Special Self-Help Fund Grant Signing Ceremony

Ambassador Erica J. Barks-Ruggles with cooperatives' members

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On Tuesday, September 20, the U.S. Embassy awarded nine grants to cooperatives in Rwanda totaling $50,000 (40 million RWF).  These grants, made possible by the U.S. Department of State Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Fund, aim to support projects that are initiated at the community level, encourage community participation, and improve living conditions in the community.

This year’s projects include beekeeping, shoe making, garlic cultivation, livestock raising, sewing, and electrical coal stove making and are distributed in four different provinces in Rwanda. The projects, which are expected to assist 433 direct beneficiaries and 1,675 indirect beneficiaries, are scheduled to start in October 2016 and be completed by September 2017.

U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda, Erica J. Barks-Ruggles and the president for each cooperative signed the grants during the grant signing ceremony that took place at the U.S. Embassy.  The Director General for the Rwanda Cooperative Agency, Mr. Apollo Munanura, also attended the signing ceremony.

The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund was initially established by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Togo in 1964.  The Fund now assists people in 45 African nations and is administered by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of African Affairs.  Through this Fund alone, the U.S. Embassy in Kigali has partnered with 171 Rwandan cooperatives and organizations since 1999.

The U.S. Embassy accepts applications for the SSH Fund on a rolling-basis.  Grants are usually awarded between August and September.  To learn more about the SSH Fund or to submit a proposal, please send an e-mail to kigaliselfhelpprogram@state.gov .

Check the Ambassador’s Remarks.