Aga Khan Foundation

Chahār Bāgh, Afghanistan

Aga Khan Foundation

Chahār Bāgh, Afghanistan
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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s mobile exhibit Together: An Exhibition on Global Development was given an award of outstanding achievement by the Canadian Museums Association on April 7, 2017. The tour, which is an interactive and bilingual experience for all ages, gives visitors a closer look at their role in global development. It has been travelling throughout Canada for the past two years. The Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is an international development organization and registered charity focused on global development. With financial support from Global Affairs Canada, AKFC worked with MRA mobile experiential to develop and execute the Together exhibit. MRA helped design and conceptualize the traveling exhibit, and handles all day-to-day operations. Through digital and tactile interactives, powerful photography, and first-hand storytelling, the Together exhibit inspires visitors to think about lasting solutions for global development. The exhibition is housed in a custom 53’ double-expandable event trailer which allows for nearly 1,000 square feet of space. Visitors to the exhibit can interact with a world map that illuminates Canadian contributions to global development, take a quiz to discover the type of global citizen they are, and share their ideas and experience with others through a social media photo booth. They are encouraged to spark continued conversations about global development with their peers after visiting. At the 2017 Canadian Museums Association Spring Conference, Together was recognized for its innovative approach to audience engagement. It won the association’s award in the category of exhibitions focusing on cultural heritage, with a budget greater than one million dollars. Also at the conference, AKFC Public Affairs Manager Christine McGuire, along with MRA President Tony Amato presented an in-depth case study on the successes and challenges of the tour to date. “We’re excited for our partners at AKFC to be recognized for their efforts on the Together exhibit,” says Tony Amato “This exhibit highlights important issues around the globe, and is what we feel the evolution and extension of the traditional museum experience will be.” ABOUT MRA, INC. MRA experiential tours & equipment is an industry leader in mobile exhibit and event marketing. It specializes in custom design, vehicle assembly, and vehicle sales and leasing, as well as tour equipment and logistics-management services for the experiential marketing and exhibiting needs of museums and many Fortune 1000 firms, working either directly or in association with leading agencies and exhibit builders worldwide. Visit http://www.goMRA.com and http://www.youtube/MRAmobiletours.


Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this release. On Sunday, May 28th, Montreal will witness hundreds of Canadians walking together to fundraise and bring awareness to fight global poverty. The 33rd annual walk is to take place in 10 cities this spring with over 40,000 participants unified with the cause. The World Partnership Walk is a one of a kind humanitarian engagement -- an impressive feat, a grass roots initiative, the best of its kind that operates completely on volunteer staff and collects donations to end global poverty and empower girls around the world. "Supporting the World Partnership Walk is in line with the values we promote within all of our projects, which is to empower women and girls in order to better lives and communities around the world," said Almas Jiwani, President of the Emeritus UN Women National Committee Canada (UNWNCC) and CEO of the Almas Jiwani Foundation (AJF). The global leader has participated in previous walks; independently and with the UNWNCC in both Ottawa and Montreal. Almas was joined in 2011 by current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who walked barefoot balancing a bucket of water on his head. The goal was to depict the reality of those who cannot afford shoes. He succeeded in educating many participants on the lives of those in third world countries who live in extreme poverty, while also inspiring many to participate and contribute to the cause. The mission of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is to help and provide support to the underprivileged and those living in poverty around the world regardless of gender, faith or ethnicity. "Canadians today are coming together to show commitment to fighting global poverty. It's humbling to see so many people, from all walks of life, united in the idea that we can and should do our part, to improve the lives of others around the world," said Ashina Sheriff, Chair of the World Partnership Walk in Montreal. To join the walk and raise funds please visit: http://www.worldpartnershipwalk.com AJF is a non-profit organization based in Ottawa, Canada that focuses on empowering women and girls worldwide. To achieve this, their projects and civic work promote the five E's -- Equality, Education, Entrepreneurship, Entertainment and Energy Rights. AJF believes these efforts are necessary for a society to have long-term stability and success. The status and role of women is a key aspect of a nation's growth and through narrowing the gender gap, there will ultimately be an improved standard of living for the society as a whole. AJF aims to educate all countries in the power of gender equality to generate change for the better of all. The World Partnership Walk is an initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada that began in 1985. Starting with a small group of women from Asian and African descent, a powerful project sparked and has since raised more than $100 million for communities across Asia and Africa. It has since become the largest event supporting international development within Canada. Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is a non-profit international development agency, working in Asia and Africa to find sustainable solutions to the complex problems causing global poverty. Established in 1980, AKFC is a registered Canadian charity and an agency of the worldwide Aga Khan Development Network. http://www.akfc.ca To view the photos associated with this release, please visit the following links:


