Grant Applicant Profiles

Upon checkout of your purchase, you will be asked to vote for who you would like to see receive a Giving Joy grant. Below you will find the current grant applicants. It is important to review their profiles prior to purchase.

Once you reach the shopping cart checkout, you cannot view their profiles unless you open a new browser tab and visit this page. On the checkout form, an additional field labeled “Voting” will allow you to select your choice for the grant.


Youth & Young Adults International Agency

Rebeca Gerlus, a.k.a Daisy Love, CEO of Youth & Young Adults International Agency

Rebeca Gerlus, a.k.a Daisy Love, CEO of Youth & Young Adults International Agency

The Youth & Young Adults International Agency aims to provide adequate resources to youth and young adults to help them develop their inner strength and become their very best. Based in Haiti. the agency’s vision is to become a global network to strengthen communities at risks. Currently they implement art programs where they advertise, market and sell artists’ work, and operate a summer program where they employ teens and young adults through community projects each year. Starting 2020 the agency will start pop up shows in the US where it will sell products from its artists. Art work will also be available for purchase on their new website (currently in development). The Giving Joy grant will sponsor three girls to take part in the agency’s 2020 summer camp.


Reform Africa

Shamim Naluyima is the co-founder of Reform Africa - a Ugandan based non profit social enterprise that is transforming plastic waste into affordable, durable and water proof bags. After collection, the waste is washed, dried and they later use a technique to fuse together the waste to come up with a strong and sustainable material that they cut into different shapes depending on the design of the product to be made. The pieces are then made into unique accessories like backpacks, shopping bags, wallets, laptop cases, etc.

Their goal is to create a circular economy so that people can get away from just collecting and dumping waste to a more sustainable way of dealing with the waste. To achieve this, they aim to increase awareness about the environment and plastic pollution through sensitization and community mobilization to carry out cleaning around the area. Further they aim to train more single mothers and marginalized youths with skills in up cycling plastic waste.

With the Giving Joy grant, Reform Africa would use: (1) 250$ to buy two more sewing machines so that they can increase their production; (2) 150$ of the budget will be used to buy more plastic waste from the single mothers who collect them so that they are able to up- cycle over 3000kgs of plastic waste; (3) The remaining 100$ shall be used set up more collection points plus creating more awareness through sensitization programs in schools and rural communities.


Building Audacity

Founded with the purpose of increasing youth power, Building Audacity’s (a Massachusetts based non profit) mission is to support youth led change-making and to provide resources to adults interested in creating inclusive, youth-focused learning spaces. Building Audacity is lea by a board filled with youth, has a majority of staff members who are people of color, and has significant experience resourcing youth led changemaking. Building Audacity programs are grounded in the belief that diversity means the inclusion of all, inclusion means the willingness to share power with all, equity means allowing all to be their full selves. The result of living these definitions, equality. The organization offers 12 courses via its school setting partnerships and multi-day programming via its nonprofit partnerships. An example of a Building Audacity project is currently youth at Brooke Charter School have decided to spend their summer building a community garden and a community garden map of Boston to share with low income community members to ensure that they are able to secure fresh vegetables. The map will be translated in Spanish and Haitian Creole. This idea was created by high school sophomores!

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Building Audacity aims to provide resources to 50 youth projects, deliver civics courses to 1,000 youth (85% of which as girls of color), and deliver inclusion training to 10 youth focused organizations annually. They will do this by launching an online educational platform for adult learning, partner with 20 nonprofit organizations and schools to deliver civics courses and resources that will then lead to 50 youth projects.

A grant from Giving Joy will validate the Building Audacity mission. The organization is just starting out, and board members are eager to lead and their staff are excited to support youth work but many funders don’t want to be the first to resource new nonprofits. Despite the founder’s and staff many degrees, years of community organizing, and building nonprofit organizations, funding is few and far between for nonprofits with budgets under $100,000. Being able to state that Giving Joy believes in the Building Audacity model will be THE needed step forward for this small but mighty organization.


Kimuli Fashionability

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23 year old Juliet Namujju is a Ugandan social change maker, fashion designer, entrepreneur and environmentalist. She is committed and passionate about changing people’s lives and saving the environment through fashion. She has committed herself to change the mindset that most people are having towards plastic waste, she believes through sensitization and training of persons with disabilities up cycling and fashion skills we can create a bright green future for our future generation.

