Seeds for Change Awards

The 2018 application cycle has closed.  Please check back in August 2019 for the next cycle.

Types of Resources Funded

Proposals must address unmet needs and improve the experience of women, adolescents, and children receiving healthcare services.

Potential topics may include but are not restricted  to the following:

  • Infrastructure improvements to existing structures (paint, furniture, signage) and associated labor costs
  • Electronics (telephones, tablets, computers, AV)
  • Medical equipment (stethoscopes, scales)
  • Youth-friendly clinic improvements (play areas, toys)
  • Patient educational materials that are non-consumable

Proposals that will not be considered:

  • Consumable supplies (gloves, gowns, notebooks, etc.)
  • Items that will not be retained at the site (e.g., giveaways to patients)
  • Items and supplies that are already provided through government programs (e.g., mosquito nets)
  • Ongoing salary support for staff

Funding Availability

Awards of up to $1,000 are available. Award proposals for less than $1,000 are strongly encouraged and will be given preference due to the scope of the award.

Submission Guidelines

Submit your completed application to   Proposals should not exceed word limits listed for each component and should be typed in Arial size 11 font.  Applications that are incomplete or do not follow instructions may not be considered. Successful applications will address the following components:

  • Explain the unmet need
  • Describe the specific resources requested
  • Outline the health-related outcomes the proposal addresses (improved care, improved patient satisfaction, health care worker (HCW) empowerment, improved health service delivery)
  • Describe the potential impact of the project on target population’s health
  • An itemized budget

Review Criteria

Significance/Impact: Does the request address an important unmet or underserved clinical need?

Beneficiaries: Who are the direct beneficiaries of the resource request? Women, children, adolescents, health care workers? Will the request jointly benefit multiple target populations?

Feasibility: Is the proposal realistic given the scope of the award?

Collaboration: If funded, will the proposal strengthen existing Global WACh collaborations, or initiate new collaborations?

Post-Award Requirements

  • Awardee becomes a Global WACh Member (join here
  • Final report of spent funds including receipts
  • Visual documentation of before/after award (photos or videos)
  • A 2-3 sentence narrative summary of the project and a two paragraph, lay-friendly description of the project’s impact on WACh
  • Permission to use photos and data on Global WACh’s website and promotional materials.

About the Seeds for Change Awards

Planting Seeds for Change

The University of Washington Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents, and Children (Global WACh) aims to contribute to scientific discoveries, nurture leaders, and foster collaborative approaches to improving the health and well-being of women, adolescents, and children.  As part of this commitment, Global WACh supports Seeds for Change Awards that empower local front-line care providers to identify targets for clinical improvement, compete for support, and advocate for their patients.  Seeds for Change awards improve the patient experience in limited and middle income countries by improving clinical care, patient satisfaction, workforce empowerment, and health service delivery for programs benefiting the health of women, adolescents and children.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicant must be employed by a current UW partnering organization (defined as an entity engaged in joint activities with UW faculty or staff) in a resource-limited setting, and is a staff or faculty member working in a health program/clinical setting serving women, adolescents or children.

Support the Award Fund

100% of your gift to the Seeds for Change Awards Fund goes to supporting UW partner sites. Applicants fill out a short, detailed form describing an idea for a change that can positively impact the patient experience at their site. Applications are reviewed by a panel and the highest quality ideas demonstrating tangible change are chosen.

Seeds for Change Awards are funded by donors like you. Make a gift today through UW or the Combined Fund Drive (Charity 1481904).  For donors wishing to make larger gifts, Global WACh will work with the donor to create special awards focused on specific goals.  Please contact Kate Pfizenmaier, Managing Director, at for more information on creating a special award.


Scroll down to see our Seeds for Change Award recipients.

Seeds for Change awards are funded by private donations from people like you. Join us in strengthening Global WACh collaborative sites one small change at a time.

Donate to the Seeds for Change Fund

Become a Global WACh Member to receive announcements about our Seeds for Change Awards.

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2018 Recipients

Title: Purchasing essential equipment

Awardee: Dr. Anfilled Agwanda

Award: $998

Site: Nyakach County Hospital, Kisumu, Kenya

The Problem: The health workers have limited quantities of medical equipment that is shared between multiple departments.

