American Jewish World Service Announces Latest Docket

International Development Organization Awards more than $3.8M in Grants to 154 Organizations in 27 Countries

New York, NY; July 21, 2008 — AJWS today announced that it has awarded in its most recent grant review more than $3.8 million in grants to 154 organizations in 27 countries throughout the developing world. These recent grants, totaling $3,887,786, are divided into five umbrella funds, which include Sustainable Livelihoods and Development, Community Health, Community Voice, Education for All, and Community Engagement in Conflicts and Emergencies.

As part of this docket, AJWS will be awarding grants related to education in conflict-affected countries in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative as well as grants providing opportunities to adolescent girls through support from the Nike Foundation.

AJWS’s mission is to alleviate poverty, hunger and disease among poor people in developing countries regardless of race, religion or nationality. Seventy-five percent of the grantees that will be receiving money from AJWS as a result of this review have annual budgets of less than $300,000 and most rely on AJWS for at least 60 percent of their funding.

Recipients of AJWS funding include grassroots organizations working in their communities to promote social change and to address the fundamental causes of poverty, discrimination and injustice. These organizations ensure access to basic services, such as education and health, while assisting individuals to develop livelihoods that will provide them with the means to support their families and contribute meaningfully to the development of their communities.

“We believe that grassroots organizations are best positioned to transform communities; human rights are essential to the process; women are critical drivers of change; and that, ultimately, marginalized communities must be able to mobilize from within,” said Ruth W. Messinger, President of AJWS. “All of our grants reflect our core values and our grassroots approach to community and human development.”

Highlights include:

Community Health

AJWS will be awarding a grant to the Imana Association to support a pilot project in Nigeria addressing poverty among HIV-affected widows and orphans. The focus of the project is to reduce stigma faced by these community members by promoting state responsibility around human rights and by providing basic healthcare and education. Another community health project that AJWS will be supporting is Mujeres de Anta, a group in Peru that is focused on helping community members effectively organize and pursue reparations for the forced sterilization of indigenous women in the 1990s.

Sustainable Livelihoods and Community Development

In its grantmaking, AJWS continues to emphasize land and labor rights for indigenous people. For example, AJWS will be awarding a grant to Gaon Ganrajya Abjiyan, a network of peoples’ organizations mobilizing tribal and rural communities across four states in India to assert their livelihood rights in an era of globalization that has had devastating consequences for the land and resources of indigenous groups. In Senegal, AJWS is supporting the efforts of Green Senegal to help small-scale farmers and community-based agricultural groups improve their farming capacities through training in drip irrigation.

Community Voice

Among the new grantees AJWS will be supporting is Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) in Uganda. CEDOVIP will be using AJWS support to continue its work in educating communities on the link between the spread of HIV and domestic violence. AJWS will also award a grant to Independent Advocacy Project of Nigeria which advocates for increased transparency and accountability in public HIV/AIDS funding.

Education for All

AJWS’s first new grant under the Clinton Global Initiative will go to the Alianza Maya para la Educacion Popular in Guatemala, a network of eight community-based organizations dedicated to providing high-quality, bi-cultural education for indigenous children. In Kenya, as part of the Nike Grassroots Girls Initiative, AJWS will be awarding a renewal grant to the Education Centre for the Advancement of Women, which will conduct an empowerment camp to improve adolescent girls’ understandings of sexual and reproductive health.

Community Engagement in Conflicts and Emergencies

In Colombia, where one out of four para-military soldiers is under 18 years of age, AJWS will be supporting Picaho con Futures, which reintegrates youth soldiers into society by building their capacity to participate in public policy and democratic processes and by fostering inter-generational learning exchanges with adult organzations. AJWS is also initiating a partnership with Centre for Child Rights and Development, a group in India that develops neighborhood child protection committees to prepare children in the event of future disasters.

For More Information

If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Tanyanika Davis, Director of Media Relations, at