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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...
Dec 23, 2014

Dance Troupe For Illiteracy Wins First Prize

Dance Troupe Wins Award from Rwanda Womens Network
Dance Troupe Wins Award from Rwanda Womens Network

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please receive greetings from this side wishing you a peaceful completion of the year and beginning of New Year 2015. We continue to appreciate the partnership and cooperation from you, towards women development, thank you so much.

In our previous report we had mentioned that we were beginning the third term and it is pleasure to see that we have come to its end. Our students are now capable of reading, writing and calculating at reasonable standards. Moreover they have been equipped with business skills as well as their civic rights knowledge and now practice them.

One thing of great interest in this year’s group is that all women managed to send their girl-children to school and all of them had been able to open bank accounts in various banks. Furthermore, some of them have been elected in different leadership positions at the grassroot level. In fact they are doing different things such as Entrepreneurship and Cooperative formulation. Some of them have been trusted to be community health workers and they are doing well.

As far as testimony is concerned, we have one lady, Saidate, who told us that she is happy due to the impact this programme is having on her life.. She says:” I am now able to read signboards and I couldn’t do this before joining this literacy programme. I can read for myself different announcements, newspapers and letters, I have become an active participant in local meetings, I am now giving correct balance of money in my fruits business, while I do remember to have been doing it with doubt and difficulties, I am extremely happy my husband has promised that we are soon going for legal marriage at local government authorities.”

Here is an interesting story to share: we entered in a competition prepared by NGO called  “ RWANDA WOMEN NETWORK” focusing on GENDER BASED VIOLENCE. Our dancing troupe INZOVU (elephant), which is helping us in fundraising for literacy program, participated, and this was from the 16th November 2014 to the 15th December 2014 our troupe was awarded first prize after an outstanding performance.

The following are the challenges we have been encountering:

-       We are still unable to raise enough money for teachers’ salaries on a regular basis.

-       Although we have managed to add some equipment and costumes to our dancing troupe INZOVU (elephant) which is helping us in fundraising for literacy programme ;  we still need more to fully equip the troupe so that we can avoid rentals from other sources.

Our future plan for the coming year of 2015 is as follows:

  • Register new students for our literacy class
  • Teach twenty (20) women reading, writing and simple arithmetic, business skills and women rights
  • Purchase teaching materials
  • Evaluate the implementation by our ex-students and possible advice in the field.
  • Plan for graduations ceremony for this year’s outgoing students.

In your country:

  • Are there special Banks designated for women as it is here in Rwanda?
  • Are women fully accessing credit facilities as is the case here in Rwanda?
  • Are women having participation in country’s development positively?

Dear Partners in women development, we send much appreciation for everything you have made us achieve; and we believe we shall continue accordingly.  It is something unforgettable.

Thank you so much,

                                    Sincerely yours

                                    Innocent

Learning to read a newspaper for the first time
Learning to read a newspaper for the first time
Learning to read
Learning to read
The award winning dance troupe "Elephant"
The award winning dance troupe "Elephant"
Nov 4, 2014

From War to Farming

With the remarkable income generation opportunities emerging in northern Uganda, and as the guns went silent in the region, and the growth of micro-economic projects started to increase; GWED-G realized the need to introduce the concept of group sector-led economic development to the youth of the region, with an emphasis on modernization, mechanization and commercialization of their products. 

The goal of this approach will be to help the youths emerge into this new age with sustainable domestic productivity, savings, investment and greater market opportunities.  A coherent and coordinated approach to project management towards food security is needed in order to make sure that these young adults are able to acquire skills in innovation needed to be successful in various agricultural productions.

For the larger community engaged in post-conflict recovery, the transition from war to development has taken a great deal of time but these youths, (Oryem Cam Ki Pur) guided by GWED-G, have beaten the odds and have been able to move toward development.  This was in part a result of GWED-G's training which supported youths with their selection, planning and management of their income generating activities (IGAs).  This training included lessons in peace building, human rights, gender base violence and entrepreneurship. With the skills and knowledge that the youths have acquired, Oryem Cam Ki Pur youth group developed their value chain analysis and embarked on rice cultivation as one of their IGAs to raise income which will be distributed among all of the group members.

