Members of the Maniema Young Women’s Association (AJFM) in the DRC in 2008.



TEWPA director Cecilia Engole



Grantee name: The Fund For Global Human Rights (FGHR)

Mission: Securing basic dignity and freedom for people worldwide requires that front-line organizations challenge abuse wherever it occurs. The Fund For Global Human Rights (FGHR) finds and funds local human rights heroes who often work at great personal risk to strengthen and bring global attention to their struggles. FGHR is founded on the belief that securing basic freedoms worldwide requires effective, frontline organizations challenging abuse wherever it occurs. Thus FGHR works to ensure a strong, effective human rights community worldwide.

Location: Washington DC, USA


Channel Grants: Since 2006 Channel has made annual grants to the Fund for Global Human Rights to support organizations and groups promoting women's rights and leadership in Sub-Saharan Africa. FGHR supports human rights groups in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Burundi. (2006 to present)

In addition, Channel made a grant in 2015 to support FGHR's Initiative on Preventing Violence Against Women which is building on the positive results of the SASA! study assessing the impact of a community mobilization intervention to prevent violence and reduce HIV-risk behaviors. Since 2003 FGHR grantee the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) in Uganda has been implementing the successful SASA! prevention approach which was developed by a Ugandan women’s rights organization, Raising Voices. The SASA! model was identified in this recent research as one of the leading case studies of strategies to prevent violence against women that works. SASA! stands for four phases of programming: Start, Awareness, Support, and Action. It is rooted in a community activist approach and promotes critical thinking and discussions within communities about how men and women share power. (2015)

In 2012 Channel made a grant supporting FGHR's emergency response grants to organizations engaged in promoting women’s human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo – and for capacity-building grants to help these groups improve their capacity to assess, prevent and respond to the ongoing security situation. (2012)

In 2011 Channel made a small grant to support human rights groups in Tunisia. (2011)

How FGHR Works: FGHR provides general support to the Association des Jeunes Femmes du Maniema (AJFM, or Maniema Young Women’s Association), which promotes women’s rights through grassroots organizing, education and legal aid in the Maniema province of DRC.  AJFM works with women in the very poor population of Maniema province (1.7 million inhabitants) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  Most women here are illiterate and unaware of their legal rights, making them more vulnerable to manipulation by their families, local authorities and politicians. 

Created in 1998, AJFM seeks to promote and defend women’s rights in Maniema.  It uses various means to fight sexual violence by armed groups, arbitrary arrests, illegal detention and discrimination against women (training sessions, workshops, radio broadcasts, dissemination of national and international documents, visits to detention centers). In areas classified as “operation zones”, where a military court is used to prosecute crimes committed by soldiers, AJFM also puts pressure upon local military commanders to discipline soldiers involved in sexual violence.

FGHR has supported Teso Women Peace Activists (TEWPA), for several years (since their grantmaking program began in Uganda). In 2002, women activists from the Teso sub-region of northern Uganda founded Teso Women Peace Activists (TEWPA). TEWPA builds the capacity of women activists (called "peace animators") to raise awareness of, and mobilize communities to respond to human rights problems. TEWPA promotes women's rights through grassroots organizing, human rights monitoring/ documentation/ reporting, and policy reform. They also challenge cultural practices that deprive women of access to property and education, and help women understand their rights under current laws and participate in efforts to strengthen legal protections for women.   In Katakwi district for example, by using the negotiation skills and the knowledge of the national law, a peace committee was able to convince clan members to intervene successfully in favor of a widow who had been evicted by her late husband's relatives from the land he owned. The woman and her children now live on the property.  

Photos by Chloée Ponchelet, FGHR Program Officer for Congo, Uganda, and Guinea, are courtesy of the Fund for Global Human Rights.