APROFER TEAM UPDATE:
APROFER has been actively working towards their mission in the last three months. They provided intensive training on property law, domestic violence and women’s rights to 20 new couples and made multiple follow-up visits to each in order to change problematic behavior. Eight of the couples have been deeply affected by these efforts and are sharing their new knowledge and experiences with their neighbors. An additional six couples have also already shown a remarkable change in behavior but have not yet begun to train others. The remaining six couples who are still living with violence are continuing to receive visits and support from the team.
APROFER also held a public training session on women’s rights with regard to property management and made follow up visits to the homes of each family who attended. They also conducted a follow-up impact study to see where their goals have been achieved and what areas need more focus. According to that study, 60% of their trainees, and among them 80% of the widows, report that they now feel confident about their rights under the law and are ready to teach others in their neighborhood.
Always adapting to meet the needs of their target population, they also compiled a list of the most frequently mentioned obstacles that families are facing so that they can address them when providing future trainings. Among the issues mentioned are lack of health care and family planning, alcoholism and money mismanagement.
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE:
GIRLS ACADEMY FOR CONSCIOUS CHANGE
In Rwinkwavu, 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. For examples, one of the six teams, called Brave People, works on the issue of homeless youth. They have succeeded in reintegrating seven children back into their families as well as helping three children find families to adopt them.
To read more about these inspiring young women, you can take a look at their page on Global Giving.
NORTHERN UGANDA EXPANSION
We believe that engaging women and girls in post-conflict reconstruction is crucial to changing the attitudes that created conflict in the first place. To that end, we’re happy to announce that in January, we initiated our first Academy for Conscious Change via a nine-day residential training program that was held in Gulu, Northern Uganda. We accepted eight venture teams represented by 40 change agents into our first cohort.
Our participants are predominately vulnerable women affected by the reign of terror of the Lord's Resistance Army in their region. Working diligently, the teams have begun the design of their social ventures working on the following issues: HIV, Divorce, Household Conflict & Overwork, Women's Human Rights, Gender-based Violence, Illiteracy, Advancing Women in Leadership, and `Property Rights. They now are engaged in Phase 2 of our 18-month program to complete the development of their ventures. By building the capacity of women to heal from trauma and advance their own ideas, we hope to support empowerment, healing, and reconciliation. We look forward to learning from their insight and wisdom and helping them create conscious social change in their communities.
We wish to thank you for your invaluable support this past year. Following is a quarterly field report direct from the team on the work that the Association de la Promotion de la Femme et l'Enfant Rwandais (APROFER) has been doing to fight gender-based violence and women's rights to property within the family...
(1) After conducting a baseline survey, we trained 70 people that included 25 couples, 5 widows, 5 future married couples, and 5 local leaders who would spread that knowledge in their neighborhood.
(2) At the beginning of the training, trainees gave their suggestions about what they wanted to learn, which was incorporated into the training. The following are the topics on the agenda of the training:
- Human rights and women’s rights, in particular
- Gender equality and couples' relations
- Responsibilities and rights of legally married partners
- Domestic violence
Below are the suggestions from trainees:
- To talk about the relationship between couples that would prevent domestic violence
- To have good relationships with neighbors and be patient
- How a family can work together towards its economic development
- How to manage family assets and what the law says about succession (property rights after death)
- To prepare nutritious meals
Then, we met our trainees to see together how to approach families that have experienced violence related to family asset management.
(3) We picked our beneficiaries under recommendations from focal points, local leaders, and churches.
(4) Trained families are being visited by our focal points to measure the impact of the training. Every six months our focal points make a report evaluating how our trainees are implementing what they learnt.
We hold public debates and discussions that lead our communities to work together to improve the well-being of a family. We have in total 60 families that conduct these public debates and discussions, including 30 families that serve as focal points. Focal points are the best couples that have received training. These families train other people in their Umudugudu (village) and cells (neighborhood). There are some who train future married couples in partnership with Nyange Catholic parish.
(5) The challenges we have faced this quarter include:
- We did not find all the needed instructional books about family law, but we got six books from “Reseaux de femme”. We are planning to apply for additional books from a local organization called Haguruka.
- Local people as well as local leaders have asked us to expand our training program in the community; up to the district level, in order to reach more people. We have limited financial means though, but continue to work to raise funds locally.
(6) We are designing a proposal to apply for a grant from INGOBOKA Fund, so that we can continue our work of fighting violence in our community. INGOBOKA Fund intervenes with fast aid to victims of violence in an emergency, while victims are waiting for other assistance.
We at Global Grassroots extend our deepest gratitude for your support in enabling our graduate's venture, APROFER, to do this important work in educating families, couples and the local community on women's rights to ownership and decision-making over family property, including land, homes and household resources. This work enables women to care for themselves and protect themselves and their children from vulnerability and violence.
We invite you to continue to support our work for the benefit of APROFER and other teams of women change agents throughout Rwanda. Thank you and warm wishes to your friends and families.
We are pleased to provide an update on the work of APROFER as well as an update on the work of Global Grassroots to support change agent teams like APROFER more broadly:
Since they began, APROFER has trained 75 community members on gender equality and property rights; each trainee then serves as a representative to offer trainings in his or her home community. The APROFER team is in the process of conducting a follow-up evaluation with their most recent cohort of community trainers in order to assess their current impact. We will be thrilled to share their impact once they have compiled the results of their training.
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE
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 & 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 in the new Women for Water campaign!
This initiative will empower a billion women to join together and raise a billion dollars to fight the global water crisis that 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!
Global Grassroots is also working to expand our programming and deepen our impact, through new offerings domestically and abroad:
Global Grassroots Receives Support for Expansion into Northern Uganda
We are delighted to announce that, through the generous support of the Imago Dei Fund, the NoVo Foundation, and the Hawaii Community Foundation, Global Grassroots will be replicating our Academy for Conscious Change in Northern Uganda this summer! The Ugandan Academy program will be facilitated on the ground in Uganda under the expert leadership of our Rwanda Senior Program Officer Gyslaine Uwitonze and former Global Grassroots Fellow Caitlin Clements.
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. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information or are interested in participating!
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.
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