Afghan Refugee ESL Certification



The first step to entrepreneurial success for refugees arriving in the U.S. is learning English as a second language (ESL). LONA supports a female Afghan refugee and aspiring entrepreneur as she enrolls full-time in ESL courses and engages in one-on-one English tutoring. As she focuses on immersing herself in English language, she works to develop her business plan for a childcare center that will serve the refugee population and others in Sacramento. 

Access to childcare is a significant need for the refugee community. Lack of affordable childcare is a very common barrier to women's ability to attend ESL classes, enroll in educational or vocational programs or join the workforce. LONA supports our grantee's goal to empower other women by providing a center where they can trust their children will be cared for, and give them the freedom and time to pursue their own passions.

In partnership with World Relief Sacramento


EasyTRO Web Application Development

Alameda County


Filing a restraining order is a convoluted and frustrating process, which drains the filer of time and money.  EasyTRO is a web application that helps victims of abuse complete necessary paperwork for filing restraining orders in Alameda county. Through funding, LONA supports the developer and her team in design, development, testing and launch of the application. Developing the prototype for EasyTRO allows the creator to add something revolutionary to her portfolio, and unlock a variety of economic opportunities. As a survivor of domestic abuse,  she is using her own experience with filing a restraining order to help others avoid the hardships she encountered. This application would undeniably reduce the amount of time and money filers must typically spend in order to complete the process, allowing them to reallocate these precious resources to rebuilding their lives.

Though EasyTRO is in the beginning stages of development, the long-term goal for this application is to expand to other counties in California.

In partnership with  AnnieCannons 


Business Expansion with the Purchase of a Catering Van


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Mamacitas Cafe is an Oakland-based catering business that creates employment and leadership opportunities for young women who are having the hardest time finding and maintaining jobs. Mamacitas hires, trains and mentors women - especially those who are transitioning from the juvenile justice or child welfare system- in food service, management and leadership skills. The women are trained in a variety of skills in the food industry and beyond, including food preparation, customer service, time management, entrepreneurship and event-planning. 

LONA invests in Mamacitas’ co-founder, Shana, with funding to go towards the purchase of a catering van. A catering van would allow Shana to expand the business's service area, and ultimately hire more women. We fully align with Mamacitas’ goal to support young women entrepreneurs and focus on upward mobility for communities that have been historically overlooked. Oakland’s young women are extremely capable leaders, and LONA is proud to support Shana and her team as they offer mentorship and sisterhood that will translate their employees unique ideas and skills into concrete economic opportunities.