In Latest Grant Review, AJWS Awards Over $2 Million to 29 Countries in the Developing World

NEW YORK, April 23, 2007 – American Jewish World Service has awarded more than $2 million in grants to 109 organizations in 29 countries in the developing world in its most recent grant review.

These recent grants, totaling $2,380,530, reinforce AJWS’ mission of alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world. Grants are made to community-based groups with yearly budgets of less than $200,000 and few, if any, other sources of support. AJWS believes that change is most likely to take hold and become self-sustaining when local solutions come from the communities themselves.

“The latest AJWS grants emphasize several of our long-standing strategic commitments: supporting grassroots responses to poverty and disease, promoting women’s empowerment, and reaching the most vulnerable populations in rural and remote communities,” says Ruth Messinger, president of AJWS. “AJWS is proud to work towards these goals by partnering with dynamic organizations around the world.

“AJWS is very grateful to our donors for making this work of tikkun olam possible,” added Messinger.

In Latin America, AJWS is distributing 28 grants, totaling $655,500. These grants include:

    – Support of indigenous and Afro-descended peoples’ empowerment and self-determination: In Guatemala, a grant to the Asociación Cultural y Educativo Ukema No’j (Ukema N’oj Cultural and Educational Association) will support indigenous Mayan students with scholarships, regular mentoring and leadership training.

    – Support of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender peoples: In El Salvador, a grant to Entre Amigos (Between Friends), which employs advocacy and public education campaigns to combat stigma, discrimination, and hostility towards sexually diverse Salvadorans.

In Asia, AJWS is distributing 48 grants, totaling $940,730. These grants include:

    – Support for communities that face human rights abuses: AJWS is supporting the Karen Student Network Group, a youth organization managing five community schools in the conflict areas of Karen State, Burma.

    – Support of tsunami-affected communities: In Indonesia, an AJWS grant is going to Tim Relawan Perempuan Untuk Kemanusiaan (Women’s Volunteer Team for Humanity), an organization that is using a credit program and business skills training to establish and strengthen women’s groups in areas affected by the Asian tsunami in 2004.

In Africa, AJWS is distributing 32 grants, totaling $714,300. These grants include:

    – Support for adolescent girls’ empowerment: An AJWS partnership with the Nike Foundation is meeting the needs of adolescent girls in East Africa. In Kenya, AJWS is using the Nike grant in partnership with Kisumu Medical Education Trust to mobilize adolescent girls and young women to serve as peer educators.

    – Support for people in conflict areas: In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Centre d’Encadrement pour l’Auto Promotion Intégrée (Center for Supervision of Integrated Development) conducts economic and social reintegration programs for victims of sexual violence, demobilized child soldiers, adolescent heads of households, torture survivors and HIV orphans.

In addition, AJWS grants are supporting exchanges between our partners. In Cambodia, several AJWS grantees used AJWS funding to host a series of inter-organizational meetings. AJWS grants also went towards institutional strengthening, technical assistance, and emergency relief. AJWS conducts grant reviews twice a year. A full list of grants is available upon request.  

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David L. Marcus
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