Our Story


It all started when…

GHI was founded in 2007 by Julie Carney, Emma Clippinger, and Dr. Emily Morell Balkin, who believed that agriculture can, and must, play a critical role in addressing large-scale public health challenges. What started as a vision to provide land advocacy for HIV positive women transformed into addressing the dire need for improved nutrition in Rwanda.

Our nutrition work was catalyzed by a little girl named Foybi. When we met Foybi in 2010, the nine-year-old weighed only 29 pounds. We immediately rushed her to the district hospital, where she received the emergency food aid and essential life-saving care she needed. However, we quickly realized this was only a short term fix - the system was not equipped to prevent or address the root causes of malnutrition.

It was Foybi who inspired us to focus on children, and to work with health centers to meet patients at the point of care. And it was her young aunt Florence, who accompanied her to the hospital, who ultimately helped shape our programming.

In August, 2010 when we launched our Child Nutrition Program, Florence joined our team, helping us design our model, develop our materials, and serve as one of our first educators. Today, Florence manages our programming at four health centers in Rwanda’s Gasabo District. And Foybi, nearly finished with primary school, has aspirations of being a teacher someday.