Reaching Across Borders Inc

Empowering communities. Humanitarian services for vulnerable communities, by community members.

aka Reaching Across Borders   |   Jersey City, NJ   |  https://www.ReachingAcrossBorders.org

Mission

We are a nonprofit, nonsectarian, and nonpolitical organization committed to promoting and improving mental health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities, globally, through education, support, empowerment, research, and advocacy. Humanitarian services for vulnerable communities, by community members.

Ruling year info

2021

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Dr. Raiza Kolia

President of the Board & Co-Founder

Dr. Ernst Mucke

Main address

100 Clifton Pl Ste 204

Jersey City, NJ 07304 USA

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EIN

85-2397845

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

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

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Mental Health Education & Intervention for Syrian Refugees in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

In our program we provide Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) services to build resilience and economic empowerment among Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese in the Bekaa Valley via psychoeducation and awareness sessions, Psychosocial Support (PSS) in small groups, individual mental-health treatment such as psychiatric consultations, medication management, and therapy.

Our program emerged because of a gap left by our previous partner who has chosen to focus on medical services based out of Beirut, thereby leaving an urgent gap for MH services in the Bekaa. This project will ensure these urgently needed services can continue without interruption.

Our program in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, is led by Dr. Raiza Kolia.

Population(s) Served
Refugees and displaced people
Economically disadvantaged people
People of Middle Eastern descent

THE NEED:

At this time, in Lebanon in general, and in the Bekaa Valley in particular, everybody is in severe economic stress.

Extreme poverty among the displaced Syrians was at 55% in 2019, this increased to 89% in 2020. According to the National Poverty Targeting Program (NPTP), all Lebanese areas are vulnerable, but the worst governorates with the highest share of households under the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB) in 2020 are Bekaa 96% and Baalbek-El Hermel 94 %.

Now more than ever, food insecurity is increasingly a concern for refugees. Lack of access to nutritious food is a major cause of malnutrition. In 2020, only 4% of the Syrian refugees were food secure, 45% were food insecure and 4% had severe food insecurity. Some 65% of the Syrian refugees are restricting the number of meals consumed per day as well as portion sizes. Almost 50% of displaced Syrians are living in shelters that are below humanitarian standards, overcrowded or in degrading conditions. In addition, malnutrition among children under the age of 5 is increasing.1

The refugee reality, compounded with the multiple crises in Lebanon, has increased the stress and anxiety of refugees of all ages, and it has negatively affected their mental health. However, hunger, food insecurity, unemployment, and lack of safe shelter further increases their stress and anxiety, resulting in more severe mental health breakdowns. For this reason, at this time, it is critical that, while we provide MHPSS to our community in the Bekaa, we also provide some level of relief to our most vulnerable beneficiaries.

HOW WE MEET THE NEED:

We will provide monthly food relief packages to 200 families each month. These relief packages will contain basic nutritional items for adults and babies, diapers, but also cleaning and hygiene products for health and safety.

Population(s) Served
Refugees and displaced people
Economically disadvantaged people
People of Middle Eastern descent

Where we work

Awards

KISI Active Partnership Fund 2020

Keele University Institute for Social Inclusion

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Syrian and Palestinian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

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

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We started a relief program earlier than planned because our Team on the ground, in the community, recommended that people are hungry TODAY, rather than wait for the full program funding.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It has made us more more responsive to the community needs at specific times. For example, during the harsh winter floods in the Bekaa Valley we were able to move our focus to supporting the community we serve to deal with the flood instead of focusing on your day-to-day program. Another example: a small informal settlement (camp) of seven tents had a fire over the Christmas holidays. And we were the only organization who at the very next day went to provide clothing, food, and ask the community what else they needed in the immediate aftermath of this strategy, so that we can meet those needs. Most other organizations' staff working in the community were on Christmas break.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Reaching Across Borders 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
  • 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.

Reaching Across Borders Inc

Board of directors
as of 6/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ernst Mucke

VKANSEE Technology, Inc

Term: 2021 - 2024

Janet Maurer

Avant Edge, LLC

Minna Jarvenpaa

Tools for Inner Piece

Eno Isong

World Bank

Suleiman Shihadeh

Private Practice

Evelyn Murphy

WHO

Solfrid Raknes

Consultant

Mary Speyer

City Kids Wilderness Project

Maile Ramzi

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? No
  • 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? Yes
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/22/2021

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
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/22/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.