The Advocacy Project will support the fourteen projects described below in 2023. All serve marginalized communities and were designed or proposed by partners in the Global South.
These projects are the product of years of investment by AP, and also of deep personal friendships. We are grateful to the many Peace Fellows who have supported these partners through the years, in person or remotely. Click here and select a year to meet the Fellows.
Some of our 2023 projects will take the form of start-ups and begin with story-telling. We offer an initial $1,000 for the first six months. If the goals are met, we can invest for another 18 months and work with the partner to find other donors. Our own involvement ends after five years, although long-term programs can also generate new start-ups. We have provisionally budgeted $46,000 of our core funding for projects in 2023. Our hope is that the programs will eventually produce change that will benefit society as a whole.
All start-ups will begin with story-telling, but we are also keen to help partners develop skills and earn money. As a result, several 2023 projects will contain a business component.The pandemic has shown not just that marginalized communities need resources, but that they can be an excellent investment.
Our main focus will continue to be on the Global South, but we will also support start-ups with vulnerable communities in the US and Europe such as refugees, migrants and prison populations. We hope to build a North-South partnership into all projects and are particularly keen to connect high schools in the US and Africa.
We will continue to recruit students at all levels – graduate, undergraduate and high school – to volunteer with partners as Peace Fellows and will shortly open applications for 2023 fellowships here. Applicants will be asked to help design their own fellowship.
Click here to view projects supported by AP during the pandemic in 2020; in 2021; and in 2022.
Our deepest thanks to friends, volunteers and benefactors who make our work possible. Contact us at DCoffice@advocacynet.org to join up!
Eradicate malaria from ten tribal villages in India
Stella Makena has launched a composting revolution by women in the settlement of Kibera, Nairobi. Stella was one of several women who formed an association, Shield of Faith, to make embroidery and stayed together to tackle pollution in Kibera, where most produce is grown in sewage. The ten group members composted over a ton of food waste at home in 2020, and added worms to produce leachate, known as Lishe-grow (“Grow Nutrition”) which they use on their kitchen gardens and sell. AP will help Stella has to take her model to high schools in Kibera and the US. Our hope is to introduce students from the two countries to each other and even eventually arrange visits. Read about Stella’s composting.
Commercialize embroidery and support training by family members of the disappeared in Nepal
Help girls in Zimbabwe to sell 32,000 bottles of Clean Girl soap and complete high school
Women Advocacy Project (WAP) runs a soap project by girls in inner-city Zimbabwe that produced 16,000 bottles of Clean Girl soap in 2022 and plans to double production in 2023. The soap is sold by 64 girls, including Tanatswa Sachiti, who have built up a loyal customer base in their neighborhoods and keep all of the money from their sales. AP will help WAP to find new donors in 2023 and launch an education fund to help 31 of the WAP girls complete secondary school. Read about the Clean Girl soap project here.
Help students in the US to sell Clean Girl soap to support of education in Zimbabwe
Nina Thakur, a 2021 Peace Fellow, is one of a score of high school students in the US who have made and sold their own brand of Clean Girl soap to support the soap-makers at WAP in Zimbabwe. Nina’s team, from the South Forsyth High School in Atlanta, has raised $600 from soap sales. The Girl Up club at the Wakefield school in Arlington Virginia also had fun selling soap last year, as shown in our video, and raised $682. The proceeds from both sales will help the WAP girls complete high school. AP hopes to find more schools in the US to participate. Read more about these inspiring North-South partnerships.
Support families with albinism in Kenya through composting and embroidery
Children with albinism and their mothers can face harassment in Kenya. In 2021 AP responded to a request from the Albinism Society of Kenya and supported training to help twenty mothers tell their stories through embroidery, as shown here. Their blocks have been assembled into advocacy quilts. Several of the mothers have already sold their embroidery through Southern Stitchers, our online store and started composting in Nairobi with Shield of Faith. They hope to take their stitching to the next level in 2023 and make bucket hats to protect against harmful Read more about the mothers and albinism.
Improve hygiene and enrollment at Ugandan primary schools through WASH
In 2023 the Gulu Disabled Persons Union (GDPU) installed a WASH package at the Awach primary school in Gulu District, Uganda with support from AP. This boosted enrollment and hygiene at the school after two dispiriting years of closure. AP has secured funding for a sixth school project in 2023. In addition, we will work with the Gulu District government to adopt GDPU’s WASH model, which relies on participation from parents, and build support for GDPU among churches and Rotary clubs in the US. Read about the health threat to Ugandan children; watch our movie about toilets in schools; and read more about GDPU’s program.
