WILD Seed Grants Program
With sponsorship from the Channel Foundation, MIUSA is providing additional support to WILD alumni through the WILD Seed Grants Program.
Building on the momentum of the Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD), WILD seed grants are supporting initiatives that offer promise for effective inclusion and participation of women and girls with disabilities in international development.
Read about the results of the 2012 WILD grantees' projects:
Vianney Paola Sierralta Aracena
Organization: Agrupación Regional de Personas Viviendo con el VIH/SIDA (ARPEVIH)
Grant Award: $1,000
Project: Informing Deaf Women of Chile about HIV/AIDS
ARPEVIH is a Chile-based organization whose primary mission is to empower and support those living with HIV/AIDS. Vianney Sierralta worked with ARPEVIH on a project to increase access to information regarding HIV/AIDs and reproductive and sexual rights to deaf women and girls. ARPEVIH worked in collaboration with the Deaf community to produce three videos on the following issues: Chilean Law on HIV/AIDS, Rights of people who live with HIV/AIDS; Sexual and Reproductive Rights of women; HIV/AIDS prevention for Deaf women; and general information on HIV/AIDS in sign language. It was the first time in Chile this information has been made available and publicly promoted in a video format utilizing Chilean Sign language interpretation and subtitles. Videos were uploaded to Youtube and Facebook. Eighty CDs were distributed to women leaders throughout the region. The videos were officially announced on July 13th, 2013. ARPEVIH and the participating deaf community groups have agreed to continue working together in the future.
Watch the video "CONOZCAMOS SOBRE PREVENCIÓN DEL VIH".
Watch the video "Informando a Mujeres Sordas acerca del VIH/SIDA, Chile"
Grant Award: $1,000
Project: Developing an Information Package on Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights and Sexuality for Women with Disabilities in the State of Tamil Nadu
TEJAS, a self-advocacy group for women with disabilities, collaborated with international and national mainstream women’s organizations, Women in Development (IWID), East West Centre for Counseling and Training, and Women’s Collective, and Hesperian Health Guides to create an information package on reproductive health, reproductive rights and sexuality for women with disabilities. The collaboration also included the expertise of a sexuality consultant and public health consultant.
The information package was distributed throughout the various districts of Tamil Nadu in accessible formats, such as braille, digital accessible information system (DAISY), and picture communication. This is the first time that information on sexuality and reproductive health have been developed in accessible formats to suite the access needs of women with different disabilities in India.
The project also educated the involved mainstream organizations on disability issues through the process, so that they will include women with disabilities in their future activities, programs and services. As a result of the sensitization trainings, these women’s groups realized the need and responsibility to include and involve women with disabilities in all matters concerning women.
TEJAS continues to work with the organizations and consultants to conduct orientation programs on sexuality, reproductive health care, sexually transmitted diseases and the available support services for women with disabilities in different parts of the State of Tamil Nadu. TEJAS has been invited to be involved in the decisions and activities of the Regional Social Forum, a platform that mainstreams different perspectives, links various networks, and services as a strong tool for collective advocacy, to be conducted in 2014 in Chennai.
Organization: Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG)
Grant Award: $990
Project: Increasing knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS among fifty women and girls with psychosocial disabilities in Salaga Ambrase
The Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG) implemented an HIV/AIDS education project working in partnership with BasicNeeds, an international development organization, and the Salaga Government Hospital. MEHSOG aims to promote the socio-economic wellbeing of people with mental illness and/or epilepsy and advocate for the advancement of mental health.
Persons with psychosocial disabilities are often excluded from most educational and sensitization programs, though they are one of the most vulnerable groups affected by HIV/AIDS in Ghana. Because of superstitious beliefs, they become victims of sexual abuse by people infected with HIV who hold the erroneous impression that sex with a person with a mental disability will help cure HIV. It is especially important to educate people with mental health disabilities especially in rural areas, where access to information is difficult.
The workshop informed 50 girls and women with psychosocial disabilities on the issues of HIV/AIDS. According to the baseline assessment conducted prior to the workshop, 90% of the participants had no formal education on the subject beforehand. After the intervention, 30% of participants voluntarily tested for HIV.
The project offered a unique opportunity for renewed technical collaboration between MEHSOG and BasicNeeds. MEHSOG established a new partnership with the Salaga Government Hospital which provided voluntary counseling services to participants after the workshop. MEHSOG intends to replicate the training in other rural areas targeting their membership base of over 20,000 people in over 40 districts of Ghana.
Organization: Disability Rights Movement (DRM)
Grant Award: $1,000
Project: Promoting Women with Disabilities as empowered human beings with dignity through networking meetings with 5 development NGOs
Disability Rights Movement (DRM) is a non-governmental organization in Bangladesh that strives towards empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring their basic human rights. DRM implemented a project focusing on disability inclusion in various sectors: employment, inclusive education, empowerment, reproductive health and information technology. DRM collaborated with five development organizations of Chittagong which included: Unite Theatre for Social Action (UTSA), Young Power in Social Action, Songsoptaque, Nowzuwan, and Borony. The project consisted of a series of networking meetings with the development NGOs.
