Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change

by Global Grassroots

We are excited to share, Global Grassroots has begun the development of a web-based eAcademy for Conscious Change, which will allow women’s groups in developing countries globally to access our social entrepreneurship curriculum online. To date, we have received emails from over 160 women’s groups from 45 different countries requesting our programs. We will be choosing a pilot group of women's organizations from four continents to participate in the beta version of the elearning program.  Our online academy will be accessible for free, providing an interactive program that will support the development of grassroots-level social entrepreneurship projects. We anticipate the development of the site will be complete in late autumn for piloting, with a public launch in early 2012.

Next week Global Grassroots will launch its new Conscious Social Change certification program, with seven women from three countries.  Once certified, this corps of trainees will be able to deploy globally to offer our core program upon request to partner organizations. Global Grassroots is eager to collaborate through partnership to support women change agents in new communities.

This progress has only been possible with your support and we extend our deepest gratitude. As we expand, Global Grassroots needs engaged investors to help us make these exciting possibilities a reality. We know that women have the potential to lead conscious social change, but many lack the resources and training to advance their own ideas. Please consider a donation to help Global Grassroots continue to support the social ventures of grassroots change agents worldwide.

Global Grassroots is currently preparing to expand our Academy to Northern Uganda to serve women and girls abducted and forced to serve as combatants and sex slaves by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Thousands of women have returned home after the war, many of them traumatized, stigmatized, HIV-positive, and caring for children. While there are many initiatives working to rehabilitate male former child soldiers, there are far fewer resources for women who are returning with the added trauma of having experienced sexual violence. We conducted an extensive feasibility study in late February/early March, speaking with individuals and organizations about the landscape of need and opportunities for partnership in Uganda. Having met with over 20 local organizations throughout the northern region of the country, we have identified strong potential partners and have chosen to locate our program in the Pader district.  We intend to initiate the Academy program for at least 5 new teams in Uganda later this year.

We have also had over 100 women’s groups in 40 countries request our programs.  This summer, we will launch a web-based eAcademy which will allow our training curriculum to be accessible online to serve this broader need and to disseminate our social entrepreneurship curriculum globally through local internet cafes. Global Grassroots' e-learning Academy will allow us to deliver our program through a free subscription service to grassroots teams throughout the developing world.  In so doing, we will provide training, skills and tools to support small-scale, grassroots-level social entrepreneurship among underserved women’s groups in impoverished countries. In most cases, these women would have no other access to the training needed to start their own non-profits and design their own solutions to the social issues in their communities.

During this time of growth, Global Grassroots needs engaged investors to join with us to actualize these exciting new possibilities. Our vision is that all women will have the capacity and resources to lead conscious social change, sustained by their own communities. You can help to make this a reality. Please consider a donation to help Global Grassroots continue to support the social ventures of grassroots change agents worldwide. 


2010 has been a turning point for Global Grassroots. We have endured hardship with the economic downturn, but are emerging leaner, more creative and more strategic.  We’ve evaluated our social impact, repositioned our training program as the Academy for Conscious Change and integrated new mind-body practices for trauma healing.  We’ve brought these holistic practices to earthquake survivors in Haiti and, by request, to American relief workers serving in disaster zones.  We’ve doubled the number of civil society organizations our Academy has helped launch in Rwanda, and are investing in technology and partnerships to expand our reach.  Today, our 300 Rwandan change agents have established 16 non-profit organizations, which are working at the root level of a social issue facing women and girls, benefiting an estimated 10,000+ people each year.

In June Global Grassroots hosted our 2010 Rwanda Academy for Conscious Change in the rural village of Byimana, inviting 7 new teams represented by 34 women and 3 men into the program.  The teams are now in the project development phase, which involves 3- 6 months of hands-on high engagement support. They are working on the following issues:

  • Violence and discrimination against mothers of handicapped children
  • Violence, exploitation, disease and other issues facing women associated with the lack of access to clean water
  • Domestic violence
  • Violence against and rejection of single mothers
  • Malnutrition
  • Teenage mothers with unwanted pregnancies (age 12-14)
  • Education of girls, especially children of prostitutes

We look forward to posting their project descriptions on GlobalGiving in early 2011 as they finalize their venture plans and budgets.

