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...
Oct 19, 2011

A movie, family advice

Achieving a Better Life, Late October/Early November Report

We will distribute part two of the series “Basket” (culturally translated as Secret) next week. The story continues with Kamurari, the husband with many lovers, as he starts to see consequences and learn lessons from his behaviors. He continues mistreating his wife but now recognizes the baby because it looks like him, and he is ashamed he told his family that the baby was not his. One day when going to sleep with a prostitute he loses his wedding ring and all his money. There is no peace at home because the wife realized that the girl in house is not his cousin, but his lover.

We also followed the other couple that Kanyamanza worked for, where his female employer was neglected by her husband and seduced him. Both the wife and the boy have been kicked out of the house, and the wife is now pregnant. The wife went back home to her family’s village, but there she suffered a lot of rejection.

            The husband who kicked out his wife after driving her to infidelity finds a new wife, but she is not in love with him. She just wants to seduce an easy man and take his money. Finally she persuades him to sell the house and buy a new one and register it in her name. What about the part of the house that belonged the first wife? It’s confusing.

            Kanyamanza, the domestic worker seduced by his employer then kicked out of the house, went to live with the headmistress,who wanted to marry him. But, the woman forgets that he is her fiancé; in her mind he is still a domestic worker. He knows how to do the household chores so well, so she always gives him too much work instead of too much love. Kanyamanza is unhappy.

            The young boy Gahigi who kept switching girls sleeps with someone who is HIV positive. He wasn’t using a condom.

In this second part we raised another cultural issue. In this new couple, the husband is very devoted to his wife but struggles to balance his love for her with his love for beer. He often has to choose between accepting the wife’s desire or going to the bar. He starts making funny choices, saying that he will not enter the bar because the wife asked him not to go in, so instead he will drink beer at a table outside. Then, his friends start telling him that he is powerless because he accepts the decision of a woman.

            Soon, we will prepare the third part.

Oct 5, 2011

Family advice, movie

Achieving a Better Life, Late September/Early October Report

Achieving a Better Life is promoting healthy relationships in Rwandan society. We are coming out with another new movie.

The movie is called Agaseke, which means “The Secret” and is represented in Rwandan culture by a traditional basket. We tell the stories of two different couples, raising issues that are barriers to having good marital relationships. We did not forget our youth.

In the story “Basket” we meet two men named Kanyamanza and Kamurari, who is married to the woman Umunyana. The two men are twins but people can tell them apart by their different behaviors. Kamurari is married but his twin Kanyamanza is a domestic worker.

At the beginning of the story, Kamurari gets married to Umunyana then starts to change. He has many lovers until he brings home a mistress who was a student and is now pretending to be his cousin. The story tells how he refused to accept responsibility for his wife’s pregnancy, how he mistreated her during her pregnancy, and how he disrespected her with the name he gave to the baby.

The second couple is the family with which Kanyamanza lives as a domestic worker. The husband is the stereotypical man who is always busy with the work and doesn’t care about his wife until the time the wife gets tired. In Rwandan society, it is usually the man who decides when the couple will make love, so our aim with these scenes is to teach women to leave their fear and have a conversation with their husband. In our film, the wife summons the courage to ask her husband ‘why.’ She explains to him that she needs sex sometimes, too. However, the husband didn’t take care of the situation although it was serious. One day, he ran off for work while his wife was making a surprise for his birthday. Then in the end, the wife, who told him that she needed affection, comes to seduce the domestic worker Kanyamanza, who is a very nice man.

The message for the youth is about the current phenomenon that in our society now, boys want to marry rich women. They also have sex before marriage, saying that there are some who are better than others and they need to take advantage.  But AIDS could be waiting for them if they are not careful. That why Gahigi, who was in love with and engaged to a school headmistress, refused to marry her. So, the headmistress chose the domestic worker Kanyamanza as a lover, because he is a very nice person and treats everyone with respect.

These stories are the first installment of the series “Basket.” After distribution, 85% of a sample audience liked the family stories even more than the love stories, which shows that they appreciate the message we are bringing.  Many expressed thanks for raising these ‘secret’ domestic issues and congratulated Achieving a Better Life.

Aug 8, 2011

New Online Social Entrepreneurship Program Under Development

We are excited to share, Global Grassroots has begun the development of a web-based eAcademy for Conscious Change, which will allow women’s groups in developing countries globally to access our social entrepreneurship curriculum online. To date, we have received emails from over 160 women’s groups from 45 different countries requesting our programs. We will be choosing a pilot group of women's organizations from four continents to participate in the beta version of the elearning program.  Our online academy will be accessible for free, providing an interactive program that will support the development of grassroots-level social entrepreneurship projects. We anticipate the development of the site will be complete in late autumn for piloting, with a public launch in early 2012.

Next week Global Grassroots will launch its new Conscious Social Change certification program, with seven women from three countries.  Once certified, this corps of trainees will be able to deploy globally to offer our core program upon request to partner organizations. Global Grassroots is eager to collaborate through partnership to support women change agents in new communities.

This progress has only been possible with your support and we extend our deepest gratitude. As we expand, Global Grassroots needs engaged investors to help us make these exciting possibilities a reality. We know that women have the potential to lead conscious social change, but many lack the resources and training to advance their own ideas. Please consider a donation to help Global Grassroots continue to support the social ventures of grassroots change agents worldwide.

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