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  • Awarded: 2010
  • Issue Areas: Early Childhood to Primary Education · Economic Opportunity · International Justice · Youth Job Skills
  • Countries Served: Åland Islands · Antarctica · Greece · Netherlands · South Korea
  • Web: villagereachproject.org
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    About the Organization

    VillageReach is an international NGO headquartered in Seattle, with field offices located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, and Mozambique. Through collaboration with public and private sector partners, VillageReach seeks to increase access to quality health care for the world’s most underserved communities, bringing life-saving innovations to scale and sustainability.

    VillageReach develops, tests, and implements solutions that uniquely address barriers at the lower levels or “last mile” of health care delivery in low-resource communities, including medicine availability, human resource constraints, data visibility, and lack of infrastructure.

    Effective solutions require a deep understanding of local health systems, a diverse set of skills and expertise, and strong relationships on the ground in order to achieve sustainable impact. VillageReach’s experience – over a decade of studying and working in low-resource communities in sub-Saharan Africa and around the globe – has informed their focus on the areas that have the greatest potential for large-scale impact, to save lives and improve health outcomes.

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    One of the greatest challenges in healthcare in developing countries is the gaps that prevent medicines, vaccines, and services from reaching remote villages.

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    VillageReach's model addresses five last-mile logistical barriers

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    VillageReach's vision is to ncrease access to quality healthcare for the world’s most underserved communities.

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    VillageReach has increased immunization rates and launched a sustainable business, VidaGas, to provide key support.

    Ambition for Change

    Increase access to quality healthcare for the world’s most underserved communities.

    Path to Scale

    Adoption of Model in Public Systems

    Ministries of Health in Mozambique and other countries are logical partners to adopt innovations developed by VillageReach.

    Born in Cameroon, Blaise Judja-Sato was a successful US businessman until a devastating flood in 
    Mozambique prompted his return to Africa. While helping with relief efforts, he saw both the 
    suffering of the rural poor and the frustration of nongovernmental organizations that could not get 
    medicines across the “last mile” of remote country to those in need. He also realized that these 
    last-mile barriers affected industries and others who might be willing to pay into a shared system 
    that benefited everyone. So, in 2000, Blaise gave up a lucrative corporate career to found 
    VillageReach to build this infrastructure and solve the last-mile logistical challenges that 
    prevent healthcare from reaching rural Mozambique.

    Blaise left the organization in 2008 to pursue other endeavors and founded the NGO, The Resilience Trust,  in 2015.  He did not remain active in the organization. When Blaise left in 2008, Allen Wilcox, a volunteer and Board member, stepped into the role of President, donating his salary and in fact donating his own personal wealth to help keep the organization alive during uncertain financial times. In July 2016, Allen transitioned out of his role as President but remains on the Board in a senior advisor role focused on partner relations, advocacy for change leadership and innovation for improving health system performance at the lower levels. Evan Simpson stepped into the role as current President in July 2016.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • VillageReach increased immunization coverage rates for children under 5 in northern Mozambique from 68 percent to over 95 percent with an innovative last-mile logistics system that not only increased effectiveness but also reduced costs for Mozambique’s Ministry of Health, which is now implementing the system throughout the country.
    • VillageReach developed an open-source, Web-based management information system to support last-mile logistics systems.
    • VillageReach built its social business, VidaGas, into a profitable business as the largest propane distributor in northern Mozambique. It continues to support the health system as well as moving the broader market away from wood and charcoal as energy sources.

    Affiliated

    Alinafe KasiyaMalawi Deputy Country Director, VillageReach
    Allen WilcoxFormer President, Board Member, VillageReach
    Andrew HauliHealth Center Manager, VillageReach
    Blaise Judja-SatoFounder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, VillageReach
    Bvudzai MagadzireSenior Technical Advisor, VillageReach
    Rebecca OkeloProgram Lead, Med25, VillageReach

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