We’re excited to announce the first cohort of 49 Legal Empowerment Fund grantees!
Around the world, more than 5 billion people lack meaningful access to justice. The Legal Empowerment Fund (LEF) is the first initiative dedicated solely to closing the global justice gap by investing in locally driven solutions and bringing community-level strategies to scale.
In January 2022, the LEF initiated its inaugural funding cycle with a month-long open call for proposals. We invited grassroots activists and organizations doing legal empowerment work anywhere in the world to apply for flexible funding.
The response was staggering. We received more than 4,800 applications from 153 countries. In all, groups requested more than $233 million in funding—a true testament to the overwhelming need for greater investment at the grassroots level.
Number of applications Received By Country
After a comprehensive review and participatory selection process, 49 groups were chosen to make up the LEF’s first-ever cohort of grantees. A second cohort will be announced later this year. The full list of grantees is available below (three grantees have not been identified because of security concerns).
The activists and organizations selected do not fit into one box. They come from 31 countries across the globe, from Argentina to Zambia. They represent more than a dozen different causes, from environmental justice to women’s rights. The common thread is that they are all using legal empowerment strategies to support their communities, tackle systemic injustices, and advocate for expanded protections under the law.
Keep reading to learn more about four incredible activists from the LEF’s first-ever cohort, and to see the full list of grantees.
Meet the activists
HER Internet brings digital literacy education to women. The LEF grant helps them equip LGBTQ women, who face intense bias including on- and offline threats, to understand Ugandan internet laws and advocate for safe online spaces.
Themis – Gênero, Justiça e Direitos Humanos (Gender, Justice and Human Rights) works to end violence against women and the discrimination they face when pursuing justice for abuse. LEF support is helping Themis train community leaders in proven anti-violence strategies.
Braveheart works to promote peace and democracy in Myanmar. The LEF gives their paralegal network greater resources to help people without legal identities and ethnic minorities secure citizenship and their rights to have a say in their country’s laws.
Nomad08 mobilizes communities whose livelihoods, cultures, and environments are threatened by industrial development. Thanks to the LEF, the group is fortifying community movements advocating for their right to clean water.
Full List of LEF grantees
Listed alphabetically by country
Three organizations are not listed due to the nature of their work.
Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (FUNDEPS)
Fundación Microjusticia Bolivia
Themis – Gênero, Justiça e Direitos Humanos
Asociación de Autoridades Tradicionales y Cabildos U’wa (ASOU’WA)
Centro Sociojurídico para la Defensa Territorial (SIEMBRA)
Fundación Regional de Asesoría en Derechos Humanos (INREDH)
Asociación Comunicando y Capacitando a Mujeres Trans con VIH en El Salvador (COMCAVIS TRANS)
Mission d’Intervention et de Sensibilisation contre la Traite des êtres humains (MIST)
Asociación Sobrevivencia Cultural (Sobrevivencia Cultural)
Coordinadora de Asociaciones y Comunidades para el Desarrollo Integral de la Región Ch’orti’ (COMUNDICH)
Movimiento Ambientalista Santabarbarense (MAS Honduras)
International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC)
Chepkitale Indigenous People Development Project (CIPDP)
Women Beyond Barriers Community Based Organization (WBB)
Pema Kenya CBO (PEMA-K)
National Union of Community Forestry Development Committees (NUCFDCs)
Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas (DHRRA)
Centro de Atención a la Mujer Trabajadora de Chihuahua A.C. (CAMT Chihuahua)
Centro Regional de Defensa de Derechos Humanos, “José Ma. Morelos y Pavón” A.C. (Centro Morelos)
Interculturalidad, Salud y Derechos A.C. (INSADE)
Myanmar Legal Aid Network (MLAW)
Peace Point-Myanmar (PPM)
Association for Legal Education and Transparency (LET Station)
Insan Dost Association (IDA)
Central Distrital de las Rondas Campesinas de Nuñoa (CEDROCAN)
Republic of Congo
Association Les Amis des Enfants (AAE)
Maokeng Advice And Resource Centre (MARC)
Mitchells Plain Community Advice and Development Project (MPCADP)
Asociación Pro Derechos de la Infancia (Pro.De.In)
Shahidi wa Maji
Just Like My Child Foundation (JLMCF)
Homes for All St. Louis
Global Rights Advocacy
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP)
Paralegal Alliance Network (PAN)
Zambia Institute of Environmental Management (ZEIM)
We believe in a future where all people have equal access to justice. Learn more about the Legal Empowerment Fund.