As a result of the networking meetings, 13 women with disabilities are being trained in different skill development from three of the NGOs: Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), Unite Theatre for Social Action (UTSA) and Songsoptaque. Five Women with disabilities are now receiving a monthly allocation as part of the Lactating Mothers Project from Women and Children Affairs Office of the Bangladesh Government. Five people with disabilities have been placed into jobs in the nongovernmental and corporate sector. Five children with disabilities are now attending inclusive schools through advocacy of UTSA & DRM. Ten women with disabiliteis are getting free medical facilities from the government hospital. Three female students with disabilities are receiving one-year scholarships from the Lions Club for continuing their education. DRM and the development NGOs would like to continue conducting similar activities and are seeking funding for future collaboration.
Organization: The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities Nigeria (JONAPWD)
Grant Award: $1,000
Project: Workshop on mainstreaming issues of Persons with Disabilities in Civil Society, Legislative and Advocacy programs
The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities Nigeria (JONAPWD) is an organization committed to addressing the training, rehabilitation, social and recreational needs of persons with disabilities in Nigeria. JONAPWD worked in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) to ensure that people with disabilities are included in CISLAC’s programs by conducting trainings for CISLAC staff.
On behalf of JONAPWD, Sarah Akinola trained over 20 staff from CISLAC on how to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities in programs and activities. As a result, CISLAC took immediate steps to make their physical environment accessible to all persons with disabilities, and they continue to seek consultation from JONAPWD.
The two organizations have begun collaborating in other ways. For example, representatives from CISLAC were invited to attend JONAPWD’s national convention in May, and CISLAC facilitated the inclusion of persons with disabilities at a meeting on the State of the African Union and in one of their programs focused on the role of civil society organizations in national policy reform. JONAPWD and CISCLAC are currently seeking funding to collaborate on another project that will focus on educating people with disabilities on civil rights.
Organization: Bridge of Hope
Grant Award: $980
Project: Go Ahead Girls
Zaruhi Batoyan implemented a project to increase public awareness of the challenges faced by women with disabilities, and the need for creating better accommodations and inclusive services. The project involved multiple components and was also supported by Bridge of Hope, Ms. Batoyan’s organization, and the Disability Advocacy Coalition.
As one component of the project, Bridge of Hope partnered with the Women’s Resource Centre Armenia (WRCA), a feminist organization that aims to empower women to become active citizens. A seminar was held for eight WRCA staff on how to make their programs more inclusive of women with disabilities. WRCA and the Disability Advocacy Coalition then collaborated to provide two, three-day trainings for 23 women with disabilities. The trainings included art therapy, mental/psychological exercise, and examined issues pertaining to sexual and reproductive health.
Other related project activities included a roundtable discussion hosted by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, in which Ms. Batoyan presented on the need for inclusive services. The discussion was attended by more than 25 people from five NGOs and 5 media organizations. In addition, 8 journalists from 6 media organizations were trained on how to address issues of disabled women in the media.
Nine young women with disabilities were trained on developing skills in journalism and blogging. A blog was then created to allow them to share their experiences, access information and develop a support network. The website for the blog is: http://ikin.am/ (which means iwomen).
The project concluded with a press conference for NGOs and the media, in which women with disabilities presented the challenges they face, the importance of developing inclusive services, the blog and their work. Project partners plan to collaborate in the coming months to conducted trainings for women with disabilities on women’s human rights. They will also continue to update the blog’s content.
Norma Corina de Leon Vasquez
Organization: Association of Women with Disabilities Quetzaltenango (AMUDIQ)
Grant Award: $1,000
Project: Municipal Authorities and People with Disabilities “Rights and Duties”
The Association of Women with Disabilities Quetzaltenango (AMUDIQ)’s mission is to represent and empower women with disabilities to achieve independent living conditions of genuine equality. AMUDIQ worked in partnership with the Interior Department of Quetzaltenango to bring the issues of women with disabilities to the attention of the mayors from 24 municipalities in Quetzaltenango.
Initially, a survey was sent to the mayors to gain an understanding of current efforts to include and outreach to women with disabilities. They found a lack of understanding of disability issues and women with disabilities were not taken into account in any program or service. An hourly slot was then dedicated each month (from April – June) at the municipal mayors meeting to focus on issues pertaining to people and women with disabilities, especially indigenous women with disabilities, and the responsibilities of the Municipal authorities toward these populations.
Upon completion of the project, mayors had a better understanding of the rights to representation for women with disabilities in the community. Through these efforts, the Mayor of San Mateo, a municipality of Quetzaltenango, donated land to build a special education school, and the Development Council of Quetzaltenango committed to providing the financial support for building the school. In addition, the Women Presidential Secretariat (SEPREM) is now reaching out to women with disabilities in their job employment programs for the first time. AMUDIQ was also invited to participate in the project Quetzaltenango Just and Trustworthy for the Working Rights of Vulnerable Groups, with the Ministry of Labor and the International Labor Organization (ILO). The AMUDIQ and the Interior Department of Quetzaltenango continue to follow-up with the Mayors in each municipality to establish self-help groups.
