The Hope of a Mother – The Action Foundation

Sarah Awino, a young lady from Kibera and a mother of 3, conceived and gave birth to her third born baby boy in May 2017 and named him Loid. Like every mother, she had positive expectations for her baby, but something happened which changed her life completely. The baby was post term she experienced prolonged labour. Her little Loid never cried immediately after birth, and had to be put in a special care unit for 7 days.

Loid developed Spastic cerebral palsy (a type of cerebral palsy where muscles feel stiff and jerky,  resulting in difficult or even impossible movements). “I was dumb founded” narrates Sarah, “I had never seen such a condition before and I had started giving up on my son. I did not know where to start because I do not have a source of income and I have other 2 children to take care of. My husband is just a casual laborer and he struggles to put a meal on the table for us. Achieving optimum health for Loid, was like a pipe dream.

On my way home one evening, I met Agnes, a volunteer at The Action Foundation (TAF) who recommended I bring Loid to TAF the next day as the occupational therapist would be there to assess him and advise further. I was overjoyed and I remember I could not sleep that night hoping for the best for my Loid. Luckily Loid was enrolled in TAF’s early intervention program. Three months later, my hope has been restored, I can see a better future for my son. I cannot believe that my baby has started learning to sit on his own. He is also able to use both of his hands and can now move from one point to the other. I know he shall be able to walk one day.  As Ram Charan would say ‘The sky takes on shades of orange during sunrise and sunset, the color that gives you hope that the sun will set only to rise again’.”  TAF serves over 100 children in the largest slum in Africa, giving them opportunities to succeed in ways that would never be available, were it not for the dedication and passion of the TAF team.

The Action Foundation is a grassroots organization in Kenya that supports children and young people with disabilities to thrive.  Working with communities, organizations and local and national government, TAF strives to end exclusion, discrimination and violence towards children with disabilities in marginalized areas.  TAF promotes early education, strives to include children with disabilities in mainstream schools, and supports the livelihoods of caregivers by training them in small business management skills.

Partners in Guatemala

ABSF board and staff regularly visit our partners to gain a better understanding of their work on the ground and to provide additional assistance as needed.  Board chair and former ED, Erik Schultz, recently visited three ABSF grantee-partners in the Antigua region of Guatemala.


LIMBS engages communities and transforms lives through affordable, sustainable prosthetic solutions in developing countries.  In Guatemala, LIMBS operates a prosthetic clinic in the Refugio de Esperanza facility outside of Antigua.  Erick Alvarez is a local, internationally trained prosthetist with his own private clinic, who dedicates a significant amount of his time and expertise to fit LIMBS recipients.   Here, he is pictured with a local Guatemalan and his new above knee prosthetic.




Several young women from the village of Vuelta Grande have the opportunity to attend secondary school due to scholarship and other support throughYoung Dreamer Network.  Erik Schultz is pictured with a group of these students on his recent visit to their school and village outside of Antigua.




Transitions Foundation of Guatemala mobilizes Guatemalans with disabilities through health, rehabilitation, education, spiritual development, leadership skills, social integration and employment.  Transitions employs local Guatemalans with disabilities to produce their wheelchairs and run other programs out of their modern wheelchair manufacturing and repair facility in Antigua.  These wheelchairs are modeled on Whirlwind Wheelchair all-terrain models.



Welcome our 2017 grantees!

We are honored to be partnered with the following organizations in 2017

Africa Development Promise – ADP envisions flourishing rural communities across Eastern Africa where women can contribute their creativity, innovation and hard work to bring prosperity and economic independence

Akili Dada – Akili Dada is an international award-winning leadership incubator cultivating transformative leadership in a generation of young African women.

Creative Action Institute – CAI works at the intersection of creativity and social change.  Building the capacity of leaders and organizations for innovation, collaboration and resilience to advance conservation, health and human rights globally.

Gracia – Gracia envisions a better world for girls and young women in Guatemala:  a future where each woman has economic opportunity and a recognized voice in her home, her workplace, and her community.

Heshima Kenya – HK specializes in identifying and protecting unaccompanied and separated refugee children and youth, especially girls, young women, and their children living in Kenya.  Shelter, education, and community outreach services, couple with local resources and the refugee community, empower this population to live health lives.

Kibera Girls Soccer Academy – KGSA is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk and disadvantaged young women by providing free secondary education, artistic programming, and athletic opportunities in the slums of Kibera, Kenya.

Komera – In Rwanda, “Komera” means “be strong, have courage.”  Komera develops self-confident young women through education, community and sport.

