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U.S. Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund

The U.S. Embassy Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund

The Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund provides grants to community groups in Lesotho that are working to improve the basic economic and social conditions of their villages or communities. Grants are awarded once each year to projects which demonstrate local initiative and self-sustainability.

Criteria for Funding

Each community group awarded a grant provides a cash or in-kind contribution equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the total cost of the project. This participation ensures that the project has a strong foundation and that the end result truly belongs to the recipients and is theirs to maintain over time. The Ambassador will consider a wide variety of projects, and is particularly interested in supporting those that promote women and girls. Typical projects include classroom construction; classroom roofing; construction of community facilities like health clinics and community centers; and boreholes that provide safe drinking water to communities.

Limitations of the Self-Help Fund

The American taxpayers provide money for the Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund through the Department of State. As a result, there are several expenses that are ineligible for funding. These include: religious activities; refugee programs; personal businesses; police or military projects; recurring expenses of operating an organization; scholarships; office supplies including faxes, copiers and telephones; sports and music equipment; drugs, fertilizers and pesticides; remodeling or renovation due to lack of maintenance; revolving loan fund and seed money; and any form of vehicle or machinery. We also do not provide donations, allowances, overhead, or other administrative costs. These funds cannot be commingled with funds from other donors. The projects should be completed within 12 months. The maximum funding limitation per project is Maloti 50,000.00.

When to Apply

This year, the application period for grants is open from January 1, 2014 until April 30, 2014.  Awards will be made in July.

How to Apply for the Self-Help Fund

For more information

To receive more information and an application form for the Self-Help Fund, write to or visit personally:

Special Projects Coordinator
U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 333
Maseru 100, Lesotho