THE ASCEND INITIATIVE
New model of private-sector mobilization and collaboration.
Ascend is an innovative model of private-sector mobilization and collaboration. The complex issues surrounding refugees, asylum seekers, and Greeks struggling with an economic crisis require strategic and innovative approaches. Ascend is a place for philanthropists and private-sector funders to create lasting solutions to this humanitarian crisis. It’s an opportunity to bring corporate social responsibility to life by joining the likes of Coca Cola, Airbnb, Microsoft, the Ikea Foundation, NextFab Foundation, the Libra Group, the Open Society Foundation, and Western Union in an innovative private-partnership initiative.
Ascend has developed a consortium of private-sector actors with the will, the power, and the expertise to work in concert with local civil society organizations. Together, the partnership is developing and accelerating innovative, long-term solutions to the plight of displaced peoples and Greeks struggling with the economic crisis.
Aren’t there International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) and Government Agencies mandated to offer assistance?
Yes, but many high-impact local organizations are unable to access funding from traditional donors in the humanitarian aid system. Furthermore, INGO funds are often restricted to those asylum seekers who qualify as refugees. Recognizing the need to support local organizations at the frontlines of delivering aid, Ascend has developed programs accessible to those most in need, whether Greeks, refugees, or asylum seekers.
How much of a donation to Ascend goes to salaries and administration?
Not one cent. Ascend funds its own operations. Our commitment is to eliminate leakage and amplify the impact of every dollar we deploy in direct services to the intended beneficiaries.
What specific projects will my donation fund?
Ascend has identified a three-pronged approach:
1. A safe, humane living space is a basic human need. Projects such as Elpida and the Libra Home Project have proven that secure, humane accommodation can be provided cost-effectively through innovative models.
2. Community services, delivered by organizations like the Melissa Network, Together for Children, Generation 2.0, and Solidarity Now, serve both refugees and the host community by providing everything from food and medical care to psycho-social support, legal assistance, and language training.
3. Livelihood development, delivered through Ascend’s Fablab program, goes well beyond training in such skills as woodworking, coding, design, and 3D printing. Projects that grow out of the Fablab—which is open to refugees and Greeks alike—are also eligible for business-incubation funding. The goal is not merely to teach skills, but to stimulate and support businesses and social enterprise.