The USAID Collective Action to Reduce Gender-Based Violence (CARE-GBV) initiative launched a small grants program in February 2021 to build capacity of relevant organizations in line with the three main goals: 1) to generate solutions that elevate the role of staff wellness and resiliency in promoting high-quality, sustainable gender-based violence prevention and response programming; 2) fill global data gaps related to gender-based violence; and 3) promote learning. In total, 518 concept notes from organizations including those that are feminist and/or women, LBTQI+ or survivor-led, from as many as 68 countries of the world, were received when the call closed in March.
After reviewing the concept notes, the CARE-GBV Grants Evaluation Committee (GEC) selected five grantees that are implementing critical GBV prevention and response programming globally. Selected projcts will receive 12-month funding (July 2021 - July 2022):
1. Sexual Offences Awareness and Response Initiative (SOAR) is a Nigerian CSO working with schools and indigenous grassroots communities to create awareness of, advocate on, and address the sociocultural norms that perpetuate violence against children with a specific focus on adolescent girls, who are often left out of interventions for women because they are not yet considered women, and interventions for children because they are no longer considered children. They provide psychosocial counselling, support, and other case-management referral services for child survivors of sexual and other forms of violence.
SOAR was awarded a 12-month project on the subject of 'Promoting Staff Wellness and Resilience for Effective Response to Gender-Based Violence Programming'. The aim of this grant is to strengthen the capacity and culture of CSOs to promote staff wellness and resilience and undertake effective GBV prevention and response. SOAR will conduct a Stress Risk Assessment Audit to identify potential causes of workrelated stress that will be addressed during the project with the aim of promoting learning on staff wellness and resilience, and embedding corresponding practices in the organizational culture and among CSOs. This support will be particularly leveled at SOAR's implementing partners, Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) and Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (COWLHA), boosting their capacities to support the wellness and resilience of their staff and provide mechanisms to shied them from vicariuos trauma.
2. Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) is the world’s largest network of researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders that address GBV. SVRI is a women-led organization guided by feminist, women-centered, rights-based, ethical, innovative, and collaborative approaches, built on equitableness, care and kindness principles. SVRI contributes to ending GBV by building evidence, particularly in low- and/or middle-income countries (LMICs), through research and practice-based knowledge, strengthening capacities, promoting partnerships, and influencing change.
SVRI was awarded a 12-month project titled 'We Care: Institutionalizing Accessible Staff Wellness and Resilience Policies, Tools, and Practices for the GBV Field'. The organization has long recognized the importance of building a caring field and addressing vicarious trauma. Well-being and self-care are integrated into its events, partnerships, and organizational culture. The project will further strengthen and advance the work on wellness, resilience, and care, both internally and globally by, inter alia, developing an online course module focused on self- and collective care, including a focus on institutionalizing policies and practices that support staff well-being and resilience, and hosting a knowledge-exchange series focused on these key topics, including live events (e.g., webinars/sharing sessions, online discussion boards, wellness activities) and knowledge products (e.g., blogs/vlogs, case studies and experience, and a guidance note on integrating self- and collective care into organizational culture and work practices).
3. WoMen Against Rape (WAR) is a women-initiated, women-led, and women-centered NGO in Botswana that has been providing counselling and support services for survivors of GBV since 1993. WAR has expanded its services over the years to now include advocacy, education, and community programming to improve the social, legal, and judicial systems that are key to reducing GBV in Botswana. It is one of only two NGOs in the country providing a full range of counseling, shelter, and other services to survivors of GBV.
WAR was awarded a 12-month project titled 'Thuso Ya Bathusi (Enhancing Staff Resilience and Wellness)'. Under the project, WAR will work on putting in place personnel, policies, and practices to promote an institutional culture of resilience and wellness, in particular in building institutional capacity to prevent, recognize and respond to the presence of vicarious trauma in client-facing staff, and promoting emotional resiliency. WAR will establish a permanent resilience and wellness officer responsible for monitoring and supporting the well-being of staff, managing training, and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. The resilience and wellness officer will develop organizational systems to help ensure that positive outcomes of the project are inculcated in the organization.
4. Žene sa Une (ZSU) is an NGO from Bosnia and Herzegovina which runs programs for survivors of GBV, domestic violence (DV), and war-related trauma. Established at the beginning of the three-year Bosnia-Herzegovina civil war, ZSU’s mandate has grown to include a community safe house, a daycare center for children and families at risk, a local volunteer service (LVS), and a department for project implementation and international cooperation, which delivers a variety of programs to respond to community needs.
Under the 12-month project titled 'Žene sa Une Staff Wellness and Resiliency-Building Program', ZSU will work to help the workers within GBV prevention and response organizations move from a sense of threat to a sense of safety by using somatic techniques to renew bonding and attachment within the groups, as well as help them examine the sociopolitical context and consider systemic interdependencies, taking account of the wider context and the overlap between the personal and professional. The project will facilitate learning about staff wellness, care, and resilience, as well as demonstrate and model approaches to embed these principles into the organizational culture. The project will also promote learning among other GBV prevention and response actors and stakeholders in the sector by disseminating its learnings externally.
5. Crisis Center Hope is a local, women-led CSO with two decades of experience providing direct support to survivors of GBV in North Macedonia, as well as delivering preventive work to end the cycle of violence. Crisis Center Hope supports survivors of GBV through helplines, 24–48 hours of emergency shelter, and provision of psychosocial support and free legal advice.
Under the 12-month 'Supporting Innovative Practices in Self-Care, Wellness, and Resiliency among GBV Workers in North Macedonia' project, Crisis Center Hope is partnering with Pleiades Organization to strengthen their target-group outreach efforts and generate a deeper understanding of the impact that GBV work has on the physical and psychosocial well-being of front-line staff. Crisis Center Hope will develop a training curriculum on self-care, wellness, and resiliency of GBV workers; conduct two training workshops for 30 GBV staff; and hold a national conference for dissemination of best practices in policies and work protocol. Additionally, they will develop and disseminate a guide for GBV advocates as a key tool for support in self-care, while providing mentoring and psychosocial support to GBV staff.
For more information on the grants and the contact of the grants management team, visit the website of our partners, Making Cents International.