Community First Initiatives Inc.

Creating local solutions to global problems

aka Community First   |   Pasadena, CA   |  https://wearecommunityfirst.org

Mission

To empower people living in the villages of rural Cambodia, who have little, if any, assistance, to create sustainable means for sustainably improving the quality of their lives.

Ruling year info

2010

President

Mr. Pierre Mainguy

Main address

530 South Lake Avenue #334

Pasadena, CA 91101 USA

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Formerly known as

Alliance for Micro Entrepreneurial Development, Inc.

Coalition for Financial Independence, Inc.

EIN

26-2737598

NTEE code info

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

Rural (S32)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Cambodia is still recovering from decades of war and is still to this facing a myriad of development challenges. Infrastructure is very limited and because most educated and knowledgeable people were killed during the Khmer Rouge rule (1975-79), skilled and well trained human resources are also hard to come by. Today, over 80% of the country is still rural and over two-thirds of the population is under 30 years of age. But the most striking statistics on Cambodia is that 40% of children are stunted because of malnutrition. As a result, an entire generation’s cognitive and motor development is being jeopardized. But rural families cannot farm and provide better food to their family for half of the year when the monsoons stop and the yearly drought returns

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?

Village Aquaponics in Cambodia

Over the past five years, Community First and its network of global partners in the fields of science, engineering, and agriculture & aquaculture have developed an aquaponic solution that's adapted to remote rural communities. This empowers women to farm year-round despite the drought, therefore bringing better nutrition in a part of the world where children are stunted because of malnutrition.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

Over the past five years, Community First has been developing an aquaponic solution for the forgotten rural communities of northwestern Cambodia. Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purifies the water. As a result, aquaponics provides three times the yields of conventional agriculture in addition to the fish it uses and is 80% more water-efficient.

Our objective is to help farmers in the drought-stricken area convert their small family farms into successful aquaponic small businesses.

With our goal being to bring aquaponic training and hardware to the most families where it is the most needed, our strategy involves the development of our farm school, our main training facility located in the heart of the villages where we work.

At the farm school, villagers can come and learn about aquaponics, and most importantly see it working to its full potential. This helps farmers envision what their farm could be and learn the skills necessary to stary using a small-scale system at home. After completing an introductory course, villagers become eligible to receive their own aquaponic learning unit at home. This stage of the program is co-financed by Rotary International 5300 FY2019-2020.

Once farmers are able to meet their subsistence needs, two additional levels of training are made available to them: (1) abundance training, followed by (2) small business level. These intermediate and advanced courses involve more technical training but also the soft skills needed to run a successful operation like cost and breakeven calcultaions.

We have a talented local team consisting of a botanist and aquaculture specialist both trainined in France and three you women that act as administrative support, liaison with the community and a trainer. In late 2019, we will be launching a "training of trainer" (ToT) program in order to develop the educational capacity of the farm school. We aim at three new trainers by the end of 2020.

Thus far, our organization has successfully conducted a pilot project with 10 families in the villages of Sen Sok community in drought-stricken northwestern Cambodia. This would not have been possible had Community First not established the first network of dee-water wells in the area, as there was no access to clean water before that. This foundational water access program gave the gift of clean water to over 10,000 people in 16 villages from 2009 to 2012.

Our training facility which we built in Sen Sok in 2009, has been completely overhauled and upgraded in order to provide all the necessary training on the aquaculture side of things. Concrete tanks and a commercial greenhouse have been established. A classroom and a workshop area will have a grand re-opening in 2020, just in time for a new class.

The next step is to train more trainers in order to give access to aquaponics to as many families as possible. In parallel, the objective of the farm school will be to develop local sales in order to breakeven at a local scale so as to ensure the stability of the project in the long run.

Financials

Community First Initiatives Inc.
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Community First Initiatives Inc.

Board of directors
as of 9/16/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. David Mans

Fierstadt & Mans, LLP

Pierre Mainguy

Jean-Pierre Mainguy

Amgen

David Mans

Fierstadt & Mans, LLP

Karen Billman

Warren Bleeker

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie