Welcome to the latest edition of our village report. We'll be writing a fresh report every quarter to keep you updated on village and project progress. We thought it best to kick off this new reporting structure with a roundup report as we enter a new year. One that'll give you a fuller view of the impact we've had to date.
The report starts with some higher-level information on our spending and impact, along with some short stories and photographs. Then we move into a more detailed reporting of our recent village projects, and finally, we talk about some of the upcoming improvements coming to Kwanda.
If you're reading this as a villager, I'd like for you to keep in mind that everything you see in this report is a direct result of your contribution. We're ever grateful to you for placing your trust in Kwanda.
Let's start with a high-level view of our most important metrics.
Capital deployed to date.
People directly impacted.
We believe that financial transparency is essential for a healthy, open community. Here is our current financial data.
Cash in bank
Monthly village income
Avg contribution per villager
Total monthly running costs (.est)
Beyond the facts and figures, the contributions we all make as Kwanda villagers meaningfully impact lives across the globe.
Peninah was one of the seamstresses on our project this year to provide reusable period kits to 230 girls in Wamunyu, Kenya. With the earnings from the project, Peninah was able to fund her daughter’s university education.
Gianni was one of the recipients of a scholarship from Kwanda to study design in 2020. This year, he landed a full-time role as an interaction designer. He immediately paid it forward by joining Kwanda!
Photos from the field
See the work through the eyes of our partners, volunteers and beneficiaries.
"If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." Here's the collective impact we've had so far.
People directly impacted
Countries invested in
Relief funds donated
The United Kingdom accounts for 62% of our total funding to date.
The bulk of our funding in the UK has been directed to grants for Black-owned small businesses and supporting mental wellbeing and therapy for people.
Deployed in the UK
Direct beneficiaries in the UK
This year we followed up on that success with a £20,000 grant fund for Black-owned small businesses in the UK in 2021 - seeded by PayPal.
Three businesses received £5,000 each to help grow their business:
- Gusto Snacks, who produce air-dried fruit crisps made with wonky Fruit—reducing food waste deliciously and sustainably.
- Temple, who make natural skincare and supplement products for men of colour. Self-care for the mandem.
- Dapaah chocolates, a family business specialising in artisan dairy-free chocolates, handcrafted from organic Ghanaian cacao and premium African ingredients.
Five businesses received £1,000 each to help kickstart a new business idea:
- Bloomful, providing integrated, remote medical care for women with endometriosis.
- Serra Montagna, an interchangeable shoe brand that allows the wearer to interchange both heel and upper elements of the shoe.
- Letisha Larmond / Frooted, helping people stay healthy by enabling them to make very nutritious blenderless DIY smoothies.
- Instant Pickup, a platform for people to find eco-friendly removal vans.
- Nommm, an environmental tech company, providing climate impact labelling software across the food industry.
In addition to the funding, the entrepreneurs are also receiving additional support via our partners YSYS who are helping them access workspace, additional funding and business support.
In 2020 we launched a digital group therapy space run by two experienced Black therapists. We ran a group for men and women, both of which were in high demand and ran very successfully.
In 2021, we stepped up our investment in mental wellbeing and therapy with the help of a £10,000 award from Harry's, the men's shaving company.
We deployed that £10,000 into five organisations working to improve mental health and wellbeing for Black men in the UK:
- Run with Purpose, a community helping men overcome mental health issues through running and socialising.
- ADPAC - Their African/Caribbean Boys Wellness project maps a cohort of 30 young men and their parents' anxieties, challenges, aspirations, and needs.
- Men of the diaspora, a monthly safe space created for men of African / Caribbean heritage to explore the intersections of Manhood.
- 4:12 Men, a community of men that gather together frequently to have candid conversations on the realities & pressures of modern-day Manhood.
- Manhood Academy, a charity that nurtures the evolution of boys to men through social, emotional, economic and spiritual guidance.
Despite Africa accounting for only 30% of our total funding to date, 90% of the people we have reached with our projects and investments have been in Africa.
It's clear from the data that, as a village, we are poised to significantly increase our total impact in 2022 as the entirety of our funding focus shifts to Africa.
Deployed in Africa
People directly impacted
Our funding in Africa has been fairly well distributed across our focus areas:
Invested in education
Invested in healthcare
Invested in agriculture
Invested in clean water
Invested in skills training
Invested in community support
Our investments in clean water and sustainable agriculture have been particularly cost-effective ways to create a strong foundation that rural communities can build on top of.
Sustainable agriculture project in Rwanda.
To date, we have completed two sustainable agriculture projects in Rwanda with the local organisation Dufantanye. The second of these projects concluded in September 2021. Below you'll find details of the project.
