Updates from The Denan Project - Spring, 2016
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A report from Dick Young, President and Founder of The Denan Project
Emergency Food Supplies Provided

Bags of rice and cooking oil being distributed in Denan

A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated and supported our recent fundraiser providing emergency food supplies to the people of Denan, Ethiopia!

As a result of your amazing generosity, we were able to surpass our fundraising goal by 50%, raising a total of $45,600! We are so grateful that during a time of true crisis brought on by the terrible countrywide drought conditions, our supporters enabled us to provide this desperately needed food.

There has also been a wonderful development – we learned that a major international aid organization, which had in the past been providing food to the region but had stopped for more than seven months, has re-commenced its ongoing aid. This is great news, not only for the people of the Denan region, but also for our organization, which can now return to focusing on our core mission of health care, agriculture and other programs.

Economic Development at Work

In all of the areas where we operate, our ultimate goal is to help impoverished communities become permanently self-sustainable. In three of our five project locations, we support various economic development programs, particularly through micro-loans. According to organizations such as the International Finance Corporation, micro-loans are a strong tool in fighting poverty, as they allow poor people to build assets, increase incomes and reduce vulnerability to economic stress.

We have awarded $77,000 in micro-loans to groups in Ethiopia, Peru, and Burkina Faso since 2010, and the loans have proven extremely successful, providing opportunity and resources to groups that would have had little, if any, chance for entrepreneurism. We thought we’d share with you a few details about each of these programs.

Denan, Ethiopia

One of our micro-loan groups in Denan, Ethiopia
  • 18 micro-loans have been given over the past five years, with every one being repaid in full, either on time or early.
  • Most of the loans have been given for shoat-raising (sheep and goat) projects, in which the animals are purchased at a young age, fattened up, and sold for a profit.
  • Some of the groups have started giving loans to individual members of their own group.
  • One group just started its second successful loan by importing perfumes and cosmetics for sale to the local populace – showing that some Denan inhabitants now even have a little extra for small luxury items! Our partners tell us that our efforts have been a fundamental part of this economic transformation.

Ouadaradouo, Burkina Faso

A micro-loan group in Burkina Faso
  • Our first micro-loan program began in December of 2014, with 10 village women collectively being given a loan of $1,500 to develop and re-sell goods in the local market.
  • After the initial loan was paid back three months early, we doubled the amount in the next micro-loan!
  • The number of participants in the cooperative group, which sells fruits and nuts, doubled as well.

Uratari, Peru

Volunteers from the village of Churo building a cuy house as part of a micro-loan project.
  • We currently provide funding for four micro-loan projects, two in Uratari and one each in the neighboring villages of Churo and Pampahuaylla.
  • The loans allow the raising of cuyes (guinea pigs), which have long been an important part of the diet of the residents of the High Andes and provide a rare source of protein. Cuy can be found on the menus of the finest restaurants in Cusco and Lima.
  • The success of these projects has resulted not only in economic benefits to the community, but also to the health of the people, particularly children.
  • To date, all cuy micro-loan projects have been repaid in full – some of them even before the loans were due.

As always, thank you for your continued support of The Denan Project. If you have any questions, or would like to get involved, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at

Best regards,

In April, 2016 our Board of Directors announced a commitment to cover all administrative and fundraising costs so that 100% of every dollar you donate will go directly to our projects and the communities in which we work.


Pingry School Student Group

This past year our volunteer ranks were joined by a great group of students at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, NJ. Just finishing 9th grade, the kids have held pizza lunch drives for TDP, raising more than $500, and are holding a “Walk for Denan” on June 18. If you happen to be in the area, come lend your support!

Walk for Denan
Saturday, June 18
3:30–5:30 p.m.

Harry Dunham Park, Basking Ridge, NJ

Get More Info >

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