Ambassador’s Special Self Help Small Grants Program

U.S. Embassy in South Africa

Relevent Country: South Africa

The U.S. Mission to South Africa and the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce an open competition for registered NGOs and associations interested in submitting applications to carry out projects through the Ambassador’s Special Self Help (SSH) Small Grants Program.

The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program provides small grants to assist community development projects that improve basic economic or social conditions in local communities across South Africa. The program aims to encourage self-reliance within local communities by providing some of the resources they need to a good idea into action. Successful applicants often make a significant contribution to the project in the form of labor, land, materials, or money.

The most successful project proposals will:

  • Demonstrate a clear impact that will benefit a large number of people within one year;
  • Be initiated and administered at a local level and include a significant contribution from the community in the form of labor, land, materials, or money;
  • List multiple key members and a brief biographical sketch that includes their experience and responsibility to the organization and the project;
  • Be within the ability of the local community to manage and maintain on a sustainable basis;
  • Contribute, whenever possible, to income-generating or self-sustaining activities;
  • Respect human rights, including disability rights, gender equality, and under-represented groups. Strong proposals should also have a net-positive impact on the local environment.

Funding Information

  • Length of performance period: 12 months or less
  • Number of anticipated awards: 4 awards (depending upon amounts)
  • Award amounts: $10,000
  • Type of Funding: FY2021 Ambassador’s Special Self Help Fund
  • Anticipated program start date: October 01, 2022


  • Activities SSH funds may not be used for, include, but are not limited to:
  • operating or recurring costs (salaries, rent, administrative or maintenance costs, fuel);
  • individual travel expenses (lodging, transportation, food and beverages, fuel);
  • religious/police/law enforcement/prison-related/political or military activities;
  • projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;
  • Value Added Taxes;
  • the purchase, operation, or maintenance of vehicles;
  • sports supplies or equipment;
  • ongoing education or training programs;
  • perishable goods such as food or medicine;
  • activities with unmitigated and negative environmental consequences (such as dams or roads through forest lands);
  • Activities which benefit any employee of the USG.

Eligibility Criteria

The following organizations are eligible to apply:

  • Registered associations and non-profit NGOs located in South Africa.
  • Associations/non-profit NGOs run by or working with people with disabilities are encouraged to participate in this program.