This past year represented a turning point for Global Grassroots in moving from a successful pilot program to a growing organization that is expanding, replicating, scaling and adapting its core curriculum to new audiences while integrating supporting structures and revenue streams to enhance its sustainability. With your support, we have not only continued our commitment to our core Academy for Conscious Change for women change agents in Rwanda, but we have laid the groundwork for our geographical expansion into Northern Uganda, established partnerships for future issue-based investments in women-led water ventures, initiated a new offering for the next generation including high school girls in Rwanda and university women in the US, leveraged technology to disseminate our curriculum globally beginning in Liberia, and broadened our corps of trained practitioners who can help us meet the demand for our work.
In Rwanda, over the last year we have completed the launch of three new social ventures (Kind People, Education for Young Girls and People of Love) and have completed the design of three additional ventures (United People, Perseverance and A Friend Indeed) that are currently in the process of launching. We conducted a small Academy for Conscious Change training program for additional members of two teams (Perseverance and People of the Same Compassion) who had management changes and were no longer led by our graduates, as required for funding. People of the Same Compassion will resume their design work this winter. Our final team of the 8 we have been coaching over the last two years (Handicap Rwandais Reabilite Reintegre dans ses Droits) has continued to revise their program plan and is not yet decided on a strategy to move forward. Because our program is fiercely committed to local leadership, the pace of each team’s progress is driven by its own members. As such, though our incubator is designed to serve teams for 18 months (the average time needed to develop and launch a social venture), we will continue to provide facilitation as long as is necessary for our teams to establish their work. A brief overview of the mission of each of these teams follows:
Kind People is working to educate about the laws protecting the family and the mutual benefits of legal marriage. By promoting women's rights to property through legal marriage, they are advancing equality and reducing oppression and gender-based violence.
Education for Young Girls is working to prevent the harassment of and drop-out rates among 2000 girls during menstruation by building safe latrines at school.
People of Love has constructed a water-access point to provide clean water to a community of 200 families to eliminate the abuse of women associated with water collection.
United People is working on the issue of domestic violence, and will be teaching 210 couples about gender-based violence, family law, reproductive health and family planning, while providing women with income-generating activities, so that they have greater economic power to leave abusive relationships.
Perseverance is working to reduce teenage pregnancy and school-drop out rates among grils by providing educational programs and safe latrines at Mahembe primary school.
A Friend Indeed is working on the issue of teenage pregnancy and the stigma that further marginalizes single mothers and their children. They will address this issue among nearly 700 community members through theater, mentorship programs, public discussions and income generating projects.
People of the Same Compassion is working to eliminate child malnutrition by educating parents and children on cultivating kitchen gardens, cooking nutritious meals and raising chickens for eggs.
Handicap Rwandais Reabilite Reintegre dans ses Droits is preventing discrimination against mothers of disabled children and working to provide specialized care and avenues to reduce economic vulnerability.
Further, this year we established a new partnership with the Komera Project to develop a Girls Academy for Conscious Change. Launched in November, the partnership adapts Global Grassroots proven social venture incubator to serve 70 vulnerable girls who have been selected as Komera Scholars during the 2-month school holiday in November and December. Our young participants are now working on 6 inspiring social ventures of their own design addressing issues such as hunger and child abuse. You can learn more about the Girls Program here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/girls-academy-for-conscious-change/
Attached, please find a year-end report that provides further detail on our specific progress in meeting our goals for 2012. In summary, this past year we deepened our core programs and took significant steps towards establishing new pilot endeavors that will not only expand our influence and raise our visibility, but also generate resources for our work. Our success is due to your commitment to our programs and your belief in our vision and philosophy. We look forward to a productive year ahead in supporting grassroots, conscious change agents working to benefit vulnerable women and girls. Thank you for your support!