SPRIT Empowering Single Women Through Credit Assistance

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SPRIT has partnered with Rockflower for over a year now and has been steadily progressing towards their goal of self reliance for single women located in the coastal villages they focus on in India. Their economic empowerment projects include: seaweed cultivation, fish vending and making thatched roofs with coconut leaves.

Members meets monthly to monitor and evaluate their progress and distribute the credit assistance they provide. 12 women from three coastal villages received assistance.

Mariammal, a single, 45 year old, was one of two women who received a loan of Rs. 5,000 (rupees) (equivalent to approx. $68 USD) for coconut leaf products to make a segment of thatched roof. Previously, Mariammal would buy one leaf for 3 rupees and sell the completed product for Rs. 10 each. With the assistance of her loan, she can now make 20-25 completed products and earn around Rs. 250 in a day. Mariammal is “planning to put a sales centre at roadside to get more orders and earn more money. [She is] very grateful to SPRIT and Rockflower for the financial support for [her] livelihood.”

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Coconut Leaves

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Thatched Completed Product

Rockflower Welcomes Global Research Intern

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Rockflower welcomes Kirsten Drew, who joins Rockflower as our Global Research Intern.  Kirsten has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, studied at American University in Washington, D.C. and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in International Development at the University of Manchester in Manchester, England.

Kirsten brings a wealth of practical knowledge and skills having previously interned with The Advocacy Project in Washington, D.C. We are delighted she will be working with us to empower women and girls to build prosperous and successful lives.



Rockflower Partner Charlot Magayi Awarded 2nd Place in World Bank “SDGs and Her” Competition

 Charlot Magayi, owner of Mukuru Clean Stoves of Kenya, (seen on the left) and Lucy Odiwa, owner of WomenChoice Industries.

Charlot Magayi, owner of Mukuru Clean Stoves of Kenya, (seen on the left) and Lucy Odiwa, owner of WomenChoice Industries.

Charlot Magayi, owner of Mukuru Clean Stoves of Kenya, was awarded second place in the World Bank’s global SDGs and Her competition. Her business addresses SDG8 (Decent Work), SDG1 (End Poverty), and SDG3 (Good Health). Magayi and Odiwa, the first place winner, were flown to New York City to attend the UN General Assembly to discuss their work and its impacts.

There were over 1,200 entries received from 88 countries. Congratulations to Charlot Magayi and Mukuru Clean Stoves of Kenya on this great recognition from the World Bank. Rockflower recognized your potential from the outset and is proud to have been an early investor in your work.

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Winning this award is a crucial validation to the work that my team and I are doing with the aim of significantly reducing household air pollution in Africa, and it boosts our commitment to making the world a better place by implementing the SDGs. The award naturally comes with the responsibility to network and share with other women business owners about my challenges and breakthroughs in running my enterprise; with the aim of sharpening each other’s business skills.
Our partnership with Rockflower was a major stepping stone in terms of enabling us to create more impact and grow our business. Through our partnership, we have directly impacted the lives of over 1000 people by providing 200 households with clean cookstoves.
— Charlot Magayi

Read the World Bank’s press release here.

Read Ideas for Action’s article about events Charlot attended here.

Progress on Food Security for Ebola Widows in Liberia

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Foundation for Women and Children Empowerment (FOWACE Inc.) has completed the first phase of their project to fund innovations for food security for widows affected by Ebola. From the first financial support they received from Rockflower, FOWACE Inc. were able to start a sustainable, environmentally-friendly food security and income generating project with 10 groups that benefited 362 people across seven towns.

With additional support from Rockflower, they will now begin phase two which will focus on expanding the gardens with additional crops to accommodate more groups, all of which are excited as they have already identified what they plan to plant.

SIRP's First Training Session

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Society for Improvement of Rural People (SIRP) has begun their first training session of the End Female Genital Mutilation and Keep Girls in School project.

The training sessions focus on engaging with spiritual and community leaders in the Akwuke region to convey the importance of education for girls and the impact that female genital mutilation (FGM) can have on them mentally, physically and in their future economic development. These leaders can then analyze the affect their culture and traditions have on girls within the community.

Through training sessions like this one, our goal is to reduce the current FGM rates from 85% to 45% by the end of this 12 month project.  

