Posts Tagged ‘funding’

Movies that Matter: grants for human rights film festivals

September 7, 2021

Movies that matter has extended the Deadline for its Call for Proposals. 

Are you organising a human rights film event, festival or mobile cinema project and still looking for funding? Apply for the next round of its grant programme to give your project the necessary boost.   For this second selection round of 2021, organisations in Southeast Asia are especially invited to apply (Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam).  

See if your project meets the basic criteria for funding and make sure to apply before Wednesday 15 September 2021.

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/07/18/call-for-application-for-start-up-impact-grants-for-human-rights-film-festivals/

https://moviesthatmatter.nl/newsletter/newsletter-industry-september-2021/

With new ‘Courage & Civility award’ Jeff Bezos pours $100 Million into charity

July 22, 2021

After successfully completing his mission to space, Bezos announced a new initiative titled the Courage and Civility Award to honour “leaders who aim high, pursue solutions with courage, and always do so with civility.” 

We live in a world where sometimes instead of disagreeing with someone’s ideas, we question their character or their motives,” Bezos said. “What we should always be doing is questioning ideas, not the person. We need unifiers and not vilifiers.” 

The Courage and Civility Award is a $100 million award for a person to give to charities and non-profit organizations of their choice or keep it for their organization. “It’s easy to be courageous but also mean. Try being courageous and civil. Try being courageous and a unifier. That’s harder and way better and makes the world better,” said Bezos.  

Jones was present at the event in Van Horn, Texas to accept the award. He thanked Bezos, and stated: “Sometimes dreams come true and the headline around the world should be anything is possible if you believe,”. 

See also: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/laureates/27034AB1-6712-4D7D-B91C-9DE062B56D95

Jones, the founder of Dream Corps, spoke about the importance of dismantling oppressive systems and giving everyone access to opportunities like the one Bezos experienced in space.

Dream Corps is an organization that strives to close prisons and open doors of opportunity by bringing people together across racial, social and partisan lines. Its programs focusing on criminal justice reform, building a green economy and creating equity in the technology industry.  

If this small group of people can make miracles happen in outer space, a bigger group of people can make miracles happen down here, and we’re gonna do it,” Jones said.  

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/van-jones-recognized-with-courage-and-civility-award-from-jeff-bezos–presented-with-100-million-to-gift-to-non-profit-organizations-301337822.html

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/van-jones-recognized-with-courage-and-civility-award-from-jeff-bezos–presented-with-100-million-to-gift-to-non-profit-organizations-301337822.html

Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights provides quick relief

July 6, 2021

Christy Price on 30 June 2021 sets out the way the Urgent Action Funds works: The Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights works on behalf of women and LGBT+ human rights defenders at critical moments to get them the funding, protection, and strength they need to effect change quickly and without the bureaucracy.

People often speculate on where activists get the money to organize, educate and execute direct actions. Many times, they blame some “nefarious”, rich philanthropist for paying a group of people to protest in actions that lean their way politically. The truth is, at least for Women’s Human Rights Activists, much more nuanced. 

The Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights works on behalf of women and LGBT+ human rights defenders at critical moments to get them the funding, protection, and strength they need to effect change quickly and without the bureaucracy. 

The Urgent Action Fund For Women’s Human Rights is part of a larger project called the Global Philanthropy Project which is made up of 21 member organizations. The Urgent Action Fund is one of those member organizations. 

The Urgent Action Fund quickly funds women’s human rights defenders (WHRD) who are poised to make great gains and face serious threats to their work. Once a WHRD applies for a grant they receive a decision within 72 hours, with money on the ground being used to defend women and LGBT people within one to seven days. Activists can apply 24/7 and in any language. 

The Urgent Action Fund is led by activists rooted in feminism and strengthened through solidarity. Besides providing rapid response grantmaking, they help grassroots activists by advocacy and alliance building, as well as research and publications. They join a global consortium of Urgent Action Funds in Latin America and Africa. 

The Urgent Action Fund provides funding for direct action, political education, movement resilience, collective care, new grassroots frameworks and leadership building focused on women, transgender, gender diverse, youth and/or the historically marginalized. Collectively Urgent Action Fund support’s women’s rights and LGBT+ rights movements in more than 110 countries worldwide. 

If you are looking for funding for your organization or group, you can visit https://urgentactionfund.org/who-we-are/mission-history/ to learn more about this organization and to apply for a grant. You can also visit their Facebook and Twitter pages to see how you can get involved. The staff are all working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic but can be reached at 415-523-0360.

https://www.postnewsgroup.com/womens-human-rights-activists-receive-urgent-action-funds/

Possible grants for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and the Right to Defend Rights in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.