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

In study, children with a particular genetic variation were 4 times more likely to develop strong attachment to mother after intervention Toronto, Canada / Cape Town, South Africa - A child's genetic make-up can play a large, hidden role in the success of efforts to maximize his or her development, South African research suggests. The study, published February 28 in PLoS Medicine and supported by the Government of Canada through Grand Challenges Canada's Saving Brains program, sheds new light on why some children benefit more than others from interventions and raises complex questions about psychosocial intervention programs in future. In a study led by Professor Mark Tomlinson of Stellenbosch University, the study followed-up an intervention implemented between 1999 and 2003, in which expectant mothers underwent mentoring to improve attachment with their children -- attachment being a measure of a child's psychological security, and predictive of future wellbeing. In the original study, a control group of roughly equal size was composed of expectant mothers who did not receive mentoring. The original study concluded that the intervention had a small-to-moderate effect on mother-child attachment, evaluated once the children reached 18 months of age. The follow-up study, conducted thirteen years after the intervention, re-examined the original attachment results and revealed something surprising: the intervention had in fact worked well for toddlers who had a particular genetic characteristic. Conducted in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Reading, University College London, and Western University, the study re-enrolled and conducted genetic tests on 279 of the original 449 children. 220 children had both genetic and attachment data, enabling the investigators to test whether the original attachment outcomes were influenced by their genes. The researchers factored in whether the child had the short or long form of gene SLC6A4 -- the serotonin transporter gene, which is involved in nerve signalling, and which other studies have linked to anxiety, depression and other conditions. Serotonin is popularly thought to contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness. The attachment of children with the short form of the gene, and whose pregnant mothers were mentored, were almost four times more likely to be securely attached to their mothers at 18 months old (84 percent were secure) than children carrying the short form whose mothers did not receive mentoring (58 percent were secure). Meanwhile, children with the long gene were apparently unaffected by their mother's training or lack thereof: in both cases, the rate of secure attachment was almost identical (70 and 71 percent). Subject to further validation, says Professor Tomlinson, the insight has "important implications for scientists designing and evaluating interventions to benefit as many people as possible in South Africa and worldwide." "Without taking genetics into account, it is possible that other studies have under-estimated the impact of their interventions, as we originally did." Says lead author Dr. Barak Morgan of the University of Cape Town: "The immediate significance of this research is the revelation that in principle, and probably in many cases in practice too, the effectiveness of interventions has been mis-measured -- under-estimated for genetically susceptible individuals and over-estimated for those who are genetically less susceptible. But even more worrying is the implication that the negative consequences of not receiving an intervention also differ by genotype." "This is an enormously important insight because, in this case, the subgroup with the short form of the SLC6A4 gene is also the one with the most to lose if not helped." "Individuals with the long form of the gene, on the other hand, appear less sensitive and derived little benefit from the same intervention, and little detriment from not getting it." Adds Professor Tomlinson: "In the original study, we did not see such a big impact from this intervention because only those with the short gene improved, and this improvement was 'diluted' by the large number of children with the long gene who did not improve." The researchers caution that, among other limitations, this study involved a relatively small sample and only measured one gene and one outcome (attachment). Dr. Morgan stressed: "We are certainly not saying that only some people should receive the intervention -- those who are 'susceptible' to improving from it. There is little scientific justification for this. For example, many children with the non-susceptible long genotype of the SLC6A4 gene may carry the susceptible form of another gene which renders them much more likely to benefit from the same intervention but for a different but equally important outcome. "Going forward, the implications are therefore two-fold. Firstly, measuring genetic differences allows for proper assessment of the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of an intervention for a particular outcome in different individuals. Secondly, this information can then be used to find out how to intervene effectively for all -- to guide what might be done to improve outcomes for a non-responsive gene-intervention interaction while continuing to optimise outcomes for the responsive one." Says Dr. Karlee Silver, Vice President Programs of Grand Challenges Canada: "This work is fundamentally about better understanding the impact of interventions which is an important step forward to creating a world where every child can survive and thrive." Says Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada: "This is a startling finding that changes the way I think about child development. Why is it important? Because child development is the ladder of social mobility used to climb out of the hole of inequity by millions of children around the world." For more information, visit grandchallenges.ca and look for us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada and we support innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation - we call this Integrated Innovation®. Grand Challenges Canada focuses on innovator-defined challenges through its Stars in Global Health program and on targeted challenges in its Saving Lives at Birth, Saving Brains and Global Mental Health programs. Grand Challenges Canada works closely with Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Global Affairs Canada to catalyze scale, sustainability and impact. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives. http://www. Saving Brains is a partnership of Grand Challenges Canada, Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The ELMA Foundation, Grand Challenges Ethiopia, the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation, the Palix Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation and World Vision Canada. It seeks and supports bold ideas for products, services and implementation models that protect and nurture early brain development relevant to poor, marginalized populations in low- or middle-income countries. http://www.


