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 25, 2011

Team Analyzes Issue Study to Meet Community Needs

The Kind People team has identified women's lack of property rights and access to land as the root cause of domestic, physical, and economic violence in the Ruhango district of Rwanda. The team is in the process of analyzing their issue study, and discussing their findings with Global Grassroots’ Rwanda staff. They plan to offer training to men and women on the issue of fair, equal marriage, and to form advocacy clubs for each neighborhood in the area. These clubs will act as a resource for women who are victims of domestic violence.

GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE

Release of Global Grassroots’ 2011 Impact Assessment: 

Over the course of ten weeks, Julia Oakley, a dual Masters student from Columbia University conducted an independent impact assessment of our Academy for Conscious Change in Rwanda. The following is an excerpt. Download our full Impact Assessment here

The social impact of Global Grassroots via its trained and funded ventures is approximately 32,500 Rwandans... Most teams are able to measure their social impact in some form, and all operating Global Grassroots ventures have visible signs of positive impact on their communities. Some, like Let Us Build Ourselves and Construct the Family, work intensively with their target populations; others, such as Light In Our Home, have more of an indirect but possibly widespread social impact….Global Grassroots should support teams to maximize their potential social impact on one hand, but continue to prioritize self-initiated growth and idea generation on the other. Global Grassroots' strategy of participatory development in fostering the creativity and levering the inner knowledge of local persons is its strongest asset and its key to sustainable social impact.

On vocational skills and health/women's rights training for vulnerable populations:

“I know how to claim my rights and how to help other women to claim their rights, too. This helps me be safe and independent.”  -Beneficiary of Construct the Family

On girls’ sanitation and reproductive health:

"Now I am able to discuss with my children reproductive health and change of life, and tell them this is normal. I encourage them to share this with me. Before, I was ashamed to talk about it, but now I no longer have that shame and I can advise them about the consequences of their actions. This project has helped me to know my responsibilities as a parent and as a neighbor. We need to support girls and promote a bright future for them."   -Beneficiary of Think About The Young Girls

 

Global Grassroots Hosts Training for New Conscious Change Practitioners

This fall, Global Grassroots hosted seven women representing three countries (America, Rwanda, and Haiti) to participate in the first training of trainers in our curriculum, methodology, philosophy and trauma-healing skills for the Academy for Conscious Change.  Over the course of two weeks, participants learned how to work with traumatized populations, how to use mind-body skills to reset the nervous system and address post-traumatic stress, how to use participatory development methods to catalyze locally-led solutions in a developing country among a foreign culture, how to use their own understanding of personal transformation to support conscious leadership in others, and how to develop a sustainable non-profit from scratch. 

Having completed the curriculum training, these new Conscious Change Practitioners will next conduct a pilot volunteer training with a partner organization in the US, and participate in a year-long correspondence course in personal transformation for change agents. Once certified, Global Grassroots Practitioners will take a leadership role in expanding our programs in new countries with interested partner organizations.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about how to bring Global Grassroots' Academy for Conscious Change to your community.  

 

Global Grassroots Founder featured in Huffington Post:

Gretchen Wallace Empowers Women In Rwanda And Other Post-Conflict Societies

 

Our work has only been possible with your support, and we extend our deepest gratitude. We know that women have the potential to lead conscious social change, but many lack the resources and training to advance their own ideas. We need engaged investors to help us continue to support women’s initiatives for social change. Please consider a donation to help Global Grassroots continue to support the social ventures of grassroots change agents worldwide.

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.

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