International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

Pygmy Survival Alliance

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

SEATTLE, WA

Mission

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

Ruling Year

2009

Medical Director and Founder

Dr. Karl Weryauch MD MPH

Main Address

5020 California Ave. SW Apt. 804

SEATTLE, WA 98136 USA

Keywords

community health and development, advocacy, education

EIN

27-0438932

 Number

7624460349

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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-N.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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, that of many of the 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

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Community of Potters Health and Development Program (COPHAD)

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of students per classroom during the reporting period

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Infants to preschool (under age 5)

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

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Indigenous people

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.

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

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Infants to preschool (under age 5)

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

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

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Females,

Males,

Indigenous people

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. The performances help support traditional music and dance in the community and build morale.

Number of volunteers

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Community of Potters Health and Development Program (COPHAD)

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Every year, we have volunteers who contribute in countless ways and we hope to increase the number of these folks in order to strengthen the capacity of our organization.

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our goal is to prevent the extinction of the people and culture of the indigenous Batwa Pygmies of Rwanda.

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 a new Nursery school and we plan to buy land to build it.

We have a strong base of 10 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 some new collaboration emerging in Belgium. We are building an endowment and continuing to plant seeds, such as collaboration with other Seattle NGOs and Global Community Leaders. We have raised funds to buy land for the new nursery school and have begun planning for construction. We are embarking on a one-year organizational development process to build capacity for future sustainability.

Each year, we gather in Rwanda with our Field Manager and meet in the village where are efforts are focused to review our work, assess our progress and challenges and work for making the coming year better. Milestones that we can easily track include progress towards construction of the new school, number of students in each year’s class and funds raised for further development. We post photos on our Facebook page to easily record a highly visible public record of our progress.

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.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

Pygmy Survival Alliance

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Operations

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

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & 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?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

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

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.