Women farmers in Ethiopia taking notes in on new irrigation methods

Help Synergos build a better world.
A world built on trust.

2023 End of Year Campaign

Our world has made tremendous progress in overcoming poverty and related social and economic problems in the last three decades.

But this progress has been uneven.

Too many people have been left behind, their potential unrealized. And climate change, conflict, and polarization threaten communities around the world. We know this is unacceptable.

As Synergos’ founder Peggy Dulany puts it:

“The anxiety, rage, grief, and fear that are so prevalent around the globe are our signals that things need to change.

Change from the inside out. And from the outside in.”

Much more needs to be done.

There’s an urgent need for different parts of society – including business, government, civil society, and communities – to come together in collaboration. Moreover, for such collaboration to be successful requires inclusion of actors whose voices are too often ignored, such as women, youth, and people directly affected by poverty.

Building inclusive collaboration isn’t easy. Even with the best of intentions, differences of perspective, short-term needs, and even power can get in the way - fostering distrust and keeping people stuck.

At Synergos, we use our bridging leadership approach to build the trust and collaboration needed to unlock solutions to complex problems around the world.

One recent example of our impact is in Tunisia, where we are supporting youth social entrepreneurship in partnership with Blue Fish, a local organization. Over 90 students from three schools in the city of Beni Khalled, as well as a group of high school dropouts, have participated in boot camps in which they identified problems in their communities and developed proposed solutions.

Teachers were also trained to support young social entrepreneurs. The youth also received training and coaching in elaborating their pitches, public speaking, budgeting, and developing road maps for their projects. Current activities include working with teachers to turn their workplans into action.
Young farmers in Ethiopia

Another example is in Ethiopia, where we have worked for more than 10 years. In 2021 we launched a project to increase the productivity and income of 30,000 smallholder farmers through the creation of centers of excellence to test and promote solutions for increased production. The centers serve as demonstration sites for crops such as tomatoes, beetroot, sweet potatoes and avocados – providing access to innovative techniques and technologies. So far, over 25,000 smallholder farmers have registered with these centers. Some farmers’ incomes have since increased three- to four-fold. In addition, the project is engaging jobless youth and women to create employment opportunities and training youth leaders in entrepreneurship.

In South Africa, we have been working to support municipal leadership and good governance in Makana, a municipality where poor service delivery has led to lawsuits against the government. Against this backdrop of conflict, we have helped build technical capacity in government for collaboration - both within government entities and also with civil society and business. Rev Chikane explaining June the 16th uprising to kids at a Makana orphanage.The result has been government officials coming together with community and business leaders to develop more inclusive, impactful programs on issues from waste management to water to youth development. With our South African partners, we have also supported the creation of a youth coalition that has self-identified action priorities for themselves including unemployment, drug use, and crime.

Looking forward, South Africa’s Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the South African Local Government Association have shown interest in applying the practices we are using within the teams of their own respective entities.

Your support underwrites Synergos’ work supporting inclusive approaches to complex problems around the world.

Synergos holds the highest rating from Charity Navigator: 4 stars. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed under U.S. law. (Download a PDF gift form.)

Thanks to the generosity of the Synergos Board of Directors, your donation to our End of Year Campaign will be matched, which allows us to bring in double the funds to support our work.

For More Information

Contact Folashade Kornegay at fkornegay@synergos.org.