The Seed: Funds to purchase a digital thermometer, blood pressure machine, sterilization equipment, manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) kit, weighing scale, wheelchair, and dressing kit.

The Growth: The additional equipment will speed up medical diagnoses and improve patients’ care environments, particularly for patients in critical care situations.

Title: Painting the inpatient pediatric ward and water closets

Awardee: Dominic Bosire

Award: $997

Site: Katito Subcounty Hospital, Kisumu, Kenya

The Problem: The existing in-patient ward lacks wash rooms for patients, who must use the latrines in the out-patient block.

The Seed: Utilize available space in the in-patient ward to install a water closet and drainage system that connects to the facility’s septic tank.  Add a fresh coat of colorful paint for the pediatric ward water closet, so children feel comfortable when using it.

The Growth: Improved hygiene and comfort as in-patients gain exclusive access to their own bathrooms.  Healthcare workers no longer need to accompany patients to the outdoor latrines after dark and can dedicate more time to patient care.

Title: Furnishing the HIV counseling and testing room in the Postnatal Ward

Awardee: Dr. James Mburu Kang’ethe

Award: $919

Site: Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya

The Problem:  The facility lacks comfortable seating for patients and healthcare providers to work, leading to complaints of physical discomfort and adverse impacts to the quality of HIV care and treatment provided.  Supplies and resources used during appointments do not have a secure storage space.

The Seed: Comfortable and adequate furniture (a table and softer chairs), a lockable storage cabinet, a modern sink for washing hands and a modern soap dispenser.

The Growth: Immediate improvements in the patient care environment, resource security, and infection prevention.

2017 Recipients

Title: Promoting Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Working Mothers

Awardee: Eliud Akama, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)

Award: $990

Site: KEMRI Research Care and Training Program, Kisumu, Kenya

The Problem: The health workers promote breastfeeding for optimal growth in the populations they serve, yet they are unable to offer opportunities for breastfeeding among working mothers for their infants.

The Seed: A calm, welcoming breastfeeding room with newly painted walls, comfortable seating, a cabinet, counter top, sink, electric kettle, and refrigerator for storing breast milk.

The Growth: Working mothers will have a dedicated space for breastfeeding, leading to healthy growth and development of their babies, and potentially increased empowering conversations around breastfeeding among staff and to patients.

Title: Improving Patient Management Systems

Awardee: James Mburu Kang’ethe, HIV Researcher at Kenyatta National Hospital

Award: $947

Site: Reproductive Health Clinic 66, Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya

The Problem: Due to increased patient volumes, many patients leave the clinic without having accessed the full care package for HIV treatment.

The Seed: A queue management system to improve patient flow and ease of access to all service delivery points at the clinic.

The Growth: Improved management and clinical treatment of HIV infected mothers and infants.

Title: Strengthening Delivery of Peer Support for Adolescents

Awardee: Dr. Manasi Kumar (Senior Lecturer, University of Nairobi), Dr. Judy Machuka (Psychologist, Kenyatta National Hospital), Nduku Wambua (Researcher, Kenyatta National Hospital), Otsetswe Musindo (MSc Clinical Psychology student, University of Nairobi), Dr. David Bukusi (Psychiatrist, CCC, Kenyatta National Hospital)

Award: $424

Site: Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC) at Kenyatta National Hospital

The Problem: Unmet needs within CCC’s peer support groups for adolescents living with HIV impact how peer mentors (a critical group of providers) bridge gaps in needs of young people, including transitioning to adult care clinics or addressing disclosure issues.

The Seed: Art supplies, games, puppets, beadwork supplies, hygienic items, camera, and digital audio recorder as tools to improve patient engagement.

The Growth: Young patients will have stimulating ways to engage with peer mentors, leading to improved HIV treatment adherence and psychosocial outcomes.

Title: Bridging Gaps in Patient Diagnostic Equipment

Awardee: Jeniffer Muhanji, Pandi-Pieri Health Centre

Award: $997

Site: HIV Care Clinic at Pandi-Pieri Health Centre, Kisumu, Kenya

The Problem: The clinic has insufficient equipment, resulting in sharing tools among departments and difficulty in offering quality health services to patients.

The Seed: An up-to-date diagnostic set exclusively for the clinic’s use and furniture for a more comfortable patient experience.

