How We Promote Social Change

Step 1: Identify a marginalized community.

We believe that those who are directly affected by abuse can be powerful agents of change. We prioritize communities that face hostility and discrimination on account of being women; children; survivors of conflict; persons with disability; from a minority; indigenous; or defending the environment. We worked with 114 such communities between 1998 and 2017.  Photo: The River gypsies of Bangladesh have faced extreme violence for defending their right to fish and for opposing illegal sand-dredging.

Step 2: Offer a partnership.

We welcome inquiries from community-based advocates and offer two types of partnership – full partnership and fiscal sponsorship. Partners should have a track record of human rights advocacy, need our services, and be committed to good business practice. We try to work with one or two new partners a year. Photo: The women of BOSFAM, who lost relatives in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, were one of AP’s first partners.

Step 3: Recruit a Peace Fellow.

Full partners receive ten weeks of technical support from a Peace Fellow at no expense to the partner. If funding permits, we also help partners to recruit a local graduate to work as an AP “Associate” with our Fellow. Peace Fellows raised $31,375 in 2017. Click here to meet past Fellows. Photo: Dina Buck from Denver University, seen here with Fred Lulinaki, helped pygmies in Uganda to build a website and use IT – one of our most popular services..

Step 4: Describe the challenge and provide technical support.

AP offers six services to partners, starting with story-telling. We ask the partner to select the services they need, with help from a Peace Fellow, and set out what they hope to achieve in an MOU. Photo: AP came up with the idea of using water wells to reduce the exposure of Congolese women to sexual violence. Women travel long distances in search of water, and this puts them at risk of being attacked.

Step 5: Launch a start-up for social change.

AP helps new partners to develop an innovative start up that will produce measurable benefits for individuals in year one, strengthen the organization and contain a clear vision for long-term social change. We try to raise at least $3,000 a year for start-ups. Photo: Peace Fellow Josh Levy raised over $4,000 to install an accessible toilet at Tochi School in northern Uganda.

Step 6: Develop and fund a long-term program.

Starting in year 2, we help partners to scale up their start-up and seek funding for a long-term program. We can support start-ups for up to 5 years. Photo: AP helped Sini Sanuman to develop a new approach to working with survivors of sexual violence in Mali that combines emergency support with economic training. The program raised over $700,000, took in 645 survivors, and produced tangible benefits for over 40,000 more vulnerable women.

Step 7: Profile on the AP website.

Our hope is that all AP partners, past and present, will eventually receive a dedicated partner page or campaign page on our website that tells their story, shows how they have grown, and lists their campaign successes. These pages are currently under construction. Our website received 362,643 visits in 2017. Photo: Our stories and photos of Agent Orange victims in Vietnam have helped us to raise funds for ageing caregivers like Pham Thi Do, seen here with her daughter Luyen.

Step 8: International promotion and networking.

AP promotes the work of partners internationally, at the UN, and with new constituencies such as quilting guilds, schools, and professional networks. Photo: Peace Fellow TJ Bradley was on hand to show the Nunca Mas quilts from Peru at a major exhibition of advocacy quilting in Washington DC.

Step 9: Monitoring, evaluating and reporting.

AP staff help partners to use our start-ups to develop good practice and strengthen their organizations. This can involve developing budgets, measuring impacts, keeping receipts, and reporting to donors. Photo: AP’s support helped Igo Rogova to turn the Kosovo Women’s Network into a powerful advocate for women in Kosovo following the 1999 war and independence.

Step 10: Ensuring Sustainability.

AP helps partners to build sustainability into all projects from the start. We continue to advise partners after a start-up or program comes to an end. Photo: Under the inspiring leadership of Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, the Oruj Learning Center is still supporting girls’ education in Afghanistan, fifteen years after the Center was launched with help from AP.

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