Helmsley Trust Awards Grants to Support Vulnerable Children in Africa

has announced a $1.6 million grant from the in support of efforts to increase grade-level completion rates among vulnerable children in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

The grant will fund SOS Children's Villages' EduCare Program, which aims to provide a thousand previously out-of-school or at-risk youth with school supplies, uniforms, and food stipends; access to primary healthcare services; and tutoring, life-skills training, and study skills sessions. To that end, teachers and administrators at four public schools will receive training and professional development opportunities, while the schools will be provided with materials, equipment, and furniture for classrooms, libraries, and science labs. In addition, the families of targeted students will receive vocational training, advice on income-generating activities and entrepreneurship, and microloans.

"In a country where poverty is prevalent, investment in education is critical to ensuring the most vulnerable communities have a chance for a brighter, more hopeful future," said Walter Panzirer, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. "We are honored to partner with SOS Children's Villages to help launch EduCare, a program that aligns with our mission to improve lives through essential services like education."

The grant is one of awarded through the trust's program. recently announced three-year grants of $1.2 million and $1.7 million from the trust to provide access to safe water and improved sanitation as well as health and hygiene education programs in Kenya and Ghana. The trust also awarded $2.8 million to in support of flood mitigation and community resilience efforts in Amhara, Ethiopia.

"Without safe water and sanitation, a huge segment of humanity does not have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty," said Water.org co-founder Gary White. "With the help of the Helmsley grant, we will change that for forty-two thousand people in East Africa."

"." SOS Children's Villages Press Release 10/21/2014. "Water.org Receives $2.9M Grant From Helmsley Charitable Trust to Provide Safe Water and Sanitation in East Africa." Water.org Press Release 10/20/2014.