We are a private foundation based in Portland, Oregon, USA. We partner with nonprofit organizations primarily in Africa and Latin America. We provide our partner organizations with grant funding as well as support beyond funding. We also directly manage community development programs from our offices in Ghana and Kenya.
Our mission is to support rural communities in under-served regions to achieve self-sufficiency and have opportunities to thrive.
We recognize and value differences, are aware of how our actions impact others, and treat people with care.
We strive to be transparent in all that we do, to hold ourselves accountable to our values, to recognize when we have misstepped, and to stand for what we believe in.
We approach situations with openness. We seek to understand perspectives besides our own and to learn.
After 22 years as co-founder and CEO of Deltek, Ken deLaski stepped down from the company in 2005 and turned his attention to philanthropy and international development. He was interested in different approaches to helping communities in poverty and traveled to several developing countries to see various ideas in action. There were a number of NGOs on the ground carrying out life-saving, urgent work, however Ken recalled, “much of it seemed like a band aid in providing humanitarian relief, helping the sick, and feeding the poor. This type of aid serves a very important purpose but I realized that our work should start from the bottom up to focus on projects and solutions that foster stronger, more vibrant communities—in turn helping families to have healthier, more productive lives.”
Ken chose to commit himself and his entrepreneurial spirit to supporting villages like the ones he visited in Haiti, and he founded Vibrant Village Foundation in 2010 to provide long-term support to communities facing extreme poverty. Since its inception, Vibrant Village Foundation has directly invested over $30 million, both through grants to non-profit organizations as well as through its direct operations.
Marieme joined the Foundation in 2016 to oversee the growing Sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti portfolio. She brings over 15 years of experience in international development with a focus on poverty alleviation, primarily in Africa. Previously, she served as Africa Program Director for Trickle Up, a New York City-based NGO that focuses on empowering people living in extreme poverty to build sustainable livelihoods through the provision of grants and coaching. She has deep knowledge of several regions in Africa, as well as expertise in gender-sensitive programming and participatory approaches. Born to Senegalese immigrant parents, Marieme grew up in France and attended NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, traveling. Being still relatively new to Portland, she is also enjoying discovering the Pacific Northwest with her family.
Laura joined the Foundation in 2012 as the second paid staff and has been in her role as Executive Director since 2017. Laura has over 15 years of experience in international and community development. Laura started her career in Guatemala where she spent four years working with a local women’s organization focused on empowerment and livelihood projects. After returning to the U.S., she held senior management roles at several local nonprofits providing programs to support low-income communities in Portland. Laura graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Biology and Spanish and has a Master’s in Public Health from Portland State University. Laura is passionate about supporting local organizations, building authentic relationships, and right sizing M&E for small organizations. In her free time she enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with her family.
Osman joined the Foundation in 2018 as the Country Director in Ghana. In 2020 his role expanded to include leading the Foundation’s grantmaking in Anglophone West Africa. Osman has over 15 years experience working with international non-profit organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa. He specializes in designing and managing emergency and development programs on Gender and Child Protection, WASH, Agriculture, Livelihood and Governance. Prior to joining the Foundation, he managed a large development program in Sierra Leone with GOAL – Ireland. Osman also has considerable experience in grantmaking, fundraising and setting up & managing NGOs. Osman holds a B.A in Social Work with Sociology from the University of Ghana-Legon, a Masters in Science in Development Planning and Management from the Irish University Business School, and an M.A in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. In his free time he enjoys visiting orphanages and aged members of his family and neighborhood.
Xavier joined the Foundation early 2019 in the new role of Director of Operations. Xavier has worked more than 15 years with major non-profit organizations around the world, mainly in the Middle East and in Africa, managing innovative programs, setting up reliable operations and finances, and leading large diverse teams. He’s held roles as finance/admin director, capacity building manager, operations advisor, and country director. Xavier holds a Master’s of Science in Business Management and a Master’s of Science in Sustainability and Environmental Management. He is also certified in project management in development settings. Xavier recognizes the impact of wealth inequality and social injustice as a barrier to overcome poverty, and he believes that local organizations who represent their community are best equipped to identify solutions for more sustainable and equitable communities. Outside of work, Xavier is engaged in supporting refugees in Portland.