In study, children with a particular genetic variation were four times more likely to develop strong attachment to mother after intervention TORONTO, ON and CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwired - February 28, 2017) - A child's genetic make-up can play a large, hidden role in the success of efforts to maximize his or her development, South African research suggests. The study, published February 28 in PLoS Medicine and supported by the Government of Canada through Grand Challenges Canada's Saving Brains program, sheds new light on why some children benefit more than others from interventions and raises complex questions about psychosocial intervention programs in future. In a study led by Professor Mark Tomlinson of Stellenbosch University, the study followed-up an intervention implemented between 1999 and 2003, in which expectant mothers underwent mentoring to improve attachment with their children -- attachment being a measure of a child's psychological security, and predictive of future wellbeing. In the original study, a control group of roughly equal size was composed of expectant mothers who did not receive mentoring. The original study concluded that the intervention had a small-to-moderate effect on mother-child attachment, evaluated once the children reached 18 months of age. The follow-up study, conducted thirteen years after the intervention, re-examined the original attachment results and revealed something surprising: the intervention had in fact worked well for toddlers who had a particular genetic characteristic. Conducted in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Reading, University College London, and Western University, the study re-enrolled and conducted genetic tests on 279 of the original 449 children. 220 children had both genetic and attachment data, enabling the investigators to test whether the original attachment outcomes were influenced by their genes. The researchers factored in whether the child had the short or long form of gene SLC6A4 -- the serotonin transporter gene, which is involved in nerve signalling, and which other studies have linked to anxiety, depression and other conditions. Serotonin is popularly thought to contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness. The attachment of children with the short form of the gene, and whose pregnant mothers were mentored, were almost four times more likely to be securely attached to their mothers at 18 months old (84 percent were secure) than children carrying the short form whose mothers did not receive mentoring (58 percent were secure). Meanwhile, children with the long gene were apparently unaffected by their mother's training or lack thereof: in both cases, the rate of secure attachment was almost identical (70 and 71 percent). Subject to further validation, says Professor Tomlinson, the insight has "important implications for scientists designing and evaluating interventions to benefit as many people as possible in South Africa and worldwide." "Without taking genetics into account, it is possible that other studies have under-estimated the impact of their interventions, as we originally did." Says lead author Dr. Barak Morgan of the University of Cape Town: "The immediate significance of this research is the revelation that in principle, and probably in many cases in practice too, the effectiveness of interventions has been mis-measured -- under-estimated for genetically susceptible individuals and over-estimated for those who are genetically less susceptible. But even more worrying is the implication that the negative consequences of not receiving an intervention also differ by genotype." "This is an enormously important insight because, in this case, the subgroup with the short form of the SLC6A4 gene is also the one with the most to lose if not helped." "Individuals with the long form of the gene, on the other hand, appear less sensitive and derived little benefit from the same intervention, and little detriment from not getting it." Adds Professor Tomlinson: "In the original study, we did not see such a big impact from this intervention because only those with the short gene improved, and this improvement was 'diluted' by the large number of children with the long gene who did not improve." The researchers caution that, among other limitations, this study involved a relatively small sample and only measured one gene and one outcome (attachment). Dr. Morgan stressed: "We are certainly not saying that only some people should receive the intervention -- those who are 'susceptible' to improving from it. There is little scientific justification for this. For example, many children with the non-susceptible long genotype of the SLC6A4 gene may carry the susceptible form of another gene which renders them much more likely to benefit from the same intervention but for a different but equally important outcome. "Going forward, the implications are therefore two-fold. Firstly, measuring genetic differences allows for proper assessment of the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of an intervention for a particular outcome in different individuals. Secondly, this information can then be used to find out how to intervene effectively for all -- to guide what might be done to improve outcomes for a non-responsive gene-intervention interaction while continuing to optimise outcomes for the responsive one." Says Dr. Karlee Silver, Vice President Programs of Grand Challenges Canada: "This work is fundamentally about better understanding the impact of interventions which is an important step forward to creating a world where every child can survive and thrive." Says Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada: "This is a startling finding that changes the way I think about child development. Why is it important? Because child development is the ladder of social mobility used to climb out of the hole of inequity by millions of children around the world." For more information, visit grandchallenges.ca and look for us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. About Grand Challenges Canada Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada and we support innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation -- we call this Integrated Innovation®. Grand Challenges Canada focuses on innovator-defined challenges through its Stars in Global Health program and on targeted challenges in its Saving Lives at Birth, Saving Brains and Global Mental Health programs. Grand Challenges Canada works closely with Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Global Affairs Canada to catalyze scale, sustainability and impact. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives. www.grandchallenges.ca About Saving Brains Saving Brains is a partnership of Grand Challenges Canada, Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The ELMA Foundation, Grand Challenges Ethiopia, the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation, the Palix Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation and World Vision Canada. It seeks and supports bold ideas for products, services and implementation models that protect and nurture early brain development relevant to poor, marginalized populations in low- or middle-income countries. www.savingbrainsinnovation.net