Rockflower Completes Fundraising Campaign to Begin First Phase of Training Peacebuilders in the DRC

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Rockflower’s partnership with Solidarité des Femmes pour le Développement Intégral (SOFEDI) has begun after the completion of their initial fundraising campaign. The first phase of training women in conflict prevention and peace-building in the Democratic Republic of Congo will begin soon, as the campaign has not only reached its goal but exceeded it.

The first phase of training will include: promotion of women's human rights through training of monitors; increasing women’s representation in public decision-making; combating violence and ensuring zero tolerance for all forms of discrimination against women and girls; promote leadership transformation; promote good governance practices; and build and strengthen women’s coalitions for women’s empowerment.

Hannah Dawicki, a member of our Youth Advisory Board, led the Promote Women's Participation in Conflict Prevention and Peace Building campaign to it’s successful conclusion.

Rockflower Partnership Aims to End Female Genital Mutilation in Rural Nigeria

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Rockflower is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Society for the Improvement of Rural People (SIRP), an NGO devoted to providing voice and  service to the less privileged and vulnerable segments of the Nigerian society.

The partnership aims to provide support for a 12 month campaign in Akwuke, Enugu State to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) with a specific focus on keeping girls in school.

Based on research conducted by the Enugu State Ministry of Gender Affairs, Akwuke community scored an average of 81 – 85% in the prevalence rate of FGM practice in Enugu State. The "End Female Genital Mutiliation and Keep Girls in School" project aims to reduce this average to 45%.

Find out more about the End Female Genital Mutiliation and Keep Girls in School project.

Promote Women's Participation in Conflict Prevention and Peace Building

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Rockflower is launching a campaign to begin work with Solidarité des Femmes pour le Développement Intégral (SOFEDI) on the first of three training activities to educate and inspire women in marginalized communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to actively contribute to a just, peaceful and democratic society.

The goal for this fundraising campaign is to train 50 women peer educators in conflict prevention and peace building. These women will go on to train a further 200 women in conflict prevention and peace building.

Funds raised from this campaign will cover the costs of renting meeting space and purchasing training materials as well as participant transportation and meal costs.

The Promote Women's Participation in Conflict Prevention and Peace Building campaign is being led by Youth Advisory Board member Hannah Dawicki.

About SOFEDI

With elections scheduled for December 23rd, 2018 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and tensions running high as to the outcome, Rockflower’s newest partnership with SOFEDI is particularly timely.

Solidarité des Femmes pour le Développement Intégral (SOFEDI) was established in 2014 as a grassroots, community-based, not-for-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) in Kazimia, Fizi District Administration Office (DAO). Since its inception, SOFEDI has been advocating for women's and girls' access to decision making in political, social and economic positions within the community.

Within a short period of time, SOFEDI has established itself as a leading organization working in the sector of women's equal participation in decision making. It has introduced and established the agenda "Women in Politics", which has been expanded and adopted by others in the district. The organization has continuously supported and advocated for human rights, social protection and the establishment of democratic practices. It has implemented voter education programs in Fizi zone, to educate the public on leadership opportunities for women and girls.

Increasing Food Security for Widows Affected by Ebola

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Rockflower is pleased to announce a new partnership with Foundation for Women and Children Empowerment (FOWACE), a women and children-centered organization established to provide lifesaving and empowering programs for marginalized and vulnerable women and children in rural Liberia.

In the aftermath of the Ebola crisis in 2015, many women have struggled to survive due to losing their husbands, who provided vital economic support to their families. Rockflower's partnership with the FOWACE will focus on training women in vegetable garden management, providing farming tools and teaching business and marketing marketing skills.

Find out more about the Food Security for Ebola Widows project.

Rockflower Partnership to Expand Water Supply for Women Farmers in Tanzania

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Rockflower is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Mategemeo Women's Association, a non governmental organization in Tanzania promoting socio-economic development, human rights and inclusion by providing training and micro credit for women to establish their own businesses.

Rockflower's partnership with the Mategemeo Women's Association will support the sinking of four communal, shallow wells and the establishment of 2 water selling kiosks.

Find out more about the Shallow Wells for Water Security in Arusha project.

Investing in Female Founded Social Enterprise to Expand Clean Burning Stove Technology in Nairobi, Kenya

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By Investing in Mukuru Clean Stoves, a social enterprise that produces and distributes affordable, clean-burning cook stoves in Nairobi, Kenya, Rockflower is joining the growing movement to tackle the increasing problem of "dirty air" for so many in African cities. 

