News / 24 February 2022

1,380,000 euros from the Dutch Postcode Lottery for local women’s groups

We are delighted that the Dutch Postcode Lottery has approved our proposal to support an extra project to the tune of 1,380,000 euros! The proposal, for an Autonomy and Resilience Fund (ARF), was submitted by the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA), which comprises the Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres (FCAM), Mama Cash and Both ENDS. With the ARF, GAGGA works with Small Grants Funds to help local women's groups become resilient in a changing world in which it is increasingly difficult for them to hold their heads above water. The award of this large sum of money means an enormous boost for many women's organisations, and this is badly needed at a time when economic, climate and health crises are constantly putting the resilience of women, their communities and their living environments around the world to the test!

The Autonomy and Resilience Fonds (ARF) was set up in May 2020 in response to the extra needs of women's groups and organisations worldwide resulting from the pandemic. Initially, the ARF mainly provided practical assistance – basic needs and protective equipment against COVID – to partner organisations and women's groups which we had already been working with for many years. Over the course of time, that focus expanded to embrace the slightly longer term and to strengthening women's resilience in a wider variety of areas. The small grants were used, for example, to provide training and meetings on personal safety, solidarity and communication, medical care, education and agro-ecology so that – despite the pandemic, which meant that many of them no longer had an income – women could ensure that they and their families could continue to eat healthily and safely.

Because the ARF works with Small Grants Funds, which in turn have many contacts locally with all kinds of groups and civil society organisations, the money is provided exactly where it is really needed. Moreover, the recipients can spend the money as they best see fit, and it can be paid out quickly because there is no sluggish bureaucracy to hold things up. In May 2020, when the ARF had just been set up, within only six weeks 48 grants with a total value of €254,399 were provided to local environmental and women's groups in 21 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. In the coming years we will use the extra contribution from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to continue to strengthen many more local women's groups in the same flexible way.

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