March 22, 2021

The NHRF is opening a specialised and limited call for concept notes for projects contributing to building resilience, adaptability and increased safety and security for human rights defenders and human rights movements. Projects focusing on digital security and new technological threats used against human rights defenders and projects that seek to give psychosocial and multifaceted support to human rights defenders will be prioritized. The applicant should explain how the initiative will lead to a positive change for human rights defenders in their local communities.

Geographical location: India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar. Regional initiatives that include human rights defenders from one or more of the listed countries are also welcome to apply.

Thematic area and target groups: Protection of human rights defenders at risk, the right to defend rights, digital security, psychosocial support, pressure on and repression of civil society. Initiatives with a strong gender focus will be prioritized.

Amount: 15-25,000 USD. Please note that the proposed project budget must be proportionate to the applicant’s current annual budget and must not exceed an amount that is more than double the current annual budget.

Project timeline: One year (12 months)

Project start date: End of 2021/beginning of 2022*.

Deadline for registration and concept note: 18 April 2021

(NB: This call is part of the NHRF’s resource mobilisation, and grantmaking is dependent upon positive response from the NHRF’s network.)

Priority will be given to:

  • Organisations that are led by the target group or that have a strong link to the community and have special competence in the thematic area of focus
  • Organisations that adapt an inclusive approach, for example for gender, minorities and persons with disabilities
  • Organisations that work with women human rights defenders, LGBTIQ- defenders, environmental defenders and trade union activists
  • Organisations that have proven experience from working in networks, both nationally and regionally
  • Organisations focusing on digital security and psychosocial support

How to apply

Organisations working within the thematic area are invited to complete the eligibility quiz and concept note form in the NHRF application portal. You will also be asked to upload an overview of a one-year budget of the proposed project. Applicants must adhere to the word limits within the submission form.

The NHRF will review submissions and then make a shortlist of applicants that will be invited to submit a full application. This process could take time – up to 6 months – so we ask applicants to please be patient with our processes.

Please visit the NHRF’s page for grantseekers for more information.

Will UK Government cut their human rights support by 80%?

March 18, 2021

On 17 March 202 Ben McInerny of the international Observatory for Human Rights drew attention to the distressing news that “the British government plans to continue slashing overseas aid, with spending on the newly formed Open Societies and Human Rights directorate set to fall by as much as 80%.”.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, the leader of the SNP Iain Blackford MP condemned the proposals, calling for greater bipartisan oversight of the reduction in aid spending: “Only this morning, it has emerged that the UK Government also plan to cut their human rights support and anti-corruption measures by a staggering 80%. If the Prime Minister is prepared to stand up for such callous cuts, is he also prepared to guarantee that he will allow for a straight vote on them in the House of Commons?”

One of the projects reportedly threatened by these cutbacks is a £16m initiative aimed at advancing press freedom across the Middle East and North Africa – a region which has seen a “decline in freedom of expression, media freedom and civic space”, according to participants of the 2020 Global Conference for Media Freedom.

The UK took a global role with the launch of the media freedom initiative by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) under the previous Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. The UK also co-hosted the 2019 Global Conference for Media Freedom in London. However, though Dominic Raab has been supportive, he has had no direct involvement and this may be reflected in the budget cuts.

Despite the UK government’s attempts to depict post-Brexit Britain as a global “force for good”, these cutbacks come as part of a precipitous contraction of overseas aid spending. 

Earlier this month, leaked Foreign Office internal documents revealed proposed aid cutbacks of more than 50%, with Syria and Libya seeing a reduction in funding of 67% and 63% respectively..

David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, said the changes would undermine Britain’s “global reputation”, stating that:

 “The phrase ‘global Britain’ rings hollow. As the UK prepares to host the G7, the reduction of assistance to Yemen is a stark warning of what is to come as the government delivers on widespread cuts across the entire UK aid portfolio”

Andrew Mitchell, Former Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, said reducing the aid budget to less than 0.7% of gross domestic income (GDI) remains unlawful without a change to legislation, adding that:

“To grow the budget to 0.7% from 0.5% took four years, but the equivalent cut is being undertaken in a matter of weeks”

Boris Johnson has said the decision to cut aid budgets is justified by the current Covid-19 crisis, stating that “current straitened circumstances” make reductions necessary, although no other G7 country is cutting its aid programme to the same extent.

It is imperative that funding, crucial to the provision of humanitarian assistance to some of the world’s most vulnerable groups, be at least 0.7% of GDI. The Covid-19 crisis should not be an excuse to reduce aid spending, but rather a reason to increase it.

