Two DAI Employees Named 2017 Gunning Award Winners for Their Community Service

October 06, 2017

DAI is delighted to honor the two winners of this year’s David H. Gunning Award for Community Service: Ina Nasution, a pricing manager in the U.S. Business Development Unit, and Laure Lightbourne, a senior accountant in DAI’s Bethesda, Maryland, office.

In the five years since its founding, the Gunning Award has attracted 77 applications. This year we saw applications covering employees’ community work in Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, the Philippines, and Washington, D.C.

Separate from their day jobs, DAI employees are:

  • Leading a community-based organization to build local capacity in Kisumu County, Kenya;
  • Volunteering for an organization that supports 40 families in Guatemala;
  • Seeking to apply findings from one of our U.S. Agency for International Development projects to enhance resilience among the rural poor in Nepal;
  • Helping a public-private partnership provide water to Tachasis, a rural community in Nandi County, Kenya;
  • Extending education to communities in northern Ghana; 
  • Supporting the children’s wing at Nampula General Hospital in Mozambique;
  • Assisting poor and high-violence communities in various cities in Honduras;
  • Sponsoring an orphan in Vilankulo District, Mozambique; and
  • Participating in a literacy program for vulnerable children in Manila, the Philippines.

This year’s winners, Ina and Laure, are helping young people and older people, respectively, in communities close to DAI’s Bethesda, Maryland, home and communities in one of our adopted homes, Jakarta, Indonesia.

ina-df4ed9.jpgIna (center, in red) visited the Computer Learning Center for orphans and children in need last March.

After the Asian tsunami in 2004, Ina—a native of Indonesia—co-founded an organization called Hope 4 Our Children (H4OC) to help street children and economically disadvantaged children meet their basic needs: food, shelter, health, and education. Since then, H4OC has implemented more than 30 small projects benefiting 7,000 children in need. Although based in Rockville, Maryland, H4OC collaborates with Yayasan Yabim, an Indonesian partner organization that provides accelerated school for 1,000 street kids in Depok, Jakarta, and Yayasan Ummu Amanah, another Indonesian partner nonprofit that provides similar services for 300 street kids in Bekasi, Jakarta. Interviews with hundreds of street children confirm that basic computer knowledge is a fundamental need for many of these young people, so H4OC has supported basic computer training for more than 300 street kids in Depok and set up a Computer Learning Center in Bekasi, which has so far trained 72 kids. With the Gunning award funding of $5,000, H4OC will extend its classes to even more disadvantaged children.

laure.jpgLaure (far left) is pictured with other volunteers at We Are Family in D.C.

For more than a year, Laure has volunteered with We Are Family, an organization that sprang up just over a decade ago to address a critical gap in senior services in Washington, D.C. She is now helping to orient new volunteers. We Are Family serves as a bridge between elderly people in need, the services available, and the caring community. With a full-time staff of only two people, it mobilizes some 4,000 volunteers to bring resources and friendship directly to seniors, helping them continue living independently in their own homes. Its current services, all free, include monthly grocery bags delivered to 727 seniors, monthly shopping trips to 40 more, weekly farmers market produce deliveries to 176 seniors in the summer and fall, and monthly outreach visits to 45 seniors. In 2016, it delivered Thanksgiving baskets to 755 seniors and holiday gifts to 624. The Gunning Award will fund these services to low-income seniors, thereby supporting what for many of them is a lifeline to the outside world.

The Gunning Award was created in May 2013, after DAI Board Director David Gunning’s retirement, to honor his extraordinary service to the firm. A continuous presence on DAI’s Board from its inception in 1970, Gunning was a steady advocate of the company’s social mission. In that spirit, the award was established to recognize DAI employee service in the community.

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