Help pastoralists in Kenya to resist climate change and reject conflict
Josephine Lengipiani is at the forefront of efforts by Children Peace Initiative Kenya to end conflict between pastoralists in Northwest Kenya. Josephine is one of ten businesswomen from the Pokot and Samburu tribes who have agreed to trade with each other. Drawing on such examples, CPIK will encourage herders from the Pokot, Samburu and Ilchamus tribes to share pasture land during times of drought, reduce the size of herds and conserve water. This will build inter-dependency between traditional enemies, protect the environment and strengthen communities against climate change. AP will promote the model from Washington and seek funding. Read about CPIK’s program here.
Empower caregivers in families sickened by Agent Orange in Vietnam
Truong Minh Hoc (left) is an outreach worker at the Association for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (AEPD) where he supports Vietnamese parents with children affected by Agent Orange. Mr Hoc was himself exposed to dioxin poison and wounded while serving in the army and is deeply admired by the families. Using AP funds, AEPD helps families purchase a cow and produce a sustained income from milk, calves and rent. AP has raised over $17,000 for Agent Orange families and hopes to support more families in 2023. Read more about the program here.
Support fishing and reinforce the food security of River Gypsies in Bangladesh
AP is helping the Subornogram Foundation in Bangladesh to prevent starvation on the island of Mayadip in the Meghna River while also providing employment for fishermen. Most of the 205 families on Mayadip depend on fishing and AP funding has purchased two fishing boats for Subornogram. The fish catch pays for the salaries of the crew and a feeding kitchen for vulnerable families. The project has benefited over half of the Mayadip families as well aslaunched a vaccination campaign. We will commission a third boat in 2023 and offer embroidery training to Gypsy women. Read more.
Food processing by survivors of gender-based violence in Mali
AP has invested in AMABE, a Malian initiative founded by Mariam Seck that supports survivors from the conflict in Northern Mali. In 2022 AMABE trained five women to make and sell 102 buckets of peanut paste, which brought in $1,264. This exceeded AMABE’s target of $986. The women also opened a bank account. AP will help AMABE launch more start-ups with survivors in 2023. AP worked with Mariam between 2014 and 2017 as part of an ambitious program by our then partner Sini Sanuman to work with 2,212 survivors. Read how community support helped GBV survivors in Mali to regain their confidence and re-enter society.
Support distance learning in Afghanistan and training for Afghan refugees in the US
AP supported an education project for girls in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2010 and we were deeply demoralized when the Taliban took over power in August 2021 and re-imposed a harsh regime on women and girls. We act as a fiscal sponsor for our Afghan partner, The Oruj Learning Center, which is developing a distance learning program for use in Afghanistan. We can also offer support to Afghan refugees in the US. In 2022, we analyzed tensions in the US resettlement process and raised $2,030 for a catering start-up by a large family of refugees in Maryland. We will also offer embroidery training and access to our online embroidery store to refugees.
Tell the story of COVID in six nations through embroidery
Kate Lanman is among more than 200 women and girls in Zimbabwe, Nepal, the US, Kenya, Uganda and Bangladesh who have used embroidery to describe their experience of COVID-19. Kate was one of nine students from the Wakefield School in Arlington who made a story and her design (‘Paranoia’) shows her reluctance to visit supermarkets during the pandemic. The stories have been assembled into 12 advocacy quilts which will be exhibited in 2023 together with an illustrated catalogue. Meanwhile several COVID story-telling teams have launched campaigns for social change in their communities and secured thousands of vaccinations for vulnerable individuals. This underscores the power of stitching.
Sell embroidery by women and girls from the Global South online
Ruverashe Zvenyaka is one of 68 fiber artists from Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, and Nepal who have provided embroidered blocks and bags for our new online store, Southern Stitchers, which opened in December 2022. The store is open to all AP partners and seeks to provide an income to women and girls who have made embroidered stories for an advocacy quilt in recent years. The store sold items from 36 artists in the first month. We will offer more embroidery trainings in Africa and Asia in 2023, develop new brands, and expand marketing to commercial outlets.