Lifestyle & Fun

Woman's community project earns national attention

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A young woman from New York is being honored for her amazing work to help others. She's in her early 20's, and already has created an organization that helps people across the world.

"9/11 was a great reminder to me when I was in middle school that the world wasn't just America. The rest of the world exists and we should be caring for it all equally," Spark Microgrants founder Sasha Fisher said.

It's something Sasha Fisher is fiercely committed to doing.

"If you invest in education and health care and invest in all the infrastructure people live better lives," Fisher said.

She's not only seen proof, but makes it happen in East Africa.

Three years ago this determined 24 year old started Spark Microgrants, an organization that helps communities put their own ideas into action.

Her focus is villages in Rwanda and Uganda.

"Anything they want to do - they want to build a health center, a school, an electricity line - we help them do that themselves," she said.

On Wednesday evening she'll be attending a huge award show on VH1. You see Sasha caught the eye of the folks at DoSomething.org, which each year honors several young people for their work.

Each gets a 10-thousand dollar grant, and then during the live broadcast, viewers will decide who gets top prize of 100-thousand dollars.

Sasha says that would be enough money to help 20 new villages.

Her organization has helped more than 53 communities already. She says the key to success is its hands off approach. Once funding is in place from A to Z, the locals call the shots.

"We take each community through a 5 month planning process," she said. "What we're doing in instilling a lot of confidence and capacity within these communities."

Sasha hopes to use her model in other parts of Africa, so far her organization has helped roughly 20-thousand people. Also up for that top prize of 100-thousand dollars is Dan Maree, also from New York. He started the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice.

For more information:

www.sparkmicrogrants.org

www.dosomething.org

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