Since 1977, ACWW has funded small-scale, women-led development projects in communities around the world. We work hard to make sure that these projects reflect the changes that women in those communities need and, as we fund through local partner-organisations, we ensure that local solutions are found to address local issues.
On this page you can learn more about how we fund our projects, how you can raise money to support them, and how to apply for funding.
ACWW projects allow you to support real-life changes for women in rural communities around the world. They are women-led, designed by women in their own communities who know best what they need, and we fund them through local women's organisations to ensure maximum impact.
The Women Empowered Fund was launched in 2018 as ACWW's new funding initiative for projects. By supporting one of the six Focus Area pots below, you'll see how you are making a difference to communities around the world.
WE FUND TOTALS AS OF 15 AUGUST 2019
We are delighted to announce that the November 2018 meeting of the ACWW Projects Committee has agreed funding for the first new projects since the introduction of The Women Empowered Fund. The summaries below show the new projects, and the Priority Focus Areas they are drawn from. These summaries also act as indicative projects to show the kind of work supported by each Priority Focus Area.
PROJECT 1045: EDUCATION FOR LIFE
Country: Papua New Guinea
Society: MWHF - Mubalu Women of Hope Federation
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 150
The low level of literacy in Papua New Guinea is a serious impediment for the country’s development. 37% of the country’s population are illiterate and most of them live in rural areas . The mountainous terrain further compounds the challenge to source learning materials to the most remote areas. 80% of Mubalu Women of Hope Federation members are illiterate and Project 1045 will give an opportunity to 150 of them to go through a 6 months’ training on basic literacy and numeracy.
Following the completion of the main activity, the beneficiaries will go through a month-long sewing programme and a week-long financial literacy training. By the end of the implementation period, the first group of beneficiaries will be able to read, write, and work with numbers. It is hoped, that this will help them find a job and improve the budget planning within their households. Further to this, they will be able to make their own clothes, which will have a positive effect on their family finances.
The Provincial Government Department of Western Highlands has made a commitment to provide financial support for the sustainability of the project once the ACWW funding period has been completed.
PROJECT 1046: ORGANIC CULTIVATION OF INDIGENOUS MILLETS
Society: GVN - Grama Valar Nirai
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 40
Until about 40 years ago the people of India regularly ate a variety of millets. In the sixties, the Green Revolution – a national programme that led to the widespread use of high yielding crop varieties, irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides – led to a dramatic increase in food grain production in India. However, it also focused on two main crops – rice and wheat – both of which have low water efficiency. Millets started to be seen as “food for the poor”, whilst their nutritional value and their suitability for the Indian soil and climate were forgotten. Even though India is the world leader in terms of production of millets, the share of millets in total grain production dropped from 40 to 20 percent in the past 40 years.
It is within this agricultural context that GVN submitted a proposal for project which will train 40 women farmers in sustainable and organic millet cultivation, soil and water management, weed management and the production and application of herbal pesticides, crop tonics and compost. The beneficiaries will be taken on a several study trips and will be introduced to efficient growing techniques. The project will have a 12 months’ implementation period and by the end of it, 10 of the beneficiaries will have developed their skills and knowledge enough to become trainers within their communities. They will take on the responsibility to work for the project sustainability and will also look after the seed banks established during the project in their communities.
PROJECT 1047: WALKING ON EGGSHELLS
Society: ELWOFOD - Eldoret Women for Development
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 150
In Kenya, women offenders represent only about 18% of the prison population annually and account for less than 4% of the violent crimes. Most of them come from poor backgrounds with low social status, from broken families, and are illiterate. They are more likely to commit non-violent offences often linked to their financial situation. Once charged, they cannot afford to pay for fines or bail, and after release, more than 60% of them are rearrested within three years. ELWOFOD believe that the scarcity of ex-prisoners’ re-integration programmes within society, as well as the social stigma against them, are the key reasons for this high percentage. When prisoners are released back into society, they feel as if they are “walking on eggshells” and are often prone to repeating their past mistakes.
ELWOFOD, with the financial support of ACWW, will implement Project 1047 which seeks to promote progressive re-integration of 50 women ex-prisoners in their communities through small-scale agriculture training. The project will provide farm inputs and training for the beneficiaries who will grow vegetables in sacks. This organic farming technology uses little space and is water efficient. Each sack can support up to 20 vegetable seedlings for a period of 3 years of harvesting before replanting.
