The U.S. Embassy Windhoek of the U.S. Department of State has announced an open competition for organizations to submit applications to support programs that are community-initiated and involving schools, clinics, co-operatives, associations, training, or community improvement projects.
This program supports small sustainable community-based initiatives that have immediate and dramatic impact on local communities.
- The U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) program is a grassroots assistance program that allows U.S. embassies to respond quickly to local requests for small community-based development projects. The SSH program provides small, one-time grants to community groups that are working to improve the basic economic and social conditions of their villages or communities. The program is designed to support small-scale projects that benefit an entire community.
- The U.S. Embassy will prioritize funding projects in the following sectors for disadvantaged or marginalized groups:
- Food Security: Projects could include gardens, aquaculture, or hydroponics projects.
- Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Measures: Projects could include physical upgrades such as predator-resistant kraals or electric fencing
- Renewable Energy: Projects could include items such as solar panels or small wind turbines.
- Drought Mitigation: Projects could create irrigation or water supply systems in rural communities.
- Total available funding: US$50,000
- Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of US$20,000
- Length of performance period: 12 months
- Number of awards anticipated: 5 awards (dependent on amounts)
- Anticipated program start date: October 1, 2024
- Projects should:
- Be initiated by the community.
- Quickly improve basic economic or social conditions in the local community.
- Benefit the highest possible number of people.
- Not require additional funding assistance at the end of one year.
- Involve a significant community contribution in cash, labor, or materials.
- Involve community members who can operate and maintain the project on their own after Self-Help assistance ends.
- Whenever possible, projects should contribute to income-generating or self-sustaining activities, but the emphasis should be on the community benefit.
Participants and Audiences
- SSH focus will be on projects that assist disadvantaged or marginalized groups. The U.S. Embassy makes every effort to fund qualified projects from across Namibia’s fourteen regions. Some of the past SSH projects have included training women, youth, and school dropouts to be computer literate, and purchasing solar powered water pumps to make fresh potable water available to villagers. They have done multiple garden projects, where beneficiaries have been able to generate income to support themselves and improve their livelihoods. They have also funded projects that assist marginalized groups or people with disabilities, projects teaching technical skills such as understanding and installing small-scale solar technology.
- The following organizations are eligible to apply:
- The Embassy welcomes applications from schools, cooperatives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), or Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) that support community-based initiatives.
- Government institutions, individuals, close corporations, or other for-profit businesses are not eligible.
- All applicants must display sound management in the form of financial and administrative procedures that protect against waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Projects for the benefit of a private or for-profit company.
- Projects that already benefit from technical assistance programs.
- Activities that harm the environment, including the use of pesticides/herbicides.
- Religious, military, or law enforcement (police) activities.
- Surveillance equipment.
- Activities that benefit any employee of the U.S. Government.
- Activities that might contribute to the violation of workers’ rights.
- Refugee or human rights assistance.
For more information, visit U.S. Embassy in Namibia.