Facebook launches a human rights policy and fund for human rights defenders

March 17, 2021

According to Reuters on 17 March 2021 Facebook said it was launching a corporate human rights policy and a fund aimed at supporting human rights defenders facing online threats.

Facebook has – belatedly, according to some – released a global corporate human rights policy, along with a fund supporting those defending human rights. Rather than introducing any new rules on content, the new policy essentially codifies and regulates the company’s existing practices and introduces more transparency. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/06/03/more-on-facebook-and-twitter-and-content-moderation/]

This new policy sets out the human rights standards we will strive to respect as defined in international law including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs),” says Facebook’s director of human rights, Miranda Sissons, in a blog post.

“And it sets out how we will apply these standards to our apps and products, policies, programming, and overall approach to our business.”

The most critical human rights issues, such as risks to freedom of expression, will be reported to the company’s board of directors. Meanwhile, Facebook will release an annual public report on how it’s addressing human rights concerns stemming from its products, policies or business practices.

And a new fund – the amount’s undisclosed – will give offline support to those defending human rights under threat, starting in Asia later this year. This is expected to involve offering security to activists and journalists.

“We’ll also build on our existing work to protect defenders’ accounts — efforts that include combating malicious actors who are targeting them, protecting them from incorrect content removals using Cross Check, offering advanced security options, taking steps to thwart unauthorized access to the accounts of defenders who are arrested or detained, and partnering with human rights organizations on outreach and training,” says Sissons.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2021/03/17/facebook-promises-more-support-for-human-rights/?sh=fad8f837353a

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-human-rights/facebook-launches-fund-for-human-rights-defenders-facing-threat-idUSKBN2B8305?il=0

Humanists International announces today a grand grants scheme for 2021

December 15, 2020

Humanists International has announced on 14 December its 2021 Grants Scheme: six grant programs for a total budget of £122,000

One of Humanists International’s strategic aims is “to have successful and sustainable member organizations in every part of the world.” In order to achieve this aim, Humanists International runs on a yearly basis a Growth & Development Plan to provide funding, training, intellectual resources and other forms of support to let humanist organizations around the world develop and flourish.

The 2021 Grants Scheme that has been announced today consists of six different grant programs:

  • Development Grants (£50,000)
  • Digital Humanism Grants (£25,000)
  • Regional Networking Meetings Grants (£15,000)
  • Humanist Ceremonies Grants (£10,000)
  • Young Humanist Grants (£16,000)
  • Café Humaniste Online Grants (£6,000)

All details about the six grant programs, the eligibility and selection criteria, and how to apply for a grant are available on the website under the Growth & Development page.

The deadline to apply is 12 February 2021.

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/06/15/humanists-calls-on-un-to-stop-reprisals-against-human-rights-defenders/

“Freedom Rising”: an initiative to bring women and survivors into NGO leadership positions

December 1, 2020
Freedom Fund Announces Initiative to Bring Women Into Leadership Positions in Anti-Slavery Orgs

On 30 November, 2020 DC Velocity reported that with $1.2 million in funding (with support from Laudes Foundation, Stardust Fund, The Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund, UBS Optimus Foundation and Lisa Wolverton, President, Wolverton Foundation), the Freedom Fund has launched “Freedom Rising“, a program to identify, equip, empower and support women and survivors of modern slavery to become leaders of anti-slavery organizations in their communities and in the global movement.

Of the groups working to liberate people and end the conditions that lead to modern slavery, very few are led by women and survivors of slavery. The Freedom Fund, the largest global funder of frontline, anti-slavery organizations, believes that women and survivors should be at the center of the work to end modern slavery. Today,

We know from our experience supporting frontline organizations that the most effective and sustained way to end modern slavery is to incorporate the experiences and the leadership of women and survivors,” said Nick Grono, CEO of The Freedom Fund. “Gender bias and systemic discrimination are factors that make women and girls particularly vulnerable to modern slavery in the first place. We must center our work around the leadership of women and survivors in order to address these underlying causes. We believe we can transform the face of the movement one leader at a time, and we must start now.

Click here to watch a short film about Freedom Rising: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVZdiSU1e6w

The program is designed to support leaders through a personal learning journey that provides the skills and space for participants to experience, analyze and apply their learning. Not only must women and survivors work through their experiences of trauma and bias, they must also learn new approaches to leadership in a culture where their voices are chronically undervalued or dismissed.

