In February, PCI hosted The Community Breakfast at which PCI’s President & CEO, George Guimaraes, gave an annual progress update on PCI’s global work to our close friends and influencers. Those invited were members of The Community, PCI’s Annual Giving Society, and they were treated to an insider’s scoop on PCI’s key accomplishments in 2014, as well as a look ahead at the exciting new projects on that will be underway in 2015. In addition, guests had the opportunity to interact directly with PCI’s Senior Global Leadership and U.S. & Border Program staff about the work we are doing in the United States and tour our U.S. & Border Programs office where many of our local programs operate.
Highlights shared at the event included:
- Mitigating the Spread of Ebola in Liberia: Since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak, PCI’s used our deep ties in communities to educate over 140,000 people about how to prevent Ebola. PCI is not only raising awareness and mobilizing communities; but also running an Ebola Treatment Unit and Community Care Centers.
- Matching Farmers to Schools in Guatemala: This unique food program matches local farmers with schools to provide fresh vegetables needed for school breakfasts and lunches. The program is beneficial for both the local economy and the schools.
- Improving Access to Food in Malawi: Severe flooding in January devastated Malawi, and PCI is working closely with local farmers to protect their crops. This work was in part because PCI just received a five-year, $30 million award to strengthen food security in the region and also to work with mothers and children to improve their health and create more economic opportunities.
- Expanding Parivartan Program in India: PCI’s recently received additional funding for Parivartan, which currently operates in the state Bihar. The Parivaratn program mobilizes communities to improve maternal and child health through participatory learning and collective action, especially through women’s groups.
- Harnessing Satellite Data in Ethiopia: PCI has provided satellite maps to more than 16,000 local pastoralists to give them reliable information on the best grazing land for their herds. This program is now expanding within Ethiopia and to Tanzania thanks to a new $750,000 award from Google.
- Scaling up Women Empowered Globally: More than 250,000 women are involved in nearly 31,000 WE groups around the world today. In September 2014, PCI made a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to double the number of women involved in WE groups by 2017. This effort was greatly accelerated from a generous significant contribution from the Lucille and Ronald Neeley Foundation.
Because of the Community Breakfast’s location, this event was also a great opportunity to spotlight the exciting growth of our programs in the United States. Dr. Maria Lourdes Reyes, Director of PCI U.S. & Border Programs, provided a brief history of our work along the border, gave an overview of the existing programs, and shared the exciting news that PCI recently received $9.5 million from the Department of Health and Human Services for the expansion of our Healthy Start program to improve prenatal, labor and deliver care for low-income Latinas and their families, and importantly, to mentor other border Healthy Start Programs in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
We were also honored to have Consul General of Mexico, Maria de los Remedios Gomez Arnau, in attendance to present gifts on behalf of the Consulate totaling $61,700 for PCI’s Ventanilla de Salud. Through our partnership with the Consulate over the past 10 years, PCI’s received nearly a half a million dollars and served more than 200,000 through Ventanilla de Salud.