UNFCU Foundation Announces 2024 Grants that Invest in Projects Tackling Poverty

Supports job creation, education, and health care for vulnerable women and youth

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y., Feb. 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — UNFCU Foundation announced that this year it is providing $645K to 19 grant partners on three continents. Projects align with UNFCU Foundation’s mission to sustain pathways out of poverty for marginalized women and youth. Catalyzing this work is access to critical health care, livelihood training, and quality education that UNFCU Foundation has prioritized since 2015.

“We are thrilled to build upon our momentum and partner with organizations that are positively changing the trajectory of the most underserved members of society. This creates agency for women and youth to thrive,” said Yma Gordon, the Executive Director of the UNFCU Foundation. “We look forward to another impactful year of collaborations and inspiration drawn from program participants overcoming incredible odds.”

“Given global challenges and setbacks in poverty alleviation, we remain more focused than ever on localizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Pamela Agnone, Chairperson of the UNFCU Foundation. “The SDGs represent a call to action to leave no one behind which inspires and guides our philanthropy.”

UNFCU Foundation awards grants to non-profit, non-governmental, and UN organizations with track records of accomplishment, notably UN SDG impact. This year, special emphasis for selection was placed on partners’ commitment to sustainability, specifically having a positive impact on people and planet.

According to grant partners, their ability to scale up programs in urban and remote areas, and refugee settlements is driving results:

  • “BOMA enrolled more ultra-poor women in our Rural Entrepreneur Access Project in Northern Kenya, thanks to our UNFCU Foundation partnership,” said Dr. Sam Owilly, CEO. “REAP is a high-impact poverty graduation program. As entrepreneurs, women can now invest in their families and their well-being. They are empowered to take more active roles in their homes and become leaders in their communities.”
  • “Last year, Hot Bread Kitchen led Community-Based Culinary Outposts in East New York, Bushwick, Brooklyn, and Mott Haven in the Bronx,” said Leslie Abbey, Esq., CEO. “We look forward to opening another training location in New York City this year to meet our members where they live. In this way, more immigrant women and women of color can gain a sustainable path to economic stability.”
  • “Our goal is to restore hope by restoring health,” said Jason Evans, Country Director-Uganda, Medical Teams International. “The UNFCU Foundation grant will enable us to expand the operation of our Village Health Teams Network among refugees and host populations in Uganda.”
  • “Global Fund for Widows is honored to partner with UNFCU Foundation to extend our micro banking project for widows in Kenya,” said Heather Ibrahim-Leathers, President. “Together, we are taking an important step towards achieving the SDGs.”

Grantees and projects supported by the UNFCU Foundation in 2024:

Health care grantees:

  • The Floating Hospital continues to provide behavioral health services and support programs for women and children in New York City.
  • Medical Teams International provides direct medical services and strengthens local health systems across eight refugee settlements in Uganda, with the aim of building long-term community solutions.
  • Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center provides integrated medical, sexual, and reproductive health, as well as behavioral and mental health services to youth in New York City facing unmet needs.

Education grantees:

  • Building Tomorrow ensures children in rural Uganda access to foundational learning opportunities, including literacy and numeracy via its Roots to Rise Program.
  • Girl Up instructs adolescent girls in three target under-resourced communities in Kenya with life skills and enhanced leadership development training to become advocates for gender justice.
  • MindLeaps supports at-risk girls ages 12-18 in Katwe, Uganda through its Girls Get It! Program. This holistic initiative focuses on social-emotional learning to build practical skills. It offers access to MindLeap’s Virtual Academy Program on business entrepreneurship with caregiver enrollment in its Family Strengthening Program.

Livelihood training grantees:

  • The BOMA Project enrolls ultra-poor women living in Northern Kenya in a two-year program that includes financial, life skills, and business training.
  • Global Fund for Widows empowers widows and female heads of households to overcome poverty through skills-based training, job creation, and micro finance through enrollment in Widows’ Savings and Loan Associations (WISALAs) in Kenya.
  • Hot Bread Kitchen expands workforce development and social entrepreneurship programs in the food industry for women, immigrants, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities in New York City.
  • Imagine Her enables young women in Uganda to gain leadership and social enterprise training through the Imagine Academy.
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides employment services to refugee women in the United States through its Women’s Employability Program.
  • Mission for Community Development (MCODE) enhances the income-generating capacity of young rural women and girls in Uganda through agricultural vocational skills.
  • RefuSHE expands social enterprise Artisan Collective/vocational training and apprenticeship programs for young refugee women to gain entrepreneurial and financial skills in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Sanctuary for Families addresses the root causes of abuse, poverty, and homelessness in New York City via intensive living-wage career training.
  • Together We Bake provides women in the Washington, DC area with livelihood training and hands-on experience in the food industry, as well as post-program professional development support.
  • Trickle Up improves economic opportunities for indigenous women, including the disabled, living in extreme poverty in Guatemala. The organization also builds women’s resilience to socioeconomic shocks using the Graduation Approach.
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) delivers livelihood training and social reintegration care to indigent obstetric fistula survivors in Nigeria.
  • Village Enterprise expands the Poverty Graduation Program, an entrepreneurship training program primarily for women and girls in rural Uganda.
  • The YWCA of Brooklyn offers college access and leadership skills training to girls of color from poverty-impacted communities in Brooklyn, NY.

Supporting emergency relief efforts in 2023:

UNFCU Foundation also worked alongside the UN community to support critical relief on the ground. These partnerships underscore commitment by the UNFCU Foundation to quickly respond and decrease the impacts of job, health care, and education loss. In 2023, UNFCU Foundation’s campaigns funded UNICEF’s work in Libya that offered relief to survivors of devastating floods. In Morocco, it provided long-term support for families in the aftermath of severe earthquakes. UNFCU Foundation also undertook a relief effort for the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria raising funds for UNICEF, UNHCR, and UNFPA.


UNFCU Foundation is an accredited New York-based, not-for-profit corporation launched in 2015. It was established by the United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) with a mission to sustain the path out of poverty through health care and education for women and youth. Since its inception, UNFCU Foundation has supported programs to enable more than 43,600 marginalized women and youth to unlock their potential.

To learn more, follow UNFCU Foundation’s progress on YouTube, XFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.


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