection gap, which hampers the efforts to eliminate TB. APOPO’s objective is to increase TB detection by 40%, and in particular, ramp up TB detection and care for children in Dar es Salaam, increase youth screening by 15%, and encourage their treatment initiation through improved “Find & Treat“ services for TB and capacity building among local partners.
  • In Cambodia, APOPO is accelerating mine clearance through the use of cost-efficient land release and animal detection methods. Cambodia remains one of the most heavily contaminated countries in the world, with the highest number of landmine victims per capita. APOPO’s objective is to release 15,138,000 m2 of contaminated areas in Preah Vihear, Siem Reap and Battambang provinces over three years, thereby increasing civilian security and protecting children lives. APOPO is also actively piloting the use of the HeroRATs with partners, thereby envisioning their long-term systemic change on cost efficiency across the Mine Action industry.

Funding from the Light Foundation will allow APOPO to clear 15,375,00 m2 of mine-free land to be used afterward by local small-holder farmers. An estimated 2,000 landmines are expected to be safely disposed of. Further, the program assists 350 child victims with transport to rehabilitation centers and back and is working with its partner MAG (Mine Advisory Group) to integrate HeroRATs within their assets. Approximately 10,000 children and 75,000 adults will be screened for TB which will increase early treatment of TB infected children.

UNICEF
The Light Foundation grant is focused on supporting Unicef’s efforts to improve the nutrition and health of women and children in Afghanistan
Year
2019 - 2024
Country
Afghanistan

The project is focused on educating mothers and caregivers in the areas of nutrition and health as well as improving the skill set of midwives, nutrition counsellors and community health workers. The project has made good progress in all of its activities in spite of major disruptions in the country. Contributions from the Light Foundation in 2021 allowed 24,751 children aged 6-59 months with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) to be supported and treated in the Kandahar and Jawzjan provinces. In addition, 174 midwives, 68 nutrition counsellors and 1,037 community health workers have benefitted from training and material packages through the grant and 77,184 children were reached with community preventive services. Further, as a result of the grant, 88 villages have successfully improved their sanitation facilities and have as a result been declared as “Open Defecation Free”.

Mary's Meals
Mary’s Meals
Year
2022 - 2025
Country
KenyaMadagascarSouth Sudan

Mary’s Meals has more than two decades of experience in addressing classroom hunger and is currently using grant funding from The Light Foundation to initiate positive change in communities in Kenya (specifically in Turkana), South Sudan, and Madagascar.
By providing much-needed meals in school, the programme seeks to offer children experiencing poverty the opportunity to return to education or continue their schooling. The meals, prepared and served by community volunteers, not only meet the children’s immediate need for sustenance, but can also improve their overall health and happiness, reduce chronic hunger, and provide energy for their learning and play.

The Mary’s Meals school feeding model is designed with sustainability in mind, sourcing meal ingredients from local agribusinesses wherever possible and building capacity within communities to deliver the programme for their children. Mary’s Meals offers training to local volunteers – many of whom are parents or relatives of the learners – on important topics such as food storage, meal preparation, and safe and fair serving. The school feeding programmes funded by The Light Foundation are a vital lifeline for families suffering extreme food insecurity, and a beacon of hope for their children who can attend preschool and primary school confidently because of the meal on offer.

In 2022, with the support from The Light Foundation, Mary’s Meals was able to provide a daily meal at 134 schools or preschools. This joint initiative enabled more than 10,500 children in Madagascar, more than 10,500 children in Kenya, and more than 7,000 children in South Sudan to stay in school and learn better while they were there. Thanks to this partnership, tens of thousands of children have a significantly better chance of avoiding exploitation and building a better future for themselves and their families.