About

The Helmsley Charitable Trust funds holistic approaches and programs to help ensure the well-being of vulnerable children and their families in sub-Saharan Africa. We work in remote communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Zambia where it is difficult to access healthcare and clean drinking water, children are malnourished, and there are few, if any, options for school.

Building resilience is at the core of our grantmaking. At the community level, resilience is the ability to bend, but not break, when a crisis hits. By learning from communities about the underlying problems that impede progress, we support the changes to turn that around — with a clear focus on increasing access to essential health services, clean water, finance solutions, enhanced sanitation infrastructure, and nutrition.

We work with our grantees, their local implementing partners, community leaders, and government agencies to ensure that the efforts we support have the endorsement of relevant ministries to help advance long-term success.

To help create pathways for people to live better lives, leaders need access to the right information to make informed decisions that can drive positive changes. Our funding of Digital Earth Africa marks our commitment to ensuring governments, entrepreneurs, NGOs, and citizens alike have critical data and up-to-date technology to both monitor and make smart plans related to water quality and management, land use, and agriculture for food security, climate resilience, and more.

Increasing Access to Quality Healthcare

We fund programs that improve maternal and infant healthcare for parents and communities.

Life-threatening communicable diseases and increasing rates of non-communicable disease present major challenges at all ages – and when parents aren’t healthy, it’s harder for their children to stay healthy, too. Our grants help to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and decrease the rates of non-communicable diseases.

Supporting the Whole Person Through Community Strengthening

We support a variety of initiatives to ensure that individuals and families have the chance to thrive. This includes expanding clean drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene best practices, ensuring food security, and creating access to financial tools and resources that are needed to reduce poverty, improve educational experiences, and put communities on a path to self-reliance.

News & Insights

Providing Critical Access to Quality Healthcare in Northeast Ghana


When the Baptist Medical Centre opened its doors in Nalerigu, Ghana, in 1958, the facility was ...

Philanthropy Age: New $22.5m Commitment for Disease Elimination Campaign

Philanthropy Age covered Helmsley’s investment in the Reaching the Last Mile Fund to advance the...
Philanthropy Age: New $22.5m Commitment for Disease Elimination Campaign

Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces Catalytic Investment to Eliminate Two Neglected Tropical Diseases in East Africa

Investment in the Reaching the Last Mile Fund, led by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince...
Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces Catalytic Investment to Eliminate Two Neglected Tropical Diseases in East Africa

WaterAid and Helmsley Launch Program to Improve Water, Sanitation & Hygiene in Ghana

"We’re working hand in hand with communities and the government to find long-term solutions that...
WaterAid and Helmsley Launch Program to Improve Water, Sanitation & Hygiene in Ghana

Helmsley Grant Enables COVID-19 Research Study to Move into Pre-Clinical Phase

A grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to Monash University...
Helmsley Grant Enables COVID-19 Research Study to Move into Pre-Clinical Phase

Plant With Purpose Expands Work in Ethiopia with Support from Helmsley

February 25, 2019 – Today, Plant With Purpose announced new funding from The Leona M....
Plant With Purpose Expands Work in Ethiopia with Support from Helmsley

Using Satellite Data to Transform Our Understanding of Africa


Africa is home to tremendous resources that hold the promise of supporting thriving communities and ...

Averting Flood Threats and Building Resilience in Ethiopia


Until recently, annual flooding in Ethiopia’s rural districts of Libo Kemkem and Amhara disrupted ...

Improving Maternal Health with Clean Water Access in Zambia


Only 1 in 5 rural healthcare facilities in Zambia has running water, decent toilets, and soap for ...

SOS Children’s Villages Boosts Access to Education for Ethiopian Youth


In Ethiopia, many children and their families experience poverty, forcing them to forgo school. In 2014, ...
Recent Grants

St Luke Health Care Foundation

Amount: $1,005,020
Term of Grant: 24 Months
Date of Award: 07.27.2022

Sub-Saharan Africa / Med4All Expansion

Stichting PharmAccess International

Amount: $1,712,785
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 05.11.2022

The End Fund, Inc.

Amount: $22,500,000
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 04.06.2022

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Amount: $792,660
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 01.24.2022

Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation

Amount: $1,339,417
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 01.24.2022

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Our Team

Trista Kontz-Bartels is the Program Director of Helmsley’s Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa Program, which seeks to provide at-risk children with greater access to education, improved fo...
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Trista Kontz-Bartels

Program Director

Sherilyn (Sheri) Goldammer is a Program Officer for the Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Program at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. In her role, she works closely with the Program Director to mana...
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Sherilyn Goldammer

Program Officer

Job Change (Chan-gay) is an Associate Program Officer with the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa Program. Job was born and raised in Kenya before immigrating t...
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Job Change

Associate Program Officer