Organization: The Epilepsy Support Foundation of Zimbabwe
Grant Award: $1,000
Project: Differently Abled Website
Viewing information and knowledge as a source of power, Sally Nyakanyanga used her seed grant funds to develop a website dedicated to exploring and articulating a range of disabled women’s issues. The website is a forum to raise awareness in the Zimbabwean community and other countries on disabled women issues and offer solutions. Her organization, the Epilepsy Support Foundation of Zimbabwe, also provided support with content and personnel to develop the website.
Ms. Nyakanyanga invited several disability organizations and women’s organizations to contribute to the website’s content. Participating organizations included: the Christian College of South Africa, Epilepsy Support Foundation of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Women’s Coalition, Disability HIV/AIDS Trust, Young Nation, Disabled Women Support Organization, and the Autism Organization of Zimbabwe. The website also provides information, links, and opportunities for women with disabilities from other organizations. The development of the website allowed Ms. Nyakanyanga to establish new partnerships with these organizations. She has also begun to build relationships with some international donors such as UN Women, the U.S. Public Affairs Section of the Embassy, and UNICEF to further develop the website’s content.
The “Differently Abled” website can be accessed through the following link: www.differentlyabled.co.zw
Caroline Atim Ogwang Atanga
Country: South Sudan
Organization: The Southern Sudan Deaf Development Concern
Grant Award: $950
Project: Outreach to People with disabilities for programs in 5 States
The Southern Sudan Deaf Development Concern implemented a project to increase civic participation of people with disabilities, especially women with disabilities, across five states of South Sudan. With support from Handicap International, they conducted outreach to people with disabilities across the country to include in the project. The project provided an opportunity to network with several development organizations including: Justice Africa, Voice for Change, South Sudan Law Society, South Sudan Women Empowerment Network, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Media House, UN Women, Internal Rescue Committee (IRC), and various national civil society organizations working in South Sudan.
As part of the project, Caroline and her team fostered organization of women with disabilities groups. They met with women with disabilities to identify their issues and unite for one common goal, to ensure the rights of people with disabilities, especially women with disabilities, be included as part of the permanent constitution of South Sudan. Discussions were also held with prominent women leaders from the Ministry of Gender and Social Development to ensure women with disabilities would be included in their programs related to women’s advocacy.
The project was successful in mainstreaming the issues of people with disabilities into the broader civil society agenda. Approximately 100 people, including 10 persons with disabilities, attended a seminar on Citizen’s Dialogue on the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. They participated in civil society technical committees working on issues related to advocacy and ensuring citizen participation. Their views were stated and submitted to the National Permanent Constitution Review Commission to be considered during the drafting of the permanent constitution of South Sudan.
Organization: Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation (FDPF) Women’s Group
Grant Award: $1,000
Project: HIV/AIDS awareness workshops for International Women’s Day
The Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation (FDPF) Women’s Group partnered with the Fiji Ministry of Health and Empower Pacific, an NGO that provides community awareness and education on HIV/AIDS, to conduct an HIV/AIDS awareness workshop on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2013.
Representatives from the Ministry of Health and Empower Pacific facilitated the 5-hour workshop on HIV/AIDS and distributed information regarding prevention techniques. FDPF partnered with the Housing Assistance Relief Trust, which provides low cost housing for many women with disabilities, to reach out to women with disabilities in villages outside of the capital city of Suva. The workshop was originally planned for twenty participants, however they were successful in convening a total of 40 women with diverse types of disabilities for the workshop.
The development partners Empower Pacific and the Ministry of Health greatly appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the workshop, as it was the first time they had conducted training for women with disabilities and this provided them the opportunity to learn how to ensure their trainings were disability-inclusive. The two organizations are looking forward to conducting similar workshops for women with disabilities in the future. They plan to inform the FDPF women’s committee of other opportunities for engaging women with disabilities in their programs.
Organization: National Organization of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (NOUSPR)
Grant Award: $970
Project: Raising Hope: Outreach to people with psychosocial disabilities and indigenous women with disabilities
This project brought together the expertise of multiple organizations to improve outreach to people with disabilities in development programs. On behalf of her organization, National Organization of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (NOUSPR), Ms. Ntwali worked with Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), URUFATIRO Foundation, and the National Union of Disability Organizations in Rwanda (NUDOR) to develop training materials on inclusion and outreach to people with disabilities.
Partners contributed to the project in different ways. NOUSPR provided meeting space and supplies, VSO provided expertise in programs for people with disabilities, URUFATIRO provided information on gender based issues, while NUDOR promoted the project through their national network. After collecting the experiences from project partners at preparation meetings, Ms. Ntwali developed training materials and conducted a training for program staff of partner organizations on inclusion of people with disabilities, with a particular focus on indigenous women with disabilities and women with psychosocial disabilities. As part of the training, role plays and training material illustrations were used to demonstrate how to address disability accommodation issues in the workplace.
Ms. Ntwali intends to design additional promotional materials and develop an awareness campaign on accessible services and working environment of people with disabilities to be accomplished by May 2014.