The seven organizations receiving the grants focus on a variety of areas important to community development. Bong County’s Greenvision Liberia is finishing a cassava processing plant, while Germinating Every Mind and Family Line Foundation International, both from Margibi County, as well as Ayangone Agriculture Initiative from Bomi County are purchasing farming materials to support single parent and women-led farms.
From Montserrado County, the Environmental Rescue Initiative is establishing a recycling and composting center, and Vision Verte Liberia is constructing a public latrine in the New George and Caldwell market area. Finally, Grand Bassa County’s Caring for Tomorrow Generation Welfare Institution is using their grant to purchase construction material for a school dormitory for disadvantaged students.
The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Fund is a grassroots assistance program that began in Togo in 1964 as an experimental and modest self-help program but it has grown significantly since. Today, this fund allows the Ambassador to respond directly to requests from communities for small-scale, community-based development projects that promise to have immediate impact.
These grants are specifically for development projects, and the one-time grant must include a matching contribution from the grantee. When assessing applications, the Embassy looks at the sustainability of the project, the impact it has on the immediate community, the ability to be completed in one year, and the capacity of the grantee to implement their proposal and account for the funding provided.
DCM Maybury spoke about his own experience managing small grants at the signing ceremony. He noted that they have the greatest impact when the organizations are locally focused and have a strong sustainability plan, just like those receiving this year’s grants.