Following the recent series of earthquakes in Mexico, Fondo Semillas created the "Women Rebuilding their Communities" Fund to provide grants and technical assistance to local women's groups working on recovery efforts in their communities. The spirit of collaboration that emerged in response to the earthquakes makes this an ideal time to not only re-build, but also promote sustainable development and better living conditions in communities throughout Mexico.
In September 2017, a series of devastating earthquakes hit Mexico, resulting in over 400 deaths and significant damage across 6 states. After natural disasters, help is often focused on the immediate emergency and there is little support for long-term recovery efforts. Although natural disasters disproportionately affect women and marginalized groups, they are generally excluded from decision-making processes, which stunts the recovery of local communities and worsens social disparities.
The Fund will support locally led processes of sustainable rebuilding and social and economic revitalization, to create more resilient communities. This initiative will strengthen the leadership of women in the recovery process and ensure that entire communities benefit. Selected women's groups will receive funding and will partner with technical experts who will help with assessment of damages, legal assistance, eco-friendly construction, etc to strengthen the impact of local recovery projects.
By involving organized women and grassroots groups to lead their communities' recovery, there is an opportunity to advance gender equality, strengthen citizen participation and ensure greater resiliency for future natural disasters. Communities will turn this crisis into an opportunity to "build back better", enhancing their sustainable development and better living conditions for all.