What is the Self-Help Program for PEPFAR?
The program is modeled on the long-running Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program, which has provided support to grassroots development efforts in Africa since 1990.
The Self-Help Program for PEPFAR will support projects that are developed and implemented by community-based groups or NGOs for the direct benefit of members. The intended beneficiaries of projects are people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and women, such as widows, who are at risk of being drawn into activities that expose them to a high risk of HIV infection.
What projects are eligible for funding?
- The project must be initiated by the local community or local NGO, with an emphasis on activities, training, equipment or facilities that will support income generation for PLWHAs, OVCs or other at-risk populations.
- The project should be designed to be self-sustaining and not require continued support from the PEPFAR Self-Help Program.
- The majority of projects will be granted one-time funding.
- Projects that have high impact may be eligible for support for two or three years.
- The community must make a substantial contribution to the project in the form of financial or in kind (labor, building materials, etc.) resources.
- Projects must provide direct benefit to an identifiable group of at risk individuals (e.g., they should not be projects that primarily benefit a business owner who might employ some at-risk individuals).
How much are the grants?
The maximum grant is US$25,000 converted to Ghana Cedis (GHC) at the prevailing exchange rate. The typical project will be in the range of US$10,000 to 15,000 and proposals for smaller projects will be given equal consideration.
How are projects approved?
The PEPFAR Self-Help Projects Committee will review all applications. The Committee aims to support vulnerable and at-risk populations such as PLWHAs, orphans, widows, and those engaged in high-risk activities. Strong preference will be given to grass-roots efforts and groups that have already demonstrated a financial or in-kind commitment to the activity for which they seek funding.
What are some examples of the types of projects that would be considered? These are illustrative only.
A community group of widows and orphans needs a structure to provide a safe place where OVC or widows can find shelter, and have expanded space to learn and practice a marketable skill. The community will contribute the labor to build the structure and training staff for the center.
Ten young women with limited education and job opportunities have formed a pepper growing cooperative and need inputs, tools and training to manage the income from pepper sales in order to expand their business. They will contribute labor and 200 GHC they have saved.
Five widows started an air-conditioned taxi business for up-scale clients. They need funds to purchase a second-hand car which they will drive in turns. Half of the proceeds will be put into a fund to buy additional vehicles. The women will be responsible for ensuring they all have the requisite licenses, will contribute their labor and will commit to putting 50% of proceeds into the savings pool for additional vehicles.
A community group of 15 to 20 PLWHAs needs funding to complete an alternative livelihood project.
How does an organization apply?
Application forms are available through the Coordinator in the Self-Help Program Office at the U.S. Embassy. They may be requested by mail or in person. The form is also available on-line (PDF 106KB). The deadline for submission of applications for every fiscal year is December 31 of every ensuing year. Applications can be submitted at any time before that date to the Coordinator or by Post.
What does not qualify for PEPFAR Self-Help funding?
The PEPFAR Self-Help Program will not fund political, religious, or military activities. Government agencies are not eligible to receive funds.