Inaugural Grants Transform Women’s Lives at Home and Overseas

 

100 Women has awarded three grants that will transform the lives of women close to home and overseas at a ceremony at Perth Town Hall.

One grant goes to a Perth women’s refuge and two to organisations that promote women’s health in rural India and Cambodia.

The grant recipients were selected from a shortlisted field that had been whittled down from over 50 applications from international, national and local organisations.

Zonta House Refuge Association, a refuge and community organisation in Perth offering holistic, nurturing education and care to women after enduring a crisis, received $40,000 to fund Positive Pathways to Safety for Women and the Community, a preventative program assisting women to lead more independent, safe and fulfilling lives.

Opportunity International also received a grant of $40,000 to fund Build Healthy Futures, a program in rural Indian communities that will train female health leaders in basic health education and empower them to be ‘change agents’ in their communities.

The third grant of $14,400 goes to the Global Development Group to fund the Restore Rose program in two Cambodian provinces. The program’s main aim is to address the health and hygiene needs of women in extremely poor villages.

100 Women Chair, Alicia Curtis, said the grants will empower hundreds of women by increasing their independence, improving their health and boosting their self-esteem. In turn, this will allow them to become more valuable contributors to their respective communities.

“We are delighted to have awarded our inaugural grants to these transformational programs that also have the potential for long term impact. The hard work of our committee, the support of our ambassadors and the enthusiasm of our members has made this dream come true.”

Four micro grants of $1,000 were awarded to McCauley Community Services for Women; SIMaid 1000 Stoves Project, World Vision Australia and BrainLink – Celebrating Strong Women.

100 Women demonstrates how ordinary women can become extraordinary by combining their financial and intellectual forces. Each member contributes $1200 and has a say in how the grants are awarded. It also busts the myth that philanthropy is predominantly the preserve of older rich males.

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Our Grants Winners with Ambassador Rabia Siddique, and Advisory Committee Member Kristy Rodwell.

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RECIPIENT 1

ORGANISATION:       Opportunity International
PROJECT:                   Build Healthy Communities
Location:                      Rural communities of Northern India
$ Requested:               $40,000.00

Opportunity International aims to train and create employment opportunities for 3,300 health leaders, to educate more than 600,000 women and their families on health and hygiene practices to fight common, preventable illnesses prevalent in communities affected by poverty.

The project works to train women as Health Leaders via a six month training program where they are taught basic health education and are empowered to be ‘change agents’ in their communities. Following the successful completion of training, each of these Health Leaders undertake a six-month internship where each woman educates 200 families, helping her community to learn about the link between health and hygiene, necessary behavioural changes and health services already available within their community.

Health leaders will also use their training and knowledge to create employment opportunities – they will participate in health-related initiatives, providing low-cost services and products such as sanitary napkins, eye checks and helping families to access micro-loans to build toilets.

Opportunity International has a well-developed and robust poverty alleviation program in India, where it is reaching over 1.7 million families, served by 13 microfinance partners across 190 districts in 19 states.

A recent impact assessment found that the health education is having a significant impact on the lives of families. For example, before health education only 33% of mothers gave birth in a hospital and after one year of training this had increased to 79%.

Community members are involved in ongoing measurement of the success of the program, and this is complemented by support from Opportunity and third-party evaluations. Health leaders conduct surveys at the beginning and end points of their training with targeted community members to assess the impact of their work. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation support is provided through Opportunity with annual evaluations and field visits, as well as formal six-month reporting.

Links:
www.opportunity.org.au

 

RECIPIENT 2

ORGANISATION:       Zonta House Refuge Association
PROJECT:                   Positive Pathways to Safety for Women and the Community
Location:                      Perth, Western Australia
$ Requested:               $40,000.00

Zonta House Refuge Association is a refuge and community organisation in Perth offering holistic, nurturing education and care to women after enduring a crisis. The organisation focuses on support to women that have experienced domestic violence, homelessness, mental health issues or any other crisis.

Positive Pathways to Safety for Women and the Community is a new initiative in WA, and works as a preventative program assisting women to lead more independent, safe and fulfilling lives. The program beginning in January 2014 is free, available to the public and welcomes clients from 8 other refuges and other supporting community organisations.

The program involves education, mentoring, coaching, community awareness and starting over support.