Title: Accelerating Recovery Time Among Hospitalized Children

Awardee: Dr. Joyce Wangari Ng’ang’a, Medical Officer In-Charge, Migori County Hospital Pediatrics

Award: $990

Site: Migori County Hospital, Migori, Kenya

The Problem: Migori County Hospital faces barriers to inpatient clinical management of a high volume of acutely ill and/or malnourished children.

The Seed: Oxygen concentrator and nebulizer for additional respiratory support care. Toys, mats, multilingual informational posters, and space heaters for the play therapy room.

The Growth: Sufficient medical equipment and the incorporation of psychosocial stimulation through play therapy advances recovery among ill children.

Title: Enhancing Patient Experiences at Rabuor Subcounty Hospital

Awardee: Maureen Akinyi Ochieng, Rabuor Subcounty Hospital

Award: $990

Site: Rabuor Subcounty Hospital, Kisumu County

The Problem: Multiple service departments are in need of renovation to improve efficiency and efficacy of care to patients.

The Seed: Chairs to comfortably seat pharmacy staff and clients during medicine dispensation. Plywood to install storage shelves for medication and partitions to improve integration among the hospital’s family planning and maternal-child health service areas.

The Growth: Patients seeking a variety of health care services will have a more comfortable experience, particularly young women who will have more patient privacy and attention from family planning health workers.


2016 Recipients

Awardee: Ahmed Ali, Executive Director of Somali Health Board

Award: $639

Site: Somali Health Board, Seattle WA

The Problem: The organization’s office lacked office equipment necessary for SHB to serve as a reliable resource to Seattle’s Somali community.

The Seed: Funds for a laptop and digital scanner to the Somali Health Board.

The Growth: SHB is now able to access digital resources at meetings, presentations and events and scan and prepare health insurance documents. SHB can expand its outreach to a greater number of new Somali immigrants and refugees, who are disproportionately affected by health disparities.

Title: Managing Pediatric Diagnosis

Awardee: Daisy Chebet, Clinical Officer for the Kenya Pediatric Studies

Award: $960.00

Site: Kenya Pediatric Studies, Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

The Problem: KNH’s general HIV clinic required that important diagnostic sets be shared between clinicians due to a lack of equipment. This was resulting in delays in patient management and incomplete physical examination during times of high patient volumes.

The Seed: Diagnostic sets and pediatric blood pressure monitoring cuffs to assist in the diagnosis and management of HIV and HIV-related care.

The Growth: Health workers are better able to serve the 30-40 patients seen each week. KNH clinics can continue to serve a high volume of children per day and clinicians can better perform comprehensive and thorough physical examinations, helping to reduce morbidity and mortality rates from undiagnosed conditions.

Title: Improving Space Management to Reduce Infections in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Awardee: Dr. Rashmi Kumar, University of Nairobi Department of Pediatrics and Child Health

Award: $900

Site: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Kenyatta National Hospital

The Problem: The PICU was a small, congested unit without enough space to accommodate basic patient and unit gadgets and equipment.

The Seed: Bedside cupboards, a nurse desk, and filing cabinet to better utilize the space

The Growth: Equipment overflowing on to patient beds is of the most common causes of poor infection control practices and deadly hospital-acquired infections. Now bedside rounding, teaching, and resuscitation can occur without overflow or congested space.

Title: Creating a Maternal Waiting Room to Encourage Assisted Births

Awardee: Getnet Mequanint, University of Gondar

Award: $952

Site: Aymba Clinic, Gondar, Ethiopia

The Problem: The Aymba clinic serves patients who do not have ease in transportation to the site, especially for pregnant women needing to be at the clinic at the time they go into labor.

The Seed: Beds and bedside cupboards to make Aymba’s maternal waiting room more comfortable for pregnant women while they wait to deliver.

The Change: Women using the Aymba’s clinic are more likely to receiving timely labor and delivery care with a skilled attendant, which can drastically reduce the risks of death and infection associated with childbirth.

Title: Updating the Karen Health Centre Waiting Bay and Examination Room 

Awardee: Teresa Nderi

Award: $1000

Site: Karen Health Centre, Nairobi County

The Problem: Karen Health Centre was built in 1957 and now required painting, refurnishing, and repair of dilapidated areas of the facility.