News Article | November 1, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

In a new Canadian-funded study, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers today rank for the first time a range of risk factors associated with child stunting in developing countries, the greatest of which occurs before birth: poor fetal growth in the womb. Based on their findings, they prescribe fundamental changes in approaches to remedy stunting, which today largely focus on children, calling for greater emphasis on interventions aimed at mothers and environmental factors such as poor water and sanitation and indoor biomass fuel use. Funded by the Government of Canada through Grand Challenges Canada's "Saving Brains" program, the study reports that in 2011 some 44 million (36 percent) of two-year-olds in 137 developing countries were stunted, defined as being two or more standard deviations shorter than the global median. About one quarter (10.8 million) of those stunting cases were attributable to full-term babies being born abnormally small. The findings highlight a need for more emphasis on improving maternal health before and during pregnancy, according to the researchers at Harvard Chan School, who published their work today in PLOS Medicine. The absence of optimal sanitation facilities that ensure the hygienic separation of human waste from human contact has the second largest impact overall, attributable to 7.2 million stunting cases (16.4 percent), followed in third place by childhood diarrhea, to which 5.8 million cases (13.2 percent) are attributed. Child nutrition and infection risk factors accounted for six million (13.5 percent) of stunting cases overall. Teenage motherhood and short birth intervals (less than two years between consecutive births) had the fewest attributable stunting cases of the risk factors that were analyzed -- 860,000 (1.9 percent) of cases overall. The study concludes that reducing the burden of stunting requires continuing efforts to diagnose and treat maternal and child infections, especially diarrhea, and "a paradigm shift... from interventions focusing solely on children and infants to those that reach mothers and families." Says lead author Goodarz Danaei, Assistant Professor of Global Health at Harvard Chan School: "These results emphasize the importance of early interventions before and during pregnancy, especially efforts to address malnutrition. Such efforts, coupled with improving sanitation and reducing diarrhea, would prevent a substantial proportion of childhood stunting in developing countries." "This is a serious problem at every level, from individual to national," he adds. "Early life growth faltering is strongly linked to lost educational attainment and the immense cost of unrealized human potential in the developing world. Stunting undermines economic productivity, in turn limiting the development of low-income countries." While previous research identified a large number of nutrition-specific risk factors for stunting, such as preterm birth, zinc deficiency, and maternal malaria, the relative contribution of these risk factors had not been consistently examined across countries. "Our findings provide further evidence that integrated nutrition-sensitive interventions, such as improved water and sanitation, are warranted in addition to nutrition-specific interventions to have an impact on the risk of stunting globally," says senior author and Principal Investigator Wafaie Fawzi, Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard Chan School. In all, 18 risk factors, selected based on the availability of data, were grouped into five categories and ranked: The researchers map the burden of stunting attributable to these risk factors in the developing world on a website, healthychilddev.sph.harvard.edu, helping policy makers visualize important differences across regions, sub-regions and countries. "These findings can help regions and countries make evidence-based decisions on how to reduce the burden of stunting within their borders," says Professor Danaei. The new study follows the publication of two major studies focused on poor child growth and developmental milestones by the same Canadian-funded "Saving Brains" team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The first study, published in PLOS Medicine on June 7, 2016, found that one-third of three- and four-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries fail to reach basic milestones in cognitive and/or socio-emotional growth. The second study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on June 29, 2016, found that poor child growth costs the developing world US$177 billion in lost wages and 69 million years of educational attainment for children born each year. "Knowing the major risk factors for stunting, the global cost of poor child growth, and the number of children missing developmental milestones are key pieces of information in ensuring children not only survive, but thrive," says Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada. "This kind of information is essential to achieving the targets set out by the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women's, Children's, and Adolescent's Health. If you are a finance minister, you will want to check out the risk factors for stunting to reduce the toll on human capital and GDP in your country." The importance of children thriving, not just surviving, is emphasized in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is central to the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescent's Health. In 2014, the World Health Assembly set a target to reduce by 40 percent the number of stunted children worldwide by 2025. The Saving Brains program supports new approaches to ensure children thrive by protecting and nurturing early brain development, providing a long-term exit strategy from poverty. Saving Brains has invested a total of $43 million in 108 innovations and the Saving Brains technical platform that helps to track and accelerate progress against the challenge. For more information, visit grandchallenges.ca and look for us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Grand Challenges Canada Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada and we support innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation -- we call this Integrated Innovation®. Grand Challenges Canada focuses on innovator-defined challenges through its Stars in Global Health program and on targeted challenges in its Saving Lives at Birth, Saving Brains and Global Mental Health programs. Grand Challenges Canada works closely with Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Global Affairs Canada to catalyze scale, sustainability and impact. