U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self Help Small Grants Program

u.s. embassy

Relevent Country: Zambia

The U.S. Embassy in Zambia is pleased to announce the applications for Special Self-Help Small Grants Program to provide small-scale assistance directly to Zambian community-based organizations as part of an ongoing commitment by the U.S. government to support Zambian-driven development activities at the local level.

This program is highly competitive. They seek to support projects that demonstrate a high likelihood of success through their application.

Focus Areas

  • Economic diversification, including small business creation and income generation
  • Social services
  • Youth and child development
  • Community-based natural resource management

Funding Information

  • Length of performance period: Ten months or less
  • Number of awards anticipated: Four awards (dependent on grant amount)
  • Award amounts: The maximum amount per award is $15,000.
  • Participants and Audiences: All applicants must be Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) registered on the province or national level in Zambia. They welcome proposals from Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that work directly with communities.

Eligibility Criteria

  • In order to be considered, applicants must adhere to the following criteria:
  • Must be a registered community-based organization (individuals and for-profit businesses are not eligible).
  • The project should be a single activity that helps improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community or village level, and have long-lived value. A successful proposal should also demonstrate the likelihood that it will be sustained over a long period.
  • Funding is limited to one project, which, once started, must be completed within ten (10) months or less. Grantees should recognize that funding is granted (not loaned) and on a one-time basis only. (Communities may only benefit once from the SSH grant program).
  • Projects should be high-impact, benefiting the greatest number of people possible. Projects which directly benefit only a limited number of people are discouraged.
  • Project proposals should respect the environmental norms for small projects and not adversely affect protected or other sensitive environmental areas, threatened or endangered species and their habitat.
  • The project must not replace or supplement activities normally supplied by the Zambian government, such as providing supplies for a district hospital, etc.
  • Substantial community participation in activity is required. Contributions may include labor, materials (bricks, sand, gravel, seeds, etc.), land, buildings, or money to ensure the success of the project.
  • Projects must be within the community’s ability to plan, execute, and maintain. The U.S. Embassy provides financial support only. Requests for large-scale agriculture or construction projects or for expensive equipment will not be priority projects.
  • Managers of a project should have evidence that they are financially responsible and will be able to account for any funds disbursed to their organizations. Having a bank account or establishing credit with vendors are examples of such evidence.
  • The requested amount for implementing activities must be reasonable; project budgets range from US$ 3,000 to US$15,000.
  • Successful applicants must have the ability to send one representative to Lusaka to attend the half-day grant signing ceremony and workshop.

Ineligible Criteria

  • SSH funds cannot be used for:
  • A project activity that is not clearly identified and described.
  • Revolving loan projects.
  • Projects that are partially funded by another donor or from the Government of Zambia.
  • More than one project for any organization.
  • Continuing former USAID or other USG projects.
  • Religious or military activities, as well as projects related to police, prisons, or other law enforcement.

Source: https://zm.usembassy.gov/ambassadors-self-help-fund/