Ken and Oli Johnstone Foundation
(Kenoli Foundation)

A private Canadian foundation that works to alleviate poverty and hunger by supporting organizations that build community self-sufficiency and advance human rights in four countries in Latin America – El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.   We focus on best practices that have been shown to make a difference in people’s lives and transform communities.

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Our Program Highlights

El Salvador experienced a military coup in 1972 and a civil war from 1980-92, which left a very violent society with high levels of poverty. Three percent of the 6.1 million[1] inhabitants live in poverty and remittances account for 17% of the country’s GDP[2]. The homicide rate is 64 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The average life expectancy is 73 years. The literacy rate is 88%, but 17% of students drop out of primary school. We have six excellent partners in El Salvador working in challenging circumstances to advance food security, nutrition, health, human rights, and economic initiatives.

[1] All the statistics in this report come from United Nations agencies (particularly UNDP) and the World Bank.
[2] Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Guatemala experienced a long civil war (1960-96), which continues to affect the country today. A large percentage of Guatemala’s 16.3 million inhabitants are Indigenous. The country has the highest rate of chronic child malnutrition (48%) in Latin America and this reaches a shocking 70% in Indigenous communities. Gender inequality in very high at 0.49[1] and women only hold 14% of the seats in parliament. The educational level of the population is low at 6.3 years of schooling[2] and the government only invests 2.8% of GDP in education. A high percentage (26%) of children under the age of 15 work. Guatemala is particularly subject to natural disasters.

Kenoli has seven terrific partners in Guatemala working on empowering girls and women, human rights, food sovereignty, holistic rural development, educational opportunities for youth, and indigenous land rights.

[1] Gender in equality reflects women’s disadvantage. 0 indicates that women and men fare equally and 1 indicates that women fare as poorly as possible.
[2] Education is measured by mean years of schooling, which indicates the point where half the population has more years of schooling and half has less.

Honduras has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, with 75 violent deaths per 100,000[1] inhabitants. The country experienced military rule from 1963-83, and in June 2009 a coup d’état led to political instability and human rights abuses. Hundreds were injured in protests following the November 2017 presidential election, that many believe was fraudulent. 28% of the population lives in poverty with another 16% living in extreme poverty[2]. We have six amazing partners who are working under very challenging conditions. They are working on women’s empowerment, human rights, early childhood development, technical training for youth, food security, and holistic community development.

[1] All statics come from the United Nations Development Program.
[2] Poverty is defined by the UN as living on less than $2.00/day and extreme poverty as living on less than $1.25/day.
Nicaragua experienced two civil wars between 1967-90, and in mid 2018, violent civil unrest killed hundreds, and damaged much of the country’s infrastructure. The population is 6.1 million people of which 20% live in poverty. Educational levels are low (mean of 6.5 years of school) and 52% of children drop out of primary school. While gender inequality is high, women hold 41% of the seats in parliament. We have six wonderful partners in Nicaragua working in holistic community development, food security, economic development, empowering women and youth, and clean water and sanitation.