Each cohort of 50 leaders will receive a minimum of 12 months of mentorship, leadership and technical skills training, before graduating to join the Freedom Rising alumni network. Due to COVID-19, the program has been adapted to provide online learning until the in-person training can be safely delivered.

We invested in Freedom Rising because we believe that transformational change comes only when women are in leadership positions and in influential roles sharing power and exerting influence,” said Natasha Dolby, founder of Freedom Forward and board member of the Freedom Fund. “These women are the best positioned to understand, analyze and shape what needs to happen in their organizations and communities, and with the anti-slavery movement at-large. We’re aware that changing norms takes time, but we’re behind the Freedom Fund’s vision that we must start now, when multiple pandemics that impact women worldwide have converged.

Freedom Rising differs from many other leadership programs in its explicit focus on building a stronger, more strategic, and more representative anti-slavery movement. After completing the year-long leadership training, participants will be formally introduced to the program’s alumni network, enabling them to continue to build and strengthen connections at the local, regional and international levels. The program will be piloted in Tamil Nadu in Southern India throughout 2021. Learnings from the pilot will be used to adapt and improve the program before its rollout. The curriculum will then be tailored to the specific needs and contexts of each training location, and delivered in local languages.

Initiatives to support women’s leadership like this one are crucial, especially at this critical moment, as the world battles a global pandemic,” said Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. “We know that putting women at the center, indeed ensuring women are at the helm, will help.

https://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/48151-freedom-fund-announces-initiative-to-bring-women-into-leadership-positions-in-anti-slavery-orgs

What can funders do for Human Rights Defenders during COVID-19?

September 29, 2020

 David Mattingly in Open Global Rights asks: “What Kind of Support Do Human Rights Defenders Need During COVID-19?“. The details are worth it:

 

…as governments grapple to provide relief, local organizations and activists are playing a critical role in responding to the pandemic. But they continue to face increased restrictions, threats, and attacks intended to curtail activism and stifle dissent—and they urgently need sufficient resources and political support from the international philanthropic community to continue their efforts.  The Fund for Global Human Rights initiated a COVID-19 impact survey to assess the challenges and opportunities that emerged for civil society over the first three months of the pandemic. Drawing on a deep global network of frontline activists and organizations from more than twenty countries, the Fund surveyed over 200 grantee human rights organizations in late April and early May to better understand how the pandemic has impacted their work. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/07/23/us1-million-fund-to-support-100-ngos-hit-by-covid-19/]

The survey offers valuable insights into how the activism landscape has changed—and what kind of support is necessary to sustain human rights work through this period of global crisis and beyond. Despite the challenging circumstances, frontline activists are demonstrating remarkable resilience and pivoting to respond differently to community needs. 

Nearly half of the survey’s respondents reported that they were still able to engage in their core work areas, like advocating for LGBTQ equality or defending Indigenous peoples’ land and resource rights. And 40% of respondents said that they were able to continue some core activities while also taking on new areas of work such as monitoring government actions in response to the pandemic, documenting the impact of COVID-19 on their constituencies, or providing community education on health and safety. Remarkably, 11% of respondents said that they had engaged entirely with these new areas of work or activities, which  they had not previously carried out, in order to address the pandemic. A minimal number of respondents—only 3%—answered that they were unable to continue working, and none expected to shut down entirely. 

Despite this largely positive outlook, the picture is likely to change over time as groups learn of more lost funding, donors shift priorities, and the public health crisis deepens across new geographies. This change is already taking place as activists working with historically marginalized groups—including Indigenous peoples and religious, ethnic, and racial minorities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19—have seen firsthand.

Around the world, botched or wanting pandemic responses have highlighted deep cracks in global and domestic systems—from massive disruptions in the transnational food supply chain to marginalized workers being excluded from government assistance programs. Human rights activists have demonstrated their capacity to redirect their resources and balance short-term—and often life-or-death—priorities with their longer-term goals. Thanks to this capacity for adaptation and responsiveness, civil society is poised to meet this moment of reckoning. 

However, human rights defenders are working under tremendous pressure. The pandemic has generated new priorities and urgencies, even as the immense challenges of frontline activism have multiplied. 

From Hungary to Brazil, governments have taken advantage of lockdowns and emergency measures to close civic spaces, curb fundamental freedoms, and stifle opposition. And in an effort to consolidate power, authoritarian or populist leaders are abusing prudent health and safety restrictions to specifically target human rights defenders. Nearly half of survey respondents reported that they had already been targeted by restrictions, curfews, or containment measures.

In Honduras, several prominent activists were arrested on trumped-up charges related to the pandemic, many of whom were attacked or jailed without access to legal recourse. Over 50% of survey respondents reported challenges to the normal functioning of protection mechanisms for human rights defenders.

