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PEPFAR Gender Challenge Fund

Program Overview

The PEFPAR Gender Challenge Fund, funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is a Gender-based program that will provide capacity building and grants to small female-operated businesses. This program supports and builds upon the work accomplished by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) through the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA Lesotho) gender based activities. MCA has educated, empowered, and assisted specially selected female entrepreneurs on Lesotho's Legal Capacity for Married Persons Act as well as successfully trained them in the entrepreneurial and grant writing fields. This ensures that MCC and PEPFAR investments are working in tandem for greater impact through this coordinated effort to promote gender equality.

The goal of these grants will be to:

  1. Assist women and girls who are impacted by HIV/AIDS by educating them on their legal rights and providing protection through individual, small group and community-level intervention and/or services
  2. Assist women and girls who are impacted by HIV/AIDS by increasing their access to income and productive resources through individual, small group and community-level intervention and/or services

Criteria for Funding

Gender Challenge grants will only be available to recipients of the trainings that have already been conducted by MCA and Management Sciences for Health (MSH). The grants will be awarded and monitored by a joint committee comprised of members from the US Embassy's Small Grants office, MSH, and MCA.

Grant Regulations

Applicants must make significant voluntary contributions (10%), either monetary or in-kind such as labor or other services to their projects. The greater the involvement and contribution from the local community, the more likely the project grant will be successful. After the grant money is spent, the project must be able to continue on its own with help from the community.

Each organization that is funded will be required to measure and report on the results it achieves with the grants.

Grant recipients must do the following:

  • Improve basic conditions at the local, community or village level
  • Projects should be oriented towards communities, not individuals
  • Provide services directly to the community
  • Benefit a substantial number of people in the community
  • Involve a 10% contribution of labor, money, or materials by members of the local community
  • Be within the means of the local community to operate and maintain
  • Permit quick implementation and impact, using the entire grant within the one-year agreement period
  • Be conducted by local (Basotho) groups (Community-based organizations, faith-based organizations and local groups with people living with HIV/AIDS are encouraged)
  • Be able to measure the results of your work
  • Report precise number of children and/or patients served
  • Report how many volunteers are trained
  • Report how many people are reached during a campaign

Expenditure Reporting

You must account for the funds you have spent by submitting receipts after each purchase.

See the latest recipients of the grant here.

How to Apply

We are not currently accepting applications for the PEPFAR Gender Challenge Fund.  Information about future available funding under this grant will be published as soon as it becomes available.

More Information

To receive more information for the PEPFAR Gender Challenge Fund, write to or visit personally:

The Special Projects Coordinator
American Embassy
P.O. Box 333
Maseru 100, Lesotho  
Telephone: +266.2231.2666