Help Vulnerable Women Become Leading Change Agents

Jul 2, 2013

Becoming Leaders & Creating Innovative Solutions

Attending Training with A Friend Indeed
Attending Training with A Friend Indeed

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. 

Outstanding Graduates are Awarded Chickens
Outstanding Graduates are Awarded Chickens
Kind People
Kind People's New Motorbike
Kind People Team Member
Kind People Team Member
Apr 2, 2013

Exciting New Developments by Our Change Agents

Powerful Female Change Agents in Rwanda
Powerful Female Change Agents in Rwanda

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:

  • Let Us Build Ourselves, a women’s literacy venture, has developed a sister program tutoring street children and training them in traditional Rwandan dance.  Their dance program performs at local weddings and other events to support the cost of the literacy program. The dance team has become so skilled that they recently won a district-wide award. At the celebration for this award, 118 people also received free HIV tests.
  • Education for Young Girls, which initially tackled the problem of ensuring girls stay in school by building safe latrines and showers for them to use during their menstrual cycles, are now utilizing the skills they learned through our Academy for Conscious Change to design new approaches to tackling teenage prostitution.
  • Some of our water ventures, including Hard Workers and Have a Good Life are experiencing new difficulty because of climate change. The rains in Rwanda have been unusually scarce this year and water sources are drying up. Hard Workers’ rain collection cisterns have too frequently run dry, and the city has turned off the supply to Have a Good Life for days at a time. These teams are in the process of problem solving and trying to raise money for additional cisterns so that women don’t have to go back to dirty streams during dry spells.
  • In Rwinkwavu, in Eastern Rwanda, our 70- vulnerable high school girls who took part in the Girls Academy training last November are exceeding our greatest expectations with their passion, commitment and fearlessness. Although their projects were initially intended to take place as a one-time events during their holiday school break, the girls are motivated to develop long-term programs creating change in their communities as well as opportunities for themselves to grow as leaders.  You can read more about them on their own Global Giving page here


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.

Dec 31, 2012

Reaching Rwandan girls & women in Liberia & Uganda

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: 

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!


Sep 7, 2012

Partnerships with Dartmouth College and the Komera Project Deepen Our Impact Domestically & Abroad

Dear friends,

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:

  • We are piloting a new “uAcademy” bootcamp for juniors and seniors at Dartmouth College this fall, through a partnership with the Dickey Center for International Understanding and the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy. This program will enable students to learn and apply our methodology of Conscious Social Change, driving social change in their home communities and abroad. This engaging new course represents a unique fusion of personal leadership, global citizenship, social entrepreneurship, and international development. We are thrilled to partner with Dartmouth College, and we hope to offer our workshops to more universities next spring!
  • We are initiating our first partnership program with the Komera Project in Rwanda, offering our social entrepreneurship training to 57 vulnerable high school girls this November. Our Girls Academy for Conscious Change will support the next generation of change agents in recognizing their power to transform themselves and their communities. Click here for more info:
  • We are currently piloting our “eAcademy” e-learning program with women’s groups in ten countries and are preparing to publicly launch the platform in early 2013. This pioneering program will allow women’s groups in developing countries around the world to access our social entrepreneurship training online for free. Not only will these women be equipped to drive change in their own communities, but they will also become part of our global network of grassroots change agents, with access to ideas and best practices shared by other women 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: 

Jun 11, 2012

Global Grassroots Chosen to Partner with Women for Water Campaign



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!

* * * * * * * *

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 if you would like more information or are interested in participating!

 * * * * * * * * 

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:

  • Nearly 11,000 people have received access to clean water, with another 1200 by year end
  • Over 30,000 people have received training or have witnessed educational events on gender-based violence and women’s rights
  • Nearly 350 women have learned to read, making a new commitment to send their girls to school
  • Over 4500 children, parents and community members have been educated on girls’ reproductive health and over 2000 girls will be served by new, safe latrines by year end

Thank you for your invaluable partnership and support.  Please help our continued work with vulnerable women change agents. Donate today: 

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Project Leader

Gretchen Wallace

President and Founder
Hanover, New Hampshire United States

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Map of Help Vulnerable Women Become Leading Change Agents