In addition to these mounting dangers, survey respondents reported that infrastructure issues—including lost funding (37 respondents), sick staff (10 respondents), and reduced staff due to budget cuts (25 respondents)—were impacting their work. A quarter of respondents reported that technical difficulties, such as the lack of reliable internet or access to banks, pose a major challenge. Others mentioned dealing with impacts to their personal well-being, looking after sick family, or lacking access to critical supplies as paramount difficulties—an important reminder that human rights defenders are vulnerable to the same systemic inequalities they fight to overcome.

The imperative for human rights groups to demonstrate their relevance by addressing their community’s needs is made crystal clear by the impacts of the pandemic, which cut across areas of economic and social rights, health rights, migrants’ rights, and beyond. As they fill gaps in governments’ pandemic responses and fight for those most vulnerable to receive the resources and attention they need, frontline groups have the opportunity to continue expanding their grassroots constituencies by demonstrating their value to more people.

In recent years, the international human rights movement has been in a process of rethinking its role and strategies, and the pandemic is accelerating this reflection. This kind of crisis—and the myriad effects reported by survey respondents—begs funders to consider how they balance being nimble, adaptive, and reactive to emergencies such as COVID-19 with the values and strategy of long-term support and movement building.

These examples and data demonstrate the importance but also the effectiveness of partnering with frontline groups that are rooted in their communities and well-positioned to continue their critical, long-term work even as they adapt to shifting priorities. As funders, we must trust our frontline partners to assess their communities’ greatest needs and offer the flexibility to pivot amid a crisis. This means flexible funding, of course, but it also entails support for holistic security and wellness, and emergency funds and political support for activists that are targeted.

As different groups learn to navigate this new operating environment, it is critical that funders make space for cross-regional and intersectional exchanges, following the lead and priority of frontline activists, to compare  strategies, share learning, and foster solidarity.

More than 70% of survey respondents said they had explored or considered engaging with other groups working on similar issues and were interested in connecting with their peers. But with nearly a quarter indicating they have unreliable internet, funders must play a greater role in providing tech support and the means to collaborate. 

The Fund’s COVID-19 impact survey set out to answer the same question activists ask every day: what does our community need? The answers were a heartening reaffirmation of the resilience of civil society, as well as a pertinent reminder that, in times of crisis, our support must meet the demands of the moment.  

The pandemic is accelerating the need for adaptation and, as funders, we should take our cue from how local rights groups are nimbly pivoting to address both immediate and longer-term needs. As grassroots activists and advocates overcome mounting adversities to offer life-changing support in a historic moment of global turmoil, funders must learn, adapt, and evolve alongside them.

https://www.openglobalrights.org/what-kind-of-support-do-human-rights-activists-need-during-covid-19/

US$1 million fund? to support 100 NGOs hit by COVID-19

July 23, 2020

Global leaders and civil society groups are to launch a COVID-19 Grassroots Justice Fund to help marginalised and oppressed communities protect their rights during the pandemic and ensure equitable recovery.

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on 22 July 2020: “COVID-19 has exacerbated the problems of inequality and injustice and made it harder for grassroots organisations to provide much needed support. The COVID-19 Grassroots Justice Fund is a lifeline to these organisations as they adapt to the challenges created by this unprecedented pandemic, and I am proud that The Elders are supporting it with our partners.

Mary Robinson: Profile

The Elders, the Legal Empowerment Network, Namati, Justice For All, Pathfinders and the Fund for Global Human Rights have come together as non-funding partners to assemble the COVID-19 Grassroots Justice Fund, which aims to raise US$1 million to support 100 grassroots justice groups within 12-18 months.

The Legal Empowerment Network will ensure that grantee selection is led by and for grassroots justice leaders. The Fund for Global Human Rights will administer funds, bringing to bear its deep experience channelling resources to grassroots groups around the world. The Pathfinders develop evidence-based strategies for justice for all in a pandemic and will make the case for investing in grassroots justice organisations as part of the pandemic response. The Elders will use their powerful global platform to highlight the vital work of grassroots justice in the pandemic.

A one-time grant will be provided to qualified grassroots justice defenders and aims to help save lives and address the intertwined health, economic and justice crisis. Applications will initially be limited to groups who have already participated in the Legal Empowerment Network’s COVID-19 Justice Challenge and other COVID-19 activities. An open call will be announced in the future to wider groups, depending on availability of funds…

https://www.looktothestars.org/news/19835-new-covid-19-justice-fund-targets-1-million-for-grassroots-groups