Have Pity and Compassion is working to reduce conflicts within families by teaching family members about women’s rights to own and access property. The team will use couples counseling, community theater, public debate and educational films to fight social norms that accept violence against women, and have registered 50 couples to participate in their trainings in four different towns. The team has presented its plan to local authorities and community leaders, and has received a work permit that will allow operations and activities to get underway. They also designed their baseline survey, which will allow them to track their impact and inform how they will tailor their programming to the communities with which they work.
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE
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.
HAVE PITY AND COMPASSION BEGINS OPERATIONS
Global Grassroots is thrilled to let you know, we have begun to launch this project, titled "Have Pity and Compassion", as of late October. Have Pity and Compassion is working to reduce conflicts within families, including physical violence and lack of shared economic decision-making, by teaching family members about women’s rights to own and access property. The team will serve over 550 people in the rural area of Mutara, targeting couples. They will use couples counseling, community theater, public debate and educational films to fight social norms that accept violence against women. The project will also form youth clubs, debate groups and widow executive committees to work within their communities.
Since receiving their first round of funding last month, the team has begun to establish partnerships with local authorities and work on a baseline issue study that will inform their programming and allow them to measure their impact. We look forward to keeping you informed of their progress over 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.
HAVE PITY AND COMPASSION UPDATE
Global Grassroots is eager to support the launch of Have Pity and Compassion to train counselors to mediate issues of domestic violence and women's land rights. The team will also use theater, debate and films to inspire widows and youth to fight norms that accept gender violence and discrimination. Global Grassroots has funded three other theater projects to date, which have reached substantial audiences in fighting domestic violence. Once project, Achieving a Better Life, which was nominated for a CNN Hero award in 2009, has reached over 25,000 people with its theater performances. Local theater followed by debate is one of the most effective methods of engaging local populations in considering hidden social issues like domestic violence. We still need to raise $5000 to launch this project. Please consider donating again today and asking your friends and family to join you to help them get their start. We will keep you updated as the project begins their operations
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.haveaheathlymind.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.
Be a part of Global Grassroots!
Help us continue to offer innovative programs to train and support local change makers.
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 $25 of the necessary $5150.
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.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
Still want to help?
Support another project run by Global Grassroots that needs your help, such as:
President and Founder