On the 3rd March 2020 we were delighted to be joined by Baroness Sugg, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, at a special event to announce the recipients of the Jo Cox Memorial Grants (JCMG).
In March 2018, DFID launched the Jo Cox Memorial Grants; a £10 million UK aid fund as part of UK Aid Direct to support organisations working around the world on two themes close to Jo’s heart: women’s social, economic and political empowerment, and strengthening civil society capacity for early prediction of identity-based violence.
Throughout her career, Jo devoted her energies to making a true difference to the world’s most disadvantaged people. She was a passionate advocate for the power of the UK’s aid agenda and the Jo Cox Memorial Grants are a fitting tribute to her life and a powerful way to continue her humanitarian legacy.
Eighteen grants, outlined in detail below, have been made to civil society organisations, based on the following themes:
- Empowering women: Grants that will empower women to tackle the complex political, social and economic disadvantages they face.
- Preventing IBV: Grants that will strengthen the ability of communities to predict and prevent identity-based violence including mass atrocities. This will be done by enabling early warnings of increased tension leading to actions that prevent further escalation and ultimately better protect communities from the threat of violence.
The special announcements were kindly hosted by grant-holder Women for Women International at their UK headquarters, with contributions on the importance of this valuable work from Jo’s sister and Ambassador to the Foundation Kim Leadbeater. We heard first-hand experiences of preventing identity-based violence and empowering women and girls from the following grant-holders: our host, Women for Women International; Zimbabwe Educational Trust; International Centre for Integration and Cohesion (ICIC); and Minority Rights Group International. The event will offer insights into the work which will take place over the next three years in Jo’s name.
Baroness Sugg, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for International Development, said: “Jo cared passionately about gender equality and preventing identity based violence. These causes are absolutely fundamental to ending violence against vulnerable groups and giving every girl in the world the chance to go to school and realise her full potential. With funding from UK AID in Jo Cox’s memory, these projects will help to achieve that.”
Catherine Anderson, CEO of The Jo Cox Foundation said: “We are delighted to announce the amazing grant-holders of the Jo Cox Memorial Grants today. These are all inspirational organisations and the work they are doing in Jo’s name to prevent identity-based violence and empower women and girls is hugely important, and we are excited to see their impact. We would particularly like to thank Baroness Sugg and DFID for prioritising these issues, and we look forward to seeing the positive difference that the grant fund will have on so many lives around the world as part of Jo’s legacy.”
Kim Leadbeater, Ambassador of The Jo Cox Foundation, said: “Jo will always be, for me, first and foremost a humanitarian. Her kindness and compassion towards other people and her philosophy of pulling together and trying to make a difference in the world is what defined her – throughout her life. So it is truly heart-warming to have something so special in her name. The Jo Cox Memorial grants will go to projects that encompass some of the passions Jo had in terms of women’s empowerment and bringing local communities together. It is an important part of Jo’s legacy that our family is extremely proud of and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the work so far”
Here are a selection of photos from the day:
We have been delighted to partner with the Department for International Development in the creation, development and dissemination of these grants.
Theme one: Women’s social, economic and political empowerment
African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET)
Data-driven advocacy by women-led civil society in Africa (especially Kenya and Uganda)
The project will provide data and evidence informed advocacy to fuel progress towards gender equality in Uganda and Kenya.
Promoting social and economic empowerment of carers by strengthening women-led Carers Associations
The project will build on a previous project run by the organisation which focused on strengthening the capacity of Carers Associations to raise awareness of carers, their role and needs, and to lobby for practical support, policy changes and recognition. This project will further extend and consolidate the work of the previous project, but with an increased focus on advocacy and economic inclusion with the aim of strengthening and empowering women both in the civil society space and in their immediate community.
Child and Adolescent Resource Centre (CARC)
Buhera Integrated Recovery Action (BIRA) Project
The project aims to challenge gender inequality by increasing female caregivers’ participation in economic decisions. Female caregivers will be split into groups of 10 and will participate in small Income Generating Activities (IGA), specifically the commercial production of chickens. All caregivers will be trained by the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Enterprise Development and the Ministry of Women Affairs Gender and Community Development in business management and internal savings and lending.
Christian Blind Mission UK
Break the cycle: empowerment to combat violence against women/girls with disabilities in Nigeria
The project will break the cycle of poverty and violence for women and girls with disabilities (WGWD) in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa States through social, economic and political empowerment. After three years, WGWD will have more voice, choice and control. Further beneficiaries will be targeted from caregiver support groups through training or saving groups.
Commonwealth Local Government Forum
Connecting the dots: local action for women’s political and economic empowerment in Southern Africa
The project aims to strengthen gender-responsive service delivery in Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It will do this through the establishment and strengthening of networks linked to the ComWLG Network and through the mentoring of young women leaders over the next two years. These leaders will advocate for women’s equal representation in local government, and the extension and strengthening of the centres of excellence model. A network of women entrepreneurs will also be formed.
Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE)
Women’s empowerment and leadership project (WELP)
The project will harness the power of women through grassroots organising and promote their economic self-reliance as a catalyst for participation in leadership and governance in five rural districts of Uganda. Male champions will also reach men to tackle deep-rooted patriarchal obstacles to women’s empowerment. This will build a small group of women and men with voice and agency, championing women’s equality and rights.
Promote Mifumi Project
MIFUMI Women’s Network
This project is aimed at enhancing the participation of marginalised communities and individuals to contribute meaningfully towards an improved and strengthened policy environment in Uganda. The organisation will bring to the forefront community mobilisation and movement building tactics to activate target communities and rejuvenate their resolve to participate in building a fairer society for themselves.
Participation and voice for excluded women in Nepal (PAVE)
The project will improve participation, leadership and influence in decision-making in local and provincial level governance for women. This will include women experiencing multiple levels of discrimination through inequality, powerlessness and exclusion because of gender, caste and marital status. To sustain this change, the women’s movement will raise awareness of community members to support women’s participation and leadership in five districts of Province 7 in Nepal.
Women for Women International – UK
Empowering the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) women to break poverty cycles, achieve self-reliance, and realise their rights
This project aims to improve the social and economic empowerment of marginalised women in South Kivu’s communities. Marginalised women (the primary beneficiaries) will be trained on rights, vocational and business skills; male leaders will be engaged as women’s rights advocates, mobilising community members (secondary beneficiaries); and three civil society organisations will be strengthened to lead a local advocacy alliance, opening a community dialogue, action and accountability space on violence against women and girls and land rights.
Women’s Empowerment Link
Increasing access to police services for women and girl survivors of violence in Kenya
The project aims to prevent, respond to and eventually end violence against women and girls at the national level in Kenya, and particularly in the counties of Nakuru, Kisumu and Nairobi by 2020. This will be achieved through increasing the effectiveness of policies and national action plans, and the accountability systems of the police.
Zimbabwe Educational Trust
Empowering women in Zimbabwe through education, vocational training and holistic support
This project will run a nine-month education, vocational training and life skills course for particularly disadvantaged young women in Harare through the Rafiki Girls Centre. The course finishes with students having work placements with an employer in that sector. For example, teaching students work in nurseries, nursing students work in hospitals, and hospitality students work in hotels. These work placements have been pre-agreed and donated by the employers due to excellent working relations and past calibre of students from Rafiki. The centre will economically empower the vulnerable women, by helping to build their skills and experience, so that they can go on to access education or employment opportunities and live self-sufficiently.
Theme two: Strengthening civil society to prevent violence
Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG)
Prevention of identity-based violence: the role of national committees in the Great Lakes Region
The project aims to build stability in the Great Lakes region of Uganda. National Committees will be expanded and consolidated through active online education and civil society and government officials will be trained in identity-based violence prevention efforts.
Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights
Strengthening civil society early warning and advocacy on identity-based violence in South Sudan
This project seeks to build the capacity of civil society to monitor identity-based violence against civilians and track movements of armed actors in the South Sudan conflict, ensuring that impartial information from the ground is made available to local community and religious leaders, and to neutral authorities with a mandate to act.
International Centre for Integration and Cohesion (ICIC)
The Synergy Hub: tackling violence and building communities in Mosul
The project aims to establish the first network of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Iraqi city of Mosul to synergise and streamline civil society activities. These CSOs will work on various civil society issues pertaining to women’s rights, ethno-religious reconciliation, and combating extremism, and are united by their common goal of rebuilding the fabric of their war-torn city after ISIS rule.
Support to women’s networks to lead conflict prevention in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
The project will contribute to reducing violence in Ituri, North and South Kivu, and Tanganyika, by increasing the partners’ capacity to monitor grassroots-level conflict, with early warning information shared. Participation at local, provincial and national level will also be increased through the delivery and improved documentation of innovative conflict prevention interventions.
Minority Rights Group International
Networks for peace: preventing and resolving conflicts through early warning mechanisms in Africa
This project aims to empower members of marginalised communities in Kenya, Cameroon, and Uganda, to better predict and prevent identity-based conflicts, hold duty bearers to account, and achieve better well-being and developmental outcomes.
Strengthening networks to prevent and respond to violence
The project aims to reduce the risk of identity-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It will do this by strengthening civil society networks and increasing their capacity, supporting them to monitor and respond to violence, and by providing duty bearers nationally and internationally (including the UK government) with data and recommendations for meaningful and comprehensive preventive action against identity-based violence (IBV).
South Sudan Youth and Development Organisation
Combatting identity-based Violence in South Sudan
This project aims to mitigate and prevent identity-based violence in civilian camps in South Sudan, and in refugee camps in Uganda. This will be achieved by strengthening the capacity, skills and knowledge of local leaders, the South Sudan Youth and Development Organisation (SSYPADO) and its networks to enable them to implement effective inter and intra community peacebuilding initiatives, as well as generate and share lesson learning about what initiatives work in which conditions.