Oryem Cam Ki Pur youth group planted fifteen acres of rice in the first planting season of March-June 2014. Now they have started harvesting their rice and currently have twenty-five bags of rice that are in their store and are ready to be sold.

One of the world’s greatest writers, Charles Darwin, said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” The training on human rights, good governance and civic education created opportunities for women to be part of the community decision making process. This was confirmed by Charles, a member of the group who said that the women of the community are now the driving force behind most of these economic successes because they figured out how to sacrifice their time to see that wedding and harvesting are done jointly in order to maximize their success. Women are becoming active advocates of human rights not only within their youth group but also in the larger communities in which they live.  One good example of this can be seen when looking at the Oryem Cam Ki Pur youth group, since most of the top positions in the group are occupied by women. This has allowed these women to gain respect from their communities because they have proven themselves capable of quality leadership, hard work, and boundless dedication to this youth group that they serve.

Even though this project targets the youth groups specifically, the impact of this program is also intended to affect the individual members of the group as well. Hence apart from the group Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) and group farming, each member has started their own individual income generating activity depending on their personal choice and research. The youths said that they decided to create their own individual projects after GWED-G gave them training on entrepreneurship skills. 

To the community, these groups are becoming roles models, and are helping to drive away the negative attitude that the community has towards the youth. Besides cultivation, there are regular sensitivity trainings in the community on peace building, human rights, domestic violence and agricultural practices that can help the community to not only succeed economically but also help them to move forward as a cohesive social group.

It's now been a year that we have actively fundraised through GlobalGiving and we are now closing this chapter in our fundraising efforts. At this time we want to thank those who have contributed toward our project and invite you to consider one last gift to support these youth. In one week, on November 10th, we plan to deactivate this project. Gifts, no matter how large or small affect the productivity and spirits of the youth considerably. A small contribution goes a long way. Again, we thank you so much for your support. 

Links:

Nov 4, 2014

Storytelling - From the Classroom to the Community

Cooperative in Ruli learning about story of self
Cooperative in Ruli learning about story of self

Since August 2014 Resonate has conducted 6 workshops and trained more than 100 women and trained two trainers. We have worked with two Universities, alumnae of a secondary school specializing in leadership, a group of Peace Corps volunteers and secondary school girls from their villages, the management team at CARE Rwanda, and with a women’s cooperative. We have translated our entire curriculum from written materials and power point presentations into drawings and graphics in order to reach a more diverse audience, and we have heard hundreds of amazing stories.

In September, we returned to The Akilah Institute, our very first partner in Rwanda. Akilah teaches market-relevant coursework to prepare young women to be leaders and professionals. We have taught our Storytelling for Leadership course three times – once with each class of students in their three-year degree program. Our Storytelling for Leadership framework is now integrated into their curriculum, and is taught as a part of their leadership course to all students. We have conducted a Training-of-Trainers with their leadership teachers who are now prepared to deliver the course independently. We have just completed the most recent of these workshops. While on campus one of our former students, Neda, told us that she had started a storytelling club. The club meets every Thursday so that students can “really try to really get to know each other” so that they can support each other better. Neda told us that the students now recognize the importance of storytelling as a communication tool, so in addition to sharing with each other, they support each other in improving communication skills, preparing for interviews, and strategizing about how to reach their personal and professional goals.

In the next three months we will expand our reach to work with women and girls in Kenya, and we will also deepen the level of engagement with our participants by hosting leadership camps with secondary school girls in rural Rwanda. We aim to train 450 women and girls by the end of 2014, helping them to build confidence and leadership and become agents of change. 

Resonate teaches session on body language
Resonate teaches session on body language
Kepler students during a training exercise
Kepler students during a training exercise

Links:

 

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