The Impact of Travelers' Generosity
The following is a guest post by Duncan Beardsley, PVF Board Chair and Director of Generosity in Action

A Report on Recent Activities of Generosity in Action, a Designated Fund of PVF

1. A Center for Homeless Children

Have you ever been traveling and come upon a school or village with a need that caused you to want to help? Craig Sherod, a photographer from Mountain View, did just that in Benin, in West Africa, when he came upon a residential property that was being used to house a number of homeless children. The problem was that the children were about to be evicted because the owner wanted to sell the property. Wishing to help, Craig set out to raise $28,000 to buy the property and give it to APEF, a local NGO in Benin, to establish an official home for the children.

Craig needed a financial process that would allow donors to make qualified charitable donations, but APEF is not registered in the U.S. This is where Generosity in Action came into play. We agreed to promote the project on our website and to collect donations via our Designated Fund at Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. As he set about to raise the funds, Craig worked closely with Martine de Souza, director of APEF, who worked with the children. We were very excited to help support his efforts.
Martine de Souza, Founder and Executive Director of APEF,  helps women and children in remote villages of Benin, West Africa
Craig said that this project stood between the horror of children living in alleys, perpetrating petty crimes, and the joy of a new life in a supportive environment, going to school and becoming productive members of their society. Martine told Craig that when she first noticed children living in these conditions she viewed this as a "cancer" on her community, and she wanted to help.

In just over a year, Craig raised $38,000 to purchase the property and create the Homeless Children's Center of Ouidah.
2. A school for a Small Rural Community

A few travelers to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe have had the opportunity to visit the small and very remote village of Intabayengwe. The communities in this area were relocated from fertile land to unfertile ground, where the only option for them was cattle raising and subsistence farming. Thanks to the efforts of a single safari guide, Benson Siyawareva, the children in the area now have a school: the Lesedi Primary School, a very small minimalist structure in this remote area.
Benson Siyawareva visiting the classroom in the early stages of the Lesedi Primary School, Zimbabwe
The school wouldn't be there but for the generosity of many travelers. A London-based safari operator initially took her clients to the village, and Benson explained the need for a school. Recently, a group from Road Scholar (previously known as Elderhostel) visited the school, and their generosity alone raised over $30,000 for the school.

PVF is proud to have been a catalyst and able to provide the mechanism that allowed Generosity in Action to give a helping hand to these children in Africa, as well as other unique programs throughout the world.
Where's James? Catching Up with Venus Rodriguez
PVF Executive Director James Higa recently met with Venus Rodriguez to get an update about her Survivor Union Network.

We at PVF first met and supported Venus at MISSSEY, an organization providing services and working for systemic change for commercially sexually exploited youth. She then went on to work at Not for Sale, an organization combating human trafficking, where she founded the Reinvent Program, a work readiness program for young women (18-24-year-olds) who identify as survivors.

Subsequently, Venus created the Survivor Union Network (SUN) to provide job training and development for survivors of human trafficking. SUN's TAPP Training and Placement Program launched in January, benefiting a cohort of 8-12 women. PVF was proud to provide seed funding for the program as well as funding for a training space.
About the Editors
James Higa
James Higa, Executive Director, brings 28 years of executive experience from Silicon Valley, working with Steve Jobs to change the face of technology. He was at the birth of the personal computer revolution as a member of the original Macintosh team and was deeply involved in the creation of many products and services at Apple over 3 decades. He has a long history of public service as a board member of Stanford's Haas Center and in grassroots relief efforts.
Bill Somerville, Founder, has been in non-profit and philanthropic work for over 50 years. He was the director of a community foundation for 17 years, and in 1991 founded Philanthropic Ventures Foundation where he serves as President. Bill has consulted at over 400 community foundations, on creative grantmaking and foundation operations. Bill is the author of  Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker
About PVF
PVF is a demonstration foundation practicing unique forms of grantmaking and innovative philanthropy. Our primary interest is in the creative and significant use of the philanthropic dollar.
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