Pygmy Survival Alliance

We connect pygmy villages in Rwanda with what they need to survive and thrive.

SEATTLE, WA   |  www.pygmysurvival.org

Mission

Pygmy Survival Alliance enables indigenous pygmy communities to transform their health and welfare for a a sustainable future.

Notes from the nonprofit

The year 2020 was challenging because of Covid. Yet, as a result, we gathered together with our international friends via ZOOM and GlobalGiving and enhanced our operations, fundraising and strategic partnerships. Our commitment to food security for the people of the communities where we work led to record-breaking food drives that successfully delivered many tons of beans, maize flour and cooking oil to sustain hundreds of families. Multi-national collaboration led to previously impossible communications and operational efficiencies, and these changes positioned us well, not only as advocates for the human welfare of formerly marginalized people; but also, as valued collaborators with Rwandan government leadership. By year's end, this work culminated in the acquisition of new land for the Amakondera Institute of Culture and Early Childhood Education, which will drive job creation, education and refinement of traditional performing arts for our constituents well into the future.

Ruling year info

2009

Medical Director and Founder

Dr. Karl Weryauch MD MPH

Main address

5020 California Ave. SW Apt. 804

SEATTLE, WA 98136 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-0438932

NTEE code info

International Health Development (Q39)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Folk Arts (A24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The pygmies of Rwanda - also known as the Community of Potters - is a minority population on the verge of extinction. In contrast to the recent improvement in the health and lives of the majority of Rwandans, the welfare of many pygmies continues to decline: many lack even the most basic access to health services and proper nutrition. In 1998 they were driven from their traditional way of life in the forests of Rwanda by the creation of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, and their struggle continues to be unrecognized or ignored by many governments. Often, they are pictured as victims of history and unable to adapt to modernization. Sometimes they are referred to as "conservation refugees" or "the people who were left behind by history". The Pygmy Survival Alliance, aka "PSA", addresses these problems through the use of strategic interventions in health and community development in order to provide the pygmies with a sustainable foundation upon which to grow and thrive.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community of Potters Health and Development Program (COPHAD)

COPHAD is an effective model program for operating multi-faceted change strategies to promote health and development of impoverished indigenous pygmy communities. It has been validated by significant evidence-based outcomes in healthcare, nutrition, economic growth and women's rights in Rwanda among "formerly marginalized" people also known as the Batwa,

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students per classroom during the reporting period

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, People of African descent, At-risk youth, Extremely poor people, Artists and performers

Related Program

Community of Potters Health and Development Program (COPHAD)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Irerero Early Childhood Center strives to provide entry-level educational skills for students. Our goal is to be able to enroll more students to help them succeed. We are just beginning this metric.

Number of donors lending

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Community of Potters Health and Development Program (COPHAD)

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2019, we began tracking number of donors. We hope to continue this tracking as we build organizational capacity. We joined Global Giving in 2020 and greatly increased our number of supporters.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, People of African descent, Extremely poor people, At-risk youth, Artists and performers

Related Program

Community of Potters Health and Development Program (COPHAD)

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Irereo Early Childhood Center serves many children unable to pay school fees. These children are given scholarships. We hope to provide scholarships for all children who need them.

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Community of Potters Health and Development Program (COPHAD)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Kwizera Performance Group performs at weddings and other events, for which they often receive a stipend. This activity was severely curtailed in 2020 by Covid lockdowns and curfews.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Community of Potters Health and Development Program (COPHAD)

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our volunteers contribute in countless ways and we hope to increase the number of these folks in order to strengthen the capacity of our organization. In 2020, we add volunteers in USA and Belgium.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to prevent the extinction of the people and culture of the indigenous Batwa Pygmies of Rwanda in order to provide an opportunity for humankind to gain from their unique cultural attributes.

Since 2009, we have operated the Community of Potters Health and Development project in Ndera Sector, Gasabo District, Rwanda, also known as "COPHAD", in conjunction with our Rwandan national partner, Health Development Initiative-Rwanda https://hdirwanda.org/ .

We began in the village of Bwiza, which has now become the new village of Cyaruzinge. We have also been working in Masoro Village and made outreach to other villages. We began by providing shoes, clothing, food, shelter, medical care, education and jobs. We established a Village Council of an equal number of men and women. Our interventions are lead by a Rwandan Field Manager who operates within an administrative oversight of a well-established and successful Rwandan NGO, ensuring compliance with all local regulations.

Food security was job #1 because we found infant deaths were directly related to malnutrition. We improved agricultural methods by providing tools, fertilizer and training on terrace-building. We promoted the introduction of livestock including goats and cows. We provided training on reproductive health, childbirth, HIV screening, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene. We built water harvesting and storage systems, pit toilets, and new roofs for homes. We recruited support within the local Rwandan government at the Sector, District and National levels.

We coordinated volunteer efforts among Philanthropic, Diplomatic, Educational, International and Business allies. We organized worker Cooperatives for agriculture, basket-making and performing arts. We advocated for and coordinated access to water and electricity. We started a Nursery School at the request of the mothers.

At present, we are combining the concept of a Traditional Arts Cultural Village with an Institute for Culture and Early Childhood Education.

We have a strong base of 11 years of mutual successful collaboration with our Rwandan NGO collaborators and staff, and a positive reputation in the region as a development partner who has accomplished changes at the grassroots level that many thought were impossible.

We have a growing administrative capacity for fundraising based in the USA, together with collaborators in Belgium and Japan. We are building an endowment and continuing to plant seeds, such as collaboration with other Seattle NGOs and Global Community Leaders.

We have purchased 1.5 acres of land in Cyaruzinge, have completed a Topographic Survey, and obtained preliminary sketches for the new Institute. We completed a one-year organizational development process with record fund raising success and enlivened programming in microloans, nutrition and community development.

Before we started, more than half the babies born in the Batwa Pygmy village of Bwiza died before they were 5 years old. Today, most are surviving past 5 years of age.

Before we started, the women had less social status than men; now, the men and women have more equal social status. Before we started, people were dying of malnutrition and at risk of extinction. Now, they are surviving, and many are thriving.

Before we started, the Batwa of Bwiza were not singing and dancing because they were hungry. Today, they are performing at the Marriott Hotel and the Embassies of Germany and the USA.

Next, we will further extend our efforts to near-by Batwa communities and recruit in-country resources at the government level to sustain the progress with this new generation of children.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The Cyaruzinge leaders reported that their young women were vulnerable to sexual predators and needed assistance developing capacity for self sufficiency and entrepreneurship. We assisted the group in starting the ROSCA mutual savings association for young women. Also, we are currently developing a microloan project for 6 other women too, following guidelines from the NGO, "The Columbia Project".

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Pygmy Survival Alliance

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Pygmy Survival Alliance

Board of directors
as of 2/13/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Karl Weyrauch

Robert Boiko

University of Washington

Elizabeth Scallon

Amazon

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/14/2019

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/13/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.