Global Grassroots is thrilled to announce the launch of three new, sustainable social ventures in Rwanda, designed by and for grassroots women...
Kind People: Providing Training to Promote Legal Marriage and Protect Women's Property Rights With the generous sponsorship of Maura Shaughnessy and family, Global Grassroots officially launched social venture “Kind People” in the Ruhango District of southern Rwanda. Kind People will train 400 men and women about the laws protecting the family and the mutual benefits of legal marriage and build local advocacy clubs in 9 communities. By promoting women's rights to property through legal marriage, they will advance equality and reduce oppression in relationships. Kind People will also invest in a motorcycle taxi, which will help women report incidents of violence, provide transportation for follow-up with victims, and earn revenue as a public taxi. They hope to become the 'go-to' network for victims of domestic violence, serving a geographical area with an estimated population of 12,000 couples. Learn more: http://www.globalgrassroots.org/kind_people.html
Education for Young Girls: Preventing Harassment of and Drop-out Rates Among Girls During Menstruation by Building Safe Latrines at School With the generous sponsorship of The Segal Family Foundation and support from MyVillage2Urs, Education for Young Girls has launched. At Cyarwa high school, female students frequently drop out because they feel unsafe or uncomfortable using the restroom at school. There is only one set of latrines that are shared by all students and teachers, and boys watch the girls while they used the restroom; not even teachers are spared from this harassment. Education for Young Girls will build separate latrines for females and males so that boys cannot harass female students or teachers. They also plan to educate their community about reproductive health, reaching 2000 students, 1000 parents and 600 community members to end harassment and keep girls in school. Learn more: http://www.globalgrassroots.org/education_girls.html
People of Love: Providing Accessible, Clean Water to Eliminate the Abuse of WomenWith the generous sponsorship of Project High Hopes, People of Love has begun their operations. This team works in the rural area of Kamonyi, where a severe scarcity of water causes and triggers gender violence, domestic conflict, and other social issues affecting women. People of Love will reduce violence related to lack of water by installing a clean water point, visiting couples in their homes and educating those who come to use the water point about domestic violence laws and consequences, gender equality. They will also train families on the use of kitchen gardens to fight malnutrition and the importance of men sharing domestic responsibilities. The team aims to reduce domestic violence in Kamonyi, keep more children in school, increase female participation in community affairs, and build stronger and more gender-equal families. Learn more: http://www.globalgrassroots.org/people_love.html
Global Grassroots is also working to expand our programming and deepen our impact, through new offerings and partnerships:
Global Grassroots Receives Support for Expansion into Northern UgandaWe are delighted to announce that, through a generous grant from the Imago Dei Fund and with ongoing support from the NoVo Foundation, Global Grassroots will be replicating our Academy for Conscious Change in Northern Uganda this year! We are thrilled to partner with the Imago Dei Fund and the NoVo Foundation in this critical step toward advancing our work for vulnerable women change agents in post-conflict environments.
eAcademy Pilot Begins with a Site Visit in GuatemalaLast week, Global Grassroots initiated the pilot of our new eAcademy - an innovative, interactive, elearning program offering our social entrepreneurship and conscious change training online. In partnership with a team of MBA students from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, we conducted a feasibility study with women’s groups in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala to understand how best to target grassroots groups worldwide. In mid-March, we will pilot the platform with approximately 15 groups in 4 continents, and anticipate our public launch this summer or fall, serving grassroots social ventures in 45 countries worldwide!GG Founder & President Gretchen Wallace Teaching at Omega NYCGlobal Grassroots Founder & President Gretchen Wallace will be facilitating a Women & Happiness workshop at the Omega Institute’s “Omega NYC” retreat, April 20th-22nd. In an interactive session, Gretchen will teach participants how to discover their unique, authentic power and use it to help others. Come away ready to make a difference! To sign up or learn more, go to http://www.eomega.org/omega/nyc/
Please consider a donation to help Global Grassroots continue to support the social ventures of grassroots change agents worldwide.
After completing the curriculum for their women’s rights training program, the Relax team worked diligently to design and conduct their issue study in their community. In November, they analyzed the results so as to best meet the needs voiced by their beneficiaries, and they are now ready to offer trainings in the community!
