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.
The overall purpose of the Fund in Malawi is to encourage communities to improve their economic, health, and social welfare conditions through Self-Help projects they implement themselves. Eligible types of Self-Help projects include water, health, environment, construction, equipment, and income-generating activities. Projects selected for funding seek to improve basic economic or social conditions at the village level; support high-impact activities that can be implemented quickly and benefit a large number of people; involve a significant local contribution (25%) in kind (labor or material); are within the ability of the local community to operate and maintain, and respond to the common needs, initiatives and aspirations of the local community.