The Seed: A more expansive and freshly-painted waiting area, new exam-room curtains, and new fetal heart monitors.

The Growth: The comfort and efficiency of patient care will be increased for mothers, children, and providers.

Title: Addressing Basic Equipment Shortages in KNH Pediatric Unit

Awardee: Hellen Okinyi, University of Nairobi

Award: $964

Site: Kenya Pediatric Studies, Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)

The Problem: The pediatric inpatient unit had insufficient basic equipment, making it a challenge treat ill children in a timely manner.

The Seed: Pulse oximeters, pediatric ambu bags, and nebulizers for the pediatric inpatient unit to better accommodate high volumes of patients.

The Growth: Improved management of critically ill, hospitalized children reduces child mortality.

Title: An Engaging Reflection Room for Children at KNH Deptartment of Mental Health

Awardees: Drs. Josephine Atieno Omondi, Manasi Kumar, Gertrude Nyakohito, Pius Kigamwa, and Ann Vander Stoep

Award: $900

Site: Department of Mental health at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)

The Problem: Children and adolescents who seem to demonstrate behavioral problems can easily become neglected patients in busy hospital environments in low resource settings.

The Seed: The presence of a child reflection room offers a space devoted to the calming, reflection, and engagement of children aged 5-12 who may get bored easily and become disruptive.

The Growth: A child friendly space that is both comforting and psycho-therapeutic for children and adolescents managing anger, behavioral impairment, or grief.

Title: Web-Based Tracking of HIV DNA Lab Results

Awardee: Sally Nyaboke Mogire

Award: $1000

Site: Kisumu East District Hospital (KEDH)

The Problem: In the pediatric HIV care clinic, there were delays of up to eight weeks in the transmission of HIV DNA results from the central laboratory to the study clinic 60 km away.

The Seed: A desktop computer, printer, and USP device allow KEDH’s pediatric clinic to access a new web based tracking system, which improves the time for HIV results to 1-2 weeks after sample collection.

The Growth: The clinic will have direct access to HIV DNA results in the shortest possible time, allowing for safer diagnosis and treatment.

2015 Recipients

Title: Tools to Reduce Inpatient Case Fatalities at Homa Bay County Hospital

Awardee: Dr. Liru Meshack

Award: $992

Site: Homa Bay County Hospital, Kenya

The Problem: Dr. Meshack and colleagues identified improved monitoring of acutely ill children as a way to improve survival in the emergency department.

The Seed: A pediatric oxygen delivery set, nebuliser, and repair of the ward’s oxygen concentrator improved the team’s capacity to accurately monitor and treat acutely ill children.

The Growth: Children admitted to Homa Bay Hospital receive better acute care, increasing their chance of recovery.

View this video for more information on the needs at Homa Bay and how the Global WACh Small Change Award provided resources to help.

Title: Improving the Waiting Room Expereince at KNH’s VCT and HIV Prevention Unit

Awardee: Dr. Peter Maingi

Award: $80

Site: Kenyatta National Hospital, VCT and HIV Prevention Unit

The Problem: VCT and HIV Prevention Unit staff noticed that patients requested entertainment while they waited to see a provider.  The Unit’s waiting area TVs needed new equipment to function on Kenya’s new, digital platform.

The Seed: Dr. Maingi’s team purchased two digital terrestrial receivers to repair the TVs in the VCT and HIV Prevention Unit’s reception areas.

The Growth: Televisions in the waiting areas contribute to a better patient experience in the Unit and positively influence patient retention and engagement.


Title: Refurbishing the Gazebo at the Comprehensive Care Clinic to appeal to Children and Adolescents

Awardees: Drs. Justine Odienya, Manasi Kumar, Nelly Opiyo, David Bukusi, and Sarah Benki-Nugent

Award: $1000

Site: Kenyatta National Hospital, Comprehensive Care Clinic, Kenya

The Problem: Dr. Odienya and her team wished to enhance a waiting area and outside play area called “The Gazebo” to serve more children and adolescents visiting the Comprehensive Care Clinic.

The Seed: The team worked together to refurbish the Gazebo by painting and adding whiteboards, tables, chairs, and board games.

The Growth: The Gazebo provides a child and adolescent friendly space that further engages families in HIV care.