One of our many program graduates
Identifying our next women-led water teams in Rwanda is no easy task. First we must determine which areas have the greatest need that are within a reasonable distance of our Kigali-based staff. Then we meet with WASAC, the Rwanda municipal water authority, to discuss the locations of their main water pipelines and get their input on which areas would most benefit from one of our water ventures. Next, we connect with our network of women's groups, churches, and our own established women-led teams to help us identify other self-organized groups of women who want to create change in their communities through safe, clean water access. We then distribute applications. Taking all of those components into consideration, we select those teams that we believe have the drive, determination, and the courage - yes, the courage - to participate in our Academy for Conscious Change. Through our program, the women we work with will overcome tremendous odds. The majority of team members will have little to no education. Some will be subsistance farmers and/or single mothers. Others will be survivors of genocide and other trauma. Some will be HIV positive. Many will be marginalized. And none will be leaders - yet.
Over the course of 18 -24 months, through our Academy, vulnerable women learn all of the hard and soft skills they need to design, construct, and operate a non-profit water venture and social transformation programs. They learn techniques to heal from the trauma they've experienced. They develop their capacity to be mindful leaders. And they acquire non-profit management skills including how to create a baseline needs assessment and venture plan, mission and vision statements and a Theory of Change. They learn financial management, public speaking, deep listening skills, conflict resolution, and how to overcome objections. Teams put all of these skills into practice as they build a cost-effective, sustainable water access point to serve 3,000 people and lead programs that address social issues important to them such as domestic and sexual violence, women's economic empowerment, girls' education, hygiene and sanitation, and HIV/AIDS.
Since 2006, 700 marginalized women, many of whom cannot write their own name, have transformed their communities through Global Grassroots' Academy for Conscious Change, impacting more than 175,000 people. And in the coming months, we'll be adding to those numbers as we identify our next women-led water teams in Kinyaga Cell in Bumbogo Sector in Rwanda.
Will you help more women transform their lives and their communities? Become a Global Grassroots monthly donor through Global Giving. When you invest in us, you invest in them. Please give today. Thank you and best wishes for a beautiful holiday season.