Global Grassroots

Global Grassroots is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to catalyze women and girls as leaders of conscious social change in their communities. Global Grassroots' work is guided by four core values that form our theory of change: 1. Deepening personal consciousness and contributing towards the common good are both essential to social change. 2. One of the most effective levers of social change is a woman with the capability, resources, power, courage and inner commitment to initiate positive change for herself and others. 3. Sustaining and accelerating conscious social change requires investment in supporting, civil society architecture. 4. Mind-body trauma healing plus t...
Nov 4, 2014

From War to Farming

With the remarkable income generation opportunities emerging in northern Uganda, and as the guns went silent in the region, and the growth of micro-economic projects started to increase; GWED-G realized the need to introduce the concept of group sector-led economic development to the youth of the region, with an emphasis on modernization, mechanization and commercialization of their products. 

The goal of this approach will be to help the youths emerge into this new age with sustainable domestic productivity, savings, investment and greater market opportunities.  A coherent and coordinated approach to project management towards food security is needed in order to make sure that these young adults are able to acquire skills in innovation needed to be successful in various agricultural productions.

For the larger community engaged in post-conflict recovery, the transition from war to development has taken a great deal of time but these youths, (Oryem Cam Ki Pur) guided by GWED-G, have beaten the odds and have been able to move toward development.  This was in part a result of GWED-G's training which supported youths with their selection, planning and management of their income generating activities (IGAs).  This training included lessons in peace building, human rights, gender base violence and entrepreneurship. With the skills and knowledge that the youths have acquired, Oryem Cam Ki Pur youth group developed their value chain analysis and embarked on rice cultivation as one of their IGAs to raise income which will be distributed among all of the group members.

Oryem Cam Ki Pur youth group planted fifteen acres of rice in the first planting season of March-June 2014. Now they have started harvesting their rice and currently have twenty-five bags of rice that are in their store and are ready to be sold.

One of the world’s greatest writers, Charles Darwin, said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” The training on human rights, good governance and civic education created opportunities for women to be part of the community decision making process. This was confirmed by Charles, a member of the group who said that the women of the community are now the driving force behind most of these economic successes because they figured out how to sacrifice their time to see that wedding and harvesting are done jointly in order to maximize their success. Women are becoming active advocates of human rights not only within their youth group but also in the larger communities in which they live.  One good example of this can be seen when looking at the Oryem Cam Ki Pur youth group, since most of the top positions in the group are occupied by women. This has allowed these women to gain respect from their communities because they have proven themselves capable of quality leadership, hard work, and boundless dedication to this youth group that they serve.

Even though this project targets the youth groups specifically, the impact of this program is also intended to affect the individual members of the group as well. Hence apart from the group Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) and group farming, each member has started their own individual income generating activity depending on their personal choice and research. The youths said that they decided to create their own individual projects after GWED-G gave them training on entrepreneurship skills. 

To the community, these groups are becoming roles models, and are helping to drive away the negative attitude that the community has towards the youth. Besides cultivation, there are regular sensitivity trainings in the community on peace building, human rights, domestic violence and agricultural practices that can help the community to not only succeed economically but also help them to move forward as a cohesive social group.

It's now been a year that we have actively fundraised through GlobalGiving and we are now closing this chapter in our fundraising efforts. At this time we want to thank those who have contributed toward our project and invite you to consider one last gift to support these youth. In one week, on November 10th, we plan to deactivate this project. Gifts, no matter how large or small affect the productivity and spirits of the youth considerably. A small contribution goes a long way. Again, we thank you so much for your support. 

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Nov 4, 2014

Storytelling - From the Classroom to the Community

Cooperative in Ruli learning about story of self
Cooperative in Ruli learning about story of self

Since August 2014 Resonate has conducted 6 workshops and trained more than 100 women and trained two trainers. We have worked with two Universities, alumnae of a secondary school specializing in leadership, a group of Peace Corps volunteers and secondary school girls from their villages, the management team at CARE Rwanda, and with a women’s cooperative. We have translated our entire curriculum from written materials and power point presentations into drawings and graphics in order to reach a more diverse audience, and we have heard hundreds of amazing stories.

In September, we returned to The Akilah Institute, our very first partner in Rwanda. Akilah teaches market-relevant coursework to prepare young women to be leaders and professionals. We have taught our Storytelling for Leadership course three times – once with each class of students in their three-year degree program. Our Storytelling for Leadership framework is now integrated into their curriculum, and is taught as a part of their leadership course to all students. We have conducted a Training-of-Trainers with their leadership teachers who are now prepared to deliver the course independently. We have just completed the most recent of these workshops. While on campus one of our former students, Neda, told us that she had started a storytelling club. The club meets every Thursday so that students can “really try to really get to know each other” so that they can support each other better. Neda told us that the students now recognize the importance of storytelling as a communication tool, so in addition to sharing with each other, they support each other in improving communication skills, preparing for interviews, and strategizing about how to reach their personal and professional goals.

