Below is a summary of RSSAF grant cycles during 2008. To learn more, view the RSSAF Annual Report 2008-9.
November, 2008 (Michaemas Term)
RSSAF received 18 applications during this cycle and made the following three grants:
- Southern African Environment Programme, South Africa (£1,750)
SAEP runs a day care centre support programme to assist day care centres in applying for funding from the South African government. There is extensive funding available, but before new projects can access this funding, they need to become registered. This requires attaining certain standards (in terms of buildings, programmes, staffing levels etc.) which are difficult to reach without external support. SAEP began work with nine day care centres. They have taken on seven new crèches and have begun upgrading their facilities, mentoring the principals, and training management committees. Money will be used to hire a social work student and a volunteer to work on this properly as they are severely under-resourced.
- FORGE – Zambia (£2,250)
FORGE, an organization for refugees, was awarded money for their Peace, Education and Conflict Transformation component. At the time of the grant, the project had two components: a peace education and conflict transformation component and a computer training component. PECT had organized workshops in peace building, conflict analysis, trauma healing, human rights, mediation skills, non-violence, violence against women, and ubuntu forum (group discussion). The project had trained 225 residents of Meheba refugee camp and, as a result, some are able to resolve conflict on their own. Other refugees who repatriated to Angola were able to use the skills acquired in Meheba on conflict resolution in their country. The computer training component serves to introduce and improve computer skills in the refugee community and to act as an income generating activity that helps fund the peace-related workshops. Computer students pay a small fee to attend each module. At the time of the grant, the project needed better access to power, which would increase the number of students it can teach and thus increase its income to fund more peace workshops. A one-time purchase of two solar panels, two batteries and two converters was intended have a ripple effect throughout the project, increasing both the capacity to teach computer skills and peace building and conflict transformation.
- For-Ethiopia – Ethiopia (£1,000)
For-Ethiopia fundraises internationally to support water, education and health infrastructure projects identified by government and communities in Ejerie district, an isolated district largely neglected by international NGOs. Projects are undertaken in partnership with local organisations, in this case the school parent-teacher committee. The RSSAF grant was intended to provide a block of six toilets to the junior school along with hand-washing facilities, improving hygiene amongst the staff and students. A similar project was completed in 2007 by For-Ethiopia at another school in the area and is operating successfully. The toilet block was intended to provide six individual toilets within a block, all with metal doors and a hand-washing facility at one end provided by a stand-alone water tank.
May, 2008 (Trinity Term)
During this grant cycle, RSSAF awarded grants to the following four organizations
- Association DEFI – Burkina Faso
Association DEFI promotes rural development in Burkina Faso through:
- Literacy in rural and semi-urban areas,
- Breeders, farmers and small traders training,
- Construction of small-scale dams and wells in remote and non-favoured villages,
- Small loans targeted at vulnerable rural producers and
- Replicating transferable agricultural, gardening and breeding technologies.
At the time of the grant, DEFI was planning to coordinate the installation of a portable water well for human and livestock consumption, and the creation and irrigation of a 4 hectare garden in the village of Bantouankuela. As a remote and landlocked village, Bantouankuela (population of 557 people and a few head of cattle) suffers from water shortage during the nine months of the dry season.
- Notre Dame – Sierra Leone
The purpose of this project is to fund basic farm tools, agro-chemicals and training for rural women to cultivate cocoa, coffee and oil and palm plantations in the Kailahun District in eastern Sierra Leone to promote long-term financial security for themselves and immediate families. Notre Dame is a community-based charitable organisation formed by five pioneers who strongly believe that women have a stake in the development of every community. By virtue of their roles in the community the women know of direct solutions to many of the population density related problems and therefore need to be fully supported. Founded in 2003, it has an average of 750 active members and 25 auxiliary members. Since its foundation it has capacitated over 3000 rural women with various developmental skills such as tree crop cultivation, animal husbandry, poultry, organic farming, adult literacy, sexuality and reproductive health literacy, and women’s rights.
- IkamvaYouth – South Africa
IkamvaYouth was founded in the Western Cape province of South Africa in 2003. Since then, the organisation has gone from strength to strength, supporting 540 learners through their last three years of secondary schooling, and receiving international recognition. Former learners have gone on to excel in their tertiary studies, and one former learner and current volunteer, Thobela Bixa, was awarded a Mandela Rhodes scholarship. In 2007, a new branch of IkamvaYouth was launched in the Cato Manor informal settlement in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Drawing on a team of dedicated volunteers and the experience of the Western Cape branch, IkamvaYouth KZN has grown rapidly in both size and scope. This programme is having a dramatic impact in a community with high levels of poverty, violence, HIV infection, unemployment, extremely poorly performing schools, and large numbers of orphaned learners.
- Inkanyezi – South Africa
Inkanyezi was launched in April 2005 and membership in the first two years grew from 11 to 107 volunteers and mentors who conducted weekly workshops in seven underprivileged high schools, assisting approximately 250 students each week. Many of these students were subsequently placed at numerous tertiary institutions around the country. During the two years before Inkanyezi applied for an RSSAF grant, the programme expanded from one to seven schools and began to work with Grade 9 and 11 students, demonstrating a clear track record of both successful delivery and steady growth. The programme’s primary objective is to assist students in accessing tertiary education with confidence. Given the current low levels of tertiary education in South Africa and the central importance of tertiary education to both individual employment prospects and national growth, the development implications of the mentorship programme are clear. Furthermore, the programme contributes directly to Inkanyezi’s long-term sustainability, as the former participants have proved to be amongst the most enthusiastic, committed and inspirational mentors once they have reached tertiary education level.
February 2008 (Hilary Term)
COTRAPABU (Bugesera district, Rwanda) was awarded a grant of £1,500 to enable the cooperative to purchase processing equipment allowing the member farmers to produce and sell cassava flour. This will yield more income for the 23 members when the flour is sold, as well as producing a more nutritious food product; they estimate that together, 1000 households will be benefited.
Jabulani Rural Health Foundation (Mqanduli, South Africa) was awarded £500. The Foundation provides support for the Zithulele Hospital and the community it serves in the Eastern Cape, focusing on nutrition, education, and care for HIV/AIDS patients. The RSSAF grant covers a portion of the cost of building a dormitory facility to house health-care professionals, village health workers and affected family members who travel to the hospital to be trained in community-based care for the terminally ill and other patients who cannot travel to the hospital.