An article by Kwasi Gyamti Asiedu on June 28th 2018 in Quartz, references a recent study by Stanford University and the University of California, detailing the catastrophic effects of poor air quality for those in African cities, where "the causes are often hiding in plain sight - Kerosene, used in homes all over the continent to light homes and cook foods, is a deadly threat of which many people are simply unaware."

The article further notes that "[o]ther research has shown dirty air has lead to the premature deaths of 712,000 Africans each year, more than the toll of unsafe water, malnutrition and unsafe sanitation. In September last year, researchers calculated the monetary cost of air pollution in Africa for the first time: $215 billion from outdoor pollution and $232 billion from indoor pollution (based on 2013 figures)."

Innovative enterprises such as Mukuru Clean Stoves are imperative to change minds about the benefits of clean cooking.  

This first phase of Project funding will be used to:

  • Produce 200 clean burning stoves.

  • Set up a "Lease to Own" program.

  • Train up to 200 households in the proper use of clean stove technology.

Mukuru plans to make the Lease to Own program self-sufficient by using the revenue from the sale of the initial 200 stoves under the lease agreements to support further manufacture and sales.

Read more about the Mukuru Clean Stoves project and stay tuned for updates on the project's progress.

A funding campaign for the project was lead by Rockflower Youth Advisory Board member Elizabeth Hardardt.

Turning Biomass into Clean Alternative Fuels in Uganda

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Rockflower is pleased to announce a new partnership with Rwenzori United Group for Life Improvement (RUGLI), a community-based organization in Uganda focused on creating community services aimed at empowering women in various communities for sustainable development through:

  • Livelihood support/ sustainable agriculture

  • HIV/ AIDS awareness

  • Business enterprise support for women/youth

  • Support services support for the disabled, elderly and the needy

Rockflower's partnership with RUGLI will support the production of a biomass briquette initiative that will turn agro-waste and household by-products into an alternative to charcoal and fuel wood.

Find out more about the Bio Briquette Project

Rockflower Invests in Women’s Collective of Astillero

Rockflower Invests in Women’s Collective of Astillero

In partnership with Casa Congo, a social enterprise based in Astillero, Nicaragua, an investment has been made  for the second time into the Women's Collective of Astillero. The founding members of the Collective, The Tejedoras are a group of local women in Astillero who started an up cycling business over 11 years ago.

Rockflower Invests in Business Training Program For Young Women in Kenya

Rockflower Invests in Business Training Program For Young Women in Kenya

As part of the "Kisumu County Women Entrepreneurship Training" partnership, Rockflower and the Jiwo Paro, completed a funding campaign that will launch a business management training program to equip young women entrepreneurs with business management and entrepreneurship skills.

Rockflower Welcomes Hannah Dawicki to the Youth Advisory Board

Rockflower is pleased to announce the addition of Hannah Dawicki to the Youth Advisory Board.

Rockflower's Youth Advisory Board brings together a unique collection of inspiring young individuals determined to use their creativity and passion to leave a positive imprint on future possibilities for girls and women globally.

Please take a moment to learn more about Hannah and Rockflower's Youth Advisory Board.

Rockflower Launches Campaign to Expand Women Owned Business in Nicaragua

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In the summer of 2017 Rockflower partnered with Casa Congo, a fast growing international conservation movement with a social enterprise and based in Astillero, Nicaragua, to provide funds and expertise to expand The Women's Collective at El Astillero. Las Tejedoras or "The Weavers", a group of women established in 2007, are the founding members of this Collective and have proven their skill and ingenuity in creating a business that to date has recycled over 400,000 plastic bags discarded on the streets and beaches of Astillero to create beautiful bags, hats, wallets, and other products. Their slogan, “Una Bolsa Más, Una Tortuga Menos” translates to “One More Bag, One Less Turtle.”

Casa Congo has a vision to empower the local community through environmental and cultural conservation, through the four pillars of Ecology, Ocean Advocacy, Built Environments and Place Making.

The Rockflower/Casa Congo partnership will act as a gardener to facilitate the growth of The Women's Collective through the provision of access to credit and micro loans, educational workshops and collaborative endeavors. In order to learn, gain confidence and expertise, and increase their potential for economic empowerment, the women need support' not only through investment, but in developing business and marketing models to maximize their amazing entrepreneurial spirit. 

This campaign is raising funds to build upon an earlier investment in The Tejedoras Juice and Smoothie Bar, an idea which this determined and inspired group of women brought to life in December of 2017.  

