This page highlights the organizations and projects that received Acts of Grace grants through the foundation's nextgenRus initiative.
nextgenRus is an Acts of Grace initiative that encourages generosity and giving by the youngest generation of the foundation's Trustees' family. Each fall, the family youth aged 13-25 are invited to participate in a collaborative giving process that focuses on one of the foundation's giving priorities, as selected by the youth themselves. The youth consider several Canadian and international initiatives that seek to address key issues and root causes related to the particular focus area, ultimately collectively selecting two charities to each receive a $5,000 CAD grant.
Projects and charities considered for the nextgenRus initiative are by invitation only.
Click here to watch a brief video announcing the launch and inaugural grants for this new initiative.
Click on each section label to expand (or collapse) details about the projects supported by nextgenRus in that year.
Makueni Savings Groups (Kenya)
Nearly 3/4 of Kenyans live in rural, isolated communities and rely on farming as their primary livelihood. In addition to the agricultural challenges presented by environmental degradation, deforestation, recurring drought, and soil erosion which all contribute to food and economic insecurity, these isolated communities lack access to financial services to help them safely save or grow what little money they can obtain. Without proper financial services, families cannot start new businesses, expand their farms, or survive emergencies without selling valuable assets or resorting to loan sharks with predatory interest rates making it nearly impossible for families to escape the cycle of poverty.
Partnering with and through the local church, groups of 20-30 individuals - mostly women - are given the necessary training and equipment/supplies to establish and run savings groups that provide rural farming families in Kenya with the mechanism to save, grow and lend their money. Members save funds together for 52 weeks and lend savings to each other at interest rates set by the group themselves (each savings group keeps their own interest). Each group also saves for a social fund to serve emergency needs of the group and/or community. At the end of 12 months loans are called in and the capital saved and interest earned is paid out to members based on each person's proportionate share of savings.
Click here to watch a video about Makueni Savings Groups.
Using the funds received during "share-out", group members are able to pay school fees, improve everyday living conditions, access medical care, purchase livestock/agriculture supplies, grow local businesses and support the local church or community needs. Most groups re-convene immediately the following week to begin a new savings cycle (without any more training required).
Learn more about Makueni Savings Groups here.
Learn more about Village Savings and Loans Groups (in general) here.
CAP Money Courses (Canada)
More Canadians than ever are struggling to make ends meet as they experience the impact of turbulent economic conditions and the cost of living crisis. And many have never learned how to put together a simple budget, make it balance, or put away savings for a rainy day. With too many Canadians living vulnerable, at risk, or below the poverty line, many families are at increased risk of unmanageable debt and/or poverty.
Partnering with and through churches, CAP Money is a budgeting course that teaches core financial skills that help people get on top of debt, assess their current spending or learn to have a healthier relationship with money. These simple skills can help people get out of debt, and prevent others from ending up in overwhelming debt. With a focus on practical tools and mentoring, CAP trains church volunteers as Money Coaches who facilitate the course in their church's local context. The course typically runs as three weekly sessions a few times a year. Through the CAP Money Course, participants are given a welcoming and non-judgmental space to have honest money-related conversations, learn how to build a balanced budget, have access to and use an online budgeting tool and learn how to organize and manage money using cash principles.
Click here to watch a video about the CAP Money Course.
With its unique model, CAP Money meets the needs of everyone, regardless of financial situation, but can be especially beneficial for those living near the poverty line by being relevant, short, and free to attend. Participants graduate the course having gained core financial skills, knowledge, and confidence to simply set up their finances so that bills will be covered, debt can be paid, saving is possible, and giving can be a joy. CAP Money is also a missional opportunity for churches to teach biblical money principles and build relationships that lead to faith conversations and evangelism opportunities all while helping reduce and prevent poverty.
Learn more about the CAP Money Course here.
Learn how the CAP Money Course changed one family here.