Grants and Proposals

Keep The Sierra Green

A green business certification program
Excerpts from the Rose Foundation Grassroots Environmental Grant

Project Description

Keep Sierra Green (KSG) is a voluntary green business program providing a legitimate forum in which local businesses and events can promote their sustainable practices and products. KSG's mission is environmental education, stewardship, and leadership with a determination to make Lake Tahoe and the Sierra a global leader in environmental sustainability and to influence businesses and individuals from all over the world to make policy changes and alter purchasing practices with the intent of reducing their negative effects on the environment while creating a more sustainable lifestyle.

Organization Mission and Objectives

KSG's mission is environmental education, stewardship and leadership with a determination to make Lake Tahoe and the Sierra a global leader in environmental sustainability and to influence businesses and individuals from all over the world to make policy changes and alter purchasing practices with the intent of reducing negative effects on the environment while creating more sustainable lifestyles. The enhancements to the KSG program will make it compliant with the CA law AB 913. This law requires local government agencies to operate voluntary green business programs or designate an organization to operate these programs on their behalf. AB 913 has specific requirements that the current KSG program does not uphold such as validation and timely re-validation confirming the reduction of waste and GHG. Other objectives include a way to measure waste reduction and GHG reduction for specific companies and regions as required by the state of CA law AB 32 and CA law AB 341, respectfully, and track BMP’s for stormwater runoff. None of this is achieved through the current KSG program.  

Why Important?

The KSG program has not reached its potential because there is no dedicated support, little funding, and decentralized leadership. This program currently does not adhere to the CA law, AB 913, which went into effect in January 2012. This law requires local government agencies to operate green business programs or designate an organization to operate these programs on their behalf. AB 913 has specific requirements that the current KSG program does not uphold. These include providing application verification to confirm that businesses and events are in compliance with the certification process. It is required to have timely re-certification of green business partners.

The KSG program does not currently have the resources to efficiently perform the outreach necessary to (a) bring new businesses into the program; (b) track the green business partners as required by CA law; and (c) effectively measure waste reduction, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and Best Management Practices (BMP’s) as required by law.

The KSG program is undergoing essential transformations to meet the requirements of CA and the unique needs of the Lake Tahoe Basin and surrounding Sierra Nevada region.

(The full grant proposal is available upon request.)

Vision Support Group

An community-based organization that supports people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS
Excerpts from the HIV/AIDS and TB Health Convention Proposal 

A REQUEST FOR SUPPORT

The purpose of this letter is to ask for your support and partnership in working with the Vision Support Group (VSG) to produce a convention that addresses the serious issues surrounding tuberculosis (TB) infection rates, poor access to care and education, and how HIV/AIDS contribute to the vast number of TB infections.

INTRODUCTION

VSG is a Community Based Organization (CBO) located in Mahalapye, Botswana that operates under the umbrella of the Botswana Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (BONEPWA). We were established in 2003 and registered with Botswana Registration of Societies – Certificate No. CR 8133 on October 31, 2008. Through work with government programs and organizations within and around the Mahalapye area we provide access to health programs and work with health organizations to provide outreach to the people of Mahalapye and the outlying areas. We are assisting various health sectors and organizations in accessing the community and empowering the people to utilize health programs. The membership is comprised of people both infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and individuals interested in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Botswana has the second highest HIV prevalence rate in the world and one of the highest tuberculosis (TB) prevalence rates[i]. TB is also the main cause of death for people living with HIV[ii]. One of the serious problems associated with TB infections is that people infected with HIV default on their antiretroviral treatment (ART) leaving them vulnerable to TB infection. The antiretroviral (ARV) medication that is given to people living with HIV helps them fight infections that can occur when HIV compromises their immune system. Defaulting on ART creates a high-risk environment where, because of the weakened immune system, the bacteria that causes TB can lead to infection. HIV is the strongest risk factor for a person to develop TB[iii].

In Botswana an estimated 65% of people with TB were HIV-positive, 2010[iv]. Being engaged in various health outreach programs VSG has been working with TB and HIV co-infected patients and through this work has become aware of the lack of knowledge that exists regarding the high risk of becoming infected with TB when HIV is present.

JUSTIFICATION OF THE CONVENTION

According to the Republic of Botswana Ministry of Health (MOH) 2009 report only 25% of TB and HIV co-infected patients had access to treatment. In a trial performed for 3 years, 2006 – 2009, patients that started on ART and Isoniazid[v] Preventive Therapy (IPT) had less than 60% full adherence to the program, 19.5% of patients who started ART and IPT discontinued treatment completely, while 9.7% were lost to follow-up[vi].

Due to the major effect, TB has on the quality and length of life, human rights, social stability, and economic growth TB prevention and therapy continue to be a high national priority. It’s imperative we do what we can to educate the people and search for solutions to the problem. In Botswana, there is an annual TB infection rate of 414 per 100,000 people (The World Bank, 2013). The importance of having a clear and comprehensive HIV and TB blended program built on existing Directly Observed Treatment[vii] (DOT) programs is imperative. Botswana has a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and CBO’s that are actively involved in HIV testing, prevention, and care, but there is minimal testing, active prevention and care for people infected with TB.

The intention of this convention is for VSG to deliver a report on its 11 year engagement with issues of HIV/AIDS and TB and to present recommendations for high quality, effective and sustainable treatment of TB; adherence counseling, prevention, and contact tracing. 


[i] Center for Disease Control and Prevention HIV report 2009. 
[ii] WHO TB Report 2013 Factsheet No 104 
[iii] Global tuberculosis control: epidemiology, strategy, financing. World Health Organization report 2009. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland 
[iv] Global tuberculosis control: WHO report 2011 
[v] The first-line medication to treat TB 
[vi] Risk Factors for Non-Adherence and Loss to Follow-Up in a Three-Year Clinical Trial in Botswana: Deborah A. Gust, Barudi Mosimaneotsile, Unami Mathebula, Balladiah Chingapane, Zaneta Gaul, Sherri L. Pals, Taraz Samandari
Published: April 25, 2011 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018435 
[vii] DOT is a treatment program where a trained health care worker or other designated individual (excluding a family member) provides the prescribed TB drugs and watches the patient swallow every dose.

(The full proposal is available upon request.)

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