Feb. 2023
Hello ICO friends and journal readers!

We are thrilled to produce the first edition of the ICO World Journal for 2023, which is filled with ICO’s contribution to various activities, including participation in International Development Week and Camosun College.

As always, if you have any topics you would like to see included in the Journal, please reach out to Communications@InnovativeCommunities.org.

We hope you enjoy reading this edition as much as we enjoyed producing it.

Yours in Friendship,

The ICO World Team


Table of Contents 


  • Donations In, Donations Out
  • ICO’s New Community Initiatives
  • Regional Updates
  • International Development Week
  • Camosun College Thanks ICO Volunteers






Donations In – Donations Out: How we worked together to enhance the process

Colleen Hanley

In November 2022, seven people came together to create the Donations to Dispersal (D to D) committee, including new and experienced Initiative Leads, our CEO/ CFO, and our Lead, Corporate Services.

The task: Review the D to D processes to understand how donations arrive at ICO and are then sent to our initiatives around the world.

The goal: Look for efficiencies in the processes that will reduce the workloads for all involved.

We divided our work into two parts: Donations In and Donations Out. And over the course of four months and 12 Google Meets, this team of people asked questions of each other, listened deeply to the answers, and sought clarification in order to fully understand both the what and the why.

The Donations In analysis was very detailed, requiring a tremendous amount of patience for all of us as we tracked donations, in all their various forms. During our discussions, the Leads experienced a deepened understanding of the complexity of this process, given ICO has 25 different initiatives. We also gained an appreciation for the role of privacy legislation, both federal and provincial, and how it determines what donor information ICO can collect, retain, and use. The Leads shared the critical nature of offering thanks, updating donors, and contacting donors to raise funds. And this helped the Leadership Team members gain insight into the fundraising practices of the ICO Leads and the critical nature of donor relationships. Currently our CFO and our Lead Corporate Services are exploring the opportunity to adopt a number of recommendations made by the committee.

The second part of our work, Donations Out, involved a review of each of the How To guides and forms, all of which collectively direct the flow of donations from ICO to the initiatives we are engaged with around the world. We quickly came to understand our Donations Out processes are solid. What was needed was a revision of the five documents to make the Donations Out processes easier and more efficient.

There is a lot of guidance that says never try to edit a document with a group of people; but somehow we were able to do just that. Our editing of the How To guides was a success in large part because of the relationship building we did each meeting. Those conversations grew a sense of belonging and trust. Being able to work asynchronously in our ICO Google drive folders was super helpful as well. The revised How To documents and forms are now being reviewed by our Chief Operating Officer.

Our final step, once the two reviews are complete, is to host a meeting of the Initiative Leads to walk them through the edits and suggested revisions. This meeting will allow the process to gather additional perspectives and complete our consultative process. This meeting is tentatively planned for some time in March.

Once this final consultation is done and the ideas embedded in the committee’s Donations In and Donations Out documents, they can be formally reviewed and operationalized.

Committee members: Penny Pattison, Karen Schrey, John Jordan, Linda McCarron, Scarlette Verjinschi, Adam Beaton, Jamie Kyles and Colleen Hanley (facilitator)

ICO’s New Community Initiatives

Brigette McConkey 

ICO is pleased to announce its latest community initiatives: Five are in Tanzania and one is in Nigeria.

The initiative and field leads for the five initiatives in Tanzania are Colleen Hanley, Karen Schrey, and Clamian Ketesho. The leads for the initiative in Nigeria are Adam Beaton and Bona.

Below are brief summaries of the new initiatives and links to their purpose statements.

Tanzania Education for All – Building for the Future

In support of the Maasai community, this community initiative is committed to funding the Nashipay School expansion, its dining hall, and its student and teacher dormitories, including classrooms, latrines, water, solar power, school buses, major equipment, and school furnishings, such as desks, blackboards, lockers, bookshelves, and dormitory bunks.

To learn more about the importance of the Nashipay School to the Maasai community, go to https://www.innovativecommunities.org/communities/tanzania/education-for-all-building-for-the-future

Tanzania Education for All – Creating Opportunities through Education

This community initiative supports education in the Maasai community and features instruction in English, while preserving Maasai culture. It covers such costs as school fees, uniforms, books, and meals for children; technology, vocational, literacy, and numeracy instruction for adults; and school fees, uniforms, books, room and board, and transportation for secondary and post-secondary students.

More information about the Maasai community’s efforts to adapt to today’s Tanzania through education can be found at https://www.innovativecommunities.org/communities/tanzania/education-for-all-creating-opportunities-through-education

Tanzania MamaPower

Three initiatives are grouped under the name Tanzania MamaPower. Note: The approximately 100 women of the Makuyuni Maasai community of Northern Tanzania are affectionately known as Mamas.

