New Grants – Fall 2015

For over a decade, our grants have sustained human rights movements in unforgiving contexts around the world. Earlier this week the board of the Fund for Global Human Rights approved more than $2.5 million in grants and technical assistance to 128 organizations in our Latin America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia programs. We asked our program staff to update us on what is planned for these programs this year.

amyAmy Morris, Director of Programs
“We are expanding our strategy in Burma this year to address the role a free media plays in the country’s transition to democracy and ensuring human rights for all. We are providing first time support to The Irrawaddy, an independent print and online media outlet that covers Burma and Southeast Asia, with a particular eye to issues of human rights and democracy. The Irrawaddy was founded by Burmese exiles living in Thailand in 1992 and has since covered some of the most critical issues in Burma. In the coming year, The Irrawaddy’s coverage will focus on internal conflict in Burma, including reporting on displacement of Muslim communities in Rakhine state, and serve as a watchdog on democratic and electoral reforms in the 2015 election season.”

aphAna Paula Hernandez, Program Officer for Latin America
“This year, the Fund and the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) convened a meeting with grantees from Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala to examine the human rights implications of the dramatic rise of organized crime, which endangers human rights defenders and the general public in Mesoamerica. Activists explored strategies to manage risk, document abuses, and protect staff. This meeting was the first time these groups came together to conduct a joint analysis of the challenges presented by organized crime. Moving forward, we plan to support a more precise mapping of key actors, their relations to one another, and their interests related to the rights that Fund grantees are defending, which will be key to building more effective responses and security protocols.”

untitled-7259John Kabia, Program Officer for West Africa
“We are providing first time support to a group in Liberia called Accountability Lab (A-Lab). A-Lab works with young people and community-based activists to increase their participation in promoting transparency and accountability. They do so through innovative and creative projects such as their accountability film school which produces videos about accountability issues. The recent Ebola crisis in the region revealed deep levels of public discontent and mistrust in official institutions and politicians because of corruption and poor public services. In the coming year, A-Lab will work on promoting accountability in the management of international aid towards post-Ebola rebuilding and advance efforts to bridge the trust gap between government and citizens.”

By the numbers:

Latin America: Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico

60 organizations
$1,105,000 in planned investments

West Africa: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone

35 organizations
$836,000 in planned investments

Southeast Asia: Burma, the Philippines, Thailand

33 organizations
$624,500 in planned investments