Juliet is the Founder and CEO of Kimuli Fashionability - a social enterprise that creates employment for people with disabilities who face societal exclusion from their communities where 95% of them are unemployed due to their physical and hearing impairments. Kimuli Fashionability trains them to turn plastic waste like used cement bags, milk packets, sugar sacks, rice sacks etc. into designer products. Kimuli Fashionability also employees marginalized youth to collect plastic waste to earn a living from their various communities. Once collected, the waste is washed, dried and cut to different shapes depending on the design of the product to be made. The pieces are then blended with African fabrics (Kitengi, Sisal, Backcloth) into unique fashionable garments like raincoats and accessories like shopping bags, wallets, laptop cases, backpacks etc.

Juliet’s goal is to have trained 600 persons with disabilities as trainers of trainers in their communities to meet the 2030 goal of reducing plastic waste disposal by 70%. To achieve this they aim to advocate for proper waste management, full inclusion, employ-ability and their rights through sensitization and training of persons with disabilities on up-cycled fashion and tailoring not only at the organization’s training centers but also in their communities.  

The Giving Joy grant will be used to (1) employ more marginalized youth as waste collectors to earn a living from their various communities to enable disabled persons up cycle over 2000kgs of plastic waste; (2) buy two sewing machines to train 6 disabled persons; (3) set up collection points centers across Mpigi and create awareness through sensitization programs in schools, children camps and rural communities about the proper use of waste management.  By choosing Juliet and her organization for the grant, you will have made a profound contribution towards changing the perception of the society that disability is not inability and that plastic is a resource which cannot be consumed as disposable.  


Georgina Achieng

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Georgina Achieng is from Kenya, 26 years old, and currently unemployed. When she couldn’t find a job she decided to start a food business where she cooks in her house in Nairobi and delivers food to friends and family who work in offices. Her goal is to one day start her own hotel so that she can be able to serve more people and create employment too.  A Giving Joy grant will greatly propel her to her dream of having a hotel. Since she does not have any parents to run to when she is in desperate need, she is the father and mother to her siblings. She would appreciate it if she was chosen because she will now have a continuous income to support her family and grow too. 

 


Kiara Johnson

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Kiara Johnson (or KJ) is from Jacksonville, Florida where she and her siblings were raised by a single mother following a nasty divorce. She tasted poverty at the age of 8 and that ultimately birthed her entrepreneurial spirit. She began selling snacks just to have lunch money so it would be one less thing for her mother to worry about. She kept her snack selling business going through elementary, junior high and high school even reaching a point before graduating that she had 5 other people selling snacks under me!! Thankfully, she was able to receive a full-ride women’s basketball scholarship to college otherwise she may not have been able to attend. Once she graduated college, she taught Business Education at a local high school. Teaching has been the best thing to happen to her thus far because it gave room for her entrepreneurial ideas to grow. Because she teaches business education website building as part of the curriculum, she studied website building and even built a website for herself. Once she was able to successfully build a website, that entrepreneurial spirit grew once again and she created Hyperlink Connect.

Hyperlink Connect started out as a website building business, however through copious amounts of research she realized that the website building market was large and heavily saturated. So she shifted Hyperlink Connect to a listings business, but instead of a normal listings business where a variety of items can be listed, only electronics and electronic devices can be listed on Hyperlink Connect. It makes it easier for those who are looking for specific items such as hard drives, modems or screens to locate. It has had great feedback and she was even able to pull together the money to get an app produced. However, the app developers created an update that caused the app to quit working and they refuse to install in Hyperlink Connect. This is where the Giving Joy grant comes in. For $400.00 KJ will be able to get the app updated and taken over by a new team of app developers who will not abandon the project. KJ’s goal is for Hyperlink Connect to continue growing and catch momentum like it was once doing. She would like it to grow to the point that it is partnered with a major electronic company such as Best Buy as an after-market buying company.


Lilianne Beru

Lilianne and her 10-year old daughter Blessing

Lilianne and her 10-year old daughter Blessing

Lilianne Mikhago Beru’s husband died in 2013. He left her with two daughters (15 and 10). Lilianne also has a 19-year old daughter from a previous relationship. When her husband died she was employed so she started a small business of typing and printing because she had computer knowledge and good computer analytical skills. Her business picked from one computer and a printer (this she bought with a loan from a women’s group) in 2014. In 2015 her business faltered because she didn’t have a fast printer or a better computer. She then on casual work at a construction firm, until the contract ended in 2016 in Kisumu (Western Kenya). She moved to the capital, Nairobi, in 2016 to seek employment but it has not been easy. Lilianne would like to revive her printing business and use the Giving Joy grant to purchase good computers and digital colored printers to get back on her feet again and be able to provide for her daughters basic needs and school fees.