The United Nations estimates that between 250,000 and 500,000 women were sexually assaulted in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. What’s more, an estimated 67 percent of those attacked contracted HIV and were left widowed. The tragic result is a society of women who are forced to put the day-to-day challenges of playing caregivers and bread-winners ahead of their own issues or improvement. That’s where Global Grassroots comes in.
The organization, founded in 2004 by Gretchen Wallace, helps underprivileged women throughout Rwanda and elsewhere in Africa to rehabilitate, realize their potential and ignite change through their Conscious Change Academy. In the program, women are offered leadership training, personal transformation, seed grants, high-engagement support and more to build social ventures that will in turn benefit women, girls and the society around them. GG also builds a global network to support these ventures and spread awareness of critical women’s issues like sexual violence. The result is a class of women that are supporting change in their very own society, all due to the efforts and advocacy of Global Grassroots.
To support the cause, Global Grassroots encourages women to be “Change Agents,” or social entrepreneurs. GG urges fundraising through African Dinner Parties or screenings of educational films like The Devil Came on Horseback (a movie which exposes the tragedy in Darfur), or speaking engagements to raise awareness. You can also donate any amount right now. Remember—anything you do to help doesn’t just positively affect the lives of underprivileged women, it also goes toward sparking permanent change for an entire society.
Photo credit: Jennifer Holden via GlobalGrassroots.org
GIRL TALK TIME: What do you think of Global Grassroots? How do you act as a “change agent” or social entrepreneur? Let us know!