As we move forward into 2011, we have over 100 women’s groups in 40 countries requesting our programs.  In response, we are expanding our hands-on approach into Northern Uganda next and possibly Haiti as well.  We are developing new courses for a range of new audiences, including US students, donors and practitioners, to help generate revenue for our expansion.  We are preparing to package and license our program model for partner organizations to implement in regions we have yet to explore. And finally, we are embarking upon a web-based eAcademy for Conscious Change to reach women worldwide through local internet cafes.

In partiular, Global Grassroots' web-based e-learning Academy will allow us to deliver our program via a free subscription service to grassroots teams throughout the developing world.  The purpose is to provide training, skills and tools to support small-scale, grassroots-level social entrepreneurship among underserved women’s groups in poor countries, who have no other access to the training needed to start their own non-profit and design their own solution to the social issues of priority to them in their communities. Global Grassroots will require significant sponsorship to launch our eAcademy for Conscious change, and invite you to partner with us to make this innovation possible.

Global Grassroots needs engaged investors to join with us and our change agents in a three-part-partnership to actualize the possibilities in front of us. We invite you to read more about our progress in our 2010 Year-End Magazine (available for download on our home page: and consider a donation. Thank you for your continued support, which allows us to invest in the social ventures of grassroots change agents worldwide.

GLOBAL GRASSROOTS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports conscious social change for women in post-conflict societies. Our Academy for Conscious Change is a 12-18 month social venture incubator, offering non-profit management skills, leadership training, personal transformation practices, seed grants and high-engagement support that enables vulnerable women change agents to launch their own grassroots solutions benefiting women and girls.  JOIN US.


2010 Academy for Conscious Change
2010 Academy for Conscious Change


Global Grassroots US team recently returned from Rwanda where we visited our existing project teams and initiated our 2010 Academy for Conscious Change.This Academy cohort includes 37 participants representing 7 of the 30+ teams who applied. Having completed our intensive training, our teams will now embark upon the development of their own social ventures over the next 18 months. They are a highly motivated group working on a range of critical issues facing women:

Violence and discrimination against mothers of handicapped children Lack of clean water access and associated violence, exploitation, and disease Domestic violence Violence against and rejection of single mothers Malnutrition Teenage mothers with unwanted pregnancies (age 12-14) Education of girls, especially children of prostitutes

We anticipate great progress from these teams as we work with them over the next few months to develop sustainable ventures with a measurable social impact. We'd like to ask for your help in making that happen. Your financial contributions enable our efforts on the ground to improve the lives of the worlds most vulnerable women.

NEW TEAM PROFILE: A Friend Indeed: Combating stigma and violence against unwed teen mothers

In Rwanda sex before marriage is considered inappropriate, and so pregnancy out of wedlock is highly stigmatized. Pregnancy and birth control is often considered a woman's responsibility and the boys frequently take little responsibility. Even if the pregnancy was the result of sexual violence or exploitation, the girls, sometimes as young as 12, may experience rejection from family members, and possible expulsion from their homes. Forced into absolutely dire circumstances, there are stories of mothers falling into transactional sex in order to survive.

One of the teams from this year's academy, "A Friend Indeed," is working to advance women's rights awareness, entrepreneurship training, reproductive health education and parenting skills for single mothers. Its members also aim to educate their larger community through theater to fight the stigma against young, unmarried women who seek access to contraception. They have already established an initial program to provide emotional support and parenting help to unwed mothers who are on their own, visiting the mothers of 120 children once every two weeks, and providing education about sexual safety and birth control. Once they develop a sustainable program in their first location, they will expand their work nationally.


