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U.S. Embassy Announces Small Grants to Improve Lives and Livelihoods in Rural Ivoirian Communities
February 11, 2021

U.S. Embassy Announces Small Grants to Improve Lives and Livelihoods in Rural Ivoirian Communities

Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program

Press Release

U.S. Embassy Announces Nearly $100,000 in Small Grants to Improve Lives and Livelihoods in Rural Ivoirian Communities

ABIDJAN – Tuesday, February 11, 2021 – The United States Embassy is pleased to announce its recent award of eight small grants under the auspices of the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program and one small grant under the auspices of the Julia Taft Fund for Refugees.  Totaling $99,234 in award value, these grants will support community efforts to: increase school attendance by providing lunch to students, improve health outcomes by increasing access to potable water, and fuel economic development by facilitating production of agricultural crops and farm livestock.  The recipient organizations are located in rural communities across Côte d’Ivoire.

Since 1982, the U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, has granted over $3 million to projects in Côte d’Ivoire that are community-initiated, community-administered, and include significant contributions from beneficiary communities, such as labor and materials.  Also funded by the Department of State, the Julia Taft Fund provides grants to communities of current or recently returned refugees to build capacity through training, launching income-generating activities, and promoting social cohesion between the refugees and their host communities.

“Local community organizations understand better than anyone how to overcome their community challenges,” Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Richard Bell said.  “The goal of these two grant funds – the U.S. Ambassador’s Self-Help Program and the Julia Taft Fund for Refugees – is to identify and fund worthy local initiatives.  We are proud to support this year’s recipients.”

The recipients of this year’s awards include the following non-governmental organizations:

U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program

ONG Nin Min Monh received funds to rehabilitate a school cafeteria and cultivate a vegetable garden for the primary school in Angamankro village, Sakassou, in central Côte d’Ivoire.  The organization seeks to provide nutritious lunch to the school’s 330 students daily and increase their school attendance.

“Before the project, the cafeteria was not functional: the roof and the door had disappeared, and the kitchen was in ruins.  Students had to walk long distances back home for lunch and sometimes did not return to school in the afternoon.  Thanks to the Embassy’s support, we will be able to improve the students’ learning environment.” – Liliane Koutouan, Nin Min Monh President 

Communauté villageoise de Grand Gabo will purchase and install a water pump in the Grand Gabo village of San Pedro in southwestern Côte d’Ivoire to improve access to drinkable water for 498 villagers.

“Since the village was founded in 1974, there has been no water pump.  The population has been collecting rainwater and getting water from ponds, rivers, and wells, thus putting their health at risk.  We are grateful for this grant that will allow us to provide the village with a source of clean water” – Mori Moussa Bamba, president of the village association    

Prevention Sans Tabou (PST) received funds to cultivate cassava and install a cassava-processing unit for the benefit of 150 women of Lekpepleu village in western Côte d’Ivoire.  With the assistance of the implementing organization, beneficiaries will organize in a cooperative and grow cassava on their own plots of land, which they will then be able to sell.

“The beneficiaries are widows and mothers of adopted orphans and vulnerable children.  This project will provide them with the financial means to care for themselves and these children.” – Abibata Kamagaté, Prevention Sans Tabou Project Coordinator

ONG Réseau d’Investissement Agricole will create cassava-processing cooperatives in five villages in the Djebonoua department in central Côte d’Ivoire, as well as a main processing unit, to provide 50 local cassava producers with an additional source of income.

“Our parents needed equipment to increase their production of local foods. This funding will allow them to do this, and we are extremely grateful to the U.S. Embassy.” – Sylvain Kokohou, ONG Réseau d’Investissement Agricole President

International Friendship Service (IFS) received funds to purchase a water pump for Botongouiné village in western Côte d’Ivoire.  The project will provide potable water for the more than 1,000 inhabitants of the village.

“As a result of the project, the villagers will have better access to potable water and avoid water-borne diseases.” – Alexis Bih, International Friendship Service President

Association des Femmes Battantes d’Amanvi (AFBA) received funds to construct, equip, and operate a poultry farm in Amanvi village in eastern Côte d’Ivoire.  The project will increase poultry production in the region, providing the 100 members of the cooperative with a sustainable income source.

Fédération des Associations Féminines de Diawala (FAFED) will construct a shea butter production operation, which will include a grinding mill, in the town of Diawala in northern Côte d’Ivoire.  Through this operation, the federation will increase the incomes of 60 members from three women’s organizations.

“This project will increase shea butter supply in Diawala and in surrounding cities.  It will also provide beneficiaries with the financial means to care for their families.” – Fatou Ouattara, Fédération des Associations Féminines de Diawala President

Association “Eklo-Ewun” des Femmes de Sah-N’guessankro received funds to purchase and install a cassava grinding mill, build a shed for the mill, and build a shed for peeling cassava in Sah-N’guessankro village in central western Côte d’Ivoire.  The project will increase the incomes of the 36 members of the association.

“These women grow cassava and process part of what they grow into local foods, like attiéké and placali.  However, their current technical capacity is limited.  The U.S. Embassy funding will allow us to address this problem.” – Raphael Kouakou, project coordinator

Julia Taft Fund for Refugees

ONG Vie Sacrée will improve the living conditions of 60 Ivoirians recently returned from Liberia to the Guiglo department in western Côte d’Ivoire through training in poultry production, soap making, and pig farming techniques, as well as the purchase of materials to construct facilities to carry out those activities.

“Beneficiaries have returned home after leaving the country during the 2010 political crisis.  They lost everything.  The initial assistance provided upon their return often includes money and food.  With this project, thanks to the U.S. Embassy’s support, we will help them rebuild their lives in a more sustainable way.” – Alfred N’da, ONG Vie Sacrée President

The U.S. Embassy commends these organizations for their innovative approaches to sustainable economic and social development and salutes their vision for improving the quality of life of their communities.