Global Grassroots

Global Grassroots is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to catalyze women and girls as leaders of conscious social change in their communities. Global Grassroots' work is guided by four core values that form our theory of change: 1. Deepening personal consciousness and contributing towards the common good are both essential to social change. 2. One of the most effective levers of social change is a woman with the capability, resources, power, courage and inner commitment to initiate positive change for herself and others. 3. Sustaining and accelerating conscious social change requires investment in supporting civil society architecture. 4. Mind-body trauma healing plu...
Sep 19, 2016

The direct impact of water on vulnerable women

Some teams are already providing water access
Some teams are already providing water access

Water. It has such an incredible impact on our lives yet we often take for granted turning a tap and having clean, fresh, safe water available right in our homes. But for women and children who live in developing countries and areas impacted by conflict and war, safe access to clean water can mean the difference between safety and trauma, peace and violence, even life and death.

With access to water, many of the social issues that these women and girls face daily are automatically solved: dramatic reduction in the sexual violence that occurs in remote areas where a creek or hand-dug well is located; near eradication of sexual exploitation by men who deliver water to disabled, pregnant, sick, or elderly women who can’t retrieve it from remote sources themselves; girls are in school on time instead of being late every day because they have to collect water for their families and they don’t miss school during menstruation because they can now attend to their personal hygiene needs; water-borne illnesses are vastly reduced which keeps children and adults healthier, and women have more time for economic pursuits that can help support their families and pay school fees for their children. All of these solutions, and more, arise from water access.

Since June 2015, Global Grassroots has been working with nine women-led teams who all know that if they have local access to water, their lives and the lives of girls and other women like themselves will change – for good. So far, six of those teams have completed construction on their water pipelines and huts where they are now selling water to their community and leading workshops and sensitizations on other social issues in their villages, such as domestic violence, HIV awareness, and women’s rights. These six teams can serve up to 3,000 people each. When all teams are operating, 30,000 people – mostly women and girls - will have safe water access right in their villages.

Two of our remaining women-led teams, Kindness and United, are ready to begin construction on their pipelines. In addition to providing water to their community of 3,000, Team Kindness plans to work with every household to educate them on the importance of water sanitization to reduce the incidence of disease from tainted water and non-sterilized jerricans. The team also plans to hold family planning workshops for 40 couples. Finally, Kindness will provide free water to the 20 most vulnerable households.

United’s 41 members will provide community water access to nearly 3,400 people. In addition, they are working with 100 local couples on gender balance, family planning, and domestic violence; the most troubled couples will receive regular mediation and training to help them improve their marriages. United also will provide free water to the ten most vulnerable households in their villages, including those too poor to pay for water and those whose health make it difficult to retrieve water even from a nearby source.

United and Kindness need your help to complete construction of their community water projects. Will you support one or both of these teams? Please think about how much you spend on bottled water each week and then consider donating that amount once a month to Global Grassroots through GlobalGiving. As a monthly donor, you can help these vulnerable women take all that they have learned through our Academy for Conscious Change and bring important social change – and life-changing water access – to their villages. Whatever amount you choose to give is important and deeply appreciated. We truly are grateful for your support!

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Jul 11, 2016

The Leaders of Tomorrow Make Change Happen Today

Allen is all smiles at our training session
Allen is all smiles at our training session

Here at Global Grassroots, every year we are impressed with the secondary school graduates we accept into our Young Women’s Academy for Conscious Change and 2016 has been no exception. Based on our core Women's Academy, our Young Women’s Academy helps these young change agents develop their leadership skills, incorporate a mindfulness practice into their lives, and learn how to create and implement their own social change venture. In January, twelve vulnerable yet high-performing girls went through our training in Uganda. In February they began their work in their respective villages then our newest leaders reconvened in April for our mid-term sessions where they talked about their progress and learned additional social entrepreneurial skills. Participants are now in their final weeks of their enterprises. By early August, they will have completed their ventures, done impact assessments, and prepared their final operational and financial reports to present during our closing session week which will include a graduation celebration.

Recognizing the importance of girls’ education, seven of our newest change leaders are working to either increase girls’ access to school, improve school supports for those in school, or decrease the number of girls who drop out of school each academic year. The remaining five participants are addressing drug use by youth, early marriage, teen pregnancy, women’s economic empowerment, and street children.

Allen is from the village of Kibuli in Kampala. She is concerned about the number of street children in her community, particularly those coming from the refugee camps in the area. She believes that many children there are not having their basic needs met, especially those with no family to care for them. Allen is teaching the children skills to enable them to support themselves rather than beg on the city streets. Her goal is to have those children ‘pay it forward’ by teaching other street children what they have learned.

Your support of Global Grassroots' Young Women's Academy for Conscious Change means the world not only to us but to Allen and the other bright, motivated, yet vulnerable young women who join our program each year. Thank you for your thoughtful generosity.

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Jun 21, 2016

Sewing and knitting lead to happier homes

Marie-Claire is all smiles now!
Marie-Claire is all smiles now!

Team Unite launched their venture in 2013 in a village outside of Kigali, Rwanda. Their work consists of three parts: teaching community members skills that can create income, providing opportunities for people (particularly women) to come together in groups to discuss their lives, and educating their community about women's rights.

First the team purchased sewing and knitting machines and taught groups of women - and men - how to use them. They taught jewelry- and basket-making, too, so community members now have a variety of ways to earn income. Everyone who produces goods gives 10% of the sale back to the venture, keeping 90% for themselves; what is returned to the team is re-invested in the venture.

Men and women work in separate groups. Unite members will then talk to the group about women's rights, domestic violence, the importance of education, etc. while their captive audience works on producing their crafts. In these groups, men and women are also more likely to engage in open conversations about their lives and it is often through these conversations that the team learns of a marriage in trouble or a woman being abused by her husband. The team can then intervene.

Marie-Claire has been married for five years and has two small sons. Despite her husband's salary, her own salary as a primary school teacher, and the income from food they grow to sell, Marie-Claire said they never had any money. Her husband would take it all and spend it on alcohol and other women. As a result, the couple was always in conflict and she was ready to leave with the children who were frequently distressed. As a last resort, Marie-Claire confided in one of Unite's leaders. A small contingent of team members then made weekly visits to Marie-Claire's home to help the couple resolve their issues. Over time, Marie-Claire's husband grew to understand the impact his behavior was having on his wife and children and he knew that it was up to him to change.

Marie-Claire says that now they are 'doing well' and her children no longer experience turmoil at home. Her husband brings his salary home each week and together they decide how they will use their income. He is also spending more time with their children. Marie-Claire smiled and said, "I am very happy."

So far, Unite's work has reached 420 people, including 71 men and 32 youth, and local leaders now refer troubled couples to the team for help.

Your support of Global Grassroots' Academy for Conscious Change makes it possible for teams such as Unite to implement their own sustainable solutions to social issues impacting people in their community, especially women and girls. Thank you!

A young man trained to sew by Unite
A young man trained to sew by Unite
Women trained by Team Unite
Women trained by Team Unite

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