In the next three months we will expand our reach to work with women and girls in Kenya, and we will also deepen the level of engagement with our participants by hosting leadership camps with secondary school girls in rural Rwanda. We aim to train 450 women and girls by the end of 2014, helping them to build confidence and leadership and become agents of change. 

Resonate teaches session on body language
Resonate teaches session on body language
Kepler students during a training exercise
Kepler students during a training exercise

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Oct 16, 2014

Self-Designed Solutions for Communities ... Works!

Proud student with Global Grassroots team
Proud student with Global Grassroots team

This month we are happy to report on progress made by three young women teams formed from Global Grassroots' Girls Academy for Conscious Change, held in partnership with the Komera Project based in Rwinkwavu, eastern Rwanda.  The advances these young women have made in their villages is a reflection of their hard work, skills learned, and relationships built with teachers and leaders in their communities.

"Indangamirwa": Working with Street Children
This team of young women has a mission to reduce the number of street children through providing school material to vulnerable children, training parents on the importance of the girls and children’s rights, and training children on the importance of education through drama. The team reports that they started their work by training 20 community members on the importance of education, children rights and the value of equal opportunity for both girls and boys. The group zeroed in on supporting five vulnerable children and took them to school and provided school materials they need to remain at school.  Once a week during the team’s vacation period, they tutor the children to support their performance in class.  Their home visits allow the girls to follow up with the children regularly and monitor the relationship between the children and their parents. Finally, the girls purchased a goat as an income-generating tool.  When it gave birth to three kids, the offspring were sold and the profits used to buy more school materials. The group says that they have developed confidence in collaborating with adult stakeholders, especially children’s parents. They state, “Experience and skills from Global Grassroots were the best tools that took us beyond our personal limits and allowed us to teach our community.” Their final phase of operations will involve hosting two drama performances to encourage parents and children to have open conversations. 

"Vision": Reducing the Number of Girls on the Street
This team of 6 young women worked with girls who never had a chance to attend school.  The team holds workshops on the importance of education, have provided school materials to the six most vulnerable children so that they can continue their schooling, have conducted advocacy for their rights, and are using drama to mobilize and educate their relatives on the importance of sending both girls and boys to school. Over the last three months they have performed one play and have reached over fifteen households to help educate parents on the importance of education and children’s rights.  The result: two drop-outs returned to school resulted from our program. They have five children enrolled in different schools who are acting as advocates to eliminate violence against children by sharing their personal testimonials.  Their next steps involve organizing a vacation tutoring session for their beneficiaries to prepare for the national exams. The team shares, “We have developed confidence from learning Global Grassroots’ skills, which has allowed us to reach out to our community freely. The breathwork has been the best tool to use in making the best decisions. We have learnt a lot from Global Grassroots such as financial management, conscious behavior and techniques to use in inviting the presence of our consciousness in whatever we do, how to do a diagnostic of our social issue, research and evaluation.” 

"Step Forward": Family Planning Training
Step Forward is working to reduce poverty among women and youth by providing family planning training, offering financial skills workshops and initiating a livestock program. In the last three months, this team of eight high school girls, visited the 20 women trained in their family planning workshops, noting that 8 women participated in using family planning for the first time. The team created a savings and loan circle for these mostly-illiterate women to save money so that the women could help each other buy domesticated animals. So far, the women have been able to purchase seven goats and they are expecting six more goats to be distributed in October. Based on a request from these women, the team will return to teach land circle members about financial management with the goal that they can expand their business and keep up the social mission of visits to encourage family planning. They will also continue their home visits to encourage women to use birth control to limit family size.  The team shares in their latest report, “We thank Global Grassroots for funding and assistance. We have learnt a lot that will help us to be more of personal value to our society, by using any resource [we may have].”

For sponsors who contributed to supporting these girls and making this program possible, we thank you so much.  These young women have demonstrated how a little collaborative and hard work and applying the mindful leadership skills they have learned through Global Grassroots can make a significant impact in not only advancing positive social change in their communities, but preparing the next generation to become change leaders.

At this juncture, this project is considered completed. Global Grassroots is placing its Girls Academy for high school girls on hold for a year while it undergoes an evaluation and planning process to expand this program on a national basis across Rwanda. The Komera Project continues its important work in the support of these young women in the pursuit of their education and development as leaders. 

For those of you who contributed toward helping these young women, we extend our deepest gratitude for your support and trust in this work. Global Grassroots is now shifting its work with youth to focus on high school graduates in Uganda and Rwanda during the 9-month gap between high school graduation and university enrollment when young women are at great risk of leaving their path of education. You are invited to learn more about Global Grassroots Young Women's Academy in Uganda also listed with Global Giving: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/young-women-conscious-change-uganda/ 

To support the education and leadership endeavors of The Komera Project, click here: https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/8772/komera/  

Change Agent team member
Change Agent team member
Students practicing mindfulness
Students practicing mindfulness

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