Construct the Family, a team comprised of 25 local women in the Nyaryngenge Sector of Rwanda, has identified sexual and physical violence against married women and domestic workers as a major issue in their community. The team recently concluded a baseline issue study that has informed their approach to raising awareness of domestic violence and women’s rights and to training women in sewing, so as to provide the economic independence necessary to change their abusive situations.
The team worked with a well-respected local women’s association to distribute instructional materials and to equip community volunteers to lead trainings on gender equality, women’s rights, and the consequences of domestic violence. Since receiving their second tranche of grant funding, Construct the Family has conducted three of these trainings with groups of wives, two trainings with domestic workers, and one training with a group of husbands. The female victims of violence also received sewing skills as part of their training to give them the economic autonomy and the subsequent ability to leave their abusers. Their beneficiaries have been eager to learn about women’s rights, and many are already talking about the positive effects the lessons have had on their lives at home and at work.
GLOBAL GRASSROOTS UPDATE
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.