Pathfinder in Ethiopia
Act With Her: When Girls Say No to Early Marriage
Yeshimebet was just 12 years old when she heard rumors from the neighbors that she would soon be married. For many young girls in her Ethiopian village, this would be a natural evolution—but Yeshimebet wanted something different.
A participant in Pathfinder's Act With Her program, Yeshimebet had been attending weekly meetings with a mentor—a young woman who was teaching Yeshimebet and other local girls about issues of health, nutrition, education, gender, and economic empowerment.
Using the negotiation skills she learned in her weekly meetings, Yeshimebet discussed her concerns first with her mentor and then her parents, citing specific challenges she would face as a result of the marriage, including ending her education and the possible complications of pregnancy at her age.
“The negotiation skills that I acquired from Act With Her sessions helped me convince my parents to cancel my proposed marriage."
Yeshimebet also explained to her family her aspirations to become a teacher and the actions that she was taking to attain her goal. After a series of discussions and negotiations, her parents were convinced and agreed to cancel the marriage.
Pathfinder in Pakistan
A Youth Champion of Women's Rights in Pakistan
Naya Qadam, our largest program in Pakistan, seeks to increase access to family planning, particularly post-pregnancy family planning, among young women ages 15-24 in six districts of Pakistan's Sindh and Punjab provinces. The program has trained more than 7,000 Lady Health Workers to provide post-pregnancy counseling and more than 1,200 public and private providers to offer postpartum and post-abortion family planning services.
Change You've Made Possible
Chelsea Toler-Hoffman, 27, is embarking on a new journey this year: launching her own family foundation and inspiring young people like herself to become next-generation philanthropists.
The loss of Chelsea's grandmother inspired her journey.
"When my grandmother died she left me the resources to start the foundation," said Chelsea. "The foundation is a way to honor our matriarch."
Chelsea's Keep Families Giving Foundation, in Austin, Texas, focuses on nurturing a new generation of philanthropy. The foundation's next-generation (next-gen) advisory board helps to make funding decisions and nominate nonprofits to receive support.
"70 percent of family foundations will be failing in the next three generations," said Chelsea. "At some point, the next generation will be involved in the foundations, but they really haven't taken the time to know what they do and how to own their legacy. I think we can start to turn things around through next-gen engagement and family alignment on issues they care about."
Chelsea has looked to Pathfinder's legacy giving through multiple generations of the Gamble family* and Acacia Circle as a model for next-generation giving. The Acacia Circle is recruiting young philanthropists and change-makers "under age 40" as donors and supporters through a genuine connection to the work that Pathfinder does. Members are asked to make a small annual membership contribution.
"Pathfinder's model works really well for next-gen giving," said Chelsea. "When I first started, I wasn't sure of communities or organizations out there taking this new direction and saying, 'we don't care what your giving level is yet, we want to form a community of young people that really cares about this issue and give them an active way of doing that."
Chelsea was introduced to Pathfinder through Nexus—a global group of philanthropists.
"I fell in love with Pathfinder's mission around women and health, and I got involved," said Chelsea.
Chelsea is now a member of the Acacia Circle, and her family foundation invited Pathfinder and a member of the Gamble family to deliver the keynote at the Intergen Philanthropy Summit in Austin.
"The Acacia Circle and Pathfinder's recruitment of a next-gen engagement officer is really next level," said Chelsea.
For more information about the Acacia Circle, please contact Shaylyn Stanley at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Sarah and Clarence Gamble are the founders of Pathfinder international.