USA provides special Grant
All year round, the U.S. Embassy accepts applications for the U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program to address community-based needs and its PEPFAR Small Grants program to fight HIV/AIDS-affected Namibians. The fund is aimed at boosting the activity of a community oriented programme for a year, after which, the named programme should be able to survive without donor funding. The statement released by the embassy said that the grant proposals should be focused on helping communities, rather than individuals or individual families
Highlighting one of their recent successes, the Hardap Training Centre received a grant from the U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program to purchase ovens, bread machines, industrial sewing machines, and bicycles, and to advertise the centre’s programs. This resulted in expert-led training programs which now include computer literacy, office administration, typing, needlework, upholstery, weaving, catering, baking, food dehydration, paper brick making, climate change awareness, and leather work. With the help of the grant and the continued support from the local community, the increased revenue has allowed the centre to expand its home-based care program, and open a daycare centre, so trainees have a safe place to keep their children while they learn new skills. According to a survey performed by the embassy, over seventy percent of Rehoboth’s underprivileged population has now taken part in training programs at the centre.
The centre, which was founded by the Women’s Action for Development (WAD) in 1997, is aimed at empowering the disadvantaged rural people in Namibia and help them build their region’s economy. According to the views of the embassy the project can serve as an example for other community based initiatives. The embassy believes that the Hardap centre has addressed its goals through the socio-economic and socio-political training programs it has offered. The embassy therefore encourages people to continuously apply for the grant especially if they harbour projects that can assist in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.