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives. www.grandchallenges.ca Saving Brains Saving Brains is a partnership of Grand Challenges Canada, Aga Khan Foundation Canada, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The ELMA Foundation, Grand Challenges Ethiopia, Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation, Palix Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation and World Vision Canada. It seeks and supports bold ideas for products, services and implementation models that protect and nurture early brain development relevant to poor, marginalized populations in low- and middle-income countries. www.savingbrainsinnovation.net Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people's lives -- not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America's oldest professional training program in public health. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu Table 1: Number of stunting cases (in thousands) in children aged two in 2011 attributable to risk factor groups.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Bamba is a boutique data collection agency that specializes in innovative solutions for rapidly gathering cost-effective and high-quality consumer insights from emerging markets that can be otherwise challenging to reach. One such solution is Bamba’s unique tool that allows the building of highly targeted and responsive panels for data collection. Clients hail from a diverse array of sectors, including market research, consulting, private equity, agriculture, education, health, finance, government agencies, NGOs and private companies. The versatility and effectiveness of Bamba’s offerings have resulted in numerous high-profile clients, such as Kantar, the Aga Khan Foundation, and IPSOS. “Bamba has made it possible to deliver panel-based projects a lot faster by providing access to highly targeted respondents,” says Arnold Nyakundi of IPSOS Kenya. With humble beginnings in Nairobi, the company started with just its 3 co-founders, Al Ismaili, CEO (@al_ismaili), Shehzad Tejani, COO (@Tejanishehzad) and Faiz Hirani, CTO (@FaizHirani) and had a core workforce of 7 full-time employees in 2015. “Since then, we’ve further expanded to employ 21 full-time staff, along with numerous other field consultants around the world. It’s incredible; we’ve established a global reach, spanning Canada, US, UK, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and Nigeria. This is in large part thanks to ongoing support from our investors,” says Al Ismaili, co-founder and CEO. Bamba’s success in attracting investors was the result of a number of factors that created a perfect storm. First, in the past several years, consumers in emerging markets have become more engaged and connected through widespread adoption of smartphone or feature phone technology, presenting the opportunity to finally tap into the wants, needs and opinions of these consumers for companies agile and innovative enough to build the right tools. Second, investors have become increasingly interested in opportunities to invest in the African market in recent years, and accelerator programs have stepped up by accepting greater numbers of African startups into their mentorship programs. Finally, Bamba was itself accepted into the prestigious TechStars accelerator program in 2016, where they gained access to a well-established network that provided them with business development mentorship, customer acquisition, capital, talent recruitment, as well as a sizable initial financial investment as part of the accelerator program. Rishi Varma, founder & CEO of AlphaDetail which was acquired by QuntilesIMS (formerly IMS Health), was introduced to Bamba during their time at Techstars. Rishi was based in San Francisco where he built the largest market research firm focused on primary research in the pharma/biotech industry in the US and was so impressed by the Bamba team that he became one of their initial investors; “Since the first day I met the founders of Bamba, I knew they had a special team and product to tackle a challenging but large market opportunity. I had no reservations in backing them financially and as an advisor. Having built a highly successful market research practice myself, I can clearly see the Bamba team has what it takes to do the same,” he said about his investment decision. Bamba’s cutting-edge data collection software also attracted some attention from within Africa. In November 2016, Bamba was invited to participate in Lions’ Den, the Kenyan equivalent to popular TV programs Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank, where Bamba pitched to the show’s panel of 5 venture capitalists (also known as Lions). They successfully won over Darshan Chandaria, CEO and director of the Chandaria Industries Group, who invested US$250,000 (Kes. 25 million) to be used to expand Bamba’s operations throughout Africa. Other investors have been attracted to Bamba’s unique combination of positive social impact and real functional value; “We are very proud to be investors in Bamba,” says Brett Hurt, founder of BazaarVoice and Data.world. “Not only are [they] providing a very valuable analytics service, but they are also providing jobs in countries that really need them. This is one of those rare businesses that has a combination of a massive market opportunity and a real social impact. Their focus just couldn’t be better." Having achieved its investment goal for the first seed round, Bamba now looks to the future with plans to put the US$1.1 million towards developing new innovative data collection solutions, supporting a larger number of clients, and expanding its team and geographical reach. Of course, this will all be done while continuing to lend a voice to people in emerging markets so that they can play a bigger role in shaping their world. A full list of Bamba’s investors is as follows: Techstars Austin 2013 LLC - Techstars Star Powers Partners II LLC – Comprised of Foundry Group, Right Side Capital, Draper Associates, Landscape Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Winshall Walt, Iron Gate Capital Perivoli Innovations Trust Brett Hurt - Founder of Coremetrics (acquired by IBM), co-founder and former CEO of Bazaarvoice (successful IPO) and co-founder & CEO of data.world Rishi Varma - Founder of AlphaDetail (Acquired by QuintilesIMS) Saurabh Khetrapal - Founder of People.com & Kazana Ventures Jason Reneau - Senior roles at uShip, Kiva Systems, MindBites, and FreeMarkets Alykhan Nathoo - Partner at Helios Investment Partners Scott Kosch - Managing pPartner at Kosch Capital Management Faisal Jiwa - Investment Director at AfricInvest Capital Partners Ed Keller - CEO at RoperASW (acquired by GfK) & CEO/Founder of Keller Fay Group. Aadil Mamujee - Founded Pocket Gems Dale Mathias – Active Angel Investor Edward Mathias – MD of The Carlyle Group Claude Wasserstein – Manager of Fine Day Ventures Shamir Jiwa – Chairman & Founder of MAXIMeyes


LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The board of directors of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that it approved 27 grants totaling $35.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2016, which brings the amount of grants awarded for 2016 to more than $111 million, which surpasses the amount of grants awarded in 2015. The Foundation also approved a new strategic approach for the Hilton Foundation’s Children Affected by HIV and AIDS program area, which will officially commence on January 1, 2017. Over the past year, the Foundation has been working to reflect on lessons learned together with partners and stakeholders in order to make modifications to its grantmaking strategy for the Children Affected by HIV and AIDS Strategic Initiative. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were used as a guiding framework and determined how best to contribute the Foundation’s relatively limited philanthropic dollars to this ambitious call to action. Over the next five years, the Foundation’s Young Children Affected by HIV and AIDS program area will field test approaches to delivering effective, quality programming that has the potential to improve developmental outcomes for young children (0-5 years) affected by HIV and AIDS in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. The objectives will be to: “We are pleased to end the year with an announcement of $35.7 million in funds to organizations all over the world,” said Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Hilton Foundation. “We are confident that the new strategy for our Children Affected by HIV and AIDS program area will strengthen the work of our partners with the ultimate goal of improving developmental outcomes for all young children affected by HIV and AIDS in five key countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.” Grants in the fourth quarter of 2016 were awarded to a total of 27 organizations spanning across the Hilton Foundation’s priority areas, including organizations serving the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people both in the U.S. and internationally. Following is an overview of all grants awarded in the fourth quarter of 2016: Children Affected by HIV and AIDS – Aga Khan Foundation USA was awarded $1.5 million to build capacity of the early childhood development workforce in high HIV prevalence communities East and Southern Africa, while Alliance for Open Society International Inc. was awarded $500,000 to support the Global Partnership for Education's efforts to establish the Better Early Learning and Development at Scale Initiative. Finally, Catholic Relief Services was given a grant in the amount of $400,000 for planning a phase two program to strengthen the ability of Catholic Sisters to meet the developmental needs of children affected by HIV and AIDS. Safe Water – $3 million was awarded to Water for People to implement the model of Everyone Forever for sustainable water services in Kamwenge District of Uganda. $1 million was granted to IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre to create the foundation for an ambitious learning and collective action initiative that will catalyze development of SDG 6 in Burkina Faso, Niger and Uganda. Stanford University received a grant in the amount of $435,000 to facilitate the design of a monitoring, evaluation, and learning framework and theory of change for the Foundation's Safe Water strategy. Finally, Water.org will receive $200,000 to build the foundation necessary to implement a WaterCredit model in Ghana. Avoidable Blindness – Three grants were awarded to organizations working towards elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in Mali and Niger. The Carter Center was granted $5.1 million, and $5.975 million was awarded to Helen Keller International for this effort. Sightsavers, Inc. was awarded $650,000 to contribute to the elimination of trachoma in Mali. Foster Youth – The John Burton Foundation received $600,000 to strengthen the high school to college transition process for foster youth in Los Angeles County. Additionally, the National Center for Youth Law was granted $1.6 million to support the development of a collective impact campaign that will increase access to reproductive and sexual health care, and information to significantly reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies among foster youth in Los Angeles County. Finally, $1 million was awarded to the New York Foundling for educational support for foster youth from eighth grade through college through the Road to Success Program. Homelessness – Brilliant Corners received a grant in the amount of $1.2 million to support capacity-building and strategic planning to ensure the continued expansion and implementation of Los Angeles County's Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool. Corporation for Supportive Housing was awarded $3 million to invest in the Just In Reach Pay For Success program, a partnership with the Los Angeles County Health Agency to connect frequent users of the homeless system and Los Angeles County Jail with permanent supportive housing. $300,000 was awarded to Housing California to support the development of a coordinated, cross-sector policy effort aimed at increasing state funding for permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals in California. Substance Use Prevention – School-Based Health Alliance was awarded $1 million to support a second phase of work to implement youth Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in school-based health clinics. The Addiction Medicine Foundation received a grant in the amount of $1 million to continue efforts to increase the number of physicians trained in prevention and early intervention and addiction medicine. Multiple Sclerosis – The University of California, San Francisco received a grant in the amount of $900,000 to continue development of the Bioscreen, a precision medicine disease management tool for those with Multiple Sclerosis. Catholic Sisters – The Catholic Volunteer Network was awarded $1.7 million to expand the work of the organization’s From Service to Sisterhood initiative, a program that connects congregations of sisters with lay-women volunteers. $780,000 was granted to Leadership Conference of Women Religious to provide support for the expansion of the Leadership Pathways program to include a focus on the dramatic transitions and transformations that are facing religious life today. A grant in the amount of $500,000 was awarded to the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters to establish a special fund within the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters to augment its support of canonical leadership conferences globally. Saint Leo University was granted $420,000 to develop and pilot an online certificate-granting program for SLDI alumnae and other Catholic sisters in Africa. Finally, Catholic Theological Union at Chicago was granted $360,000 to support the development and implementation of a 30-month curriculum designed to prepare and accompany of core team from 25 religious communities to serve as the catalyst and resource to guide their communities through practices around interculturality. Catholic Education – The Catholic Education Foundation was granted $1 million to support tuition assistance for low-income students attending Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Finally, a grant in the amount of $900,000 was awarded to Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families to support the Building New Foundations of Hope capital campaign, and Wild Salmon Center was granted $700,000 to support the North Pacific Salmon Stronghold Initiative ($500,000) and to provide general operating support ($200,000). For more detailed information on our grantmaking, please visit hiltonfoundation.org/grants. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. In 2016, the Humanitarian Prize was awarded to The Task Force for Global Health, an international, nonprofit organization that works to improve health of people most in need, primarily in developing countries. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grants, distributing $107 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2015. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

