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...
Aug 13, 2010

Transformation for Women in Rwanda

Women learning to sew
Women learning to sew

GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE

Global Grassroots US team recently returned from Rwanda where we visited our existing project teams and initiated our 2010 Academy for Conscious Change.This Academy cohort includes 37 participants representing 7 of the 30+ teams who applied. Having completed our intensive training, our teams will now embark upon the development of their own social ventures over the next 18 months. They are a highly motivated group working on a range of critical issues facing women:

Violence and discrimination against mothers of handicapped children Lack of clean water access and associated violence, exploitation, and disease Domestic violence Violence against and rejection of single mothers Malnutrition Teenage mothers with unwanted pregnancies (age 12-14) Education of girls, especially children of prostitutes

We anticipate great progress from these teams as we work with them over the next few months to develop sustainable ventures with a measurable social impact. We'd like to ask for your help in making that happen. Your financial contributions enable our efforts on the ground to improve the lives of the worlds most vulnerable women.

TURWUBAKE UPDATE

Global Grassroots is preparing to begin providing seed funding for the launch of Turwubake in order to fight violence against women in 50 Rwandan households. The team will begin by training 30 women, including 15 domestic workers and 15 victims of domestic violence, in gender rights training and vocational skills. They will also reach out to engage 15 men within the community too. They will then help domestic workers organize themselves as an association so that they can successfully fight for their rights or leave abusive employers. We will keep you updated as the project begins their operations. Please consider donating today to help them get their start.

BRINGING BREATH AND YOGA TO RWANDA

For the first time in Rwanda, Global Grassroots implemented the Breath~Body~Mind (BBM) program developed by Dr. Richard Brown and Dr. Patricia Gerbarg (www.haveahealthymind.com). This program, integrating Qi Gong and Coherent Breathing, was introduced by Global Grassroots earlier this year in Haiti to support trauma relief for earthquake victims. We are conducting a program evaluation over the next year in Rwanda to assess how this group's symptoms of PTSD change with the continued practice of BBM.

We were also thrilled to have Yoga practitioner Jessica Spain join us to offer yoga each morning during the personal transformation practice portion of the program. On the first day she taught, yoga was met with a room full of nervous and embarrassed giggles, but the next day everyone told us that they wanted another session! It became a regular part of our morning and prompted Jessica to develop special series of poses she called "Yoga for Skirt Wearers".

Gretchen Wallace has coauthored an article with Dr. Gerbarg on the use of mind-body practices in post-disaster scenarios that will be published in an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. Gretchen will also be teaching a course at Kripalu September 6-10 for relief workers in Haiti on using breath for managing trauma exposure when working with traumatized populations. This offering is a collaboration with Suzanne Jones of YogaHope and David Emerson of the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Initiative.

Be a part of Global Grassroots! Help us continue to offer innovative programs to train and support local change makers.

Thank you!!

Rwandan women doing yoga
Rwandan women doing yoga

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Jun 2, 2010

New Change Leaders Enrolled for 2010 Academy

Light in Our Home training program
Light in Our Home training program

2010 ACADEMY FOR CONSCIOUS CHANGE BEGINS Global Grassroots will host its next Academy for Conscious Change course beginning June 14th, enrolling a new class of 5-6 teams of change leaders in its 18 month social entrepreneurship incubator. Applications have risen sharply to nearly six times the available spots in the new class. Global Grassroots is targeting a rural area to the east of Kigali, where it has not yet had an opportunity to reach.

GLOBAL GRASSROOTS EXPANDING GLOBALLY THROUGH PARTNERS & TECHNOLOGY To date almost 100 women's organizations in 40 countries have requested partnership or access to Global Grassroots training. This past term, Global Grassroots engaged a team of MBA students from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College to analyze this market opportunity and design a global scale strategy to replicate our work on an international level. The Tuck team recommended two core strategies. The first strategy will use a web-based, interactive, e-learning platform to disseminate our curriculum to teams of change agents working at the grassroots level. The second strategy involves training selected partner organizations to license and deliver our complete Academy program model to their own target populations. Global Grassroots is now in the process of securing funding to begin to roll-out each strategy by year end.

NEW PROJECTS LAUNCHED & OPERATING In May, Global Grassroots project team, "Have A Good Life" completed construction and began operations providing access to water for 200 families, including those once sexually exploited in exchange for water access. Thank you to the PECO Foundation and Cherokee Elementary School in Scottsdale, AZ for making this project possible.

Further, Global Grassroots' newest project, "Light in Our Home", which is dedicated to ending domestic violence through education, held its first training program with local leaders, including district executive council members, sector representatives, women’s council members, youth representatives, and the director of education for the district. Thank you to the Christ Church Board of World Fellowship and the St. James Trust for making this project possible.

This month, Global Grassroots is preparing to launch two new projects. APROFER will fight violence against women and ensure access to property rights by training local community representatives to be advocates. Turwubake will engage married couples, domestic workers and their employers in dialogue to fight sexual and physical violence in the home.

THANK YOU Without your support these successes would not have happened. But the need remains great and we ask you, once again, for your help as we stretch to reach dozens more vulnerable women with ideas to transform their own communities. Your help is vital to this effort. Thank you for your continued support of the women of Rwanda and the work of Global Grassroots.

Have a Good Life water access point
Have a Good Life water access point

Links:

Mar 31, 2010

Global Grassroots March 2010 Update

Roughly 90% of Rwandans are employed in the agricultural sector and 93% of these workers are women. Despite these numbers and recent and seemingly progressive legislation around land rights, Rwandan women struggle to actualize their rights because preliminary requirements restrict the law’s protection, customary laws persist, and women are unaware these rights exist. Additionally, these laws only protect the property rights of women who are legally married, yet over 40% of Rwandan marriages are not legal due in large part to the high costs of marriage licenses, which are well over the average annual income. Women who are not aware of the benefits of legal marriage are often coerced to marry illegally, thereby disqualifying themselves from the law’s protection.

Global Grassroots deeply appreciates your support of this project aimed at protecting women’s property rights. To date, we have raised $100 of the necessary $5430.

Funds permitting, we will launch this and an additional seven social venture projects in Rwanda this year. In June, we will return to Rwanda to host our sixth Academy for Conscious Change and, in partnership with Jewish Helping Hands, offer training for our project teams in reproductive health, social-issue filmmaking, computer literacy, English, and trauma healing through yoga and breathwork. We happily report the recent launch of Light in Our Home, a women-led project aimed at reducing gender-based violence and the stigma associated with reporting domestic violence in the Byimana sector of rural Rwanda. Additionally, we have been working in Haiti, offering the trauma healing portion of our program to women survivors of the earthquake.

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