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...
Oct 7, 2014

Women Tackle Deep Issues Conected to Potable Water

Water. Deep Rooted Challenges Especially for Women
Water. Deep Rooted Challenges Especially for Women

Four women teams in Rwanda, focused on water issues, are in the final stages of developing their social ventures with the goal, and hope of being 70% funded by January 2015. These women's teams have each been out in their communities carrying out research to better understand the needs of their community members, in particular vulnerable women, and how they can address social issues that are described below.  These organizations are designed to solve a variety of social problems related to water and all include addressing some element of water scarcity, training in women’s rights and gender equality, hygiene, sanitation and proper water treatment. 

Trust Each Other (Abizeranye)
This venture based in Gasyata proposes to reach approximately 450 households (2700-4500 people) by bringing sanitary water to 10 umudugudus (villages). The group envisions the installation of a tank that will allow for easy access to water, preventing the sexual exploitation of women who cannot collect water on their own, and will train community members on how to purify water and the importance of good hygiene.

Hold Each Other (Tuzamurane)
With 20 members hoping to serve 300 households (1800-3000 people) near Ruhango, this venture seeks to address the critical issue of water scarcity in their community and the contamination of ground water shared with animals. Hold Each Other will establish a clean water access point by extending the municipal pipeline into their region and educate the community on good hygiene and sanitation through boiling water. The team is led by three women and two men, with education levels no greater than 6th grade. 

Hard Workers (Abanyumurava)
Hard Workers has been operating as a Global Grassroots-sponsored venture for over 5 years, serving approximately 9000 people in three distinct villages, focused on ending sexual exploitation of the vulnerable and disabled in exchange for water delivery. In addition to providing clean water through three water access points, this team of 17 wishes to expand their activities to train people how to properly clean dirty water containers, often the culprits of diarrhea.

Unite (Ubumwe)
This team of 8 members from the Rwabutabura-Rugarama Cellule-Nyamirambo Sector seeks to bring clean water to 300 households (1800-3000 people). With their new water access point, this group of women believes that they can institute a series of activities that will improve hygiene, reduce diseases, allow children the chance to study, and reduce poverty. The highest education level of the five attendees, ranging in age from 24 to 41, is third grade.

Each venture will involve operating a sustainable water enterprise as well as working on addressing the multiple dimensions of impact that a lack of clean water access has on women and girls, including health, sexual assault, economic limitations, obstacles to education and domestic violence. Your contribution helps bring each group one step closer toward that goal.  We are so grateful to existing donors who have already supported these women.  And to new donors who might be inspired to join, thank you so much as well. 

Oct 1, 2014

Literacy Training Leads to Bank Loan and More

Learning to write
Learning to write

Dear Sir / Madam,

We thank you for the collaboration and partnership towards women's development. Your support is of great importance to us. Currently we are at the beginning of the third term of our program, the first of September 2014.

In our last report we had mentioned that we had taught 20 women to read, write, solve math problems as well as introduce the subjects of women rights and some business skills. This training was carried out without obstacles. Additionally we managed to prepare for the end of second termexams, plans for the third term program, and carry out student study tours that helped them achieve business skills. We also sensitized students about the benefits of cooperatives in the development of our societies.  As a result, most of them are now enjoying being in cooperatives.

We would like to share with you the testimony of one of our students, Placidie, who managed to apply and receive a bank loan which she used to rehabilitate a house and erect a water tank from which she sells water to the neighbors. From this she is able to pay her children's school fees although she herself is a widow.  She thanks Let us Build Ourselves to have enabled her to better know the dignity and value of a girl in society and to take action. She says that if she has not been in this literacy program she wouldn't have been able to achieve all of this.

Chronic challenges continue to be:

-  Teachers salaries are paid irregularity.

-  Monthly operating costs continue to get higher.

- The issue of replacing the dancing troupes INZOVU (elephant) costumes remain unsolved.  The costumes are getting worn out and we now have to rent some when we are invited to perform. This dance troupe helps us in our fundraising.

The following is our plan:

-  Continue to teach reading, writing and mathematics as planned from the beginning.

-  Prepare for examinations for the end of the third term.

-  Increase study tours for students since they have proven to be impactful.

-  Continue encouraging students to form and join cooperatives.

-  Continue training women on their rights and business skills.

-  Organize the fifth graduation ceremony.

I would like to end by asking two questions.  In your country is the number of women bigger than the number of men as it is here in Rwanda? Do you have women in decision-making positions in large members, as it is the case here in Rwanda?

Once again, please accept our appreciation of your support and participation in advocating for women’s rights.

Thank you so much,

                                                The Team “Let us Build Ourselves" in Rwanda

Learning math
Learning math
Learning to read
Learning to read
Becoming literate
Becoming literate
Instructing
Instructing

Links:

Jul 28, 2014

Farming Brings Peace to Youths and their Community

Corn fields planted by the youths
Corn fields planted by the youths

As seen in the last update, the generous donations given to the Pei bwol Wa youth group were able to completely transform the way that these youths farm their land!  Ever since these donations were used to buy oxen and other supplies for these youths, they have engaged in extensive agricultural production at individual and group levels. At the group level, they opened five acres of land with their oxen and planted maize (corn) and ground nuts which are due for harvesting at the end of July, 2014.  The group also planted ½ acre of onions which they will harvest between August and September 2014.  The Pei bwol Wa youth group is also planning to open up ten acres of land in the second (upcoming) season (August to December 2014) for commercial agriculture.

The group has also used their newly opened land to raise money for the group by selling opened farm land to community members in Gwengdiya parish.  For example,  the youth group charges the community 65,000/= while others charges 85,000/= for opened farming land, which makes the land profitable for the youths and a cheaper option for community farmers interested in purchasing land. The group has also helped to educate their community members on how to open the land using oxen by setting up a demonstration field where they train other members and the community on how to use the Ox-plough.  The income generated through the selling of land and crops is currently being used for the maintenance of the Ox-plough and oxen treatment, and for purchasing pesticides and herbicides for farm use.

Another important impact of the introduction of mechanized farming to the youths is that it has decreased domestic violence and general violence against women in the community at large.  The reason for this reduction of household violence is related to labor division between men and women in the community because previously, women carried the greatest burden in terms of land opening. However, the use of the oxen and Ox-plough has made it possible for women in the community to spend less time in the fields which has placed less pressure on these women and caused for less fighting and friction between these women and their husbands.  It has also given these women more freedom in terms of how they spend their time and has allowed them to experience more food security in their individual households. 

Thanks to the generous donations received, the Pei bwol Wa youth group has been able to succeed and strive and even reduced violence and empowered women in their community.  As the youths continue to grow their agricultural endeavors they will be able to continue this success.  

Onions planted on land with newly purchased oxen
Onions planted on land with newly purchased oxen
 
   

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