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Minga Is Going to Maine

In just a few days, Minga board members will be gathering for a working retreat in Maine. And while we’re there, we’ll be sharing a big partner announcement! We can’t wait to tell you about what’s next for Minga.

For now, though, here are a couple 20th anniversary reflections about the impact Minga has had in the past two decades of relationship-based, community-driven work.

Brennan Keiser, Board President

Years with Minga: 4

Accomplishments: Working with NAYO to set up a successful radio program that ended up having international reach; hearing from NAYO that a proposal we put together for menstrual hygiene management was a finalist for a USAID grant.

Memories: My first retreat at Erin’s in Santa Rosa helped me feel really connected to the group. We watched Nanette—a Netflix special of Hannah Gadsby’s that I adore— and it was really special to laugh and tear up through it together.

Lessons: Change doesn’t always happen in the way we expect or according to our ideal timeline. Small communities can have outsized impacts when we create the appropriate conditions.


Rhianon Liu, Vice President

Years with Minga: 5

Accomplishments: NAYO and Carrazedo achieving major grants through our partnership, LUWODEA developing and launching a menstrual hygiene project (despite challenges), serving as vice president, taking on a domestic partner, increased focus on trust based philanthropy, antiracism, and social justice.

Memories: Sitting in a circle with women in their villages in Kamuli Province, Uganda, hearing them describe how the FSE project gave them both income and independence. They saved money from their gardens and were able to start their own microbusinesses and send their children to school consistently. Evidence that when you put money and decision making power in the hands of women, the benefits for the community multiply through the generations. Beautiful to see their initiative, determination, and strength.

Lessons: It's about the process as much as the outcome. How we work with our partners is as/more important than the money we give. Listening deeply, letting them take the lead, and questioning the traditional hierarchies of international grantor/grantee relationships.

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