Project People Foundation was originally founded in 1995 to foster self-esteem among South African children by distributing 15,000 new black dolls to them that were donated on their behalf. Rev. Linda Tarry-Chard, PPF Founder & President, spearheaded this effort, then called the “Black Doll Project,” in collaboration with Ikamva Labantu, a social assistance agency in Cape Town. In 1996, PPF expanded its vision to promote the economic empowerment of black South African women and with Ikamva Labantu launched the “Crafting Social Change” program. This program trained and employed over 500 women to produce high-quality handcrafted items, including dolls, stuffed animals, home decorations and beaded jewelry.
In 2015, PPF launched "Bundles of Brightness" in the villages of Uganda and the townships and rural areas of South Africa. The program supported the installation of a solar panel for the school, and home solar lamps for children in an area that is seven kilometers away from the last electricity pole. Bundles also provided school uniforms and school supplies to 245 students at the school. In 2015, PPF was also introduced to Ubuntu Pathways, a unique program in Port Elizabeth, Southern Africa that provides an integrated support system of health, education, and social support in the townships of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. From 2015 - 2018, PPF contributed funds to Ubuntu’s Steps and Strides Early Childhood Development (ECD) program that provided 202 children with school uniforms, daily transportation, lunches, home visits to ensure household stability, and quarterly medical check-ups. PPF also supported Ubuntu’s Grandparents Outing Program which created intentional bonds and support between students and their grandparents. PPF continues to support this results-driven, life-changing program today.
After 22 successful years in southern Africa, PPF recently expanded its mission to address the needs of women and youth in underserved communities that are closer to home. It launched the PPF Giving Circle in 2016, as a way to invest in grassroots organizations in New York City that are aligned with our funding priorities and complete a rigorous evaluation process. One of the first programs supported was The Grandparents Around the World Writing Workshop, which helped seniors convey their life stories through arts and crafts, drama, music and dance performances to be shared with youth in their families and community. The Giving Circle continues to enrich lives in the US and abroad today through these programs, which we support today.