In the last few months, 3 teams of graduates from the most recent Academy for Conscious Change in Rwanda began official, autonomous operations. It is remarkable to watch previously marginalized women grow into respected community leaders and conscious change agents. We are thrilled to share with you some of what they have accomplished, feats possible because of your financial support.
One of the ventures, A Friend Indeed, is working on the problem of violence and stigma against single mothers. The baseline study conducted by the team reveals some troubling information, including the fact that among single mothers surveyed, 91 percent of the pregnancies were undesired, and 49 percent of respondents report having no knowledge of reproductive health. Still more troubling, 92 percent of these single mothers experienced violence during their pregnancy and 100% of community members surveyed said that a single mother was useless to society
In June, the team hosted their first training with 140 single mothers on human rights to help them have more knowledge and confidence in standing up for their rights. They bestowed 67 certificates of completion to single mothers and other community members who completed the full program. Additionally, seven of the mothers who were outstanding in their attendance, participation, and practice of new skills were also awarded chickens in a special ceremony.
Their next endeavor will be to conduct a training program in reproductive health with young people in the community to begin to improve education so as to prevent further unwanted pregnancies.
A second team, Kind People, working in the Ruhango District of Rwanda's Southern Province received a grant from Global Grassroots to buy their motorbike. This venture is designed to protect women's property rights an issue that is often a trigger for domestic violence. The motorbike represents the kind of innovating thinking, problem solving, and sustainable venture design that is taught at the Academy for Conscious Change. Not only will the motorbike allow team members to reach the hundreds of women and 22 anti-violence clubs they have started in remote villages it will also act as a revenue-generating taxi to support the teams ongoing operation costs.
We wish to thank you again for your generous donations and hope that you will consider continuing to support these remarkable women and others like them as they create a better world.
We’re busy moving forward with our high-engagement incubator, helping women at the grassroots level develop and sustain their own micro-NGOs.
Here’s a snapshot about some of the exciting new developments happening on the ground in Rwanda:
THE NEXT ACADEMY FOR CONSCIOUS CHANGE
We anticipate initiating our next Academy for Conscious Change with a cohort of venture teams focused on water issues in October. Stay tuned for more.
This past January, Global Grassroots launched its first geographical expansion from Rwanda into Northen Uganda to target women survivors of the reign of terror of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Our first cohort of 40 change agents representing eight venture teams are now in the process of their venture development work. Our newest staff from Uganda, Colombus Onoo and Celine Auma, traveled this month to Kigali to train with our Rwanda office, led by Senior Program Officer, Gyslaine Uwitonze and Program Assistant, Josiane Isingizwe. Their training included exposure to our existing venture teams and the delicate methodology we use to guide venture development and inspire self-sufficiency without imposing our own ideas. We look forward to the opportunity for our venture teams in Uganda having the opportunity to exchange with our Rwandan organizations too.
We remain deeply grateful for your support, as our ability to continue to support the growth and impact of these teams would not be possible without you. We are excited about our expansion into Uganda, our adaptation of our work for a younger audience of vulnerable girls and our upcoming Academy for Conscious Change focused on water issues. We hope you will continue to contribute to our work, so that we may help vulnerable women become leading change agents.
This past year represented a turning point for Global Grassroots in moving from a successful pilot program to a growing organization that is expanding, replicating, scaling and adapting its core curriculum to new audiences while integrating supporting structures and revenue streams to enhance its sustainability. With your support, we have not only continued our commitment to our core Academy for Conscious Change for women change agents in Rwanda, but we have laid the groundwork for our geographical expansion into Northern Uganda, established partnerships for future issue-based investments in women-led water ventures, initiated a new offering for the next generation including high school girls in Rwanda and university women in the US, leveraged technology to disseminate our curriculum globally beginning in Liberia, and broadened our corps of trained practitioners who can help us meet the demand for our work.
In Rwanda, over the last year we have completed the launch of three new social ventures (Kind People, Education for Young Girls and People of Love) and have completed the design of three additional ventures (United People, Perseverance and A Friend Indeed) that are currently in the process of launching. We conducted a small Academy for Conscious Change training program for additional members of two teams (Perseverance and People of the Same Compassion) who had management changes and were no longer led by our graduates, as required for funding. People of the Same Compassion will resume their design work this winter. Our final team of the 8 we have been coaching over the last two years (Handicap Rwandais Reabilite Reintegre dans ses Droits) has continued to revise their program plan and is not yet decided on a strategy to move forward. Because our program is fiercely committed to local leadership, the pace of each team’s progress is driven by its own members. As such, though our incubator is designed to serve teams for 18 months (the average time needed to develop and launch a social venture), we will continue to provide facilitation as long as is necessary for our teams to establish their work. A brief overview of the mission of each of these teams follows:
Kind People is working to educate about the laws protecting the family and the mutual benefits of legal marriage. By promoting women's rights to property through legal marriage, they are advancing equality and reducing oppression and gender-based violence.
