The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Program started in Zimbabwe in 1980. It is distinct from the larger-scale assistance carried out locally by the U.S. government. This program focuses on providing targeted grants to assist small-scale ($2,000-$10,000), short-term (less than 12 months), community-driven development projects that improve economic and social conditions at the local level. The SSH program in Zimbabwe has awarded more than $1 million for community-driven projects during the past ten years.
Each project is expected to:
- Improve basic economic or social conditions at the community or village level;
- Support high-impact, quick-implementation activities that benefit a large number of people within one year without requiring further SSH assistance;
- Involve a significant local contribution in cash, labor, or material, and be within the ability of the local community to operate and maintain;
- Be 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
- Not initiate, continue, or supplement technical assistance programs.
Basic eligibility requirements:
- Individuals, businesses, and government entities do not qualify.
- Applicants must be a registered non-governmental, non-profit, or community-based organization.
- All applications must include a significant community contribution (cash, labor, or materials).
- The organization must be entirely Zimbabwean and its members’ Zimbabwe Citizens.
- Applicants must display sound management in the form of financial, administrative, and technical procedures and present a system of internal controls that protects against fraud, waste, and abuse.
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