5. Athletic eventsANA sponsors biannual regional athletic events that attract hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators. Ana's Fund seeks program support through public donations, corporate co-sponsorships, local events and promotions, and crowdfunding.
Ana's Fund is a just-registered (July 2017) Washington State-based nonprofit corporation, that primarily exists to support the community development activities of the Nairobi, Kenya-based, certified non-governmental organization Action Network Africa, ANA, active in western Kenya since 2012. ANA is co-founded by Amima Owen Bichage, who now starts Ana's Fund with David Sears.
This web page supplements information found on our fledgling nonprofit's Facebook and GoFundMe pages, where a fuller accounting of our mission, purpose and objectives are found. Proper Ana's Fund and ANA websites coming soon. Thank you for your interest!
Ana's Fund, like ANA, is co-founded by Amima Owen Bichage. Born in Kisii and grown up in Nairobi, humble circumstances have marked Owen's life from birth, but his innate talent, work ethic, spiritual integrity, and entrepreneurial instincts met with providential turns of opportunity and luck.
Starting in his teens, solid government employment allowed Owen to pay for a university education, to study marketing, and buy a little land, and to invest in numerous small-scale business enterprises in his neighborhood. Still in his twenties, in 2009, modestly wealthy, turning his thoughts toward the future with notions of improving conditions for his communities - the orphan boy from Kisii with a knack for calculus, become the educated man of property from Nairobi; a Maasai elder, a Kenyan - Owen and his friend from university, Suzanne Washabi, PhD, from Uganda, co-founded Action Network Africa: a big name suggesting big ambitions. Activities began in earnest in 2012, and steadily building a solid reputation ANA earned certification from the Kenyan Ministry of Devolution and Planning, NGO Board.
In 2014, Owen came to America on a visa that allowed him the freedom to explore the wilderness of the funders, in Houston, Minneapolis, and finally Lacey, Washington, and so discover how the relationships between NGOs and NPOs work. Today, along with breathing life into Ana's Fund, Owen is employed and a student at The Evergreen State College - where, in Spring, 2016, at the start of a program called TBoNE, The Business of Nonprofit Enterprises, he approached David because, when the class were introducing themselves, he'd mentioned some experience in Africa and an interest in someday working in international development.
A child of the great Pacific Northwest, soon after graduating high school David Sears left the desert country of Eastern Washington for Alaska to work on salmon seiners, and wound up ten years later as communications director with the state's seafood marketing institute; in between he picked fish on cannery slime lines, shot gunite on the Pipeline, humped wallboard, drove taxi, reported for public radio from the State Legislature, became an aide to a statesman in the House, and indeed more. In fall, 1982, bearing a bag of cameras, Dave left Alaska to travel a bit in Europe, where he joined an international news photo agency as its correspondent in Spain at a most auspicious time in the country's history.
After three years, Dahveeth returned to the U.S., to Seattle, where he earned a living writing articles about the news media and photographing the Alaskan deep-water commercial fisheries. Then, in 1990, reconnecting with a Danish kæreste, Dave moved back to Europe to start a family and a freelance reporter career, and came to be published regularly in a respected Danish newspaper and German popular science magazine, with bylines from Romania, Russia, former-Yugoslavia, and elsewhere.
In late 1995, his wife, a doctor, took a job with the WHO in Ethiopia, where Davul' found steady contract work as “communications consultant” to U.N. agencies and NGOs, and gained a rare education in International Development. Contracting through agency executive offices presented opportunities to learn from the gamut of international development pros, from agency “ResReps” to experts in offices and far “in the field”, and along the way get to know something of their beneficiaries, too. In 1997, work took him to Kisumu, where he became familiar with some of the area's urgent social-economic and environmental issues, and of some international initiatives to address them. After 3+ years of studying Development first-hand, Dahveed returned to Denmark convinced there must be better ways of doing business - and, discovering that neither his journalism skills nor consulting experience were relevant in local job markets, like many emigrants, he got into business: as it happens, starting the first company ever to import coffee beans roasted in the land where grown, a unique industrial niche in the world's oldest traded commodity.
In 2012, after 22 years living in the world's “happiest country”, Davul' returned to his homeland, as foreign a country as he's ever known, where his closest friends and family call him Dave. Truly a stranger in a strange homeland, and determined to “start fresh”, in fall, 2013, David enrolled as a freshman-transfer at The Evergreen State College, in Olympia, WA, where he won the 2015 Niels Skov Scholarship, for Entrepreneurship, and next year met Owen. BA, 2017
1. The Permaculture InitiativeIn the first six months, Ana's Fund works with ANA to come up with
long-range plans for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security program development, and to establish a
presence in the region through:
> turning two semi-virgin, rural acres into highly-productive farmland;
> assessing the needs of innumerable small-plot farmers for increasing productivity;
> assessing Ana's Fund ability to support ANA's ongoing reforestation project with the University of Nairobi;
> creating working relationships with like-minded permaculture farms in the region; and
> researching collective marketing possibilities for small-scale producers.
2. The Safe Water InitiativeRecent studies * show that just 52% of the region's population have access to U.N.-designated “improved sources” of water, meaning, flowing from a pipe; the other 2.6 million people scavenge wherever water collects. In both scenarios, unsafe water is both a source and a vector for diseases that inhibit the body's uptake of nutrients and stymie healthy growth. “About 15% of children under age 5 in Nyanza province are moderately or severely underweight and 3% are classified as severely underweight. More than a quarter of children (27%) are moderately or severely stunted, too short for their age, and 4% are moderately or severely wasted, too thin for their height.” Kenyan Ministry of Health (MICS 4, 2011)
A centerpiece of our Nutrition and Health program activities, within six months, Ana's Fund will help ANA establish the first of what is anticipated to be several efficient, economical, appropriate- technology Biosand water filter production plants, through a partnership with the great Lacey, WA-based NPO Friendly Water for the World.
3. The Young Women's Hygiene InitiativeANA serves 68 orphanages, home to some-56,000 children and young adults, roughly half of whom are female - all of whom will need sanitary pads, and none of whom have access to products, at the very least. Ana's Fund will intensively raise funds to establish numerous small-scale san-pads fabrication plants, built by Jayaashree Industries (India), costing about $3,000 each, that employ 4 people - women - per-shift, who produce +1,400 pads/day, more than 400,000 annually. (The backstory to these plants is a treat!) Economically self-sustaining from the get-go, the plants will be cooperatively managed by ANA and its clients, and serve young women who cannot afford or have no access to basic hygiene products. Ana's Fund will raise project funding through local initiatives and crowdfunding.
4. The Cistern projectThe Kenyan government has asked ANA to make operational several large water catchment basins, established under British colonial rule and in need of serious maintenance. The earthen dams were built to serve farmers downhill, and over years of neglect the ponds have become choked with vegetation, and a number of conduits are plugged. (images) With in-house engineering and project management expertise, ANA works with government authorities to develop a strategic project plan for repairing the basins, which Ana's Fund can take to foundation donors.