To date the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) has funded eleven grants in the Western Hemisphere for the total amount of $948,173. The grants are targeted to local organizations and fund projects that seek to increase the effectiveness of efforts to combat gender-based violence (GBV), climate change and food and economic insecurity, women’s knowledge of and application of their civic, legal, political, and economic rights, and their access to justice, rule of law, and social and economic services. These small grants are based on the foundation that political and economic stability cannot be achieved without the full and effective participation of the women and girls and local organizations that make up the backbone of society.
Providing comprehensive response to GBV, projects seek to increase protection of survivors, prosecution of perpetrators, and prevention of future crimes.
Increasing Access to Justice, Psychosocial and Rehabilitative Services for Victims of Commercial Exploitation and Domestic Violence, Belize (Small Grants Initiative)
The overall program strategy seeks to contribute to the prevention and elimination of commercial sex exploitation of children and adolescents and of domestic violence in Belize. The project comprises of two distinct components, which include: a) inter-agency collaboration and coordination for the education, care, protection, and rehabilitation of victims and their families, and b) increased access to justice for survivors of commercial sex exploitation and domestic violence.
Leadership Training and Community Building for Eliminating Gender-Based Violence, Jamaica (Small Grants Initiative)
The project is focused on providing training on defining, identifying, and sensitizing and teaching others about GBV; conducting community-based outreach programs; conducting institutional outreach and capacity building interventions; and 4) offering counseling and medical support services to teach participants effective coping strategies and healthy life style choices to eliminate GBV from their lives and communities. The components of the project are in tandem with the national program to create a safer environment in which residents can equitably participate in the sustainable socio-economic development of Jamaica.
Prevention of GBV in the Border States of Chihuahua, Mexico (Secretary’s Fund: Avon Award)
The state of Chihuahua is currently one of the most violent places in Mexico, with 10,000 murders in the last three years. Responding to this need, the project is focused on GBV prevention activities that include identifying the causes of violence, explaining survivors’ rights, and community mobilization on critical actions to respond to the violence.
Strength, Social, Legal, and Psychological Services for Victims of Violence against Women and Families, Guatemala (Small Grants Initiative)
This project builds of previous NGO successes in recent years by bringing attention to the pervasive problem of GBV in Guatemalan society, bringing much needed response and recovery services for survivors of violence, and by supporting legal and judicial advances in prosecuting perpetrators of violence against women.
The Digital Generation against GBV, Argentina (Secretary’s Fund: Avon Award)
Capitalizing on the growing internet connectivity in the country and the latest information and communication technology, this project creates a multipronged digital and highly interactive program to contribute to the prevention and elimination of GBV. The project provides on-line information, advice, capacity building, and participation for empowerment of Argentina’s youth located in the poorest and most remote areas of the country.
Increasing women’s access to access to training, mentorship, credit and finance, and skills building with the goal of increasing their economic independence, their participation in eco-friendly and agriculturally-successful practices, and the creation of women-owned enterprises.
Building a Culture of Legal Commerce among Women Living in the VRAE and Monzon, Peru (Small Grants Initiative)
The project promotes legal employment opportunities for organized women in Peru through the provision of skills training, support mechanisms for the development of enterprises, and capacity building. This is achieved through the development of intensive work programs within four basic action lines: a) using conventional and new media tools (including Internet and audiovisual), creating awareness among the target population of economically-legal activities and identify the benefits of participating in them; b) the development of formation and training activities to provide organizational, managerial and community mobilization skills to women so that they may become leaders and promoters of local development opportunities; c) the development of a training program so that organized women may develop capabilities and skills for the implementation of small business endeavors with local resources, thus improving their family's income; and d) the strategic use of community libraries to work as training centers for women offering opportunities to improve their skills in issues related to entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyles, community leadership and others, thereby widening their development opportunities.
Creation of Business Opportunities in Eco-Tourism for Women, Suriname (Small Grants Initiative)
Young women from the rural areas and the interiors of Suriname will be trained to become partners in economic development as Suriname continues to promote its burgeoning eco-tourism industry. To guarantee sustainability, this program is based on four important pillars: (1) provide training on social skills; (2) provide credit to launch businesses; (3) collaborate with partner organizations/businesses in creating jobs; and (4) provide on-the-job-coaching. The project also involves the collaboration of community-based organizations and will directly benefit women participants from seven of Suriname's twelve districts.
The DeSdelChaco Project, Paraguay (Small Grants Initiative)
This project aims to replicate a fish farming program undertaken in another river town in the Chaco, Fuerte Olimpo. In this program, capacity building and organized participation in economic activities markedly enhanced the women of Fuerte Olimpo's self esteem and improved their social status. One aspect of the program is breeding native species of fish in artificial ponds for commercial purposes. In Fuerte Olimpo, the women used their training to organize the groups, manage the schedules, resolve conflicts and keep financial records. Another important aspect of the project is the establishment of community gardens and orchards on the perimeters of the ponds. Training in horticultural skills will also be provided and the production will diversify and improve nutrition and increase incomes by selling the surplus in local markets.
Weaving Stronger Families: Income Generation and Empowerment for Women Artisans in Ayacucho, Peru (Small Grants Initiative)
The project will help expand economic opportunities for women in Ayacucho by tapping into demand for high-quality local textiles through focalized training in gender issues that inhibit productivity. The project will address four primary issues affecting poor rural women in Ayacucho: a) lack of economic opportunities; b) need for strengthening artisan organizations, with special emphasis on women's roles in these organizations; c) need for mentoring and support in design, production, and marketing, and; d) low self-esteem and incidents of family violence can negatively impact productivity.
Increasing women and girls access to education
Girls Only School, Paraguay (Small Grants Initiative)
The project will provide an opportunity for sustainable social and economic development to communities living in the Mbaracayu Biosphere Reserve by providing quality agro-forestry education and training to low-income girls from, enabling them to become “rural entrepreneurs. Schooling includes specific subjects geared toward students' incorporation in small-scale, on-campus agro-forestry enterprises, based on production lines / goods and services such as: dairy products, tree nurseries, semi-extensive agricultural production (sesame and stevia), market gardens, beekeeping, ecotourism, and others. Female students will be involved in all aspects of business plan implementation and will have, from the beginning, leadership positions in campus enterprises. Accordingly, the school will provide a platform for girls to develop the skills required for future economic success, while generating income to cover school operating costs, thereby ensuring its long-term financial sustainability.
Increasing women’s understanding and application of their legal rights
Promotion and Defense of Women’s Civil Rights, Nicaragua (Small Grants Initiative)
Given the current deterioration of democracy institutions in Nicaragua, this project focuses on strengthening the civic and political rights of women, and the Nicaraguan public in general, by increasing people's ability to defend their rights. The project is based on developing public spaces for dialogue and political debate, and fostering public opinion capable of critically analyzing the situation that leads to civic activism. In raising public awareness of the deterioration of Nicaragua's democracy, key actors will commit to strengthen the country's democratic institutions and governance. These public fora for debate will provide the public and civil society an arena from which to affect public policy. The project includes a communication campaign, including radio, television, and social media. It will also facilitate coordination among the various actors at the local and national level.