Northern Kenya Fund – NKF supports deserving and high achieving Northern Kenyan students in attending secondary and university level schools.  The fund places an emphasis on providing scholarships to female students since they have fewer opportunities to attend secondary school and beyond.

Nurturing Minds – The SEGA Girls School is a residential secondary school for bright motivated Tanzanian girls who otherwise are unable to attend school due to extreme poverty.

Street Business School – Tested and effective, Street Business School combines business training and mentoring in a world-class program to empower women to launch new business, increase their income and transform their lives.

Sustainable Health Enterprises – A social venture in Rwanda that invests in people and ideas that are typically overlooked (and often taboo), as vehicles of social and economic change.  SHE is helping women jumpstart social businesses to manufacture and distribute affordable menstrual pads.  Coupled with health education and advocacy, girls and women will have even more productive lives than before.

Xela Aid – Empowering children and their families in the highlands of Guatemala, to break the cycle of poverty and to become healthy, educated and self reliant.

Young Dreamer Network – to empower teens to become difference makers both locally and globally.

A Leg to Stand On – Bringing free orthopedic care to children in the developing world whose families are unable to afford treatment.

Cielo de Amor – Improving the quality of life for youth with disabilities in Nicaragua by providing education, physical therapy, adaptive equipment, and trainings to parents and staff.

Karagwe Community Based Rehabilitation Program – Ensuring that people with disabilities and most vulnerable groups in Tanzania are respected in the community through advocacy of their rights, rehabilitated through physiotherapy and community health care, trained through provision of equal opportunities, and self-reliant through establishment of income generation activities.

The Komera Center – Supporting over 140 children with disabilities in Rwanda.

LIMBS International – Committed to designing and developing affordable, high quality prosthetic solutions for the millions of amputees throughout the developing world who would normally never have access to prosthetic technology, let alone be able to afford them.

The Action Foundation – A youth led center in Kibera slum supporting services for children with disabilities and their caregivers.  Believing in a Kenya where children with disabilities have equal opportunities to succeed.

Transitions Foundation of Guatemala – Mobilizing Guatemalans with disabilities through health, rehabilitation, education, spiritual development, leadership skills, social integration and employment.  

Youth With Physical Disabilities Development Program – Changing the lives of children with disabilities in Uganda by: providing appropriate wheelchair technologies; advocating for their rights and inclusion in society; igniting self-reliance through income generation opportunities; promoting inclusive education for all.


Welcome our new 2016 grantees!


In early January, the Arthur B. Schultz Foundation Board convened for our annual meeting in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. As usual, there were highs and lows, laughter and tears, late nights followed by early mornings, intense discussions and joyful reminiscing. Sitting, skiing, eating, drinking (coffee of course!), and to top it all off, deciding upon our new grantees of 2016. This year marked the most difficult decision-making year, as the quality of all the organizations that applied was outstanding, and unfortunately we could not fund them all. Nonetheless, please welcome our new grantees of 2016 – we believe they most closely represent the vision and mission of the Arthur B. Schultz Foundation.
Africa Development Promise
Asante Africa
Heshima Kenya
Karagwe Community Based Rehabilitation Program (KCBRP)
LIMBS International
The Maranyundo School
Northern Kenya Fund
Sustainable Health Enterprises
The Action Foundation
WISER School
Xela Aid
Youth With Physical Disability Development Forum (YPDDF)

The organizations listed below are either in the middle of a multi-year grant with ABSF, or we have funded them in the recent past and think they are fabulous! Check them out as well…
Akilah Institute
Akili Dada
A Leg To Stand On
Cambodian Arts & Scholarship Foundation
Creativity for Peace
Eleanor’s Project
Future of Nicaragua Foundation
Global Mobility
Maasai Girls Education Fund
Pilgrims of Ibillin
Rwanda Girls Initiative
SEGA Girls School – Nurturing Minds
Transitions Global
Vietnam HELP
Village Enterprise

The Arthur B. Schultz Foundation Meets the Challenge for Greatest Impact with Grant Giving

Employment designed to meet the needs for the local Guatemalan's in wheelchairs at Hope Haven International, Refugio de Esparanza
Employment designed to meet the needs for person’s with mobility disabilities in Central America at Hope Haven International.

With the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) season approaching on September 1st we’d like to share some of the driving factors that determine our grant giving.

The Arthur B. Schultz Foundation is a small family foundation and in an effort to maximize our grant giving – to – impact ratio we’ve developed a clear vision that recognizes two main priorities: Disabled Mobility and Women’s Empowerment.  Within these broad categories we have identified areas of emphasis that we have learned translate into thriving communities and sustainable lives.