Study funded by Saving Brains shows Kangaroo Mother Care kids 20 years later are better behaved, have larger brains, higher paycheques, more protective and nurturing families TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - December 12, 2016) - Two decades after a group of Colombian parents were shown how to keep their perilously tiny babies warm and nourished through breastfeeding and continuous skin-to-skin contact, a new ground-breaking study finds that as young adults their children continue to benefit from having undergone the technique known as Kangaroo Mother Care. In young adulthood, they are less prone to aggressive, impulsive and hyperactive behaviour compared to a control group of premature and low birth weight contemporaries who received "traditional" inpatient incubator care. They are more likely to have survived into their 20s. Their families are more cohesive. They have bigger brains. Supported by the Government of Canada through Grand Challenges Canada's "Saving Brains" program, as well as Colombia's Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (COLCIENCIAS), the study is published today in the journal Pediatrics. "This study indicates that Kangaroo Mother Care has significant, long-lasting social and behavioural protective effects 20 years after the intervention," says lead researcher Dr. Nathalie Charpak, of the Kangaroo Foundation in Bogotá. The technique's early impact was still present 20 years later for those who started life as the most fragile individuals, she says. Families trained in Kangaroo Mother Care were more likely to remain together and to be more protective and nurturing, reflected in their children's lower school absenteeism, ability to express feelings, and reduced hyperactivity, aggressiveness and antisocial conduct as young adults. "A premature infant is born somewhere in the world every two seconds," says Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada. "This study shows that Kangaroo Mother Care gives premature and low birth weight babies a better chance of thriving. Kangaroo Mother Care saves brains and makes premature and low birth weight babies healthier and wealthier." About 15 million premature infants are born each year, according to the World Health Organization. Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death among children under 5, responsible for nearly 1 million deaths in 2015; many survivors face a lifetime of disability, including learning disabilities and visual and hearing problems. Premature and low birth weight infants generally require extra care to avoid illness and death from secondary, preventable complications such as hypothermia and infection. This is a particular problem in developing countries, where incubators and similar technologies are often scarce, over-crowded or unreliable, as well as costly. A trained Kangaroo Mother Care parent or caregiver becomes a child's incubator and its main source of food and stimulation. The technique involves continuous skin-to-skin contact between caregiver and infant, with the baby nested in a "kangaroo" position on the caregiver's chest as soon as possible after birth. The technique is accompanied by exclusive breastfeeding. Kangaroo Mother Care also requires and prepares the mother and child to go home as soon as possible from the hospital, after which there is rigorous monitoring of baby and mother until the infant reaches one year of corrected age (the baby's age based on due date rather than date of birth). Family solidarity around the frail child is a key element in the success of the Kangaroo Mother Care technique. The Kangaroo Foundation research compared 18 to 20 year olds who, as premature and low birth weight infants, had been randomized at birth to receive either Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) or traditional incubator care until they could maintain their own body temperature. During that initial randomized control trial in 1993-96, researchers documented the short and mid-term benefits of KMC training on the infants' survival, brain development, breastfeeding and the quality of mother-infant bonding. In 2012-2014, 264 of the original participants who weighed less than 1800 grams at birth were re-enrolled (61% of infants that qualified). Looking at mortality, the research found that KMC offered significant protection against early death. The mortality rate in the control group (7.7 percent) was more than double that of the KMC group (3.5 percent). Among other results of the study: Dr. Charpak notes that as neonatal technology becomes more accessible throughout the world, more premature and low birth weight infants are saved with fewer serious consequences in later years. "That is why the detection of 'minor' consequences becomes important," she says. "Minor effects like mild cognitive deficits, lack of fine coordination, poor hearing or eyesight and attention deficit can often go undetected but have a profound effect on the lives of families. "The findings of our 20-year KMC study should inform the modalities of medical, psychological and social postnatal interventions such as Kangaroo Mother Care so that we can continue to reduce the disorders caused by prematurity and low birth weight." Dr. Charpak says that this new knowledge must be used to extend KMC coverage to the 18 million premature and low birth weight infants born each year who are candidates for the technique. "We firmly believe that this is a powerful, efficient, scientifically based health care intervention that can be used in all settings, from those with very restricted to unrestricted access to health care," she says. "This study demonstrates that Kangaroo Mother Care can make all the difference in the world for premature and low birth weight infants," says Dr. Karlee Silver, Vice President Programs at Grand Challenges Canada. "Kangaroo Mother Care is a cost-effective, modern method of care that can and should be applied in every country." For more information, visit grandchallenges.ca and look for us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. About Grand Challenges Canada Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada and we support innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation -- we call this Integrated Innovation®. Grand Challenges Canada focuses on innovator-defined challenges through its Stars in Global Health program and on targeted challenges in its Saving Lives at Birth, Saving Brains and Global Mental Health programs. Grand Challenges Canada works closely with Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Global Affairs Canada to catalyze scale, sustainability and impact. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives. www.grandchallenges.ca About Saving Brains Saving Brains is a partnership of Grand Challenges Canada, Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The ELMA Foundation, Grand Challenges Ethiopia, the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation, the Palix Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation and World Vision Canada. It seeks and supports bold ideas for products, services and implementation models that protect and nurture early brain development relevant to poor, marginalized populations in low- or middle-income countries. www.savingbrainsinnovation.net Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2016/12/9/11G124759/Images/DSC03336-296af7dd665399d680febbb58fb6c167.JPG Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2016/12/9/11G124759/Images/DSC03199-44697a845f9b934d9328f43e7e380b66.JPG Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2016/12/9/11G124759/Images/DSC03445-6bfd6e975eda97e2b59d5743fa1c93d8.JPG