For the first time in Rwanda, Global Grassroots implemented the Breath~Body~Mind (BBM) program developed by Dr. Richard Brown and Dr. Patricia Gerbarg ( This program, integrating Qi Gong and Coherent Breathing, was introduced by Global Grassroots earlier this year in Haiti to support trauma relief for earthquake victims. We are conducting a program evaluation over the next year in Rwanda to assess how this group's symptoms of PTSD change with the continued practice of BBM.

We were also thrilled to have Yoga practitioner Jessica Spain join us to offer yoga each morning during the personal transformation practice portion of the program. On the first day she taught, yoga was met with a room full of nervous and embarrassed giggles, but the next day everyone told us that they wanted another session! It became a regular part of our morning and prompted Jessica to develop special series of poses she called "Yoga for Skirt Wearers".

Gretchen Wallace has coauthored an article with Dr. Gerbarg on the use of mind-body practices in post-disaster scenarios that will be published in an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. Gretchen will also be teaching a course at Kripalu September 6-10 for relief workers in Haiti on using breath for managing trauma exposure when working with traumatized populations. This offering is a collaboration with Suzanne Jones of YogaHope and David Emerson of the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Initiative.

Be a part of Global Grassroots! Help us continue to offer innovative programs to train and support local change makers.

Thank you!!

Rwandan women doing yoga
Rwandan women doing yoga
A Team
A Team's Community Theater Performance


Light in Our Home training program
Light in Our Home training program

2010 ACADEMY FOR CONSCIOUS CHANGE BEGINS Global Grassroots will host its next Academy for Conscious Change course beginning June 14th, enrolling a new class of 5-6 teams of change leaders in its 18 month social entrepreneurship incubator. Applications have risen sharply to nearly six times the available spots in the new class. Global Grassroots is targeting a rural area to the east of Kigali, where it has not yet had an opportunity to reach.

GLOBAL GRASSROOTS EXPANDING GLOBALLY THROUGH PARTNERS & TECHNOLOGY To date almost 100 women's organizations in 40 countries have requested partnership or access to Global Grassroots training. This past term, Global Grassroots engaged a team of MBA students from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College to analyze this market opportunity and design a global scale strategy to replicate our work on an international level. The Tuck team recommended two core strategies. The first strategy will use a web-based, interactive, e-learning platform to disseminate our curriculum to teams of change agents working at the grassroots level. The second strategy involves training selected partner organizations to license and deliver our complete Academy program model to their own target populations. Global Grassroots is now in the process of securing funding to begin to roll-out each strategy by year end.

NEW PROJECTS LAUNCHED & OPERATING In May, Global Grassroots project team, "Have A Good Life" completed construction and began operations providing access to water for 200 families, including those once sexually exploited in exchange for water access. Thank you to the PECO Foundation and Cherokee Elementary School in Scottsdale, AZ for making this project possible.

Further, Global Grassroots' newest project, "Light in Our Home", which is dedicated to ending domestic violence through education, held its first training program with local leaders, including district executive council members, sector representatives, women’s council members, youth representatives, and the director of education for the district. Thank you to the Christ Church Board of World Fellowship and the St. James Trust for making this project possible.

This month, Global Grassroots is preparing to launch two new projects. APROFER will fight violence against women and ensure access to property rights by training local community representatives to be advocates. Turwubake will engage married couples, domestic workers and their employers in dialogue to fight sexual and physical violence in the home.

THANK YOU Without your support these successes would not have happened. But the need remains great and we ask you, once again, for your help as we stretch to reach dozens more vulnerable women with ideas to transform their own communities. Your help is vital to this effort. Thank you for your continued support of the women of Rwanda and the work of Global Grassroots.

Have a Good Life water access point
Have a Good Life water access point



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Organization Information

Global Grassroots

Location: Portsmouth, NH - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Gretchen Wallace
President and Founder
Portsmouth, New Hampshire United States
$46,904 raised of $123,000 goal
974 donations
$76,096 to go
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