In this first blog post of a series we would like to highlight a staggering statistic that suggests “90 to 98% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school” (UNESCO). And to put that into perspective of the larger world population, “20% of the world’s poorest people have some kind of disability” (The World Bank).

ABSF addresses this inequity by supporting programs that specifically focus on Disabled Mobility. One such program that we‘ve had a wonderful long term relationship with is Hope Haven International (HHI). In the early 1990’s they recognized that the needs of those living with a disability in developing countries without roads or sidewalks, without regular access to transportation, healthcare services or medical equipment were overlooked and not protected under the law. Frequently, people with disabilities go without education or access to employment and become targets for crime and maltreatment.

A KidChair individually fitted for the unique posture of this recipient. They added a desk for writing and eating, often the first time a child can do these activities with more independence.
A KidChair individually fitted for the unique posture of this recipient. They added a desk for writing and eating, often the first time a child can do these activities with more independence.

At one of their wheelchair manufacturing and distribution centers in Antigua, Guatemala, Refugio de Esperanza, they employ 18-20 people with disabilities. For many of them, this is their first opportunity to learn job skills and earn a wage for their family. The employees are trained to operate the machinery, specifically designed for those in a wheel chair, with assistive technology and are educated on the manufacturing process for building the KidChair. The Hope Haven KidChair has evolved into a seating system that provides orthopedic support while also growing with the child. It meets the needs of almost any child who requires wheelchair mobility while living in demanding, developing world conditions.

Many of the employees are trained to help fit each recipient properly in their wheelchair. They’re able to use their life experience of living in a wheelchair to educate the new wheelchair recipients and their families – how to deal with pressure sores, urinary tract infections, proper transferring techniques, implement physical therapy exercises, etc.

Refugio de Esperanza is extremely progressive in supporting their employees beyond the traditional work day by taking them on trips to the pyramids among the dense forest in Tikal and encouraging physical activity by maintaining a highly competitive basketball team, all in wheelchairs. Our own Chairman of the Board, Erik Schultz, was fortunate to join the employees in a pick-up basket ball game during a site visit in 2014.

The Arthur B. Schultz's Chairman of the Board, Erik Schultz, playing a pick-up basketball game with Refugio de Esparanza employees and local basket ball team.
The Arthur B. Schultz’s Chairman of the Board, Erik Schultz, playing a pick-up basketball game with Refugio de Esperanza employees and local basket ball team.

For more information on Hope Haven International and their affiliates please visit:


Welcome our new grantees!

MGEF Students_blogOver the last week in January, 2015, the Arthur B. Schultz Foundation convened for its annual board meeting in Alta, WY.  Over the long weekend, we discussed, we laughed, we cried, we skied and most importantly, we selected our newest group of grantees for our 2015 grant cycle.  We are thrilled to share with you 7 new outstanding organizations that we have added to our ABSF family.  Please take the time to visit their websites and learn more about the pioneering work they are doing in the fields of women’s empowerment and disabled mobility throughout the developing world.

BanaPads – Tanzania (website currently under construction)

Millions of young girls in the developing world miss school on a regular basis because they don’t have access to clean and affordable sanitary pads.  Banapads is a social enterprise in East Africa, aiming to use locally available raw materials, products from banana trees, to produce affordable, eco friendly sanitary pads. The organization provides employment opportunities to women in the villages by giving them training on reproductive health and business concepts.  Women learn essential business skills and gain capital by selling and distributing the pads in their villages – many will go on to start their own businesses from the skills gained during their training sessions.  These women will also teach reproductive health concepts to young girls and help keep them in school by distributing BanaPads.  Arthur B. Schultz Foundation support will help BanaPads develop additional programming in rural Bukoba villages of Tanzania.


CASF_ABSFPhotoCambodian Arts and Scholarship Foundation – Cambodia

The Cambodian Arts & Scholarship Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children through education, and focuses on poor, at-risk Cambodian girls who, for a number of reasons, are denied equal access to schooling. CASF works closely with local communities to identify potential students; provides the financial (direct cash scholarships), emotional, and medical support necessary for them to attend school; and sustains this support for as long as the child wants to learn. CASF started with three girls in primary school in 2001. Since then, they have graduated fifty students from university and a number have gone on to graduate degrees.

With support of the Arthur B. Schultz Foundation, CASF will expand its program in 2015-2016, providing scholarships to twenty additional high school students and five additional university students.