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

It is a pleasure to extend birthday wishes to His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, Imam and spiritual leader of the world's Shia Ismaili Muslims. For more than 50 years, the Aga Khan has devoted himself to the spiritual and worldly progress of Ismailis everywhere. As Minister responsible for multiculturalism, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting his Highness earlier this year. I thanked him for his passionate advocacy of peace, compassion and pluralism. He has helped build bridges across religious and ethnic divides around the world. His Highness is also an inspiration to our country, as he was named an honorary Canadian in 2010. He led the creation of the Aga Khan Museum and the world's sixth Ismaili Centre, both opened in Toronto in fall 2014. The Aga Khan's global humanitarian efforts-including those undertaken through the Aga Khan Foundation Canada-have had a lasting impact on the developing world, bringing improved health, education and rural development to some of the most vulnerable communities in Africa and Asia. As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I thank His Highness for all he has done to help those in need, and join with Canada's Ismaili community in wishing him a very happy birthday. Khushali Mubarak! Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.


News Article | November 4, 2016
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, November 04, 2016-- Susan Ball, Life Lessons Leader and creator of Universal Life Lessons has launched her second book, 'Universal Life Lessons - Gift of Your Greatness' in New Dehli, India on International Day of Peace (21 September 2016).Susan's book is dedicated to Dr Martha Farrell who was killed (along with thirteen other colleagues) on 13 May 2015 by the Taliban. Dr Farrell was leading adult education on women's rights and gender equality with the Aga Khan Foundation in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was a passionate civil society leader, renowned and respected in India and around the world for her work. Martha was also a very good friend of Susan Ball.The book launch was a very special event focusing on 'Private Loss to Public Action' and was held at the Martha Farrell Foundation, which has been established to continue her valuable work focusing on gender equality. Guests were invited to be part of heartfelt conversations where people shared their stories of loss through conflict. Their suffering has enabled them to be stronger and to bring hope to others.During her visit to India, Susan gave a presentation at the UN Roundtable Conference 'Developing Citizen's Action Plan Towards Deepening Democracy, Disarming, Investing in Women's Rights, and Ensuring Diversity in India' on 22 September. Susan reflected on the importance of sharing stories and explained that her new book, 'Universal Life Lessons: Gift of Your Greatness', is rich in stories of every day people's lives within the framework of current world events and in context of the Transforming Our World - The 2030 Agenda's Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.Susan also participated in a three day Capacity Building Workshop with the Tibetan Women's Association, facilitated by the Martha Farrell Foundation, held at the 'House of Peace and Dialogue' in Dharamshala.One of the most poignant highlights included a personal audience to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who gave Susan his blessing to continue living and working 'from the heart' with love and compassion.His Holiness blessed her book 'Universal Life Lessons - Gift of Your Greatness'.About Worldwide BrandingFor more than 15 years, Worldwide Branding has been the leading, one-stop-shop, personal branding company, in the United States and abroad. From writing professional biographies and press releases, to creating and driving Internet traffic to personal websites, our team of branding experts tailor each product specifically for our clients' needs. From health care to finance to education and law, our constituents represent every major industry and occupation, at all career levels.For more information, please visit http://www.worldwidebranding.com

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