APROFER is continuing to work in the rural district of Kibuye to educate their community on women's property rights and domestic violence. They hope to create a community that will work together to combat the issue of women's inequality. The team has begun to training community leaders to follow up on cases of domestic violence. They also recently completed their baseline issue study. This issue study is required of all teams that graduate from the Global Grassroots Academy for Conscious Change, and it helps the venture to measure its social impact. By measuring the extent of the issue before the team begins their work, APROFER will be able to realistically measure the effect of their program on the community in a years time when they re-administer the issue study.
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE
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.
This venture team in the rural district of Kibuye is working to educate their community on domestic violence and women's property rights. By demonstrating the negative effects of domestic violence through trainings and debates, they address belief systems among men and women regarding women's rights.
The team has been working hard to design and conduct a baseline issue study, collecting information regarding local needs and community context. They have recently finished analyzing the information from their study, and have been incorporating their new knowledge into their program design and operations, further tailoring their work to fit their community.
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.
APROFER BEGINS WITH STUDY OF WOMEN"S PROPERTY RIGHTS
APROFER is working to fight violence against women associated with managing family property through training, exchanging of ideas, debates and encouraging further mobilization amongst couples, widows, children, other family members and local authorities. APROFER is concerned with the issue that women face in being responsible for almost all cultivating and household tasks, yet have no right to speech or to control family wealth.
After receiving their first batch of funding from Global Grassroots in August, they worked to create a survey to assess knowledge of women’s rights among community members. The survey results will influence the curriculum of their training program for their first group of 70 widows, couples, and adolescents. After conducting their training program, the venture will identify community focal points to serve as advocates for women locally. These individuals will then train others in their community, spreading knowledge in a true grassroots fashion. The trainings are slated to begin in a few months, with plans for community dialogues shortly thereafter. We look forward to updating you on their progress in the coming weeks.
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.
Global Grassroots is preparing to begin providing seed funding for the launch of APROFER in order to fight violence against women associated with managing family property. The team is concerned with the issue that women face in being responsible for almost all cultivating and household tasks, yet have no right to speech and no right to control family wealth. The project will provide training for an initial 70 people, and then identify community focal points to serve as advocates for women locally. Through the exchange of ideas and debates they will encourage further mobilization amongst couples, widows, children, other family members and local authorities.
We still need to raise $4900 to complete this project. Please consider donating today and asking your friends and family to help this team of women get their start managing their own 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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Roughly 90% of Rwandans are employed in the agricultural sector and 93% of these workers are women. Despite these numbers and recent and seemingly progressive legislation around land rights, Rwandan women struggle to actualize their rights because preliminary requirements restrict the law’s protection, customary laws persist, and women are unaware these rights exist. Additionally, these laws only protect the property rights of women who are legally married, yet over 40% of Rwandan marriages are not legal due in large part to the high costs of marriage licenses, which are well over the average annual income. Women who are not aware of the benefits of legal marriage are often coerced to marry illegally, thereby disqualifying themselves from the law’s protection.
Global Grassroots deeply appreciates your support of this project aimed at protecting women’s property rights. To date, we have raised $48 of the necessary $5200.
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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