The implementing organisation is cooperating with the Ministry of Agriculture to create a marketing platform in Eldoret where the beneficiaries will be able to showcase and sell the surplus of their product. Each woman will develop 10 “sack-gardens” and the group’s long-term plan is to start a small cooperative for women ex-prisoners once their profits start growing.
PROJECT 1048: BEEKEEPING FOR SUSTAINABLE INCOME
Society: SBSSHG - Slow But Sure Self Help Group
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 162
Beekeeping offers large potential in providing sustainable livelihoods to many small-scale farmers with minimal investment. As an agricultural enterprise, beekeeping does not require land ownership or rental and can be started with equipment and tools that are easily sourced locally.
Throughout the project, SBSSHG will train 42 of its members in beekeeping and with their help, will build 20 bee hives in Tangakona Village, Busia. An additional 4 groups of 30 marginalised women each will be included in the projects through apiculture training sessions. The implementing organisation will work with local government and the Ministry of Agriculture for technical guidance and marketing. A percentage from the group’s income will be put back into the project and the implementing organisation will use this income to introduce beekeeping in other villages in their area.
PROJECT 1044: IMPROVED ACCESS TO WATER IN VILLUPURAM DISTRICT
Society: SWEET - Society for Women Education and Economic Thrust
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 6,625
The implementing organisation works with Irula and Aadhiyan tribal communities in Mailam and Vanur Blocks of Villupuram and based on their needs, a water project proposal was submitted to ACWW and has now been approved. Within the caste system, these two communities stand even lower than the Dalits. They do not own land and their traditional livelihood, which is hunting, has been banned because of endangered species in the area. The members of these communities are not allowed to get water from public drinking water sources and they are forced to fetch it from open water sources which are often unsafe.
Project 1044 will provide 4 borewells fitted with hand pumps in Paathirapuliyur, Pombur, Veedur, Siruvai villages. There is also scope to extend the water supply to additional locations through pipelines. The locals have expressed their willingness to provide food for the skilled labour if they accept it (which is unlikely due to the caste factor in play). They will be provided with tool kits and trained for the basic maintenance of the pumps. After the end of the project implementation period, the sources will be handed over to the local government in case any major repairs are required.
PROJECT 1049: SANITARY FACILITIES FOR IMPROVED MENSTRUAL HYGIENE
Society: CCUg - Community Concerns Uganda
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 765
According to a survey conducted by CCUg in 2017 among 1102 pupils in 18 schools in Jinja and Mayuge districts of Uganda, revealed that 41.6% of adolescent girls missed on average 3.1 schooling days due to menstruation each month. The major causes of absenteeism included stigma and discrimination associated with menstruation (43.5%) and lack of a place to clean themselves in privacy (34.2%). Out of the 18 schools, 15 did not have washrooms.
Therefore, Project 1049 has two main activities. It will provide three rural schools with two washrooms each and will organise an awareness campaign and seminars on menstrual hygiene for the 750 girls there. The second activity will also aim to normalise menstruation and battle the social stigma against it though education and conversation with the students and their teachers.
Sanitation Committees will be formed within the school in order to ensure the proper maintenance of the washrooms. It will discuss and agree on a monthly amount paid by the girls’ parents for maintenance and the purchase of soap. Baseline and endline surveys will be conducted by CCUg and shared with ACWW to assess the impact of sanitary facilities on menstrual health management among adolescent girls in the three rural schools.
PROJECT 1042: SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EDUCATION
Society: PACHE Trust - People’s Association for Community Health Education
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 2,520
Since 2005, the Indian Government has been providing sexual and reproductive health education to its 250 million adolescents through the Adolescents Education Programme. This project specifically targets those who have not had access to the Programme because they have left school. Rural girls are 20% less likely to stay in school than their urban counterparts. Once they have left school, often because of early marriage, they are twice as likely to give birth aged between 15 and 19.
PACHE Trust has been working on sexual and reproductive health awareness programmes with ACWW since 1999 and their commitment and expertise on these issues have made them a valuable partner in complimenting the Indian government’s efforts to spread awareness on these issues to as many women and adolescents as possible.
Project 1042’s target area is the Chellampatti and Vadipatti Blocks Madurai district, Tamil Nadu. The project will reach 2,520 beneficiaries within the target area and 30 volunteers will undergo two three-day trainings on sexual and reproductive health before they go back to the different communities and pass on that knowledge. Several programmes will run simultaneously; from sensitisation on sexual and reproductive health for women and adolescents to trainings on gender rights and leadership skills. The project activity plan includes also a gender sensitisation programme for male youths and spiritual leaders, which is crucial if such a project is to reach its goals within a strongly patriarchal society.
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