Komera – Rwanda

Komera develops self-confident young women through education, community and sport. At Komera we work with vulnerable young women in South Eastern Rwanda who show academic and leadership promise. We use education as our framework to invest in their future but also support them through leadership workshops, social entrepreneurship development, health education, and transition programs onto post-secondary opportunities. We invest in their families, helping them help themselves through small business development. This isn’t just about the girl, it’s about her family and her community. The Arthur B. Shultz Foundation is providing essential support to help us launch our Post Secondary Transition Program. This program will provide intensive English language training, computer skills, assistance for post-secondary applications, and a business incubator for all Komera graduates.

LIMBS International – Guatemala

LIMBS International is a (501c3) humanitarian organization whose mission is to engage communities and transform lives through affordable, sustainable prosthetic solutions. The cornerstone of LIMBS’ technology is the M3 Relief Knee, which is made from plastic components and stainless steel hardware, making it waterproof, low-cost, and field repairable. The M3 Knee is included in a full leg system (The LIMBox) that LIMBS provides to its partner clinics throughout the developing world. LIMBS’ partnership with the Arthur B. Schultz Foundation will allow for the establishment of a sustainable solution for amputees in Guatemala where they will not only receive a high-quality prosthetic leg, but also the essential follow-up care and rehabilitation.


LivelyHoods is a nonprofit social enterprise working to address employment challenges among youth and women in the slums of Nairobi. Approximately 70% of Kenya’s urban residents live in slum communities characterized by high unemployment, overcrowding, insecurity, and a lack of health, education, and sanitation services. LivelyHoods trains and hires unemployed women and youth to sell environmentally and socially conscious products, including solar lamps and clean-cookstoves, door-to-door in the slums.

In 2015, LivelyHoods is partnering with the Arthur B. Schultz foundation for a project entitled “She Sells: Women Working their Way Out of Poverty”. With ABSF’s support, Livelyhoods will expand our work in women’s economic empowerment by training and hiring women from Nairobi’s slums to earn an income selling our life-improving products door-to-door in slum communities.

Maasai Girls Education FundKenyaMaasai Village_MGEF

The Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) was created to improve the literacy, health and economic well-being of Maasai women in Kenya and their families through education of girls and their communities.

MGEF provides scholarships from primary school through university to girls who have never enrolled in school, or who would be forced to drop out of school for cultural or economic reasons, and we are committed to each student until they have the knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce in Kenya.  With economic empowerment, this new generation of Maasai women will end early marriages and circumcision of girls and bring greater literacy, health, and economic well being to future generations. MGEF also organizes community workshops to address the social customs and cultural beliefs that prevent girls from getting an education. We work in partnership with the Maasai community, including local area chiefs and women advocates for education of girls, to achieve our combined mission.

TAF_swingsmThe Action Foundation – Kenya

TAF envisions a barrier-free society for children with disabilities in the most vulnerable communities in Kenya.  Currently, TAF serves 40 children with physical and intellectual disabilities.  They receive physiotherapy, nutrition, education and training in daily living five days per week with the goal of integrating them as much as possible into society.  The center is community-run, employing local residents of Kibera and assisted by parent volunteers.  TAF partners with various organizations to educate parents to better take care of their kids and also to empower them with income generating skills. The Arthur B. Schultz Foundation is supporting TAF through the provision of supportive and adaptive devices, including wheelchairs, prosthetic legs, crutches, walking frames and other mobility aids.

Palestinian Peacemaker – a voice to be heard

CFP_E&MThe Arthur B. Schultz Foundation (ABSF) believes deeply in the premise that educating girls is one of the most powerful ways to address global poverty.  Educated girls transform societies.

Earlier in the month, we highlighted the organization Creativity For Peace, an organization that prepares the next generation of female leaders and peacemakers in Israel and Palestine.  ABSF has provided scholarships for two young Palestinian women from Creativity for Peace to attend a university in Ramallah.  They recently graduated and are actively pursuing higher education opportunities.  We are extremely proud of these young Peacemakers and believe they will help to bring peace and understanding to their region.

One of these young women has gone on to a Masters program in Management in England.  She sent a letter to ABSF expressing her gratitude for tuition support and I found myself deeply moved by her passion, maturity, and belief in a better future. We will hear more from this young woman in the future as she goes on to make her mark in this world and her efforts to promote peace and understanding among all people.  In her words…

Although I am a female student, living through difficult conditions in Palestine, I consider myself a strong independent woman who is able to overcome all obstacles that come my way…. As a Palestinian student I have suffered severely from the Israeli occupation and this endless Palestinian-Israeli conflict. When I was just a little girl in 2002 Israeli soldiers invaded my house and I almost lost my sister on that horrific day. These terrifying incidents continued throughout my life.

