2022 Start-ups and Projects



In 2021 The Advocacy Project transferred $62,780 to community projects to support start-ups and projects as described on this page. Most were designed by survivors of discrimination. Almost all were directed and managed locally, by an AP partner. In 2022 we are picking up where we left off in 2021. Several projects aimed at easing the COVID emergency have closed, but the rest remain highly relevant and richly deserving of renewed investment. They include support for River Gypsies in Bangladesh, shown in the photo above.

AP projects fall into three categories: start-ups; phase 2; and long-term. Start-ups last between three and six months. Working remotely from the US, or in the field, AP helps the partner to draw up a budget, set goals, and draft an MOU. We also offer up to $1,000 in seed money. We then help the partner to track outputs on a weekly basis. Each project is supported by a team of one or more Peace Fellows. If the goals of the start-up are met and the partner so requests, we will help to scale the startup and move to a Phase 2 project (6 months to 18 months). If these goals are met we will work with the partner to develop a long-term program (3-5 years).

This page presents a summary of projects that we are supporting in 2022. The page will be updated to reflect new start-ups and funds raised. We will also estimate the number of beneficiaries when the data is available. Over 18,000 individuals benefited from our support in 2021.

Learn more about the Fellows who worked on these projects.



Telling the Story of COVID-19 through Embroidery

Kate Lanman from the Wakefield School in Arlington VA is one of more than 200 fiber artists from Zimbabwe, Nepal, the US, Kenya, Uganda and Bangladesh who have described their experience of COVID-19 through embroidery under our global COVID story-telling program. The project has produced 12 finished advocacy quilts so far. Visit our website to see profiles of the quilts.  In 2022, we will produce a catalog of the COVID designs and exhibit the quilts widely. We will also offer embroidery training to artists in Africa and develop an online shop where they can sell their embroidery. Our quilting program is managed by Bobbi Fitzsimmons and Abby Hack at AP and funded by Humanity United.


Use Soap To Empower Girls in Zimbabwe

Our Zimbabwean partner Women Advocacy Project helps 80 girls, including Trish Makanhiwa, to make and sell Clean Girl soap. Their target for 2022 is to produce and sell 16,000 bottles – the same goal that they met in 2021. AP has helped to secure funding for the program from Together Women Rise and will recruit two Peace Fellows to support the program this year. Read our reports on the project to GlobalGiving since 2018 and meet the WAP girls in this video. 



Improve Hygiene and Lift Enrollment in Ugandan Schools

In 2022 the Gulu Disabled Persons Union (GDPU) will install a WASH package at the St Martin Lukome primary school in Gulu district, Uganda. Our goal is to help the school recover after two dispiriting years of  closure. We will also help Mama Cave and the Clean Wash soap project, featured below, to supply the school with face-masks and soap. The project in Uganda is led by Patrick Ojok from GDPU. AP will deploy a Peace Fellow to help Patrick and his team this summer. This will be the fifth school to benefit from our WASH program. Read more about the program and view our movie about the appalling state of toilets in any primary schools. The WASH program is funded by the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Dublin, Ohio and the North Kingstown Rotary Club. 



Produce Clean Wash Soap for Schools in Uganda

AP has invested in a soap start-up led by Freeman, a soap-maker with limited mobility in Gulu. Freeman launched his brand of Clean Wash soap at the height of the pandemic and our support will enable him to produce a year’s supply of soap for the St Martin Lukome Primary School in 2022. The project will receive support from an AP Peace Fellow in Gulu and a second Fellow in the US.


Turn Mama Masks into a business in Uganda

AP funded Mama Cave, a tailor with limited mobility in Gulu to produce face-masks (Mama Masks) for persons with disability during the first wave of the pandemic. The investment paid off and GDPU has asked Mama Cave’s team to produce face-masks for the St Martin Lukome Primary School as part of our program to improve hygiene at the school. Masks are still required because students and staff have yet to be vaccinated.


Support Families of the Disappeared in Nepal

AP has supported the Network of Families of the Disappeared in Nepal (NEFAD) since 2015. Since 2015, we have helped family-members of the disappeared, like Alina in Bardiya District, to tell their stories through embroidery and produce two memorial quilts, a COVID quilt, and sample Tiger bags. Several have become excellent fiber artists and we plan to offer them further encouragement in 2022 by selling their artwork internationally. We will also  support NEFAD’s advocacy for transitional justice by commissioning a report on community-based methods of commemoration. We will deploy a team of three Peace Fellows to help. One Fellow will work with Prabal Thapa in Nepal, while a third Fellow will offer support from the US. Watch our movie of the quilts being made; view profiles of the artists and their designs; read about NEFAD’s advocacy.




Protect Pastoralists in Kenya Against Climate Change and Conflict

AP has supported Children Peace Initiative Kenya’s successful program to promote peace among pastoralists in Northwest Kenya since 2015.  CPIK builds cooperation between pastoralists, which reduces the need to resort to violence and also increases resiliency to drought and climate change as described here. The model has been tested out over ten years of working with the Pokot and Samburu tribes and will now be extended to a broader area. AP will recruit two Peace Fellows to help CPIK develop a 3-year plan and budget in the summer of 2022. We also hope to nominate CPIK’s inspiring founder, Hilary Bukuno, for a Nobel Peace Prize and support CPIK’s networking through the Alliance for Peace-Building and CPIK’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the US.


Use Composting to Grow Food in Kibera, Nairobi

Working with Stella Makena in the settlement of Kibera, Nairobi, AP is supporting an experimental start-up to help women use composting and vermiculture in the informal settlement of Kibera. The project met all of its goals in 2021 by composting over half a ton of kitchen waste and producing 150 liters of worm fertilizer (leachate) which has been bottled ready for sale. Read here for more information. Stella’s team has has formed an association, Shield of Faith, which now serves as AP’s local partner. Using funds from the successful Sister Artists 2 auction, AP will increase our investment in 2022.


Build an Embroidery Business in Kangemi, Nairobi

Caren Mbyaki first met AP in late 2019 when she made an embroidered story for the Women’s World quilt at the ICPD25 conference m Nairobi. During the pandemic, Caren emerged as a leader in his settlement, Kangemi. Using funds from AP, she formed an association, The Kangemi Advocacy and Self-Help Group, to produce embroidered squares for two AP embroidery projects – Sister Artists 2 and COVID-story-telling. These were completed with flair and artistry. Using profits from the Sister Artists 2 auction, AP will help Caren’s team to develop an embroidery business. The Kangemi Advocacy and Self-Help Group has also secured legal status that will enable them to advocate for services in the overcrowded settlement including COVID vaccinations (below).



Advocating for vaccines and vaccinations in Nairobi

Abigael Kwamboka is an active member of the Kangemi Advocacy and Self-Help Group, which formed in 2020 to organize embroidery training in the Kangemi settlement (above). Vaccines have been slow to reach Kenya and when family members started to contract COVID-19 in August 2021 the group decided to act. With Caren Mbyaki in the lead, they used WhatsApp to encourage each other to get vaccinated and then took their outreach to the community. By the end of 2021 they had secured over 2,000 vaccinations against COVID-19 and started to advocate for Human Papillomavirus Vaccines (HPV). This has encouraged four other AP partners, in Bangladesh, Uganda and Zimbabwe, to mobilize for vaccinations. AP will continue to provide support in 2022.




Support a Family Sickened by Agent Orange in Vietnam

Agent Orange has taken a terrible toll on families in Quang Binh province, as it has on millions of other Vietnamese.  AP has raised over $17,000 for affected families since 2015 and we hope to support another family in 2022, working with our Vietnamese partner, the Association for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (AEPD). Under our model, we raise funds for a cow. AEPD purchases the cow and follows up with the families through outreach workers (themselves former veterans) to ensure that the cow produces a sustained income from milk, calves and rent.  We raised $1,470 for Toa Cao and his wife Luan in 2021. Their three children – Van, Xuan and Ngoc – were born with serious intellectual and physical disabilities.


Beekeeping by the visually impaired in Uganda

AP has invested in HIVE Uganda which helps persons with visual impairment to learn beekeeping and sell honey. HIVE was founded by Ojok Simon, who also sits on the board of the Gulu Disabled Persons Union (GDPU) and has worked closely with AP Peace Fellows since 2008. Simon lost his sight when he was attacked and beaten by rebels from the Lords Resistance Army and has dedicated his life to empowering others with serious visual impairment. AP is investing $1,062 in five beekeepers, who plan to produce and sell 150 kilos of honey each by the summer of 2022.

Empower Survivors of Forced Marriage in Uganda

AP is helping Victoria Nyanyjura to launch a startup for women who were kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army and forced into marriage. Years later, many have still not recovered. Victoria’s organization, Women in Action for Women (WAW) has used funding from AP to train ten members in embroidery story-telling. They described their ordeal through powerful blocks, which have been assembled into an advocacy quilt in the US. The WAW artists have also produced embroidered blocks for a bread quilt which are being assembled, and told the story of COVID through embroidery. In 2022 AP will train the women to produce embroidery for sale and seek reparations from the Victims Trust Fund at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Watch Victoria’s powerful statement to the 2014 conference on Human Security, where she described her years of captivity and abuse.





Support Returned Migrants in Senegal

Ama Ndiaye Thiombane, AKA Papa Mbissa Boy, is a rap artist from Senegal. He is also one of thousands of young men from West Africa who have risked their lives in an attempt to reach Europe, only to meet disaster or return frustrated. 2021 Peace Fellow Jeremiah Gatlin worked with three associations in Senegal that represent returned migrants in the Dakar area: OPEN SARL, Mouvement Jeunesse Nouvelle Vision and Naatal Sendou “Développer Sendou.” Jeremiah’s project produced powerful blogs; a first-rate video from footage shot by the emigrants; a rap song recorded by Papa Mbissa Boy; a news bulletin; and eight poignant embroidered stories by family-members of migrants, which show their relatives drowning at sea. We are exploring an extension of this project in 2022.


Improve the Food Security of River Gypsies in Bangladesh

AP is helping Shahed Kayes, founder of the Subornogram Foundation in Bangladesh, to prevent starvation on the island of Mayadip in the Meghna River while also providing employment for day laborers. Most of the 205 families on Mayadip depend on fishing. (Photo at the top of this page). AP has purchased a fishing boat (Mayadip) for Subornogram that employs 3 crew members from the poorest families on the island for a period of a week. They keep half the fish they catch. The rest is used to pay for a feeding kitchen which provides a cooked meal each day for vulnerable individuals. Read about this exciting and innovative project here. Read how AP helped Shahed to end shocking violence against the Gypsies in the past and learn about Gypsy culture through the River Gypsy Quilt


Reducing the Threat from Albinism in Kenya

AP is helping Daniel Shisia, program head at the Albinism Society of Kenya, to help mothers of children with albinism describe the challenges facing people with the condition, ranging from violence and discrimination to skin cancer.  Twenty women have told their story through embroidery, which will be assembled into two advocacy quilts in 2022, exhibited and used by ASK to advocate for protection against skin cancer. AP will also offer the women more embroidery training in 2022 and hopes to support a project to produce and sell bucket hats.




Support Women’s Education in Afghanistan

The collapse of the Afghan government, and the withdrawal of Western civil and military forces in 2021 has exposed women and girls to serious risk. AP offered immediate support to the Oruj Learning Center, a partner since 2003 which put 3,470 girls through school between 2003 and 2009 and opened a university in Kabul in 2011. The university continues to support students. against all odds. AP amplified Oruj’s message in 2021 through a news bulletin that was widely read and promoted a fundraiser by Oruj that netted $11,364 in a single day. We will continue to support Oruj’s efforts in 2022 and also work to ensure the safe resettlement of Afghan refugees in the US.



Empower Dishwashers in Nepal

Neema is one thousands of women and girls who work as dishwashers in Midwest Nepal. Neema’s life is one of exploitation and anxiety. Her work-day lasts up to 16 hours, for which she earns around $4. COVID claimed the life of a daughter, adding tragedy to hardship. There has been little publicity about the plight of dishwashers, but this silence is one reason they are abused. AP will deploy a Peace Fellow to Nepal in 2022 to help our partner, Backward Society Education (BASE) to launch a start-up for dishwashers. The project will offer embroidery training to the women, to be provided by two fiber artists from Bardiya who have themselves been trained by AP.