Grants Awarded in 2020


The J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust is a charitable fund established in the memory of Kirby Simon, a Foreign Service Officer who died in 1995 while serving in Taiwan.  The Trust is committed to expanding the opportunities for community service, professional fulfillment and personal well-being of Foreign Service Officers and Specialists and their families.  The Trust has been funded with contributions from Kirby Simon’s colleagues, friends and relatives and other persons interested in the purposes of the Trust.  The trustees are present or former members of the Foreign Service – State Department community and Kirby Simon’s parents.

The Trust invited proposals for the support of projects initiated and carried out by Foreign Service personnel or members of their families, or by other U. S. Government employees employed at American diplomatic posts abroad. The usual deadline of April 1 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and moved to September 1 (after giving all applicants who submitted by April 1 the opportunity to revise or withdraw their proposals). We received 38 proposals and funded 24. (We also made one donation to another non-profit organization in honor of an applicant who died shortly before our board meeting.) Grants ranged from $872 to $5,000 for a total of $64,625.

The following pages describe the projects supported by the Trust in 2020, drawing on material provided in the applications.

CABO VERDE – Praia – Spay and neuter feral dogs and cats, $872

COLOMBIA – Bogota – Expand a foster animal program, $1,500

COSTA RICA –  San Jose – Assist vulnerable refugees in barrio with medicine and medical supplies, $3,750

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Santo Domingo – Empower kids through creativity and literacy, $2,150

ECUADOR – Quito – Sports activities for low-income and migrant boys and girls, $3,000

ECUADOR – Checa – Increasing mask use to combat COVID-19, $976

ECUADOR – Quito – Materials and labor for an enclosed porch at Fundacíón Jonathan, $5,000 

EGYPT – Cairo – Instruments of Resilience: Art, music, and poetry classes for refugee youth, $2,500 

FIJI – Suva – School walkway, playground equipment, and showers for primary school students, $3,072 

INDONESIA – Jakarta – Support a General Education Development (GED) support program for refugees, $3,905 

ISRAEL – Jerusalem – Sports and games program to raise the spirits of Palestinian children undergoing medical treatments in East Jerusalem hospitals, $2500

LITHUANIA – Vilnius – Construct a community greenhouse, $1955

MAURITIUS – Port Louis – Purchase refrigerators and freezers for The Missionaries of Charity, $2400

MEXICO – Ciudad Juarez – Provide personal protective equipment and hygiene supplies to a shelter assisting at-risk women, $3062

MEXICO – Mexico City – Fund the construction of a patio roof for a school on the outskirts of Mexico City in Huixquilucan to create a sheltered eating area, $1300

MEXICO – Monterrey – Introduce underprivileged Mexican children to computers, technology and manufacturing careers, $2500

MEXICO – Guadalajara – Facilitate volunteer involvement to support a shelter for teen mothers and their children, $2000

NAMIBIA – Windhoek – Purchase books for a school library and establish an afterschool reading program. $2,398

SENEGAL – Dakar – refurbish community library, $2,000

SOUTH AFRICA – Pretoria – motorboat engine for boating club, $2,000

SOUTH SUDAN – Juba – Provide malaria medication and emergency medical care for 120 children at an orphanage, $4,000

TURKMENISTAN – Ashgabat – Provide wheelchairs for 35 children, $1,750 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Abu Dhabi – Purchase wifi access for refugee children, $3,575

ZIMBABWE – Mazowe and Bulawayo – furnish supplies for shelters for trafficking victims, $3,960 

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