IMG's third annual Leave Your Mark essay contest, which provides an opportunity for mission and social good organizations to increase their impact around the world, began on June 3, 2019 and will be accepting entries until August 30, 2019. The Leave Your Mark essay topic for 2019 is: “If your organization were to win, how would this impact your global outreach efforts?” Organizations are invited to participate by submitting a 500-word essay answering the question. Our panel of judges will choose the winners. Enter the 2019 Leave Your Mark Contest here!
IMG has been providing insurance benefits and services to mission organizations for over 25 years and is committed, to giving back to the global community. IMG launched the Leave Your Mark contest back in 2017, and every year IMG awards two organizations with $5,000 to invest towards their global outreach programs. We recently caught up with our 2018 winners, Canopy Life and Concern America, and asked them a few questions about how they've used the money to impact their global outreach efforts.
Canopy Life Academy in Kenya is a residential school that is focused on giving vulnerable children from rural villages the heart, mindset, and skills they need to lead their families out of poverty. They provide the education and skills at the school in an innovative environment that helps prepare the students for their future.
We used the $5,000 to purchase a generator for our school in Koma Hill, Kenya. After renting in Nairobi for several years, we had just completed building our own campus/home on our new property. However, after engaging them for almost a year, Kenya Power was (and still is) dragging to install power to the campus. The campus was supposed to open in January and we had NO POWER! Thanks to this generator, we have had power for everything from our lighting and computers to running the washing machine and the well on campus. We have launched our Innovation program, held evening worship sessions with the students, and can pump water up from our new borehole/well into the house. Worship! Water! Technology! Family evening times! None of these would have been possible without the funds provided from the Leave your Mark contest.
Be sure to share the “why” behind your need, not just the need itself. Also, be sure to you can fulfill on your projected use of the funding.
Concern America is focused on building healthcare, clean water access, education and bringing economic opportunity to communities all around the world. They work in economically impoverished regions and help community members become empowered to improve their own lives, primarily through health, sanitation, and education projects.
Concern America has long used IMG to insure our international-based field personnel working in countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, and Mozambique. IMG insurance has been a great asset for our field personnel and affordable for our organization. Applying for the Leave Your Mark contest was three-fold: a company we respect, funding that we could use, and an alignment of values in health care.
The $5,000 was used to support the training of health promoter practitioners and midwives in Petén, Guatemala. These practitioners serve as volunteers who become the primary health care providers for their neighbors and surrounding villages. In Petén, people live many hours from the nearest clinic/hospital, and even if they are able to travel, the doctor may not be there, speak their language, or provide affordable care. Concern America’s trained practitioners can diagnose and treat 80% of the health care needs directly in their own community. Below, a Concern America field team member describes visiting a health promoter practitioner’s home (one who received advanced training supported by the Leave Your Mark award) and the incredible service she provides her community where no other care exists.
“Around 7pm, patient after patient started arriving one by one which formed a line. They knew that this is around the time Eva, their community’s practitioner, would arrive home. There was a lady with a dog bite on her thumb, a child with dysentery, a pregnant woman with a urinary tract infection, a woman with uncontrolled hypertension, and on and on.”
The award helped support advanced training courses that further developed the skills of 380 health promoter practitioners and midwives on the topics of chronic illnesses, cancer, sexually transmitted infections, mental health, women’s health, early childhood development, complicated deliveries, the nervous system, skin infections, respiratory illnesses, ophthalmology, and nutrition. These trainings not only improved the knowledge and practice of the practitioners and midwives, it also expanded services to 4,000 people previously without access to care.
If you don’t get the award this year, try again! It took us two years of entering to be awarded.
For more information about the Leave Your Mark contest and how to enter, please visit: https://www.imglobal.com/leave-your-mark.
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