Ambassador's Special 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 46 years, the Self-Help program has disbursed $5,241,150.00 of grant funds for projects all over the country. In the past eleven years alone (2000-2011) the U. S. Government has funded 162 self help development projects with a total funding of $1,095,800.00. Funding in FY11 and FY12 has been $50,000 annually. Some of the projects funded during that period include: classroom blocks, health centers, school libraries, girls’ hostels, shallow wells, and boreholes.
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 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.