Education for Young Girls is working to prevent the harassment of and drop-out rates among 2000 girls during menstruation by building safe latrines at school.
People of Love has constructed a water-access point to provide clean water to a community of 200 families to eliminate the abuse of women associated with water collection.
United People is working on the issue of domestic violence, and will be teaching 210 couples about gender-based violence, family law, reproductive health and family planning, while providing women with income-generating activities, so that they have greater economic power to leave abusive relationships.
Perseverance is working to reduce teenage pregnancy and school-drop out rates among grils by providing educational programs and safe latrines at Mahembe primary school.
A Friend Indeed is working on the issue of teenage pregnancy and the stigma that further marginalizes single mothers and their children. They will address this issue among nearly 700 community members through theater, mentorship programs, public discussions and income generating projects.
People of the Same Compassion is working to eliminate child malnutrition by educating parents and children on cultivating kitchen gardens, cooking nutritious meals and raising chickens for eggs.
Handicap Rwandais Reabilite Reintegre dans ses Droits is preventing discrimination against mothers of disabled children and working to provide specialized care and avenues to reduce economic vulnerability.
Further, this year we established a new partnership with the Komera Project to develop a Girls Academy for Conscious Change. Launched in November, the partnership adapts Global Grassroots proven social venture incubator to serve 70 vulnerable girls who have been selected as Komera Scholars during the 2-month school holiday in November and December. Our young participants are now working on 6 inspiring social ventures of their own design addressing issues such as hunger and child abuse. You can learn more about the Girls Program here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/girls-academy-for-conscious-change/
Attached, please find a year-end report that provides further detail on our specific progress in meeting our goals for 2012. In summary, this past year we deepened our core programs and took significant steps towards establishing new pilot endeavors that will not only expand our influence and raise our visibility, but also generate resources for our work. Our success is due to your commitment to our programs and your belief in our vision and philosophy. We look forward to a productive year ahead in supporting grassroots, conscious change agents working to benefit vulnerable women and girls. Thank you for your support!
Global Grassroots is making innovative efforts to meet the growing demand for our programs and has created exciting new partnerships to catalyze conscious social change around the globe:
Beginning in their own communities, Global Grassroots’ change agents are working building a culture that values, supports and empowers girls and women worldwide. Please support our continued work with vulnerable women change agents. Donate today: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/conscious-social-change/
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE
Global Grassroots & Women for Water Partner to Support Women's Empowerment Worldwide
Global Grassroots is excited to announce that we have been chosen as one of four partners for the first year of the new 3-year Women for Water campaign initiated by the Global Water Challenge!
This initiative will empower a billion women to join together and raise a billion dollars to fight the global water crisisthat disproportionately affects women and children.
Click here for more information about the Women for Water campaign, or check out their video!
Join us in supporting sustainable, women-led water ventures that provide livelihoods, hope and safety for thousands of women!
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New Conscious Social Change Practitioner Training begins this summer!
This program, open to anyone interested in personal transformation and social change, provides an intensive and experience-based training in the methods, philosophy, skills and frameworks of Conscious Social Change. Beginning July 1 is Part 1 of our three-part Conscious Social Change Practitioner Certification Program, which enables trainees to become certified in Global Grassroots' core curriculum. Email us at email@example.com if you would like more information or are interested in participating!
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Global Grassroots initiated its Academy for Conscious Change in Rwanda in 2006 with a group of 60 genocide widows with HIV, caring for 227 children, including orphans. What began as a brief training program followed by small seed grants with no oversight has expanded into an 18-month social venture incubator that incorporates conscious leadership training, mind-body trauma healing, social entrepreneurship and non-profit management training, seed grants and high-engagement support to help vulnerable women launch their own ideas for social change. To date, we have trained 300 change agents who have designed 26 “micro-NGOs”. Over 50,000 people have been served to date, including:
Thank you for your invaluable partnership and support. Please help our continued work with vulnerable women change agents. Donate today: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/conscious-social-change/
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