6/14/2018 Impact Hero 2015 Bella Galhos: 3 Years of dedicated support comes to a close
March 2018 marked the end of our three-year dedicated support period for our very first Impact Hero, Bella Galhos.
When we explain our support model to people for the first time – selecting just one, exceptional change-maker each year to become an Earth Company Impact Hero and giving them tailored, deep support – we are often met with surprise.
We strongly believe that by standing alongside our Impact Heroes, working closely with them to truly understand their needs and empowering them to achieve their potential, we are accelerating change far more effectively than we could otherwise.
So why do we take this approach, and what is its impact?
Empowering those who have the greatest potential for change
Let’s take our very first Impact Hero, Bella Galhos.
A true survivor and warrior, Bella had a dream; a dream to transform her war-torn country of Timor-Leste into a prosperous and sustainable country.
However, in 2014, this dream, and an empty plot of land in the mountains of Maubisse, Timor-Leste, was all Bella had. Potential government funding had been withdrawn, and she was unable to find anyone who would support a woman-led, grassroots project in Timor-Leste.
She is the reason, in fact, that we founded Earth Company – to support inspiring, future-oriented and passionate leaders who have the potential to transform, but are unable to access the resources they need to fulfil that potential.
Accelerating the Impact of our Impact Heroes: what does it take?
Earth Company’s support for Bella commenced at the end of 2014. Our support started, but did not end with fundraising.
FUNDRAISING: We raised a total of 135,200 USD* (*calculated at 100 JPY = 1 USD) over three years to fund the building of Leublora Green Village’s (LGV) key facilities (Leublora Green School and the Green Villas).
OPPORTUNITY BUILDING: Bella was able to bring on further funding and in-kind support indirectly through Earth Company’s promotion of LGV and introduction of key partners.
NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT CONSULTING: Earth Company’s advisory to Bella ensures that LGV as an organisation is in a position to make the best possible use of the funds and support they receive in the future.
What has Bella been able to achieve?
After three years of intensive support, and thanks to the generous support of Earth Company’s supporters, Leublora Green Village (LGV) stands proud in the mountains of Maubisse.
Providing much needed environmental education to local children through its signature project (Leublora Green School) and a model for sustainable development through its organic farming and ecotourism initiatives, it has attracted attention from around the world. The President has even declared that he wants to see LGV’s model replicated in all of Timor-Leste’s 13 regions in order to transform the country; just as Bella had once dreamed.
Words and numbers on a page however are limited in their ability to evoke the true impact of Bella’s work, so here is a beautiful short film that will take you deep into the Timorese mountains to meet Bella and see Leublora Green Village for yourself.
LGV’s Impact – Ana’s Story
Meet Ana. Ana and her family live up the hill from Leublora, in a village called Rai Ligo. When Bella first met Ana, her mother was pregnant with her sixth child, but the family had no regular income and their village had no water supply.
Although 4 years old at the time of this photo, Ana was severely malnourished, suffering from asthma and scabies, and could easily be mistaken for a child half her age.
The only food her family had access to was the corn they were growing, and so were eating corn for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also had no access to clean water.
LGV started to provide Ana’s family with monthly nutritional support packages and introduced her mother to their Women’s Organic Farming Cooperative. Not only did Ana’s mother join the cooperative, but after voicing her dreams of making a garden at home, LGV provided her with the seeds to start. LGV also persuaded local NGOs to provide their village with a water supply, and, thanks to corporate donations, the village soon had two large water tanks.
With this support, the entire family’s health improved dramatically, and two of Ana’s siblings have now even started attending school. Although Anna ‘s asthma is not yet cured entirely, her symptoms have greatly improved. In LGV’s last visit, they were greeted with a huge smile 🙂
LGV’s support has given Ana and her family a second chance at life.
The progress from an empty plot of land and an idea is remarkable, but Bella’s work and Timor-Leste’s story do not finish here.
While Earth Company’s official support period has come to a close, we have endeavoured to ensure that she is in the best possible position to continue her inspiring work. If you are interested in supporting her and LGV, please do not hesitate to get in touch – either with us at [email protected], or with LGV directly, via their website.
You can support Earth Company’s continued work to support our Impact Heroes, and/or their work directly via our donation page.
who have worked with us to support LGV