Let Us Build Ourselves - Kanombe has completed the process of registering themselves with the Rwandan government as a non-profit organization. Recently, the team successfully acquired the land, title, and construction permit necessary to begin building their water project. They have been leveling the land, and are beginning the first phases of construction, extending a pipeline from the water main to the project site. They will enter into another intensive construction phase in the next month, purchasing bricks for their water hut, buying tanks, and hiring local construction workers.
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE
Global Grassroots is currently preparing to expand our Academy to Northern Uganda to serve women and girls abducted and forced to serve as combatants and sex slaves by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Thousands of women have returned home after the war, many of them traumatized, stigmatized, HIV-positive, and caring for children. While there are many initiatives working to rehabilitate male former child soldiers, there are far fewer resources for women who are returning with the added trauma of having experienced sexual violence. We conducted an extensive feasibility study in late February/early March, speaking with individuals and organizations about the landscape of need and opportunities for partnership in Uganda. Having met with over 20 local organizations throughout the northern region of the country, we have identified strong potential partners and have chosen to locate our program in the Pader district. We intend to initiate the Academy program for at least 5 new teams in Uganda later this year.
We have also had over 100 women’s groups in 40 countries request our programs. This summer, we will launch a web-based eAcademy which will allow our training curriculum to be accessible online to serve this broader need and to disseminate our social entrepreneurship curriculum globally through local internet cafes. Global Grassroots' e-learning Academy will allow us to deliver our program through a free subscription service to grassroots teams throughout the developing world. In so doing, we will provide training, skills and tools to support small-scale, grassroots-level social entrepreneurship among underserved women’s groups in impoverished countries. In most cases, these women would have no other access to the training needed to start their own non-profits and design their own solutions to the social issues in their communities.
During this time of growth, Global Grassroots needs engaged investors to join with us to actualize these exciting new possibilities. Our vision is that all women will have the capacity and resources to lead conscious social change, sustained by their own communities. You can help to make this a reality. Please consider a donation to help Global Grassroots continue to support the social ventures of grassroots change agents worldwide.
KANOMBE WATER PROJECT BEGINS CONSTRUCTION
Global Grassroots is thrilled to inform you that with your generous support and additional sponsorship funding from the PECO Foundation, Let Us Build Ourselves - Kanombe has been fully funded and has begun their launch.
As you know, this project will fight the issue of violence against women related to women’s access to water. Women living in mountainous areas where there is limited water access have to travel long distances to collect water. Not only do they experience the risk of violence at these remote water collection points (such as valley streams), but when women are late returning home from collecting water and cannot prepare meals on time, domestic violence often occurs. The project will install a public water access point and offering trainings to men and women about women’s rights. Over its first year, the water project will benefit 100 families and the training will reach 30 couples.
After a land ownership agreement between the team and a local association (that is also the umbrella association for Have a Good Life water project and Let Us Build Ourselves literacy project), the Kanombe team was able to legally purchase the land for the water access point and break ground in its construction. We look forward to keeping you updated during the construction process and to inform you when Kanombe begins distributing water. Thank you so much for your support in making this possible!
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS YEAR-END UPDATE AND LOOKING AHEAD TO 2011
2010 has been a turning point for Global Grassroots. We have endured hardship with the economic downturn, but are emerging leaner, more creative and more strategic. We’ve evaluated our social impact, repositioned our training program as the Academy for Conscious Change and integrated new mind-body practices for trauma healing. We’ve brought these holistic practices to earthquake survivors in Haiti and, by request, to American relief workers serving in disaster zones. We’ve doubled the number of civil society organizations our Academy has helped launch in Rwanda, and are investing in technology and partnerships to expand our reach. Today, our 300 Rwandan change agents have established 16 non-profit organizations, which are working at the root level of a social issue facing women and girls, benefiting an estimated 10,000+ people each year.
As we move forward into 2011, we have over 100 women’s groups in 40 countries requesting our programs. In response, we are expanding our hands-on approach into Northern Uganda next and embarking upon a web-based eAcademy for Conscious Change to reach women worldwide through local internet cafes. We are developing new courses, based on our core curriculum, for a range of new audiences, including students, donors and practitioners. And we are preparing to package and license our program model for partner organizations to implement in regions we have yet to explore.
Global Grassroots needs engaged investors to join with us and our change agents in a three-part-partnership to actualize the possibilities in front of us. We invite you to read more about our progress in our 2010 Year-End Magazine (available for download on our home page: www.globalgrassroots.org) and consider a donation to help Global Grassroots continue to support the social ventures of grassroots change agents worldwide.
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports conscious social change for women in post-conflict societies. Our Academy for Conscious Change is a 12-18 month social venture incubator, offering non-profit management skills, leadership training, personal transformation practices, seed grants and high-engagement support that enables vulnerable women change agents to launch their own grassroots solutions benefiting women and girls. JOIN US.
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
Violence against and rejection of single mothers
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.
LET US BUILD OURSELVES KANOMBE UPDATE
Global Grassroots is preparing to begin providing seed funding for the launch of Let Us Build Ourselves Kanombe, which will provide clean water to 100 Rwandan households and fight the issue of violence against women related to women’s limited access to water. According to the team, women living in mountainous areas where there is limited water access have to travel long distances to collect water. Not only do they experience the risk of violence at these remote water collection points, but when women are late returning home from collecting water and cannot prepare meals on time, domestic violence often occurs. We still need to raise $3800 to complete this project. Please consider donating today to help this team of women get their start managing their own water venture. We will keep you updated as the project begins.
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.
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Worldwide, 1 in 8 people live without access to safe water and 4,500 infants and children die each day from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation. In Rwanda, 1 in 3 people lack access to a safe water supply and 28% (mostly women and children) must travel between 30 minutes and 4 hours by foot to obtain water. Often widowed and disabled women are sexually exploited for water or must send their children for water instead of to school.
Global Grassroots deeply appreciates your support of this water project. To date, we have raised $3,542 of the necessary $7,790.
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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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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