Today, our guest speaker was Patricia Fragen, co-founder of Basic Dignities. Website at https://www.basicdignities.org/
Basic Dignities (BD) is dedicated to undertaking projects bringing basic human dignities (clean water, education, clothing, food, healthcare, and shelter) to communities both nationally and internationally where such services are insufficient for the wellbeing of those who live there. Leveraging their team skills in civil and environmental engineering, plus fundraising, project management, and training, BD identifies and undertakes projects to provide a sustainable, self-managed system to address one or more of these basic dignities for communities that are committed to improving the well-being for all their residents. BD works in partnership with local leaders and workers with the goal of improving the local economy while introducing a customized, sustainable, and locally-maintainable system to address one or more basic dignity.
BD was founded in 2016 by Brittany Sterling and Patricia Fragen. Brittany, an environmental engineer, wanted to utilize her background in water treatment to help people gain access to clean water. Patricia, who is an entrepreneur with both for and non-profit sector businesses with more individual and local focuses, wanted to utilize her background in project management, marketing, and more to create change with a community scope and no border limitations. Since inception in 2016, BD has partnered with PresAID Uganda to complete a clean water project in Bussi, Uganda. They are currently partnering with Border Angels out of San Diego, CA to provide items for their Caravan of Love project.
Much of Patricia's presentation focused on their medical and engineering scholarship programs:
  •  BD is partnering with the Bongolo Hospital School of Nursing in Gabon, Africa to help three young women achieve their dreams of becoming nurses. The school currently has 14 students. The program is three years long, and after graduation, all students are offered full-time positions at the hospital.
  • BD is partnering with Highway Academy (https://highwayacademy.net/) to sponsor young women who are interested in studying engineering. BD was first introduced to these women through BD's work at Wema Children’s Centre in Bungoma, Kenya (https://wemacentre.org/).These women attended Highway Academy, the school affiliated with the Wema Children’s Centre.