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE
Global Grassroots is proud to present our interactive annual magazine, Portraits of Transformation, available online at www.globalgrassroots.org/annualmagazine
Meet the individuals, families, and communities that drive our work.
Explore stories of personal growth and social change, told through photography, writing, and video.
Discover inspiration in their reflections, challenges, and triumphs.
...Please join us in celebrating our impact in 2011, and looking ahead to new growth and continued transformation in 2012.
Global Grassroots works to support women change agents among survivors of war and disaster. Under-served, undereducated, and overburdened, these women would otherwise lack the resources to promote systemic change. But they have profound wisdom about their communities and innovative ideas for social change. Their resilience, courage, and creativity are transforming the world, one community at a time.
These are their stories…
"The [Global Grassroots] training has taught me to think big... Now, I can go somewhere and knock and ask for a grant or anything. Apart from that, in my own community, I have become a conflict resolver. If in the neighborhood there is a conflict, women come to me – they trust me. I go with them to solve those conflicts. It helps me to change the quality of life in my community.”
- Jeanette Muteteri, treasurer of Have a Good Life
“Now I feel like I can move... I can join the other people...I have come to understand my own value. I know that I can participate in the team. I can help them; I can give my ideas.”
- Christine Nyirandeya, team advisor of People of Love
Relax continues to work in the rural village of Mutara, where up to 50% of women are victims of domestic violence, including denial of property rights, sexual violence (marital rape) and physical abuse. Relax recently finished updating and adjusting the curriculum in preparation for facilitating more trainings on women’s rights. They have also been brainstorming new creative resourcing strategies with the guidance of Global Grassroots’ Rwanda staff.
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.
Relax continues to offer emotional and physical support for victims of domestic violence in the village of Mutara in rural Rwanda. The members of the project offer the victim comfort and help the victim report the problem to local authorities. Recently, Relax reached out to Global Grassroots for additional training and support in trauma counseling, as the team members often find themselves facing difficult situations when helping a victim. Often, the team is unable to offer sufficient comfort because of the severity of the domestic violence and the social stigma that makes it hard for women to report cases of domestic violence. In addition to seeking further ways to help their community, Relax has also begun to address the issue of women who abuse their husbands, and will soon begin to reach out to those men as well as the women of the community.
We are excited to share, Global Grassroots has begun the development of a web-based eAcademy for Conscious Change, which will allow women’s groups in developing countries globally to access our social entrepreneurship curriculum online. To date, we have received emails from over 160 women’s groups from 45 different countries requesting our programs. We will be choosing a pilot group of women's organizations from four continents to participate in the beta version of the elearning program. Our online academy will be accessible for free, providing an interactive program that will support the development of grassroots-level social entrepreneurship projects. We anticipate the development of the site will be complete in late autumn for piloting, with a public launch in early 2012.
Next week Global Grassroots will launch its new Conscious Social Change certification program, with seven women from three countries. Once certified, this corps of trainees will be able to deploy globally to offer our core program upon request to partner organizations. Global Grassroots is eager to collaborate through partnership to support women change agents in new communities.
This progress has only been possible with your support and we extend our deepest gratitude. As we expand, Global Grassroots needs engaged investors to help us make these exciting possibilities a reality. We know that women have the potential to lead conscious social change, but many lack the resources and training to advance their own ideas. Please consider a donation to help Global Grassroots continue to support the social ventures of grassroots change agents worldwide.
In the rural village of Mutara, Relax is working with women who are victims of domestic violence, providing emotional support and assisting them as they report their abuses to the local authorities.
The team has been teaching women about their rights, and has trained local representatives who have been given cell phones to report cases of domestic violence when they occur. These representatives have been working hard to raise awareness of domestic violence in each community. They have also been engaging community members, gaining support their interventions in the form of small donations, which are then used to buy minutes for the phones used to report abuses in that community.
Following their recent assessments of their project design, the team has begun a new fundraising effort. Team members will soon begin raising and selling pigs in their community, using the profits to help to cover project expenses.
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.
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