The grant from 100 Women would be directed to three areas:

  1. Positive Pathways training workshops (20+ over a one year period): provide information and general life skills in a safe, supportive environment in a non-clinical format and range from a half day to a five week course. Topics include: Self Esteem & Self Confidence / Assertive Communication / Finance Skills / Job Readiness / Women’s Wellness / Understanding Trauma.
  2. Mentoring Program: provides ongoing opportunities to develop, refine and expand skills. The mentoring program will assist women recover, prepare and support them to re-enter the community, increase life skills, access training, education opportunities and the workforce.
  3. Starting Over Support (SOS): a service for women and their families moving into private, public or community housing. Having to leave a violent relationship, unsafe accommodation and/or becoming homeless with no possessions is a common issue for women in our community. After securing permanent housing many women are left with no financial means to purchase items for their home. SOS will provide a household package to help women with the basic necessities needed to live independently to lessen financial pressure and stresses moving forward.

More than 120 women have been through the education program in its first six months. In addition over 50 women and families have received assistance from our Starting Over Support program and 250 from our community awareness sessions.

Outcomes to be measured include the number of client attendance’s and visits, household items received, and recording of post workshop surveys, evaluations and a life matrix measurement. We have an established evaluation procedure after each event and after 12 months will also seek a 360 survey of key referring agents, clients, volunteers and staff.

Links:
www.zontahouse.org.au

 

RECIPIENT 3

ORGANISATION:     Global Development Group (GDG)
PROJECT:                 Restore Rose Program
Location:                    Kampong Thom & Kandal Provinces, Cambodia
$ Requested:             $14,400.00

The main aim of the ‘Restore Rose Program’ is to address the health and hygiene needs of women in villages of extreme poverty in Kampong Thom and Kandal Provinces, Cambodia.

Menstrual health resources are almost non-existent in many areas as these women can’t afford to use pads or tampons during their menstrual period and usually resort to using rags which are ineffective and spread disease. If conventional products are used, they pose landfill issues as there is no waste collection. There is also an increased risk of fatal toxic shock syndrome for those wearing tampons or pads in such an unhygienic environment.

Through the 100 Woman grant, women will be provided with a ‘Restore Rose’ silicon menstrual cup which provides a safe, clean, re-usable, more hygienic, cost effective and environmental friendly alternative.

An accompanying health educational component will include principals such as hygienic use of the Roses, safe food preparation, nutrition, drinking clean water and soap usage.

4,800 women will be provided with a Rose and reached through 2 classes per month over 2 years, with 100 women per class. Local women who already use the Rose effectively will be taken to each class to answer questions and will then be a point of contact for other women in the village to seek additional information or answer questions.

With Restore Rose these women will for the first time have access to a safe, re-usable, environmentally friendly menstrual product. The Roses will be provided to them free of charge (one per women) which they can use effectively for up to 10 years.

Restore One completed a trial program involving 18 women in Chom Trou Village, Kampong Thom Province, with an uptake of 100% by the women who have menstruated since the class. Over the past month, 450 additional Roses have been accepted by women with tremendous humour and excitement. Each woman’s name, age and number of children have been recorded and follow up interviews will be completed after six months.

Before each program is initiated, the village chief and the community village health clinic(s) are contacted and involved. Nothing is done without their approval.  They will make women aware of the program and organise a venue. Restore One has been approached by the village chiefs from previous programs asking for follow-up classes for the ladies who initially missed out.

The Restore Rose program is aiming for:

  • Acceptance of 4,800 Restore Roses over a 24 month period.
  • 80% usage of the Roses determined from follow up of a cohort of 240 women (5% of each class) who will be randomly picked for follow up approximately six months following the initial class.

Links:
www.globaldevelopment.org.au
www.restoreone.org.au

FINALISTS

To thank these organisations for their applications, 100 Women will be donating $1,000 to say thank you for going through the application process.

ORGANISATION:       World Vision Australia
PROJECT:                   Maternal, Newborn, Child Health (MNCH) Project
Location:                      Manicaland Province, Bulawayo and Mangwe District, Zimbabwe

ORGANISATION:       BrainLink
PROJECT:                   Celebrating Strong Women – Touching So Many Lives
Location:                      Victoria, Australia

ORGANISATION:       McAuley Community Services for Women
PROJECT:                   McAuley Works – Education Leading to Employment
Location:                      Victoria, Australia

ORGANISATION:       SIMaid
PROJECT:                   1,000 Stoves
Location:                      Uganda

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