Now they are ready to take their vision to the next level. The expansion will consist of:

  • Bicycle powered juice blenders ("Blender Bikes")

  • Solar Panel System

  • Expanded venue size and outdoor seating area

  • Refrigeration, water filtration, and composting systems

  • Cash register

Support the Women’s Collective of El Astillero by visiting our campaign page.

This fundraiser is being led by Rockflower Youth Advisor and Casa Congo team member Francesca Ward and assisted by Casa Congo volunteers Cobo Alvarez de Toledo, Hannah Rikeman and Bianca Acland. 

Rockflower Integrates with Coinbase to Support Cryptocurrency Donations

Rockflower integrated with Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency wallet and platform, to allow donors to contribute using the Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin currencies.

By integrating with Coinbase, which is currently used by over 13 million consumers and 48,000 merchants worldwide, Rockflower can accept donations directly from a donor’s digital wallet via desktop or a smartphone.

"Rockflower has recognized crypto as a groundbreaking technology with the potential to not only change charitable giving, but the development and venture philanthropy landscape as a whole ,” said Tine Ward, Founder and CEO of Rockflower. “We will continue to assess how blockchain and cryptocurrencies can be used to ensure that every woman and girl has access to The Five Keys in building prosperous and successful lives."

Crypto-based donations can be made online by visiting www.rockflower.org/invest.

Rockflower Funds Prenatal Health Services in Uganda

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As part of the "S.O.U.L Foundation Project" partnership, Rockflower and the S.O.U.L Foundation completed a campaign that will provide prenatal healthcare services to women in Uganda. Prenatal services are targeted at preventing three common delays:

  • The delay to seek care

  • The delay to reach proper medical services, and

  • The delay to access quality care

by expanding:

  • Training in critical prenatal and postnatal care, financial and family planning, nutrition, breastfeeding, and positive health behaviors.

  • Provision of maternal health classes and ultrasound screenings

  • Administration of birthing kits and prenatal vitamins.

The campaign raised funds to provide prenatal healthcare services to 470 women.

Read more about the project on our "S.O.U.L. Foundation Project" partner page and check back for updates on the participants progress.

This Initiative was led by Rockflower Global Ambassadors Emily and Taylor Washburn. Congratulations to Emily and Taylor and the Rockflower / SO.U.L. Foundation team for completing this very successful campaign.

Rockflower Funds Training of Birth Attendants in Guatemala

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As part of the "SAVING MOTHERS School of POWHER" partner project, Rockflower and Saving Mothers completed a campaign to support training  of traditional birth attendants (Comadrona) in the rural areas of Guatemala. Project funds will be used to provide training in:

  • Clinical knowledge on prenatal care

  • Basic obstetric practice, and

  • Emergency management

Campaign funds will be used to train 25 Comadora. Each Comadrona has around a 25-year career. We estimate newly trained Comadrona can change the lives of 50,000 Guatemalan women over the next 25 years.

Read more about the project on our SAVING MOTHER School of POWHER" partner page and check back for updates on the participants progress.

This Initiative was led by Rockflower Youth Advisory Board members Hannah Delany and Isabella Ward. Congratulations to Hannah, Isabella, and the Rockflower / Saving Mothers team for completing this very successful campaign.

Expanding Clean Cooking Technology in Nairobi, Kenya

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The Mukuru Clean Stoves Project is a collaboration between Rockflower and Mukuru Clean Stoves, a social enterprise that produces affordable, clean-burning cook stoves in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Mukuru Cook Stove Project will provide funding to Mukuru Clean Stoves to significantly expand the sale and reach of Mukuru clean-burning cookstove technology through the creation of an innovative "Lease to Own" program. The project would fund:

  • The production of 200 clean burning stoves.

  • Setting up the Lease to Own" program.

  • Training to 200 households in the proper use of clean stove technology.

“Facilitating the transition to clean cooking and heating contributes to fundamental development benefits, including improving people’s health, reducing air pollution, and enabling mothers to spend more time with their families and pursue economic opportunities. The focus now is on scaling up activity through innovative market-based approaches and by mobilizing private financing, and on applying the lessons we have learned from years of engagement in the sector.”

-Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank

Find out more about the Expanding Clean Cooking Technology fundraising campaign.

The Expanding Clean Cooking Technology campaign will be led by Rockflower Youth Advisory Board member Elisabeth Hardardt.