US Embassy awards community initiatives grants


The United States Embassy is providing $140,000 to eight community-based organizations in various parts of Zimbabwe for community initiatives.

“I am happy to announce that my Embassy will provide $40,000 in U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (also known as PEPFAR) and $100,000 in African Development Fund (ADF) grants to eight community-based projects in Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Midlands and Matabeleland,” said U.S. Ambassador Bruce Wharton during a signing ceremony at the Embassy in Harare on Thursday.

The beneficiaries of the support include Bonda Art and Craft Community in Mutasa district in Manicaland and Little Children of the Blessed Lady in Chinamora, Mashonaland Central. Both organizations received $20,000 from PEPFAR for income generating projects that will benefit HIV/ AIDS affected orphaned and vulnerable children and women in their respective constituencies.

An additional six organizations received various amounts from the Ambassador’s Self-Help African Development Fund. They are Rose of Charity Orphanage in Victoria Falls; Binga Craft Women’s Welding and Craft program; Dombodema and St. Francis Tshitshi high schools in Plumtree; Takaza Horticulture Community in Shurugwi, and Vungu Secondary School in lower Gweru.

Congratulating the recipients, Ambassador Wharton said they have demonstrated the exceptional tradition of community self-help. “As self-help project managers, you have demonstrated leadership, tireless work to improve the lives of those around you, and commitment to make the project last beyond the life of the grant. We honor and commend you for your leadership and hard work.”

The Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund was established in 1980 by the U.S. government to give support to local communities in developing countries. The funding goes to organizations and communities at a grassroots level that have already shown the initiative to improve their own communities.

There are three types of 2012-2013 Ambassador’s Self-Help grants in Zimbabwe that are extensions of USAID, PEPFAR and ADF funding. The small grant funding provides flexibility to fund small-scale development activities that fall outside the established structure of PEPFAR and ADF programs. Grants are typically $5,000 to $20,000 and given to organizations that are legally established, demonstrate strong community support, and possess an ethos of supporting women and youth through income generating or skills training projects.

The Ambassador’s Self-Help ADF Grant program is in its third year in Zimbabwe with funding totals of $225,000 since its inception. Eighteen organizations in ten provinces of Zimbabwe with strong community support have been granted funds for income generating projects, such as piggery and poultry programs, grinding mills, and market gardens. The Ambassador’s Self-Help PEPFAR Grant program in Zimbabwe has operated for two years, providing $80,000 in grant money to four organizations that support training and income generation projects for women and child-headed households struggling with the effects of HIV/AIDS.

Since 1980, the U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Small Grants Program in Zimbabwe has awarded over 3 million dollars to over 320 community projects throughout Zimbabwe. The funding has been used for a wide variety of community projects including classrooms, community centers, housing for teachers or nurses, irrigation schemes and vocational training for women, youth, orphans, and handicapped persons. The program also supports income generating projects.

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