As Covid-19 took hold on the global economy, much of the regular revenue that sustains the chapter projects program at People to People International, as well as the revenue for many of the endowments and corporate giving programs that support PTPI has been significantly reduced or has been redirected to Covid-19 relief, affecting our ability to continue funding many of the very important projects around the globe. Fortunately, some of the chapter projects quickly pivoted into Covid-19 relief work and qualified for private funding.
One of those projects is the ‘I Wash My Hands Project’ the Imo State, Nigeria, chapter has been engaged in for several years. The project was initially established as a solution for reducing childhood mortality by improving hygiene practices.
“When handwashing facilities are both free of charge and made mandatory by community leaders, health outcomes are improved. Because safe water, sanitation and hygiene is not only a requirement for good health but also promotes school attendance, improved livelihood and resilience within communities,” Clinton said.
By building relatively simple handwashing stations, each one costing only about $10US and installing them at schools along with an education program to teach proper handwashing practices to the children as well as the parents, Clinton Ezeigwe has made a large impact on his community and gained the endorsement of the state government, the United Nations and a number of private organizations around the world.
One of those organizations is the Pollination Project.
The Pollination Project is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to spark goodness and compassion in every person through a daily practice of generosity and grantmaking. They make micro grants 365 days a year to grassroots global change agents who seek to spread compassion in their communities and in the world for the benefit of all. They also make larger impact grants of up to $5000 to projects previously funded by TPP that have demonstrated ongoing impact and success.
Clinton learned about the Pollination Project and applied for a $1,000 grant to continue his project through the pandemic period, as it was an already successful program and was even more relevant during the period of the spread of the virus.
“It has been very important to continue my work during the COVID-19 because I believe it is imperative that vulnerable populations are provided with adequate water and hygiene resources to mitigate the impact of this coronavirus,” he said.
Clinton’s team was given Frontline Worker status by his local government, allowing him and his team to go outside and work during the quarantine.
“My plan is to educate and empower the youth to adopt healthy hygiene practices and provide portable handwashing stations at convenient locations, such as schools, bus stops, markets, public places, and motor parks to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and other communicable diseases. Ultimately, clean water and hygiene will afford the members of these communities with the opportunity to enjoy improved health, longer life, increased employment, and improved economic productivity.”
Each station he installs serves about 250 people in an area where only about 11% of the population has access to clean water. He has a team of volunteers that help assemble and deliver the stations, and those stations are accepted by the local government and community with an agreement to continue to fill them with clean water.
He was also able to expand his mission during this period. He is now employing local workers to make liquid soap to place at the stations, and he is delivering masks and hand sanitizer in the community as well.
When PTPI World Headquarters was contacted by The Pollination Project to vouch for the grant application, they noted Clinton already had a strategic plan in place and could show he was making a quantifiable impact on the community. Because they felt strongly he was a sustainable project, they asked Clinton if he would be willing to take a smaller grant amount and raise matching funds privately. And he did.
Through an awareness campaign we ran out of PTPI World Headquarters, one of our own staff members, Grant Matthews, created a birthday fundraiser on Facebook and not only matched the $500 Pollination Project grant, but exceeded his goal, raising a total of $800.
“It is a pleasure to work for a company like People to People International and have a platform where we can raise money to help others abroad. Especially in the middle of a global pandemic, having access to clean water and proper hygiene stations is paramount as we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis,” Grant said. “Anything that I can do to promote the health, safety, and wellbeing of our friends in Africa, and spread our mission of peace through understanding is a blessing for me.”
As PTPI navigates through the economic hardships of the global pandemic, we are committed to helping chapters secure private funding to continue their chapter projects that are so vital to their communities. If you would like to assist, we have a list of ongoing projects that have already been vetted by an independent team of individuals.
This is your time to take action!