Increasing Investments in East and Southern Africa to Improve Development Outcomes

A young child (left) and her mother Tracy (right) play at a childcare center run by the Kisumu Medical Education Trust (KMET). KMET promotes quality in health and education services across Kenya which includes supporting healthcare providers, like nurses and community health workers, to guide and counsel caregivers on how best to enable their young children to grow and develop optimally.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Board of directors approved eight grants, including one program-related investment, totaling more than $27 million in the first quarter of 2024. The grants span the Hilton Foundation’s initiatives and programs working in the U.S. and internationally. 

Our Global Early Childhood Development – East and Southern Africa initiative supports caregivers and their young children from pregnancy to age three to access the vital services and support they need to ensure that young children can reach their full potential during the most rapid phase of human brain development. In the first quarter of the new year, we expanded our investments in early childhood development to enable better outcomes for young children in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. 

The initiative invests in a two-generation approach to early childhood development, acknowledging that children do not develop in isolation; they need families and communities to provide them with adequate and nurturing care. The World Health Organization defines the components of nurturing care as good health, adequate nutrition, safety and security, responsive caregiving and opportunities for early learning.   

The following is an overview of the board-approved grants and program-related investments (PRIs) awarded in the first quarter of 2024:   

Catholic Sisters – Marywood University received $10 million to implement Phase IV of the Higher Education for Sisters in Africa program for sisters in multiple countries in Africa 

Early Childhood Development – East and Southern Africa – International Resource for Impact and Storytelling, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc., was awarded $5 million to support a consortium of partners to enable young mothers and their young children to thrive in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. Kisumu Medical and Education Trust received $3 million to strengthen and scale government-led delivery of multisectoral early childhood development services and provide targeted support to adolescent mothers and their young children in Kenya’s Lake Region. D-Tree International Inc. was awarded $2.7 million to scale, strengthen and institutionalize the national digital community health early childhood development program and immunization services in Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania. Theirworld received $2.2 million to provide advocates with the evidence, data and platforms needed to elevate the early childhood development agenda at the global level and obtain increased financing for the services that support young children and their families. 

Homelessness – Special Service for Groups Inc. was awarded $1.75 million to support increased capacity to assist in the well-being of staff and retain talent and allow for growth in direct service programs and housing intervention options, to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in South Los Angeles. 

Safe Water – Water.Org Inc. received $2 million to improve sustainable and affordable safe water services by providing technical assistance and building the capacity of financial institutions to scale-up pro-poor financial lending to households and small entrepreneurs in rural Uganda. 

Program-Related Investments: 

Refugees – Refugee Investment Facility AG was approved for a $1 million loan to capitalize its charitable lending program focused on improving the livelihoods of refugees and host communities in Uganda and Jordan. 

To learn more about the Hilton Foundation’s program areas and philanthropic approach, please visit For more detailed information on grantmaking, please visit