Fall 2021

Think Creative by Creative Associates International

Letter from Leland Kruvant President & CEO Creative Associates International


Founder & Board Chair Charito Kruvant President & CEO Leland Kruvant Executive VP & Chief Innovation Officer Pablo Maldonado Chief Operating Officer Sani Daher Chief Growth Officer Benjamin Feit Chief Financial Officer Oswaldo Holguin Senior Vice President Thomas Wheelock VP, External Relations Jessica Kruvant VP, Global Operations Noy Villalobos VP, Education Eileen St. George VP, Economic Growth Jim Winkler VP, Capture & Bid Operations Ailea Sneller Senior Director, Communications Michael J. Zamba Art Direction Amanda Smallwood Communications Manager Marta S. Maldonado Writers Janey Fugate & Aja Beckham Digital & Social Media Specialist Olivia Chapman EDITORIAL STAFF Think Creative is published three times a year by Creative Associates International, a global development organization dedicated to supporting people around the world to realize the positive change they seek. The content is produced by Creative and does not represent the policies or positions of its clients, partners or host governments. Reproduction of any or all of Think Creative is prohibited without prior written permission. Copyright ©2021.

It would be an understatement to say that 2021 has been a difficult year. The pandemic created unprecedented hardships— economic, social, and personal. Going into 2021, I worried about how this pandemic might keep us from coming together as a community to meet the needs of an everchanging world. But I was inspired in 2021. Even in the most difficult moments of this pandemic, Creative’s global community rallied together. The past 12 months have shown me how fortunate I am to work with such dedicated and talented individuals who never lose sight of our mission. At the core of that mission is the belief that every

person deserves a voice and the opportunity to lead a healthy and productive life. This belief inspires a deep and abiding respect for each other and the world we serve. This mission has unified and strengthened our community and has driven us to remarkable achievements during this trying year: we pivoted in Ethiopia in support of school-aged learners in the North; we advanced our efforts in Honduras to improve food security; and we closed our very successful USAID/OTI program in Nigeria that worked to reduce conflict in two states. While the pandemic prevented me from seeing much of Creative’s work in action,

I have been inspired by these and other stories from the field and am deeply grateful to all those who made these achievements possible. For that reason, I am optimistic that we can achieve even more in 2022. This year has proven that, regardless what challenges may be on the horizon, Creative will continue to deliver (to our clients, partners, and beneficiaries) on the promise of our mission: To support the people around the world to realize the positive change they seek. Sincerely,

20 Feature Stories

20 // A Better Connection: Mobile hotline supports parents and volunteers to help children learn to read in Ethiopia 22 // Water for El Rancho: Restoring water to a rural Guatemalan community

A Better Connection 20 p.

25 Creative Life A mission-driven community 26 // Staff Spotlight: Benjamin Feit 27 // • Staff Photos

Water for El Rancho 22 p.

• Commending a Creative Leader: TomWheelock

28 // Leading through Innovation: Pablo Maldonado steps into new role; Q&A with COO Sani Daher 30 // Walk this Way: A day in the life of Hafsa Drissi Semlali, Program Coordinator for Morocco’s National Program for Reading

Meet Hafsa! 30 p.

For more information about Think Creative , please email us at ThinkCreative@CreativeDC.com

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Photos by Skip Brown (Leland Kruvant; Ben Feit and Sani Daher); Vivian Jacobs (Water for El Rancho)

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