People directly impacted.
Provided for this project
In both projects, each family received expert training in agricultural practice, animal husbandry, finance, and saving. Once the training was complete, each family was provided with ten banana trees, two fruit trees, two laying hens, vegetable seeds, and fertiliser - all of which provide a sustainable method for them to combat malnutrition and diseases associated with hunger.
- 🌱 Over 95% of households in the village were affected by hunger, malnutrition and illiteracy.
- 👩🏿🦱 Up to 90% of the households are made up of women who are genocide survivors.
- 💸 Many make less than $0-$15 a month to live on.
Banana trees have a lifecycle of around nine months. Once they have been harvested, the parent tree dies back, and suckers begin to grow from around the base of the parent plant. As a result, a lot of organic waste is created. For every ton of fruit a banana tree produces, there are two tons of debris.
Dufatanye wants to use this banana fibre to make sanitary pads. When girls lack period products, they miss school. Dufatanye intends to create a sustainable solution to this challenge, becoming a viable source of income for villagers in Nyabisindu.
In the summer of 2021, Kwanda villager Naa Ayorkyor Harding went to Rwanda to research the viability of banana fibre exploitation to make sanitary pads. Once she has concluded her research and created a design for a suitable machine, we hope to be able to support Dufatanye to build a new, sustainable industry in Nyabisindu using a widely available waste material.
Supporting entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone
Earlier this year, we partnered with Munafa - a social micro-finance company based in Sierra Leone - to provide business training, savings support, and micro loans of roughly £80 each to twenty-five entrepreneurs based in Moa Wharf, a low-lying community in Freetown where many entrepreneurs engage in the fish trade.
Loans to entrepreneurs
Provided for this project
After 8 months, the project recently concluded. Out of the twenty-five loans, ten have been paid back already and fifteen are due to be paid back in the next few weeks. Two entrepreneurs paid back their loans early and have already received a second loan of about £160.
Overall, all entrepreneurs reported positive growth in their businesses with one entrepreneur even increasing net income by 15%.
Saffie is one of the entrepreneurs supported on this project. Through the loan and trainings from Munafa, Saffie was able to increase her customer base and grow her net income by 15%. She paid back her first loan early and has already received a second loan of £160.
“I am grateful for Munafa Microfinance and Kwanda who have supported my business growth. I, in turn, have been able to directly support two other family members who will soon own and operate businesses for their livelihood and independence; this is simply growth. Tenki (thank you) Munafa and Kwanda."
Mariatu is another one of the entrepreneurs who paid her first loan back early and has already received a second loan. With her first loan, she was able to purchase more stock and move into selling new items.
“Because of Munafa and Kwanda, I smile again! The business net income is supporting me and my children in terms of basic household provisions and meeting expenses related to school and health. I want to continue this path and grow my businesses, to educate my four young children to the highest peak so they can achieve better than me and attain a better life!”
We hope to be able to continue to support Munafa’s work empowering entrepreneurs like Saffie and Maritu to make sustained and measurable improvements in their lives.
What's coming up?
Just as important as what's happened is what's yet to happen. Here is a handful of things you can expect to come in 2022:
Building on the success of our work to date and what we've learned about what works, we now have enough data and expertise to fund projects and hold votes more consistently. In 2022 we'll support a larger range of projects across Africa.
We'll be getting even more granular in our transparency with a ledger that updates quicker and a data room that will give you access to metrics such as monthly running costs, annual income, impact per country and more.
Upgraded villager dashboard
We're going to re-vamp the village dashboard with new features such as villager avatars, tribes, community badges and more.
Villagers should hear directly from the local communities their contributions impact. So we'll be investing in live streams, which will allow villagers to either hear directly from our project partners or see what's happening on the ground.
Thanks for reading!
Thank you for taking the time to read this report. After almost two years of working on Kwanda, publishing this report is still my favourite part of the job. Anticipating the smiles of villagers as they read and see their impact on the world is truly a dream come true.
It's time to democratize the big challenges we face as a community. From climate change to poverty and everything in between. There's no reason local solutions to our big challenges should be solely in the hands of NGOs and government. A group of people must step out and make the first move, and I'm proud to know that group of people is us. We're not just building a single organization; we're introducing the world to new models for giving, crowdfunding and fundraising.
If you're not yet a villager I'd urge you to join us, and spread the word of Kwanda to those wishing to make a difference in the world.
As always, it's a pleasure to produce this report for our villagers.
Until next time!
Written by Jermaine & Rumbi
P.S. We'll be holding a villager hangout sometime in January. Keep an eye on your inboxes or the community chat for details!