EMPOWERING SOLUTIONS

Newark, DE   |  www.empowering-solutions.org

Mission

Create opportunities for marginalized African communities to improve their quality of life. We focus on four areas:
1. water supply & sanitation
2. health care
3. vocational education especially for youth and women who are heads of households
4. food production with emphasis on storage
The community is empowered to take the lead in projects in each of the focus areas.

Ruling year info

2009

Executive Director

Mr. Samba Tata

Board Chairman

Mr. David Schultz

Main address

206 Lena Ct

Newark, DE 19711 USA

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EIN

26-4538788

NTEE code info

Economic Development (S30)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Water supply

Make potable water accessible to every one in the village especially during the dry season (October to April). Develop a spring catchment to deliver water to a 100m3 (25,000 gallon) tank which we help build in partnership with The International Foundation (New Jersey). There are two smaller tanks with a total capacity of 15m3 were also rehabilitated. These tanks with store water during the rainy season to be distributed during the dry season with controlled usage. Development of the spring catchment include the deepening of the channel, construction of a retention wall and installing a pump to pump water to the tank farm. This project will begin in June 2016 (with funding from The Rotary Foundation) to be completed by the fall of this year.
The project will serve an estimated population of over 20,000.

Population(s) Served

Provide benches to a primary school with an enrolment of between 275 to 300 children ages three to 14 years. We have just completed cementing the floors and plastering the walls of the 12 class room . We are also currently providing secured windows (39) and nine doors to the same primary school. The upgrade was a must because the dirt floors are a habitat for a parasite which eats through flesh and feet of school children. This can result in deformation if condition persists.
The benches will be made from local materials (wood from eucalyptus tree) and will employ local labor (mostly carpenters & welders)

Population(s) Served

Pay the salary of a teacher to train primary school children and youth especially young girls basic computer skills: Microsoft (Word, Excel, Power Point) and the Internet.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We want to improve the quality of life by providing opportunities for the communities we serve. We focus on four areas: 1) water supply; 2) health care; 3) vocational education; and 4) food security. We work with communities to identify their most pressing need(s) in these areas and look for partners and donors to fund the project. Water supply for a village of 6500 plus is perhaps our most challenging project for the next three to five years. This project will address the needs of reliable clean drinking water, improved health and food security. The food security aspect of this project is important because it will provide enough food for the village all year round especially during the dry season when near starvation conditions exist. A large piece of this project is to construct retention ponds or mini-dams to harvest and store rain water and use the water for irrigation for horticulture.
During the month of March 2014, we spent time with the residents on the water supply problem. The outreach and buy in from the community allows us to move ahead with a global grant application from the Rotary Foundation.

A needs assessment and a feasibility study were carried out in 2012. In February 2013 there were a series of meetings to educate and explain the project which was enthusiastically supported and endorsed by all stakeholders in the village. The Water Committee (BWMC) was expanded to be representative and inclusive and tasked with coming up with a viable sustainability plan. The Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in the area is facilitating the process. Our campaign strategy focuses on exposure and marketing. This includes attending conferences, networking, and speaking to various groups and organizations. In April 2013, we attended a three day Rotary International conference (Arlington, VA). That gave us a lot of exposure and generated interest from Clubs and individuals. We followed up with emails and phone calls thus expanding our network. At this conference met and established a relationship with Tom Dunnells from the Charlottesville, Virginia Club. Tom has been spearheading a Global Grant project for water for a town of about 40,000 in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. His experience with this project and his background in marketing and a former PCV to Cameroon are priceless. The Wum water project is only about 50 miles from Binshua village. We are focusing our efforts with Rotary International because water/sanitation is a major focus area. We are working with local Rotary Clubs to drum up support for a global grant. We are happy to report that as of writing The International Foundation (TIF) has donated $10,000 toward the water project. Through speaking engagements we have $4,500 commitment from Rotary Clubs in District 7630 and are working with the Rotary Foundation on a global grant. During the month of March 2014 we worked with residents of the village to come up with a realistic budget for the water supply. With the outreach, community buy in and a sustainability plan in place, we are moving forward with a global grant and application for funding from other sources. We have also networked with the local (Nkambe) Council which has promised administrative and technical support. At the local level there are periodic fund raising activities (wine tasting, raffle) and appeals to groups and people that we have personal relationships with.

As a small organization we are quite flexible and adaptable to the changing environment. Our Founder/Executive Director was born and lived in the communities where we work. He has the experience and first hand knowledge (the lack of potable water, food shortages, and poor sanitation) and has traveled quite often to the village to work with the people. This has earned respect and trust. Empowering Solutions has a volunteer Board with diverse experiences, backgrounds, inspired, passionate and believe it can make a difference. Many of the Board members are also Rotarians who are helping us network and create partnerships with other Clubs. It is this partnership that help implement past projects. The work we have completed at one of the health centers (a tile floor and medical supplies & equipment) is influencing the Catholic authorities to set up periodic visits by a medical Doctor. The Executive Director (Samba) has a flexible schedule and is willing to go back to the village, at his own expense, to supervise the water project.

The $10,000 grant from TIF with the possibility of increase is very good news and a morale boost to our young organization. We will not disappoint TIF or any donor. We are optimistic about our future and the water project. We feel good about the network, exposure and interest we have generated so far. In addition to the interest from Rotary Clubs in District 7630, we have also networked with Clubs from District 7610, specifically from Clubs in the Charlottesville, Virginia. It so happens that the Charlottesville Clubs are carrying out a water project in Cameroon (Wum) only about 60 miles from Binshua village. We are learning a lot from their experience, how to go about garnering interest and writing a global grant. They have also connected us with professionals in Cameroon who are willing to work with us. Above all we have learned that it can be a slow frustrating process. We are committed to work diligently toward our goal. We have gotten commitment from MIDENO (the rural development agency for Northwest Region of Cameroon) and the local Council to partner with us. People in the village have been organized, sensitized about their role and responsibility and are looking forward to the project. Given the endemic corruption in Cameroon, there is the risk that MIDENO and the local council may renege on their commitments. The WC is slow on coming up with a sustainable plan but we are working with them. The slow deliberate process may result in an effective and enduring plan. Empowering Solutions is only in its fifth year of operation and has implemented a number of impactful projects. But these have been small in scope and cost. The short track record may not be convincing to donors. But our transparency, expertise and passion should overcome this shortcoming.

Financials

EMPOWERING SOLUTIONS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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EMPOWERING SOLUTIONS

Board of directors
as of 02/11/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. David Schultz

Strategic Products & Services

Term: 2013 - 2015

Kelli Smits

Flowers Counsel Group LLC

Rachel Parker

Bay to Beach Builders

Dustin Parker

Sussex County Delaware

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes