SKI Charities is unique in its emphasis on building local groups of female entrepreneurs and scholars to unlock their communities’ potential and foster a more hopeful tomorrow. SKI Charities acts on the premise that talent should be given every opportunity to blossom, no matter where on earth. Much potential remains dormant in the developing world, particularly among women and young girls.
We believe that microfinance, the practice of supporting low-income entrepreneurs who are typically unable to participate in the formal banking sector, can create a powerful impact. SKI Charities provides capital to female entrepreneurs through our microfinance institute, SKIMFI. In parallel, affording educational resources to young girls can have a far reach in expanding the potential of a community and a nation. Our SKIPGO initiative grants scholarships to highly motivated girls who show early promise. And for many creative artists in these same locations, SKILLS provides commissions so that they may express their culture through independent works.
We conceptualize our efforts as a “hand up rather than a hand out.” We lend individuals a helping hand, empowering them to renew and rebuild their communities. It is essential to focus on providing the tools and skills that allow them to pick themselves up and keep themselves there. We prioritize sustainability and believe in supporting projects that will positively influence local economic development and inclusion.
Empowering our beneficiaries is the key to our global efforts and by working together to reach our aims we will create a better future. International development benefits us all by promoting a more stable and enriched world. This development begins by encouraging local entrepreneurs and educating children, together providing the foundation for future development. SKI Charities lifts individuals across the globe by bringing them the means to achieve their life goals.
SKI Charities commenced operations in October 2010, with the goal of providing economic support to empower females in remote areas with little access to growth opportunities. The mission of SKI Charities is close to our founder’s philosophy; the women of his family overcame the strict cultural norms of their country, working their way through an education and to successful careers. He was inspired by their strength, spirit and endurance, giving him the motivation to encourage females in developing countries to reach for the same level of achievement and independence. His vision and commitment is the driving force behind SKI Charities. His understanding of the world economy and international background have given him a unique insight into the potential of developing markets.
The initiative was born to leverage the powerful ripple effect that local economic growth can have. With this in mind, long-term programs were created and talented locals were employed to oversee the projects on the ground. SKI Charities began in Mutare, Zimbabwe due to the compelling intersection of need and potential in that region. Since then SKI Charities has become an international network of people and programs dedicated to empower the excluded through economic support and encouragement.
Before engaging in a specific area, we make certain that we have access to a robust network for sourcing and vetting prospective beneficiaries. Through town halls, referrals, and interviews, we are able to involve the most appropriate candidates in our program.
SKI Charities relies on the support from those who share our mission. The organization uses these contributions to drive projects across the world, in the most isolated locations. For SKI Charities it is essential for the continued progress of our mission to maintain a high standard of oversight and due diligence.
Our associates are all members of the community in which we operate, complementing our aim to be an organization with strong roots in the local area. Beyond our staff we are strengthened immeasurably by businesspeople, officials, and other compassionate citizens who believe in our mandate.
Project Manager, SKIMFI — Lebu, Chile
Anita was born and raised in Lebu. Having spent her whole life in the small town, she has strong ties to the community and a deep understanding of the population’s needs. She is driven to help improve the lives of others and has previously worked with local charitable organizations. Anita’s due diligent and personable disposition moves the work on the ground and guides it to success.
Project Manager, SKIPGO — Mutare, Zimbabwe
Elizabeth, a Mutare local, is deeply committed to female welfare and empowerment. She connects easily with people and is business savvy, which contributes daily to SKIPGO’s progress. Her wide range of professional experiences, such as working in local banks and enterprises, helps her understand the goals and needs of the parents she collaborates with and the girls she works to develop.
Project Manager, SKIMFI — Mutare, Zimbabwe
Beatrice is well-known in the Mutare area for her lifelong commitment to women’s issues. Her experience as a businesswoman and community leader has given her unique insight into the issues and challenges that female entrepreneurs face in the region. Beatrice exemplifies the strong female leadership SKIMFI tries to build in its participants. Through her commitment and passion, she energetically translates management vision into action.
Communications Associate, SKIC – New York, NY
Lauren Wingenroth is a writer, dancer and choreographer who is passionate about gender equality. She is currently an editor at Dance Magazine. She is particularly interested in empowering women through the arts.
Precious Ngwayarudza grew up in Chipinge, Zimbabwe and studied Psychology at Africa University. It is natural for her to keep learning and exploring. Her favorite hobby is reading and learning more about human nature. In 2015 she conducted a qualitative research: An exploration of the circumstances that led to elderly destitution and institutionalization at Zororai Old Peoples’ Home. She is a humanitarian who has volunteered her services to various vulnerable groups. Since 2012, she is volunteering at Zororai Old Peoples’ home by offering emotional support to the destitute elderly who stay there. She also volunteered at Mutare Farm prison in 2013 where she was involved in the rehabilitation and reconciliation of the incarcerated. In addition, she undertook an internship at Simukai Child Protection Centre where she offered psychosocial support to the street children.
Shyam K. Iyer
Founder, SKI Charities
SKI Charities was founded by Shyam K. Iyer, a finance professional.