Tanzania MamaPower – Creating Financial Stability

This community initiative supports new business ventures, such as a Maasai shop to sell traditional clothing, footwear, and ceremonial beading. Also, in partnership with a Tanzanian NGO, it has established microlending through Village Community Banking groups (VICOBAs) in order to set up microbusinesses. The initiative received an “infusion of funds” in January 2023, which will enhance each VICOBA’s lending power and lead to more businesses and higher living standards.

Find more details about this initiative at https://www.innovativecommunities.org/communities/tanzania/mamapower-creating-financial-stability

Tanzania MamaPower – Establishing a Healthy Community

This community initiative supports first aid, emergency transport to hospital, nursing care, and services for women and girls, like midwifery and the provision of reusable menstrual kits. Also planned is a basic clinic, compensation for visiting health professionals, and a pool of funds to pay for medical services and hospital bills.

For more information, go to https://www.innovativecommunities.org/communities/tanzania/mamapower-establishing-a-healthy-community

Tanzania MamaPower – Growing Food Security

This community initiative supports a seven-acre permaculture fruit and and vegetable garden through the purchase of seeds, tools, fencing, food storage, water source development, salaries, training, and expert consultation. An innovative livestock program is also supported, which lends four animals to one Mama, who later shares the animals’ offspring with other Mamas, enabling all of them to feed their families and derive income from the sale of milk and meat.

More details are available at https://www.innovativecommunities.org/communities/tanzania/mamapower-growing-food-security

Nigeria Umuode Solar Powered Water Pump for a School

This community initiative will replace a school’s diesel-powered water pump with a solar-powered one, which will save an estimated 2,200 L of diesel fuel a year for between 20 to 30 years. The cost savings will be directed to educational activities that benefit the school’s 700 students and their teachers. This most recent initiative is a model in the community of economic and environmental sustainability.

Learn more at https://www.innovativecommunities.org/communities/nigeria/nigeria-umuode-village-solar-powered-water-pump

ICO is excited to see its new community initiatives offering much-needed education and poverty relief, while promoting innovation and economic and environmental sustainability.

Nashipay Maasai SchoolPhoto courtesy of: Education for All – Creating Opportunities Initiative  

Nepal Women's Initiative Cararact Surgery Patients Photo courtesy of: Nepal Women’s Health Initiative  

San Pedro Students at Computers

Photo courtesy of: San Pedro Education Initiative



International Development Week

Kyle Boss

On Feb. 9 2023, The British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) held a seminar for International Development Week. Colleen Hanley, Vice Chair and Secretary of BCCIC’s Board of Directors and an ICO volunteer, raised various issues facing the Maasai people of Maasai-land (Northern Tanzania and Kenya) with leaders in the Maasai community, including Kitesho Namayani Rapey Edward and Clamian Kitesho.

The seminar, entitled “Inside & Out: Guarding Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Tanzania,” covered the topics of protecting rights and land, women taking on leadership roles (e.g., in village banks and small businesses), and peace and security issues. The participants discussed various interconnected problems, including the following:

  • lack of education and poverty;
  • gender injustice, such as the burden on women and girls of collecting water, which hinders their involvement in economic and educational activities;
  • food security, including malnutrition, dietary shifts from livestock products, and the need for drought-resistant crops;
  • the protection of Maasai culture and traditions, which is tied closely to land and wildlife protection; and
  • the climate crisis, particularly the impact of a long drought.

You can view the entire seminar free-of-charge here on YouTube.


The British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) and InnovativeCommunities.org (ICO) Foundation have been partners for many years. BCCIC can provide helpful resources to frontline ICO workers to enable better working relationships with their partners in Tanzania. BCCIC provides frames of reference and tools to help ICO frontline workers to be more effective, such as providing perspectives on key social issues.

Camosun College Thanks ICO Volunteers

Camosun College faculty member, Anne Borrowman, sent this thank you note to ICO volunteers.

“Camosun College Marketing Project Management (MARK 420) students and myself are extremely grateful to ICO and Initiative partners for contributing their time over the past two years as clients for student projects.

The dedication and passion of ICO volunteers to their respective initiative while supporting student learning and perspective of international development is so appreciated.

The experience students gain through working with you often creates an awareness they will reflect on for years to come – and potentially become an ICO volunteer themselves.

Again, thank you and it is a privilege working with such an impactful organization.”


Don’t forget to check us out on social media!

Do you have an article you would like to see included in the ICO World Journal? 

Email us at communications@innovativecommunities.org