Now after many years, after truly growing up and experiencing other hardships in my life, I realize that it is not a weapon I need to fight back with, I need for my voice to be heard. 

I will one day be able to challenge one-eyed media, these that never show what Palestinians go through on daily basis. Everyday, my private belongings get searched, and I get stuck on the street with many others for no apparent reasons but the will of the occupation army. Feeling as if you have no value to the person in front of you is the worst feeling you could ever feel, it makes me angry to the point where I imagine myself shaking the soldier in front of me just to remind him that I am a human being just like him, the only difference is that we were born on different sides of the line….

Today I understand that through my education, I can have my voice heard so the world would hear my story and the story of my people. Many people only hear distorted stories about my people through the mainstream media. However, I believe that individual voices like mine, ones that speak the truth of personal experiences, will be able to challenge mainstream media stereotypes and distorted facts.

She goes on to describe her dream of establishing a nonprofit in Palestine, which would support people in poverty, based on the concept of giving back to their community in any way they are able.   She is currently well on her way to achieving that dream as she has gone on to a Masters program in England where she is studying management and economics.

Creativity for Peace: Young Peacemakers in the Middle East

The courage to lead. The promise of change.

CFP_Art July 14-12
photo by: Cathy Maier

I first learned of CFP in 2006, when The Arthur B. Schultz Foundation (ABSF) was funding “global understanding”  projects that focused specifically on reconciliation and peace efforts between countries and peoples in conflict.  Although we have since narrowed this aspect of our grantmaking to a very specific women’s empowerment strategy, we have remained connected to this organization through scholarships and a genuine interest in their important work.

CFP prepares the next generation of female leaders and peacemakers in Israel and Palestine and is currently the only organization working with young Palestinian and Israeli women on collaborative leadership and peacemaking. Each summer, a group of young Palestinian and Israeli women come to New Mexico to participate in a program that asks them to partner together as leaders by breaking down barriers of anger and prejudice, facilitating friendships, and inspiring action to promote peace.  The program continues beyond the Summer camp through a number of activities, including home country gatherings, Young Leader training and support, as well as peace advocacy throughout the US, Israel and Palestine.  Please take the time to visit their website and learn more about their important work at

Xela Aid: Partnerships for Self Reliance

“We live to weave, and by our weavings, we live.”
   Luciana Vasquez, Coordinator
Xela AID’s Tesoros del Corazon Weaving Cooperative

Blog post for XelaAid

Xela AID understands that children who are hungry or sick cannot learn, and that families who have insufficient income cannot support their children being in school. Therefore, the organization supports education while it works to address, simultaneously, the health and socio-economic issues that thwart learning. They pursue an integrated model of community development, and solutions that are comprehensive, sustainable, scalable and transferable.

Xela AID has worked to empower numerous local groups to become independent – self reliant– through the development of small businesses. They do not give funds or resources, but provide seed investment which is repaid, engendering pride, ownership, and a sustainable model.

Xela AID is currently working with its 13 weavers, Tesoros del Corazon, toward a more sustainable and self-reliant model: while they market weavings in the United States, the organization also provides training to the women in an effort to increase product quality, to diversify product line, and to become more proficient in marketing and administration.

Established to support local artisans at a time that this ages-old traditional artform was dying out, for a full decade, Xela AID’s first weaving cooperative returned between $5,000 and $8,000 annually to a group of weavers whose normal family income ranged from just $400 to $800 per year. This added income enabled women to contribute substantively to support of the family, and to send children to school.

To learn more about Xela Aid please visit:

If you’re interested in browsing or purchasing among the many vibrant creations from the women of Tesoros del Corazon (Weavers of the Heart), please visit:

XELA AID: Deep Roots, Sturdy Growth, and Abundant Fruits

XelaAid Erik and Leslie

XelaAID empowers children and their families to break the cycle of poverty and to become healthy, educated and self reliant. They aspire to ensure that every child in the highlands of Guatemala is educated and every family is safe, healthy, well-nourished, and has opportunities to prosper; and to profoundly enrich the lives of our volunteers.

Leslie Baer (seen here to the left) is the Executive Director and Founder of XelaAid. She is a woman of boundless energy, an inventive mind, and an enormous heart: just a few of her many infectious traits that allow the vision of XelaAid to be a sustainable reality.

If you’re interested to learn more please check out, AND, you cannot miss this awesome video they created to introduce you to the people and places of Xela Aid: