What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
We started with the small grants when I was doing womens leadership training for 180 women all over Kazakshtan. I chose 15 among those to become grant makers themselves. That was the innovation- to give out fishing rods instead of “fish”. We wanted to give grants that would have a multiplier effect and be sustainable.
Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.
The Center's Directors Francis Macy and Enid Schreibman have been organizing technical and cultural collaborations between Americans and citizens of the former Soviet Union since 1983. They have co-sponsored and addressed many energy conferences and seminars in Russia and Ukraine, have conducted training and grant programs in Kazakhstan and have organized study tours in the U.S. for environmental activists from those countries.
Macy is a Russian specialist who has made over fifty working visits to the USSR and successor states since 1961. He received the Nuclear Free Future Life-Time Achievement Award for "building bridges between the Russian and American peace and environmental movements." Schreibman has been leading professional exchanges to and from the former Soviet Union since 1986. She is an experienced trainer, organizational consultant and women's rights activist.
Since 1991, the staff of the Center for Safe Energy has established partnerships with environmental activists and energy specialists in the former Soviet Union.
The Center's work currently includes NGO capacity building, women's leadership and civil rights, energy information exchange, local organizing and NGO advocacy campaigns, energy efficiency and renewable energy business development. With its foreign partners, the Center has co-sponsored seminars, conferences, training programs, environmental assessments and exchanges of delegations between the United States and the former Soviet Union.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
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