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The Ambassador's Special Self-Help Program
 

The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program provides assistance to small community-led projects that promise to have an immediate impact.

What projects are eligible for funding? 

  • The project must be initiated by the community and should benefit the community by increasing income or improving living conditions. If the project is designed to generate income, it must be truly community-based and not a for-profit enterprise or sole proprietorship.
  • The project should be sustainable and not require continued support after the one-time contribution from the Self-Help Program. (For example: classroom furniture, hospital equipment, etc.)
  • The community must make substantial contributions to the project in money or in kind
  • All projects must be completed in one year.
  • All SSH programs must be community-based, and initiated and administered at the local level.

Examples of Types of Projects: 

  • Construction: Federal Assistance funds may be used to fund small construction projects, such as those under the Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund. These projects are small in scale and provide a public benefit. The terms “Construction” and/or “Construction Activities” include:
  •  Architectural Conservation: The examination, documentation, treatment (including preservation and restoration), or preventive care and maintenance of an ancient and historic building or other built site, supported by research and education.
  • Modernization: The alteration, renovation, remodeling, improvement, expansion, and repair of an existing building and the provision of equipment necessary to make the building suitable for use for the purposes of a particular program.
  •  New Construction: The erection of a new building or new structure, including the demolition of an existing building or structure followed by the construction of a new building or structure on the same site. The project shall result in a completed building on the specified site. New construction also includes the digging of new wells or new latrines.
  • Preservation: The act or process of applying measures necessary to sustain the existing form, integrity, and materials of an ancient or historic building or other built site. Work, including preliminary measures to protect and stabilize the site, generally focuses on the on-going maintenance and repair of historic materials and features rather than replacement and new construction. New exterior additions are not within the scope of this treatment; however, the limited and sensitive upgrading of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and other code-required work to make a building or other built site functional and safe is appropriate.
  • Rehabilitation: The act or process of making possible a compatible use for a property through repair, alterations, and additions while preserving those parts or features which convey its historical, cultural, or architectural values.
  • Restoration: The act or process of accurately depicting the form, features, and character of a building or built site as it appeared at a specified period of time by means of the removal of features from other periods in its history and replacement of missing features from the specified period. The limited and sensitive upgrading of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and other code-related work to make properties functional and safe is appropriate.

How much are the grants?

The maximum grant is $US12,000, converted to cedis at the prevailing exchange rate. However, very few projects are funded at that amount. Projects typically range between US$1,000 and $US10,000.

How are projects approved?

The Self-Help Projects Committee meets once a year to decide on funding. The committee aims to have a variety of projects covering a broad geographical distribution. The committee currently funds about 10 percent of the applications it receives.

How does an organization apply?

Application forms are available through the coordinator in the Self-Help Program Office at the U.S. Embassy and also on the Embassy website. The deadline for submission of applications is May 31, 2016.  Applications can be submitted at any time before that date to the Coordinator or by Post.  Any applications postmarked after May 31 will not be considered.  

What does not qualify for a Self-Help grant?

The Self-Help Program cannot fund:

  • Religious, military, or law enforcement/police/prison-related activities; administration of SSH activities;
  • Political activities;
  • Activities with unmitigated and negative environmental consequences (such as dams or roads through forest lands);
  • Vehicle purchases; or
  • Activities which benefit any employee of the USG.
  • Family Planning Activities: Posts are instructed to consult AF/EPS before obligating any funding for family planning-related services.

Contact

Email:
AccraSelfHelp@state.gov

Mailing Address:
Self-Help Coordinator
U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 194
Accra, Ghana

Telephone:
030-274-1000
030-274-1473

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