Ambassador's Self Help Fund
The Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund was established in Malawi in 1966 as a way to address urgent development needs at the community level. Over the past 47 years, the Self-Help program has disbursed $5,381,150 of grant funds to 1,381 projects covering all the 28 Districts in Malawi. In the past ten years alone (2003-2013) the U.S. Government has funded 128 Self-Help development projects with a total funding of $835,500. Some of the projects funded during that period include classroom blocks, health centers, school libraries, girls’ hostels, shallow wells, tree planting, eco-stove production, and boreholes. From 2011 to 2014, Self-Help Fund has received an additional $180,000 from United States African Development Foundation (USADF, www.usadf.gov which has funded income generating projects for 35 community groups across Malawi. Some of the projects funded include bakeries, oilseed presses, briquette production, food processing, piggeries, shoe production, and tailoring.
In 2016, the fund will prioritize construction of girls’ hostels, libraries, school blocks, community health facilities, and provision of clean and safe water through construction of shallow wells. In addition, the fund will also support innovative and sustainable income generating projects that add value to current entrepreneurial efforts.
The initiative for each project should originate from community needs assessments or calls to action. Initiatives sponsored and assisted by credible development organizations or other sources informed by and working within the community are encouraged. Every project is expected to:
• improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community or village level;
• support high-impact, quick-implementation activities that benefit a large number of people,
without requiring further SSH assistance;
• involve a significant local contribution in cash, labor, and/or materials, and be within the ability of the local community to operate and maintain on a sustainable basis; and
• be completed within twelve months.