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2010 Ambassador Self-Help Program

The Ambassador's Self Help Program

September 29, 2010:


The U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program is a grassroots assistance program that responds to requests for financial assistance from small community based projects. The Self-Help Program promotes self-reliance through community action and strives to support projects that impact entire communities, through direct or indirect benefits. Groups that demonstrate a commitment to their communities and involve the community are most successful in sustaining projects. The primary objective is to help people help themselves. 
Self-Help activities should:

• Improve basic economic and social conditions at the grassroots level;
• Aid the HIV/AIDS-inflicted or conduct sensitization/awareness and prevention campaigns and projects;
• Address global issues such as women's empowerment and the environment;
• Provide a firm foundation for democratic processes to take root;
• Be welcomed and supported by the local community;
• Support high-impact, quick-implementation activities which benefit a large number of people within one year without requiring further Self-Help assistance;
• Involve a significant local contribution in cash, labor, or material, and are within the ability of the local community to operate and maintain;
• Are in direct response to the initiative and aspirations of the local community (the local sponsors of the project, who will also be its prime beneficiaries); and
• Be able to implement the activity within the one-year agreement period.
Self-Help Funds may not be used for the following:
• Projects which  replace or supplement activities normally supplied by the host government, e.g. building classroom blocks for a government school, providing supplies for a district hospital, etc.;
• Start-up costs;
• On-going administrative or operating costs, such as salaries and rent;
• Purchasing vehicles, used equipment or land;
• Renovations;
• More than  one project for any organization; and
• Projects involving the military, purely religious or political projects, or surveillance equipment.
Projects which are not clearly identified or described will be rejected.

Applications are invited from non-government organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations,  parent-teachers association (PTA) of primary or secondary schools, and other charitable institutions based in Mauritius, Rodrigues or Seychelles. 

General Guidelines
The proposal should be prepared according to the format available from the VPP web site.

Forms are also available from the U.S. Embassy office, 4th floor, Rogers House, Port Louis, telephone: 202 4400. 

For Seychelles, no less than SRs3000 and no higher than SRs50,000.

Timeframe: up to twelve months

Distribution of funds : There are no requirements on the way that the funds can be shared among successful projects.

Submissions :  Submissions, addressed to the Ambassador Self-Help Program, U.S. Embassy, 4th Floor Rogers House, Port Louis, should be made by post or hand delivered to the U.S. Embassy Office by the deadline for submission. Late entries will not be considered.

Tentative timetable:
• Submission deadline for proposals is 1600hours local time on October 22, 2010.
• A project can commence immediately on signature of the Letter of Agreement between the U.S. Embassy and the successful institution. The expected start date is January 2011.

Responses to queries during proposal development:
Potential applicants may contact the Bilateral Department of the U.S. Embassy before October 21, 2010, for clarification or inquiries related to the Self-Help Program.


2010 Ambassador Self Help Program